The French Academies

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French Academy

Live immersed in French language and culture this summer. Whether you're an absolute beginner who has never spoken a word of French or an advanced speaker who is hoping to practice French in a real world setting, you will dramatically improve your French language skills at the Academy.

For this summer, join us at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont, for a U.S. based immersion program open to rising 8th-12th grade students, from beginners to advanced French speakers. Or choose to study abroad in Nantes, France, which is open to rising 9th-12th grade students with at least one year of French study (rising 9th graders must have at least 2 years Middle school French language study).

For four weeks, all programming, events, activities, field trips, meetings, and meals will be in French. From morning assembly until lights out, you’ll be immersed in language with a group of peers at the same competency level as you. The curriculum is organized by themes that help you navigate life in this new environment and is based on the longstanding tradition of immersion education at Middlebury College's Language Schools.

At the Academy—both at our U.S. based program and our study abroad location in Nantes—our French teachers are from many different places around the world, exposing students to different dialects and providing a well rounded experience in language.

Why Learn French?

America’s fascination with Parisian style has made French one of the most sophisticated choices for second language study. But apart from giving French speakers that certain allure—or je ne sais quoi—French is quickly becoming an important global language. Today, French is spoken on every continent and by an estimated 220–300 million people worldwide. It is still the second language used for communication by the United Nations and at Olympic events. According to Forbes magazine, a study conductued by Natixis, an investment bank, predicted that French will be the most spoken language in the world by 2050, noting its predominance on the continent of Africa—a massive, potential economic powerhouse that’s been steadily gaining ground in recent years.

Experience French Culture
French Academy

French Academy students will gain an appreciation for French language and culture through cuisine, art, history, music, dance, geography, and politics. Cultural exploration may include:

  • Attending Bastille Day celebrations, a summer tradition!
  • Learning about French art and creating your own sculpture masterpiece.
  • Watching a French movie, listening to French pop music, and discovering new musicians.
  • Participating in a fashion show or performing in an improvisation skit.
  • Savoring French cuisine and learning how to cook traditional French dishes and pastries.
  • Visiting Middlebury College's French Language School where you will take a tour of campus (in French!) and meet French Language School students.

When opportunities are available near your local Academy, we find a way to engage you and your language group with the local community, as well as bring that community to you.



Green Mountain College—Poultney, Vermont

June 23, 2019—July 19, 2019

Set among the lakes and mountains of southern Vermont, Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont, is the longest running of the Academy’s sites and enjoys a close working relationship with Middlebury College’s Language Schools. With bucolic athletic fields and a collection of classic New England college facilities, Green Mountain College’s 155 acre campus is the perfect place for students to build upon their in-class lessons, all while enjoying a safe, fun, and engaging summer in Vermont.

Whether you want to learn French or Spanish, it’s the ideal spot to immerse yourself in language. Our programs at Green Mountain College are open to rising 8th-12th grade students from beginners to advanced students.

Visiting Southern Vermont

French Academy

Our summer language Academies for students studying Spanish and French are held in southern Vermont at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont.

Poultney, located on the western side of the state of Vermont bordering New York in the Lakes Region of Rutland County, is a small yet lively community of roughly 3,600 residents. The Green Mountain College campus is on the edge of town within close walking distance to downtown Poultney. Students will have the opportunity to walk into town to explore the shops, restaurants, and cafes.

The town of Poultney puts on an elaborate Fourth of July parade each year featuring students of the language Academy who will march with locals (in their target language, of course!)—a highlight of the program for many students.

Green Mountain College Housing & Facilities


Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont, is situated in southern Vermont’s beautiful lakes region, with the Adirondack Mountains to the west and the Green Mountains to the east. Poultney, once home to early settlers and Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys, was chartered in 1761. Green Mountain College was founded in 1834.

During its history, the college has taught a diverse liberal arts education now focusing especially on environmental studies and finding itself at the forefront of the sustainability movement. An energetic institution in the most scenic of states, this college has been placed at the top of Sierra’s “Cool School” rankings and recently recognized by the Princeton Review for going environmentally green.

Academy students will live in dorms on the Green Mountain College campus where they will also take classes, participate in cultural exploration activities, and enjoy free time. The 155 acre campus which is small, safe, and self contained, features an arts center, state-of-the-art fitness center, and the first renovated residence hall in Vermont to receive a LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Outdoor facilities include athletic fields, a nature preserve with hiking trails and views of the College’s beautiful landscape, and historic campus buildings.

Tour Green Mountain College’s campus and the town of Poultney, Vermont, virtually now!

Green Mountain College Dates & TUITION

June 23, 2019—July 19, 2019

Tuition covers the full cost of instruction, activities, field trips, food, lodging, and shuttle service to and from local airports. Tuition must be paid in full by the dates listed in order to obtain the savings as outlined here:

December 16, 2018—
March 1, 2019

March 2, 2019—
May 31, 2019




Nantes, France

June 30, 2019—July 26, 2019

French Academy

Do you dream about traveling to France and exploring the rich and vibrant country first hand? Our study abroad Language Academy for teens can take you there! High school students will have the opportunity to live immersed in the French language and culture of Nantes during a unique four week French study abroad experience in the summer.

Accelerate your French language skills while living and studying in Nantes, located in western France on the Loire River. Known as the Venice of the West because of its position on the river delta of Loire, the Erdre, and the Sèvre rivers, Nantes is a beautiful city full of architectural wonders and incredible cuisine. In Nantes you'll discover new ways of thinking and make connections with new people and culture that will last the rest of your life.

The French Academy in Nantes is open to rising 9th-12th grade students with at least one year of French language experience (rising 9th graders must have at least two years middle school French language experience). The French Academy is run in collaboration with IES Abroad, a leader in study abroad experiences for college students with over 60 years of experience.

Curriculum & Daily Schedule in Nantes

You’ll begin each day in Nantes by catching up with friends in the cafeteria over breakfast. Afterwards, the Academy will come together for a Morning Assembly where staff will catch you up on special events, introduce new vocabulary, and get everyone energized for another fun day. You may hear the weather forecast, do some stretching or yoga, learn new slang, watch funny music videos, practice tongue twisters, or play a game.

Following Morning Assembly, you will move to your language class. Classes meet for three 50 minute blocks with breaks in between. Our program in Nantes uses the same proven immersion teaching methodology as our academies in Vermont. You will spend about three hours each weekday in French language classes where you’ll be placed with students at the same level as you. Each week, a new theme guides classroom conversations and lessons.

  • Week 1: Introduction to France
  • Week 2: Getting to know Nantes
  • Week 3: Local Cuisine & Culinary Exploration
  • Week 4: Art and Culture in Nantes

Many days, your classes will include excursions into the city so you can put your French into practice right away! These excursions will also link back to the weekly and daily themes so you’ll be able to make connections between the curriculum and the city.

After lunch comes Cultural Exploration, followed by afternoon activities like soccer, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, yoga, visiting a local cafe or ice cream shop, arts and crafts, juggling, or free time. Students will use this time to grab a nap, hang out with friends, or practice their musical instruments. Then comes dinner, after which you may be one of the many seen enjoying some down time on the campus green.

Evening activities are organized and run by teachers and RAs. You’ll attend student club gatherings, performances, and movies after dinner. Evening Assembly will also take place once a week. Here, your whole Academy gathers and each class presents what they have been learning that week. This presentation might be a skit, a song, a game you’ve designed with classmates that you teach the others in your Academy, a fashion show, or a game show—it’s a chance to be creative in sharing your learning.

You will wrap up your day with a light snack in the dorm and a meeting with your living group to talk about how the day went and what to expect tomorrow.

Weekends at the Academy are less busy, allowing you time to sleep in, relax, do laundry, write letters, and hang out with your friends. You’ll participate in longer day trips on the weekends visiting sites in and around Nantes.

French Academy

Field Trips & Excursions in Nantes

It would be a shame to come to France and not experience the culture and sites that define it. That’s why we organize trips for students throughout the week and on every weekend.

Field Trips

The program will include two day trips which may vary based on heat and/or other weather conditions. Day trips will likely include:

  • Puy du Fou – A historical theme park in Les Epesses in the heart of the Vendée region of Western France. The park is the second most popular theme park in France.
  • Guérande  Visit to the medieval town of Guérande and its fortifications, with visit to the salt producers for which the town is famous. Students and staff will also enjoy lunch at a crêperie.


There is no short list of things to see and do within Nantes either. Throughout the week students will have many opportunities to explore the city with their teachers and RAs. The sites will likely include:

  • Marché Talensac – The covered market of Talensac is one of the only covered markets of Nantes, located in the Hauts-Pavés - Saint-Félix district. With 150 traders, it is the best known and most frequented of the Nantais markets.
  • Mémorial de l'abolition de l'esclavage – The Mémorial de l'abolition de l'esclavage is a French memorial located in Nantes. Dedicated to the slave trade in Nantes and the world, to slavery and its abolition, this place is located in what was one of the main slave ports of France.
  • Musée d'histoire de Nantes – Students will learn about the history and cultural significance of Nantes.
  • Musée Jules Verne – The museum is housed in a beautiful late 19th century building, which overlooks the Loire River. While Verne never lived in the building, its surroundings reflect the atmosphere which influenced his work. The museum has a collection of artifacts, replicas of his inventions, and memorabilia inspired by his writings.
  • Musée LU – Students will get a behind the scenes look at how the famous LU biscuit factory operates.
  • Machines de l'Ile – The Machines of the Isle of Nantes (Les Machines de l'île) is an artistic, touristic and cultural project based in Nantes, France. In the warehouses of the former shipyards in Nantes, the Machines of the Isle is created by two artists, François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice, visualising a travel-through-time world at the crossroads of the "imaginary worlds" of Jules Verne and the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Moulin de l’Epinay – Students will learn how local flour and bread are produced, and have a hands-on workshop to make their own.
French Academy

Housing & Facilities in Nantes

The Summer Academy in Nantes is housed at the Blanche de Castille, a day and boarding school located a short bus ride from the bustling city center. The campus is completely enclosed and the buildings center around a quiet campus green. 

Academy students will live and take all their classes on campus. Part of the college prep experience you’ll have at the Academy is living in a dorm. Rooms are comfy and recently renovated. Together, you’ll be part of a Living Group—a sort of home base for you over the course of the Academy. Each Living Group is overseen by an RA of the same gender and every evening you’ll meet to chat about the day, describing triumphs and challenges you may have faced, and wind down before bed. You’ll do other activities with your Living Group as well, both in the dorm and out.

Meals will be served cafeteria style on campus at Blanche de Castille. The cafeteria staff has lots of experience in planning menus for students, and can accommodate students with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. Please contact MIL to discuss your particular situation.

During your free time, you’ll be able to enjoy the facilities on campus or explore the neighborhood in small groups. On campus, there is a piano available for practicing. There is a gymnasium where you can join friends for indoor games of soccer, badminton, or basketball. Also, there is a small fitness center with free weights and small running path around the perimeter of campus.

Nantes Dates & Tuition

June 30, 2019—July 26, 2019

The total cost includes tuition, room and board, instructional materials, and field trips. Travel costs are not included.

December 16, 2018—
March 1, 2019

March 2, 2018—
April 15, 2018




French Academy Blogs and Resources





“Not only did my speaking skills improve, but I realized that I had the support of at least 40 other people who were, like me, just discovering their French.”

Alessandra, French Academy Student