Come to the glittering city of Paris, sharpen your French skills, and take in the best of French culture on this incredible three-week immersion program! Paris is the city where Travel For Teens began, and with our history, local knowledge, and strong connections there is no better way to discover the City of Light than with us! We will help you improve your ability to communicate in a second language by making sure you are fully immersed in it. You will spend your mornings taking French lessons and your afternoons and evenings traversing Paris’s legendary quarters and seeing the best the city has to offer! Our experienced bilingual staff will accompany the group at all times. After classes, take your newfound knowledge to the streets, where you will chitchat with shopkeepers, order your own food at restaurants, and participate in fun activities such as scavenger hunts to practice what you’ve learned at the academy.
Outside of class, soak in the best of French culture by exploring Paris and Nice, two very different–but both quintessentially French–cities. You’ll cruise the Seine at sunset, stroll the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, and explore the artistic hilltop neighborhood of Montmartre. Plus, you’ll be in Paris for Bastille Day, France’s most important national holiday. Watch the parades, attend the Fêtes des Pompiers, and enjoy the spectacular fireworks show from the Eiffel Tower! This program is perfect for any teen who is looking for a not-your-average-summer-camp language immersion experience, so join us today to experience French joie de vivre!
During this program, you will…
- Attend a total of 30 hours of French language class in the mornings and practice your French in real-world situations in the afternoons
- Explore off-the-beaten-path Parisian sights like Gare Montparnasse, St. Sulpice, the Catacombes, the Musee Marmotten Monet, and more!
- Attend the annual Paris Jazz Festival
- Visit the D-Day landing beaches of Normandy*
- Celebrate Bastille Day, France’s biggest national holiday, with parades, fireworks, a picnic on the Champ de Mars, and going to the top of the Eiffel Tower!
- Experience the beauty of both Southern and Northern French cultures
- Practice your French at picturesque marketplaces
- Go to the most visited museum in the world, the Louvre, and see works like the Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, and so many more
- Visit the most iconic Parisian sites such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, the Luxembourg Gardens and the Champs-Elysées
- Explore the Royal Palace of Versailles, learn about the Sun King’s lavish parties, and stroll through the stunning gardens
- Enjoy fondue in the Latin Quarter, escargot at a classic bistro, and crêpes along the Seine
- Take a day trip to London via the “Chunnel” train*
- See where Van Gogh and Picasso frequented in Paris’ hippest neighborhood, Montmartre
- Have some retail therapy in the hip boutiques of Vieux Nice
- Walk in the footsteps of the stars at Cannes
- Visit three countries in one day on our day trip to Monaco and Italy*
- Relax on a pristine beach in the French Riviera
*This is an optional excursion
DAY 1: DEPART FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
DAYS 2-17: PARIS
Bienvenue en France! Your two weeks of French classes will be held in the morning at the ELFE Language School of Paris, and in the afternoon you will have the chance to put your classroom learning to the test as you explore the city and interact with Parisians. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner or you don’t think you speak well – this language experience is designed to benefit any and all skill levels and the important thing is to do your best and learn from one another. You will take an assessment test first thing so that you are placed in the appropriate level of class. We’ll also do fun practice activities like scavenger hunts and more! All throughout, you’ll get to hone your French skills as you talk your way through the City of Light.
We stay at a lovely Parisian hotel in the 9th Arrondissement, one of the most culturally rich districts of the city. Here, you’ll be just minutes from the most sought-after attractions in Paris. We’ll take you from the heights of the Eiffel Tower to the bustling Sunday morning marketplaces. You’ll shop in posh boutiques along the Champs-Élysées and scour the flea markets for bargains. Take in some of France’s best art at the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre, go for relaxing walks in the Luxembourg Gardens and Père Lachaise Cemetery, and see Quasimodo’s home at Notre Dame. If you want, you can even take a day trip to London on the “Chunnel” train! Plus, don’t forget the highlight of the trip–Bastille Day! We’ll go to the Fêtes des Pompiers, the parades, and watch the fireworks that are set off at Trocadero from the Eiffel Tower! Celebrate France’s most important national holiday just as the French do, with a picnic on the Champ de Mars and in good company with good friends.
DAYS 18-21: NICE > SURROUNDING COUNTRYSIDE
Do as the Europeans do and hop on the high-speed train down to Nice to exchange the hustle and bustle of Paris for the beautiful beaches of the French Riviera. Stroll around Vieux Nice’s Boulevard Anglaise and poke around the quaint shops here, chitchatting with shopkeepers in French. Climb to the hilltop castle for an unparalleled view of the Cote d’Azur, and belt your heart out at Karaoke night! Plus, you can choose to go on our optional excursion to Monaco and Italy, to see where Europe’s rich and famous go to play. We also spend time in St. Paul de Vence and Èze to connect participants with the medieval villages of Provence, sources of artistic inspiration for centuries. You’ll even visit Cannes, home of the famous international film festival! The final dinner is at an elegant restaurant right on the beach beside the Mediterranean, gentle breezes wafting, while candles and music give a fitting end to a trip that encompasses much of the best that French culture has to offer.
DAY 22: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can go on this trip? What kind of teen typically goes on this trip?
Teens from all over the world join this program! Typically, our participants are culturally curious individuals who are excited to make new friends, experience something unique, and interested in stepping out of their comfort zones and expanding their horizons.
This program is exclusively for students who are currently in grades 9th through 12th and approximately 14 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family-run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
In Paris, we will be staying in a modern hotel in the heart of the 9th Arrondissement, right next to the Opera House.
In Nice, we stay right in the heart of Old Nice, close by the Boulevard Anglais and of course the beach!
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a program.
Do most travelers go on their own?
Yes! In fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that form along the way. When we travel by ourselves, we are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new friends on another TFT program the next summer!
If you are thinking about joining a TFT program by yourself but you are feeling unsure, please let us know! We have plenty of references from solo travelers who had great experiences and would be happy to chat with you about it.
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We ask that if you do come with a friend, you and your friend(s) maintain openness to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students like the most about this program?
Students love that they are able to learn and practice their French with locals in the best possible place to do so, while at the same time learning about French culture and seeing some of the best sights both Northern and Southern France have to offer.
What is unique about this program?
Between our French lessons tailored specifically to each individual student, the out-of-the-classroom learning and cultural exploration experiences, and of course being in Paris for France’s most important national holiday Bastille Day, this program provides unique insider access to France and French culture.
What is included?
Tuition cost includes ground transportation; accommodation; chaperones and guides; program-related activities and admissions; taxes and tips; all breakfasts and dinners.
Not included in cost (this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; lunches; visas and visa application fees; personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary; beverages other than filtered water at meals; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss the program’s flight details. There is no requirement to take the group flight, but there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is usually chaperoned by a TFT staff member, and it also offers an opportunity for the students to get to know one another prior to the start of the program. Parents are responsible for coordinating transport to the departure airport – however, the logistics team will send out instructions detailing the exact meeting spot and airport point person. For additional information about flights, visit our dedicated flight page.
Who leads the program?
Our staff is a cut above the rest! We seek out two main characteristics in our counselors – extensive knowledge of and experience in our destinations, and a passion for working with teens. Our staff’s backgrounds include living abroad and working in summer camps or other educational settings. Team members are proven leaders and role models, who connect easily with others and form genuine friendships with each student – all while bringing each destination to life.
We celebrate diversity! Our staff represents 49 different nationalities, speak a combined total of 21 languages, and visited 142 countries. Additionally, 80% of our staff lived or worked abroad in their lives. With so many unique experiences to share, you are sure to gain a global perspective.
Our average minimum ratios are one staff member to every seven participants. Each program has one Trip Director with several support staff, depending on the group size. Directors must be at least 25 years old and have prior experience working with TFT.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
What is the average group size?
We pride ourselves on small group sizes to create a more authentic and personalized experience. Our group sizes fall between 14 and 21 students – the perfect size to facilitate new friendships without feeling lost in a crowd! We believe smaller groups eliminate the likelihood of cliques, and allows for a well-rounded, healthy group dynamic.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Our program dates are designed specifically so that participants can opt to combine trips throughout the summer. When connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and assist you in meeting your next group at your new destination.
Families who sign up for more than one program will also receive a 15% discount on the lesser-priced program.
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
In France, we’ll enjoy classic French café fare, including the world-famous croissants, French bread, and a classic fondue dinner. And for the brave, escargot of course!
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do we ever get time to go off on our own?
Our staff and teens are nearly always together, but we do provide the opportunity to break up into smaller groups to allow for flexibility and customization within the itinerary.
We offer free time in defined safe areas – for example, shopping in a market or exploring a museum. During these times, students remain in groups of at least two and are given no more than an hour. Of course, the counselors remain nearby and available. Additionally, a lifeguard-certified counselor supervises the campers any time they are involved in water activities.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa.
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No! Our French classes are for all levels, from beginner to advanced, so there’s something for everyone. Before the start of the program, you will be complete a placement exam to see which class is most appropriate for your level.
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do.
Eat, stay, and travel like a local. Check out what past travelers have to say about TFT and discover why we were awarded top youth travel organization in 2017.
"First of all, thank you for the great pics. You have no idea how much this means to my husband and me. We feel like we are on the trip with Quinn. Of course it wouldn't be complete without your awesome narratives. It is wonderful to be able to know what adventures Quinn has experienced just hours later. Your writing is beautiful and detailed enough to feel like we were there. Keep up the good work! Quinn is having the time of his life and we are just delighted to get a glimpse of it all."
"My feedback? Please keep doing what you are doing!! The smiles in the pictures tell the most amazing story! Anyways, huge thanks, looks like all is going fabulously well with the Hailey and the girls!"
"I want to thank you and your staff for making Jamie's time in France a perfectly wonderful experience. This is Jamie's fourth year with Travel for Teens and, in fact, this year is a repeat of his first trip. Any concern that Stacy and I had regarding a "repeat trip" not being exciting rapidly dissipated. The efforts of your staff were a critical part of making this so meaningful as well as fun for him. The photos and detailed notes you wrote were wonderful treats for us. We really appreciate keeping up with all the fun and interesting stuff you all are doing. The Hemmingway references were great fun."