Although Canada is a bilingual country, aside from the province of Quebec, very few Canadians are proficient in French. As a bilingual country, it's important that we are able to communicate in both of our official languages - English and French.

One of the best ways to do so, is to immerse yourself fully in French language and culture. So why not move to France?

Perhaps you've taken French all throughout high school, but still don't feel comfortable expressing yourself in more complex discussions. You long to be a fluent French speaker!

It's widely known that the best way to learn a language is through immersion.

So why not consider immersing yourself in the French language by moving to a French-speaking country.

Of course it can be intimidating to move to a country, without fully understanding its language, culture and custom. But by overcoming your fear, this is when you'll make the most progress!

There are more than one ways of arranging your living situation in France:  read our article for more advice.

You will often role play when taking French language lessons
Role play is a common feature of language learning in France Source: Pixabay Credit StockSnap

Study in France: Getting a French Education

The French education system is known for being highly rigorous, with a rather advanced and complex curriculum from school to the university level.

French schools are often considered very demanding in terms of their workload and attainment expected of students enrolled in French education.

In order to gain access to a French university, this requires a baccalaureate degree, somewhat equivalent to our high school exams. It's important to do your research about the grade equivalences and language requirements before deciding to enrol in a French university.

Note that you may also be required to pass the DELF or French language proficiency exam to prove that you have strong enough language skills in French in order to be able to complete a university degree.

Passing the DELF may also be required by certain employers in France in order to begin working.

Alternatively, perhaps you already have a university degree and are not looking to start another degree. You may wish to consider taking other classes, such as cuisine or arts to fulfil your artistic interests!

One of the most common reasons that individuals decide to come to France to study is to take language classes and become proficient in French!

The Centre International D'Antibes, which is located on the French Riviera, is renowned for its excellent quality of teaching and has welcomed students for over 30 years to its school.

At the Centre International d'Antibes, there are a number of French courses on offer, which are tailored for every level and reason for learning French. Perhaps you are complete beginner and require an intensive introduction to the French language, or maybe you are are already an advanced speaker and need to work on business-level French, then there is bound to be a course to suit your needs.

There are also group and family classes on offer - so you can learn with your colleagues or family members! I

If you need to pass the DELF exam for professional or personal reasons, then you'll be happy to know that there is a 97% pass rate after having attended the school.

Take a look at their website for the latest programmes, classes and season promotions on offer. 

Institut Linguistique Adenet, in Montpellier, is another excellent and well-renowned program.

There are intensive and beginner classes on offer. Normally the groups are quite small, with lesson than 10 students per class.

If you can imagine yourself immersing yourself in the French language while exploring the South of France of several weeks or even months then this may be the perfect program for you!

With intensive group classes, focusing on developing your communication skills as well as intensive grammar and reading comprehension, you'll be able to progress quickly in your French proficiency.

In addition to grammar exercise and learning  key vocabulary and French phrases, you'll have time to get to know your colleagues and teachers.

Each course organises many social outings and activities for their students, such as site seeing and wine tastings in the region.

Discover the available French classes Montreal on Superprof.

Find Work in France

So now that you are perfectly proficient in French and can communicate in French on an adequate level, how do you start working in France?

One of the easiest solutions is to become an English teacher!

Learning English and teaching English is one of the biggest businesses in France  given that it has become increasingly important for businesses to be able to communicate in English. An increasing number of University students and graduates are seeking teachers to help them gain proficiency in English to improve their chances of finding relevant work in the future. 

You can teach thousands of students around the world on Superprof by giving lessons online or in person.

You may even wish to build your teaching profile prior to relocating; that way you may have built up a client base before you even set foot in France!

Check for online French lessons here.

You may transfer to your company's French office, thanks to your French skills
Your French language skills may earn you a place in your company's Paris office! Source: Pixabay Credit: Rawpixel

Searching for a Foreign Assignment in France

Maybe you already work for a global company and wish to relocate within your current company?

If that's the case, your French classes may have certainly paid off!

The first step is to discuss with your manager or HR manager to find out what kind of opportunities are available abroad. Your manager then would be able to find out more about your project in the long-run and what you are looking to gain from such an opportunity.

Although the process may take time, you'll have to have a clear idea of what your future plans are, and you'll have to make all the necessary plans and arrangements- it can be an extremely exciting and rewarding experience.

One final way to achieve your goal of finding employment in France is to make a clean break and start a new career with a company in France. You may wish to get in contact employers in France to find a job.

How to Start a Business in France

France is most definitely open for business! So the headlines proclaim, and there is substantial evidence to prove it.

According to this report by Ernst & Young, it is both cheaper and easier to set up a business in France than in most other G20 countries.

Perhaps the best aspect of starting your own business in France is that this country's infrastructure is light-years ahead of others, especially in the telecommunications sector.

Preparation for launching your business should naturally include learning the language, especially French vocabulary as it pertains to business.

Beyond that, you must:

  • Sit the DELF Pro, or regular DELF
  • Make sure you are properly accredited for that business
    • the French government requires a specific diploma and licensing for every business
  • Submit a business plan and financial forecast

Inasmuch as you must make projections about your business, it would help if you have been in the area for a while, talked with other French merchants who are in somewhat the same business as you hope to establish.

It may even help for you to form alliances with them, so that they might advocate for you, if needed.

Speaking of alliances, it wouldn't hurt for you to say bonjour to your local Alliance Française while still in the UK!

In turn, they might offer up brochures wishing you bienvenue en France!, along with helpful guides to getting your business off the ground.

And starting your life over, as an English expat abroad.

Get online French courses here now.

Helpx can put you in touch with desirable homestay situations, such as caring for horses
If you like horses, you may find a homestay situation that calls for caring for animals Source: Pixabay Credit: Gtwoart

Become a Volunteer in France

If you are more of a free spirit and just want an all-encompassing learning experience in France, perhaps you would be open to a homestay or two.

We concede that not everyone with a desire to learn a new language has the resources available to attend classes and travel about.

Practical concerns, such as eating and having a safe place to rest, do encroach on even the most free-spirited learner.

So, if you want language immersion and a profound cultural experience, all within the safety of a host family, HelpX might just be the site for you!

This programme allows you to exchange a modicum of work for room and board in a French household.

By accepting placement in a French residence, you can practice your French, be you a beginner or more advanced, in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

You won't sit in a classroom, and there are no French teachers – unless the family you stay with includes a qualified teacher.

You would be permitted to stay in any one household for two weeks to two months; each host has different needs.

You may garden or work with animals; perhaps even engage in light construction or work as an au pair but, through it all, you will be steeped in French culture and language learning by virtue of sharing a home.

Perhaps the best part of this programme is the wide range of experiences you could be treated to!

You may enjoy carpentry workshops in Nantes, followed by one on one English speaking sessions that you might tutor... all for free!

If you like to travel light and don't mind relocating every few weeks, you could actually learn to speak French all over that beautiful country!

And, after traveling everywhere – all while gaining proficiency in French, you will be ready to sit DELF in your preferred French city, find a flat and settle into your new French life.

Doesn't that sound like a plan?

However, if you can't see yourself settling in France yet, then you can always opt for a french course london.

Check for exceptional French lessons here.

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Yvette is a freelance Canadian writer living in Paris. She spends her time between Toronto and Paris and likes to travel and learn. She's the proud mom of two strong minded women and enjoys her free time giving back to her communities.