Language Camp in France

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  • Overview

    Always dreamed of learning French while exploring iconic cities like Paris and Bordeaux? Now is your chance to experience the culture of France while perfecting your language skills with fellow students from around the world.

    Greenheart Travel’s summer language camp is offered in two destinations in France:

    • Paris
    • Arcachon (near Bordeaux)
    • Paris + Arcachon

    Both language camp locations give you the opportunity to learn French through full language immersion through structured classes and exciting excursions.

    Hear about the experience from Greenheart Travel Alum, Katie Fetter: 

  • Eligibility

    • Must be between 14 – 17 years old
    • Must have completed at least one year of French language instruction
    • Be in good mental** and physical health
    • Have a genuine interest in learning French and immersing yourself in the culture

    *Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all high school abroad applicants.

    Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness, specifically within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition. Each student will be addressed on a case by case basis and ultimately it is Greenheart Travel’s in-country partner who holds the right to accept or decline a student based on their individual policy.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • Eating disorders
    • Chronic debilitating migraines
    • Bipolar Disorder

    All students who currently experience one or more of these conditions will be required to submit an addendum to the terms and conditions as well as a letter of support from their current mental health specialist. If the student’s mental health issue has been managed (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will still require a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.  We encourage you to discuss your specific situation with us directly before securing these documents.

    Why our alumni loved the program:

    The two weeks abroad in Arcachon were incredible and I had a blast completely immersing myself in a different language and culture. I feel like I changed so much from my time in France. It’s such a rewarding feeling– taking the skills we learn in textbooks and utilizing them in the real world. I’m currently in the process of applying for colleges, and I am considering studying abroad in college because of my amazing experiences I had in France this summer.” – Autumn Lee, 2016 Summer Camp France alum

  • Paris Program

    The center of French culture and history, Paris is the beautiful capital city in France. This long-running program is one of our most popular teen summer camp destinations! Your days will consist of morning classes and afternoon excursions. Check out our photo gallery and picture yourself in Paris this summer.

    For Paris, all students will be enrolled in a 2 week program starting July 4. 

    Educational visits and excursions form an important part of the program. An exciting day by day program will be given to the participants upon arrival. Climbing the Eiffel Tower, visiting the most famous touristic places, and spending a full day at Euro Disney are part of this program. Students will also enjoy sports activities as well as evening entertainment!

    Please note: Participants are not allowed to go out at night outside unless accompanied by a chaperone.

    Sample Itinerary:

    What are past participants saying about the program?

    “My experience in Paris was one I will never forget. I met some wonderful people from so many different countries who will remain in my heart and mind forever.  I learned about different cultures and I made some of the best friends I will ever have. While challenging, the language classes were a really good way to boost my comprehension of French and I do think that I learned a lot from the classes. I am excited to put what I have learned this summer into practice and show off my new skills.” – Katie Fetter, Greenheart Travel alum and scholarship winner for Summer Language Camp in France

  • Arcachon Program

    A lesser known area of France, Arcachon is no less special than Paris! This coastal city is located about a 1-hour drive from Bordeaux in a beautiful region of the country. If you’re an ocean lover, this is the spot for you! It is a popular vacation destination for French tourists and is home to some incredible nearby sites. Your days will consist of morning classes, afternoon excursions and evening events with your host family.

    You can choose lengths of stay between 2-4 weeks.

    Educational visits and excursions form an important part of the program. An exciting day by day program will be given to the participants upon arrival. Climbing the massive Pyla sand dune, visiting the nearby castles & ancient ruins, and spending a day on a river cruise are part of this program. Students will also enjoy sports activities and music classes! Each night, you will get to spend time with your local host family fully immersed in French life. This is a great opportunity to learn about what real French people do and how they live!

    Please note: Participants are not allowed to go out at night outside the host family home unless accompanied.

    What are past participants saying about the program?

    My summer in France was the most memorable summer of all time! Greenheart Travel offered the best experience. The excursions, the morning classes and the overall experience was amazing. The day would start off in the morning with breakfast, then off to class! Class consisted of a small group of international French learners. Afterwards, we would have our daily excursion then the evening with friends or the host family. Overall, great experience! Thank you!” – Ivan Galvan, Summer Language Camp Alumn with Greenheart Travel

  • Paris + Arcachon

    Sometimes, it’s hard to choose! For students who want to experience both Paris and Arcachon, we offer a combination program!

    The combination program is either four weeks or six weeks. You have the option of:

    • 4 weeks: 2 weeks in Paris + 2 weeks in Arcachon
    • 6 weeks: 2 weeks in Paris + 4 weeks in Arcachon

    Students will arrive first in Paris (CDG or Orly) between 2:00pm and 6:00pm on Sunday, July 4 (classes start Monday, July 5) for two weeks of an exciting schedule of language classes and activities. Then, on Saturday, July 17, they will be transported (included in the cost of the program) via train to Arcachon. (Note: this transfer includes drop off at Paris train station and pick up from Arcachon train station, but the train ride is not chaperoned.) 

    From July 17 to either July 31 (4-weeks) or August 14 (6-weeks), students will spend their days seaside; soaking in more than just the sun! At the end of their program, students should fly out of the Bordeaux (BOD) airport after 1:00pm.*

    *If necessary, students can be transported with a chaperone back to Paris for their return flight (can depart from (CDG or Orly). This will incur additional fees.

  • Classes and School Info

    There are 3 different levels — Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced. The levels are sub divided up into two sub levels depending on your linguistic skills. You will be given an admissions test on your first day to evaluate your skills and place you in the proper level.

    French Courses

    • 15 morning classes a week (3 classes per day for 50 minutes each)
    • Classes are taught by native French teachers who specialize in teaching French as a foreign language
    • You should take a French/English dictionary, notebook and pencil for class but your school will provide all books and workbooks.
    • Teachers use dynamic, interactive educational methods that integrate the use of magazines, cds, discussions on current affairs, surveys, and presentations
    • Students receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course

    Paris School Location and Classrooms:


    Arcachon School Location and Classrooms:


  • Program Dates

    Summer 2022 dates will be released in November 2021. 

    For Paris, all students will be enrolled in a two-week program. For Arcachon, students can choose between 2-4 weeks.  If you want to go to both locations or up to 6 weeks, enroll in both destinations! Please refer to our Paris + Arcachon program page!

  • Arrival & Departure Times

    All students fly on their own to France. A representative from the language school will pick them up and take them to their host family.


    • Arrive in Paris (CDG or Orly) between 2:00pm and 6:00pm on Sunday, July 4 (classes start Monday, July 5)
    • Depart from Paris (CDG or Orly) Saturday, July 17 between 9:00am and 1:00pm


    • Arrive at Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) on Sunday (before Monday classes start) between 12:00pm and 6:00pm
    • Depart from Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) on Saturday at the end of their program between 9:00am and 2:00pm

    Paris + Arcachon:

    • Arrive in Paris (CDG or Orly) between 2:00pm and 6:00pm on Sunday, July 4 (classes start Monday, July 5)
    • Depart from Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) Saturday, July 31 (4 week program) OR August 14 (6 week program) between 9:00am and 2:00pm

    Arriving or departing outside these designated windows will incur additional fees for private transportation.

  • Costs and Inclusions

    2021 Program Cost for Paris or Arcachon: 

    • 2 weeks: $2,580 (Paris or Arcachon)
    • 4 weeks: $3,490 (Arcachon only)

    2021 Paris + Arcachon Cost:

    • 4 weeks: $4,440
    • 6 weeks: $5,330

    Please note: all prices are listed in USD.

    What’s Included:

    • Accommodation for the entire program
    • 3 meals a day
    • 15 hours of language classes per week
    • Fully chaperoned daily cultural activities & excursions
    • Arrival orientation and language level placement test
    • Airport pickup and drop off from designated airport
    • Medical and accident insurance
    • 24-hour emergency assistance from local staff and long-distance staff
    • Online pre-departure orientation with Greenheart Travel
    • The Greenheart Travel Atlas, an interactive guide to your cross-cultural experience
    • Donation to support the Greenheart Odyssey, an award-winning youth leadership development program
    • Access to the Greenheart Club, an online community for Greenheart alumni to find resources, log volunteer hours, and apply for alumni grants and scholarships

    Only for Paris + Archacon:

    • Transportation via train between Paris and Arcachon*

    Our Support and Services: 

    • Extensive pre-departure advice and support from your US-based program coordinator! We will be with you from your first inquiry, all the way through preparing to leave and your arrival in Costa Rica.
    • Support services from in-country staff upon arrival to Costa Rica.
    • Online pre-departure cultural and logistical orientation before you leave
    • 24-hour in-country and emergency support for the duration of the program, including 24-hour emergency phone numbers to reach a program manager at any time.

    What’s Not Included:

    • Flight to France
    • Spending money for souvenirs or snacks while in France

    *Students who wish to transport on their own between Paris and Arcachon may have this deducted from their total program fee.

    Payment Details

    • $300 Application Fee due by the program deadline to formally apply
    • $300 Commitment Payment due after acceptance within 14 days to save your spot on a certain start date
    • Remaining balance is due 8 weeks before departure to France

    Worried about the program fee?

    Our goal is to help make travel accessible to everyone and we are here to help when you are deciding if this experience is financially do-able. Each year we offer scholarships for high school study abroad students! We also have a guide to fundraising your program fee, and many high school students fundraise in their hometown ahead of their program.

    We also offer discounts for applying early (plus there are many other benefits to applying early!) for each start date and for US families that have hosted an exchange student with Greenheart Exchange.

    Please inquire here if you have questions about the program fee, scholarships, or fundraising for your program.

  • Accommodation

    All students live with carefully selected local host families near the school – approximately 20 minutes walking distance to the school or public transportation. Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify as a host family, the prospective hosts must:

    • Successfully pass a criminal background check
    • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
    • Agree to and pass a home inspection

    Usually, two students will share a room and there can be up to 8 students with one host family depending on the size of the family’s home. They will only share rooms with students of the same sex and will be closely supervised by their hosts.

    What have past participants said about their host families?

    “I was fortunate enough to live with a wonderful host mom who is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. In the morning she would always ask if I slept well, wanted to know about my day when we came back from school, she drove my host brother and I to get ice cream and to watch the sunset (which was my favorite memory from this trip). I am still in contact with her and email her regularly.” – Autumn Lee, Summer Camp France alum

  • COVID-19 Policy

    Please refer to our COVID-19 blog for the most up-to-date information on current programming.

    Adhering to COVID-19 Guidelines

    Closer to your start date, you will participate in an online pre-departure training with a Greenheart Travel staff member. The details will be provided to  you upon acceptance onto the program. During this online training, the Greenheart Travel staff member will provide any specific COVID-19 guidelines or entry requirements (such as getting a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure). All students will be required to adhere to any local or federal government guidelines while on program, such as wearing a mask and maintaining six feet of distance with anyone outside of this program. These will be discussed with students during the online pre-departure as well as upon arrival. Guidelines, requirements, and restrictions change frequently, so we will give you the most accurate information as possible as close to your start date as possible.

    Cancellation in Case of COVID-19 or its Effects

    Our policy is to still evaluate programs 6 weeks prior to your intended start date. If we determine we are unable to run your original start date due to factors like health & safety of students or entry restrictions, you will have options to defer to another start date/year, switch to a new program or request a partial refund. Please refer to our COVID-19 Cancellation and Refund Policy for more details.

  • FAQ for Parents

    The decision to send your teenager abroad can be difficult and there are a lot of questions to consider. We understand your concerns and the Greenheart Travel staff is there for you every step of the way! We want to make the process of traveling and studying abroad as fun and painless as possible for you and your child. Here are some of the common questions we get from parents as they consider the program:

    What does it mean to be in good mental health in the program eligibility requirements?

    Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on an exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all applicants.

    Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Depression
    • Obsessive compulsive disorder
    • Debilitating anxiety
    • Eating disorders

    If the student’s mental health issue has been managed (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.

    If my child does the Paris and Arcachon destinations, what kind of flight should I buy?

    Most people will book two sets of round-trip tickets (one from your home city to France and one between the cities in France). Since most people do their Paris program first, followed by their Arcachon program, we typically recommend booking international airfare first and then domestic airfare in France. If you find it is easier or cheaper to book a multi-leg ticket from your home to Paris to Bordeaux to home, that is fine with us. We are happy to discuss flights options with you before you book anything.

    How much supervision is there?

    Students are supervised and chaperoned at all times. Students are never allowed to leave the school grounds or residence without being accompanied by a chaperone.

    Should my child fly using an unaccompanied minor service?

    Greenheart Travel does not recommend this service because the “additional” services advertised by the airlines are already provided to all travelers and are not worth the money invested by you the traveler. At any time, a student can ask an airlines professional for help finding their gate or for connecting flight information, and paying for this add-on UM service is not necessary. We have sent hundreds of semester abroad students internationally, for whom we book their flights, and we never use unaccompanied minor services. If you would like the peace of mind a UM service provides, Greenheart Travel offers more self-empowering alternatives (such as reviewing airport maps, mapping connections, etc) that we believe teach teenagers relevant life skills about traveling independently. Please refer to our webinar about navigating international airports.

    How many other students will there be and where are they from?

    A majority of our students are American between 14-17 years old. However, there are students participating from around the world, so your child will have a cross-cultural setting both in the classroom and out. While the number of students does vary by start date, we like to keep small classes with no more than 15 students.

    Will my child be required to speak French outside of the classroom?

    Language practice and immersion are the main priority of this program. While we do not require the students to sign a contact stating they will only speak in the local language, it is highly encouraged that they use their language skills when talking to friends, partaking in the daily excursions and at night in the residence hall or host family home. Program staff and chaperones primarily communicate and answer questions in the local language to encourage this immersion culture.

    How will this program improve my child’s French skills?

    In a traditional classroom, students may learn language skills; however, they are not forced to practice these skills in real world situations. Through language immersion, your child will both learn the practical language skills in a classroom while also being forced to use them with local, native speakers during the excursions and/or host family experience. Studies show that 4 weeks of a full language immersion experience can be equivalent to a yearlong college language course because of the intensity of use.

    Will my child earn high school credit?

    Greenheart Travel cannot award high school credit. Please talk to your school about earning credit for your child’s time abroad. Refer to this blog post for tips on transferring credit.

    Why should I choose Greenheart Travel?

    Greenheart Travel provides 24-hour support to you and your child throughout the application, program and alumni processes. We are a small staffed non-profit that is accredited with CSIET, so you know you’ll always be talking to a real person on the other line. We are proud to always be available for your questions and concerns and we always answer our emails and phone calls quickly. We pride ourselves on developing a personal relationship with our participants, and love staying connected with them throughout the experience on social media & email. We offer the personal connection and support that many of our competitors do not.

    What if my child has an allergy/specific dietary requirement?

    We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed with us to see if we can arrange to have your needs met.

    What happens if my child gets sick while abroad?

    They will be covered by mandatory health insurance. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 2 weeks prior to their departure, as well as supplementary materials in your child’s comprehensive program handbook.

    Can they apply with friends?

    Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends and groups. If both your child and their friend go together, each of them will receive a discount! However, keep in mind your primary purpose of attending this program is to immerse themselves in the language and culture – so make sure your child and their friend commit to speaking French! (Need tips? Check out our language learning tips webinar!)

    Do you accept groups?

    Absolutely! If you are an educator who would like to organize a group trip, please inquire here to speak about dates, pricing, and special requests.


  • Application Process

    Committing to a language camp program can feel a bit daunting, but we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible. Below are the steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a Greenheart Travel program.

    Once you start your application, you have two weeks to finish.

    1. Ensure Your Eligibility: The eligibility requirements, such as age or language proficiency, may be required for certain destinations.

    2. Start Your Application HereYou will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application. You’ll be able to save your progress along the way.

    3. Sign the Terms & Conditions: After you complete the first part of your application, you (and your parent(s) if you’re under 18) will be asked to read through and sign our Terms and Conditions which outline the requirements and policies of the program

    4. Submit your application fee: You will need to submit your $300 application fee at this point in the process. This is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.

    5. In-Depth QuestionnaireThis is the most in-depth part of the application process as it helps us get to know you better. You will need to provide detailed information about yourself, why you want to go abroad, and what you hope to gain from your experience. You will also need to upload your passport.

    6. Acceptance: Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 1-2 weeks to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.

    You’re Accepted – now what?

    Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. At this point you will be required to submit a second $300 commitment payment that also goes towards the total amount (it’s not extra). This is your commitment to your start date and once we receive it is when details will start to be booked on your behalf.

    You’ll then be able to download program handbook from the portal, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule an online pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have. You can expect to receive your host family placement 1-2 weeks prior to your start date.

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