Overview

Spend a summer abroad in France, learning about French food and cooking from professional chefs on this program for high school students.

Program Description

Embark on a culinary and language journey through France. Explore multiple regions of the country known for their culinary specialties. Learn about French cheeses, sweets, and pastries. Take culinary classes at a cooking school such as the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon. Engage with professional chefs, meet with farmers and producers, visit local markets, and learn how to cook local recipes such as macarons and nougat.

Further enhance your knowledge of French language during a week of formal language instruction. Put your language skills to use during the program’s homestay, which ranges from 11 to 16 days depending on the length of the program.

The program begins and ends in Paris, giving you time to explore France’s beautiful and historic capital. Together with your group, join local residents in a café for a morning croissant before navigating the streets of Paris to the Champs-Elys.es, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, or Louvre. Sample traditional baguettes, cheeses, and local specialties and enjoy a picnic on the Seine’s famous left bank. Explore the Montmartre art district beneath the spires of Sacré Coeur and dine at tiny cafés that serve regional specialties from across France.

Format Options: This program is offered in three-week and four-week formats. Please see program duration and date options on The Experiment's website for more details.

Language Certificate: Students who complete the four-week program will earn a language certificate noting how many hours of language classes s/he completed.

Sample Itinerary

4-Week Program

Days 1–4
Orientation in Paris

  •  Learn about the history and culture of France
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities and group discussions
  • Explore diverse neighborhoods, navigate the metro, and sample French cuisine in street-side cafés
  • Visit famous sites and museums throughout the cityPractice your French language skills

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Days 5–19
Homestay

  • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a French family and community
  • Do activities with your host family
  • Explore your host community and the surrounding area

Thematic Focus

  • Attend intensive French language classes
  • Learn about regional food specialties and recipes

During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host communities: Les Baux de Provence, Pierrelatte, Vannes, Saint Malo, Nantes, Blois

Days 20–27
Thematic Focus in Lyon

  • Explore Lyon
  • Take cooking classes at the Institut Paul Bocuse
  • Meet with professional chefs as well as farmers
  • Learn about French cuisine, cheese, and patisserie
  • Learn cooking techniques and make French dishes
  • Dine on the food you have prepared
  • Graduate from the cooking institute in a special ceremony

During this period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Day 28
Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Paris

  • Enjoy a final Parisian meal
  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Day 29
Departure

 3-Week Program

Days 1–4
Orientation in Paris

  • Learn about the history and culture of France
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities and group discussions
  • Explore diverse neighborhoods, navigate the metro, and sample French cuisine in street-side cafés
  • Visit famous sites and museums throughout the city
  • Practice your French language skills

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Days 5–15
Homestay

  • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a French family and community
  • Do activities with your host family
  • Explore your host community and the surrounding area

Thematic Focus

  • Attend intensive French language classes
  • Learn about regional food specialties and recipes

During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host communities:

Les Baux de Provence, Pierrelatte, Vannes, Saint Malo, Nantes, Blois

Days 16–20
Thematic Focus in Lyon

  • Explore Lyon
  • Take cooking classes at the Institut Paul Bocuse
  • Meet with professional chefs as well as farmers
  • Learn about French cuisine, cheese, and patisserie
  • Learn cooking techniques and make French dishes
  • Dine on the food you have prepared
  • Graduate from the cooking institute in a special ceremony

During this period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Day 21
Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Paris

  • Enjoy a final Parisian meal
  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Day 22
Departure

About The Experiment

The Experiment in International Living is a non-profit organization that has been offering immersive experiential learning programs abroad since 1932. Today, The Experiment offers three-, four-, and five-week summer programs for high school students in more than 20 countries around the world.

Programs are designed to equip participants not only with essential cultural skills and, in many cases, language skills, but also with a deeper awareness of and sensitivity to critical global issues shaping the diverse communities and regions we visit. Each year, hundreds of Experimenters come away from their summer abroad with invaluable new skills, connections, awareness, and knowledge that help them to thrive—and lead—in diverse, intercultural environments.

The Experiment is committed to providing participants from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds with access to The Experiment’s immersive cross-cultural programs through its partnerships, scholarships, and other initiatives.

The Experiment places the highest priority on health, safety, and security. Each program follows a comprehensive structure designed to maximize the well-being of all participants while they engage in dynamic cross-cultural experiences.

We have implemented specific risk management strategies that include a 24-hour emergency on-call service and regular safety reviews. We hire and train experienced adult group leaders and maintain longstanding partnerships with in-country offices to support each of our programs.

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