Transition Year France


Attending a French Secondary School during your Transition Year is an amazing opportunity to live and study in one of the most exciting destinations in the world.

France has some of the world’s most incredible beaches, along with fairy tale chateaux, world-class museums, amazing food and a rich culture and history. This programme is ideal for students who wish to fast track their fluency in French and experience a classroom in a French Secondary School.

The French are passionate about their food, their sport and their language and once you make the effort to speak in French, they will welcome you as one of their own.

At Tribe Study Abroad we customise all our programmes so you can keep up your favourite sport or activity while you are immersing yourself in the local language and culture. Many  of our partner  French Secondary schools give you the option to play rugby, go skiing or keep up your favourite musical instrument-just get in touch and let us know how we can help you to combine your favourite hobbies such as French & Ski, French & Rugby or French & Sailing and let us do the rest.

*Please note the deadline for applications for September was the 1st of May. We can process applications submitted after this deadline but a late application fee will apply, please contact the office for further details.



This exciting and rewarding programme gives you the opportunity to live and study alongside your French classmates, making new friends and experiencing life as a typical French teenager. You can choose to attend either a day or boarding school and length of stays range from 4 weeks to a full academic year. At Tribe Study Abroad, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach and we are dedicated to offering a solution which is customised especially to your needs. So whether you wish to travel on your own or along with a friend, go skiing at the weekend, play rugby or keep up your favourite instrument while away, Tribe Study Abroad will work with you to find a placement that is best suited to your interests, language skills and fluency.

  • You are aged between 15 and 17.
  • You have studied French for a minimum of 2 years.
  • You are motivated to speak French and are willing to adapt to a new culture and environment.





French Locations

We have a wide selection of French Secondary Schools and French boarding
schools and the programme is available in a variety of locations throughout France
including Paris, Bordeaux, Biarritz, Montpellier, Brittany, Clermont Ferrand, Lyon,
Toulouse, Provence etc.

Select France
We guarantee you a placement in 1 of your top 2 region preferences.

Classic France
Your location is chosen for you by Tribe Study Abroad and can include urban or rural locations anywhere in France.


French Secondary Schools


Day School

If you choose to enrol in a day school, you will live with one of our carefully selected host families and attend the local day school. You will have breakfast and evening meal with your family and lunch in the school cafeteria. Day schools are generally located within 20 minutes of your host family either on foot or by local transport.


Boarding School

If you prefer a more structured environment, Boarding School may be a good choice for you. You will stay in the boarding school Monday to Friday and have all your meals there during the week. Accommodation in boarding schools is generally in small dorms (max 4 students). At the weekends and during the school holidays you will stay with a dedicated host family and you will return to the same family each weekend for the duration of the stay.


Your Host family

Your host family will be a home away from home while you are away. They will provide you with a friendly welcoming place to stay and they will also introduce you to French life and culture, explain local customs and encourage you to practice your French and speak like a native. Our students often form strong bonds with their host family which continue long after they arrive home. All our host families are carefully screened and visited regularly by the Local Co-ordinator and many have been hosting students for a number of years.

Application process

We understand that making the decision to attend a Secondary School abroad is not an easy one and we aim to provide you with as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision.

Step 1.

Students are invited to have an appointment via Zoom where we use the opportunity to answer any of your questions and explain the different options available to you.

Step 2.

The next step is to complete a detailed application form, including the provision of two recent school reports and a short paragraph in Spanish introducing yourself to your new host family.

Step 3.

Our partner applies to the school on your behalf and selects a carefully chosen host family, who will be the right match for you based on your interests and personal profile.

Step 4.

Once the placement is confirmed, we encourage our students to get in contact with their host family before they arrive either by email or Zoom – it’s a great way to start the ball rolling so you are less anxious about meeting up for the first time, as the ice has already been broken.

Step 5.

Prior to travel, we arrange for you to have a pre-departure orientation either in our office in Dublin or by Skype. This includes an overview of the rules of the programme, health and safety along with tips and pointers on how to make the most of the experience.

Step 6.

You are then all set to begin your adventure!

Dates & Fees

Each placement is individual, meaning we don’t have large groups of students going out on set dates – so you are free to choose your own travel dates. We also don’t believe in sending large numbers of students to the same school, since this defeats the whole purpose of a full immersion experience. Our wide selection of schools and locations means we guarantee, where possible, that there will be a maximum of 3-4 Irish students from Tribe Study Abroad in a school at any one time, and the likelihood is that you may be the only other Irish student there (unless you specifically request otherwise).

We offer stays from a minimum of four weeks to a full academic year. In our experience students who stay longer benefit most and the longer the stay, the greater the fluency and the more rewarding the experience.

In general, the schools in France break for 1-2 weeks every seven weeks. You will be advised of these dates on placement and can stay with your host family during the school holidays.

We also offer a full transfer service and you will be met at the airport or local train station by your host family or Local Co-ordinator.

What is included?

  • Individual placement in an established French Day or Boarding school.
  • All tuition fees.
  • Full board accommodation with selected host family or at weekends if in a 5-day boarding school.
  • Dublin enrolment and administration fees.
  • Individually assigned local co-ordinator offering in-country support and assistance
  • Airport greeting and transfer from final destination airport or train station to host family.
  • Pre -departure orientation in our office or on Skype prior to programme commencement.
  • A dedicated staff available in our Dublin office 24 hours in case of emergency.
  • Advice, assistance and support from the time you contact us to the end of the stay.
  • End of programme Certificate.

Not included

  • International airfares or train fares.
  • Insurances- Medical and Travel.
  • Daily transportation to/from school.
  • Personal expenses and extra-curricular expenses.

The Tribe Difference

With so many organisations offering Transition Year Abroad programmes, you may wonder why you should choose Tribe Study Abroad.
We can think of many reasons… but here a just a few:


We pride ourselves on delivering a high level of individual care and attention at every stage of the process. We arrange to meet each student prior to departure to assess their suitability for the programme and to answer any questions that may arise. While your child is in France they are assigned a local coordinator who meets the student on arrival and ensures they settle in well to the experience. Any teething problems are dealt with swiftly and there is a high degree of communication between our head office and our partner organization in France. We also have a dedicated 24-hour emergency contact number in Ireland and we are here to offer you advice, assistance and support for the duration of your child’s stay.


Accreditations don’t tell you everything but they can reassure you that the company you are dealing with adheres to the highest professional standards. We are fully accredited by the Irish Department of Education and Science and our partner organizations in France are fully accredited by the relevant Ministries of Education and are international members of CSIET (Council of Standards for International Educational Travel)


We are an established Irish owned company with over 25 year’s experience offering language travel programmes. We regularly deliver workshops on language learning and are dedicated to helping our students achieves their goals. We take our role as being part of the educational process seriously and as parents whose children have all participated in a Transition Year School Abroad programme, we understand your concerns are committed to providing a rich, rewarding and safe experience for all our students. But don’t just take our word for it – we will happily put you in touch with parents of our former students for a recommendation and we welcome the opportunity to discuss further any questions you may have either in person, by email or Skype.


What will my school day be like?

School days are generally quite long in France, with school starting at 8 am and finishing between 4 pm-5 pm. Lunch in France is the most important meal of the day and the lunch break can be from one to two hours. Some Homestay students may go home for lunch depending on where the school is in relation to their host family. Students may have a half-day on Wednesday and a small number of schools have classes on Saturday morning.

What subjects will I study?

Students attend a Lycee and are usually placed in Seconde (15-16 years)  and typically take courses in History, Mathematics, Economics, Science, French literature and foreign language. Students placed in Classe de Premiere (16-17) are enrolled in one of the following streams – Literature, Economics or Science. All classes are taught though French and students typically get used very quickly to what is going on in the class as their ear adapts to the language and their confidence and fluency increases.

Can I request a particular city or region?

On the Select France programme we guarantee you a choice of one of your top 2 regional preferences. On the Classic France programme your placement will be selected for you and can include urban, rural, coastal or city locations.

Can I go with a friend?

Yes. We can organise that you are either enrolled in the same school and stay in different host families, or that you are in a different school with different host families as well. The whole point about going abroad is to immerse yourself fully in the local language and culture so at weekends your host family will expect you to spend time with them and they will want you to experience as much as possible. We cannot guarantee that your host families will be right beside each other either but with local transport and help from your family there will be no difficulty in meeting up occasionally at weekends when there is nothing else planned.

How are host families selected?

Host families undergo a thorough selection process and our carefully screened by our partner Agency and the Local Co-ordinator. All host families are required to complete a detailed application form following which they have a home interview and their references are checked. Many host families have been hosting for a number of years and continue to keep in touch with their students many years after they return home.

When will I find out about my school and host family?

Sometimes placements can be confirmed quite quickly and if so you will receive all the details as soon as the school and host family profiles are ready.  The most important thing is to find the right match and you will have the details at the latest 4 weeks prior to departure.

Places in schools are limited so we recommend the application process is started as soon as possible so as to not disappoint. The usual timeframe to confirm a placement is 3 months and applications received outside this timeframe application are subject to a late application fee of €100.

Will the host family have a child the same age as me in their family?

Not necessarily. We don’t guarantee that there will be someone the same age as you in the family, and in our experience even if this is the case it doesn’t automatically mean that you will have a lot in common with them or that you will be automatically be friends.  There is no such thing as a typical host family and just like your own family; they vary in size and composition with either younger children, teenagers or older children. The most important thing is that they are warm and welcoming and they want to share their culture and family life with you.  You will be spending most of the day with teenagers your own age at school and that is where you will make friends and develop a social life outside of school as well

Can I find out how other students got on?

Absolutely! Check out our Student Blogs or contact us and we would be happy to connect you with a former student who can fill you in on how they got on and answer any of your questions.

Can I go home during the programme, school holidays/mid-term breaks or can my parents visit me?

We recommend that students do not interrupt their programme and go home unless it is for an extraordinary occasion. If there are school holidays while you are abroad, you will stay with your host family as they are aware of this and there is provision for this in the programme. It is often an excellent opportunity to spend time with the family and improve your language skills. Besides, if you go home you will start speaking English again and it will be much harder to settle back – therefore, we don’t recommend it.

We also don’t recommend for parents/relatives to visit unless it is at the end of the programme and if your family wish to visit you during the mid-term break, they must first contact TRIBE so we can inform our counterparts abroad. Our partner schools and host families take their responsibility of acting in locus parentis very seriously and we will require your parents to sign a parental release form which releases you out of the care of the programme to your parents’ care.

How can I have access to money while I am abroad?

The simplest thing is to arrange to bring an ATM debit card. Most are accepted at ATM machines and it is the easiest way to access money.

How will I get to school?

Your host family will help you get to school on the first day and show you the way until you are comfortable with the route. Day school students usually live within 15-20 minutes of their school either on foot or with local transport.  Boarding school students usually live within 20 – 45 minutes of their school, and return to their host family on Friday afternoon and come back to school on Monday morning either with the host family or on public transport.

What kind of support will I receive while I am away?

Not necessarily. We don’t guarantee that there will be someone the same age as you in the family, and in our experience even if this is the case it doesn’t automatically mean that you will have a lot in common with them or that you will be automatically be friends. There is no such thing as a typical host family and just like your own family; they vary in size and composition with either younger children, teenagers or older children. The most important thing is that they are warm and welcoming and they want to share their culture and family life with you. You will be spending most of the day with teenagers your own age at school and that is where you will make friends and develop a social life outside of school as well.

Should I take out extra Insurance?

Students are required to take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to departure and supply evidence of same to Tribe Study Abroad.  Students should also ensure they have their European Health Insurance card with them and provide a copy of the details to Tribe.

When are fees due?

Booking Deposit €500 with Application

Balance of Fees 4 weeks prior to departure.

What is the Cancellation and refund policy?

Cancellation by Client

  • €500 booking deposit – non-refundable
  • 50% Programme Fee 30 days prior to departure
  • 100% Programme Fee – 15 days prior to departure.
  • There will be no refund after Programme Departure Date.

Please refer to our Terms of Business for more information.


“Mary Kate had a very successful three and a half weeks with Charlotte and family. She was anxious leaving Dublin but once she settled in, she was very happy with the host family and at school. She also really liked the French teacher. The host family made a great effort with her and she had lots of outings. So, all in all, it was a great experience for her and she feels her French is much improved!
We felt the host family was well chosen and would happily recommend LLI/Tribe.”

Jo O’Connor, Parent to Mary-Kate, Muckross, TY France

 “Tribe Language are amazing! I did all of transition year abroad with them and they were so helpful. My Mam and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Cathy and her team were always there for me and my Mam, as were their partners in France! I would highly recommend choosing Tribe Language if you are planning on going abroad or sending your child abroad, there’s no one better!”

Grace McGoldrick, TY France

 “I would strongly encourage anyone who has an opportunity like this to grab it, and to make the most of it as I can’t emphasize how fast the time will fly.”

Tadhg Mangan, CBC Monkstown, Highschool France

 “This course has been very enjoyable so far. My spoken French has improved greatly after talking to my host family and class mates continuously in French. The first few days were difficult as I was unable to properly communicate in French but it has gradually become much easier and I feel much more comfortable in my school. The students in my class have been very kind and they understand that we sometimes struggle to understand them. We are included in school activities e.g. playing rugby at lunch time and the students are eager to talk to us. I am looking forward to the next two weeks and I think that my French will have improved greatly by the end.”

Neil Holohan, TY France


 “So far my experience in Biarritz has been nothing but positive. My host family are very friendly and very understanding of my level of French. The food is delicious and the house is beautiful. The school I am attending is great. I don’t find it at all boring like I sometimes do in Ireland and it is certainly helping my French. The layout of the day is different to home, but it is a positive change. There is a lot to do in Biarritz and the weather is super. So far I wouldn’t change a thing!”

Conor Lacey, TY Biarritz

Still Unsure?

Book a Discovery Call.

Book Here