Life & activities

300 sunny days per year: the summer spends the winter in Provence!

It’s a picturesque spa town of Roman origin which is at the same time a young and vibrant city thanks to the large student population ensuring that the café terraces are always full. Its narrow streets, colorful facades, its markets and its cultural life attract visitors from all over the world.The city is baptised “Ville d’Eau – Ville d’Art” (city of water – city of art) thanks to its fountains and to all the artists having been charmed over the centuries by the specific light and by the beautiful surroundings. One of its children is the painter Paul Cézanne whose workshop is open to the public, facing the mountain la Sainte-Victoire.With its situation in the heart of Provence, our city benefits from all the characteristics of this world famous area and your stay in Aix-en-Provence will offer you numerous opportunities to live fabulous scenic, cultural and gastronomic experiences.

Getting around Aix-en-Provence :
The most convenient way to discover Aix-en-Provence is on foot, but you can also choose to use the regular bus service.

The city of Aix-en-Provence

If you want to learn French in South of France, Aix-en-Provence is a great destination:

 -141.000 inhabitants, including 35.000 students

– 35 km from Marseille and from the Mediterranean

– Situated in the heart of Provence, with its rich natural and cultural heritage

– 300 sunny days per year: the summer spends the winter in Provence!

– Aix-en-Provence is the perfect place to study French in France.

aix market on the place of the town hall

 Marseille-Provence international airport is less than 30 minutes from Aix-en-Provence. A regular shuttle service is available between the airport and Aix-en-Provence. (Bus n°40)

– Nice airport is 2 hours from Aix-en-Provence. A bus travels between Nice and Aix-en-Provence three times a day. (Bus LER 20)By train

-The Aix TGV train station is 20 minutes from Aix-en-Provence. Buses leave for the centre of Aix-en-Provence every 30 minutes (Bus n°40)

-The Marseille TGV station is 35 minutes from Aix-en-Provence. Connecting buses and trains all the time from early morning until late in the evening.

By car

-The Soleil Motorway (A7 or E80 / E714), which goes from Paris to Nice via Lyon, goes past Aix-en-Provence (Aix-en-Provence is 8 hours from Paris).

Prices of buses and taxis (We can organize your transfers on request)
For more details: How to get to Aix-en-Provence

If you decide to learn French with our school, you should arrive in Aix-en-Provence on the Sunday in order to start your course on Monday morning. If you have chosen homestay, your host family is expecting you on Sunday from 18h00. For other types of accommodation, the arrival procedure varies from one formula to another.

The first day of your French course in Aix-en-Provence
You are expected at our French language school on Monday morning between 08h30 and 09h00. The schedule for the first day of all the General French and General French Plus is usually the following :

08:30- 09:00: Registration (Please bring two identity photos)
09:00-10:00: Written and oral evaluation
10:00-10:15: Break
10:15-10:45: General Information
10:45-12:00: Guided tour of Aix-en-Provence on foot
12:00-13:45: Lunch break
14:00-15:30: Course FG/FG+
16:00-17:30: Course (FG+)

Schedule may vary, make sure to read your arrival information.

On the first day at IS Aix-en-Provence you will be provided a folder containing your schedule and all necessary information regarding your stay. Cultural and leisure activities are organized every week and you will receive detailed information on these as well.

The schedule for the first day of other course types will be indicated in the confirmation letter that you will receive about 3-4 weeks before your arrival.

Outside the French courses, we offer a wide program of cultural and social activities. We are also happy to help in organizing sports activities such as tennis, golf, swimming etc.

We work with trustworthy partners – associations, professionals and private individuals – to provide our students with a diversity of activities. They all offer a cultural interest, an opportunity to practice your French and a chance to get to know the other students better.

A sample of activities programmed :

 -Guided town tour

 Cooking classes in cooperation with “l’Atelier des Chefs” or in a private home.

 Wine-tasting in cooperation with “la Cave du Félibrige”

 – Pastry workshop

-Writing workshop and other language workshops

-Pétanque contest with aperitif

– Accrobranche

-Hiking in cooperation with Evana

-Excursions to places of interest (Arles, les Baux, la Camargue, Avignon, Pont du Gard, le Luberon, Cassis & the calanques, Marseille, Saint-Tropez, Monaco, the carnaval in Nice, the Cannes film festival, les Gorges du Verdon…

In addition to the activity program we give our students ongoing information about current events in Aix-en-Provence; it’s a very lively town with always something on. In summer there are several music festivals, such as the International Festival of Lyric Art in July and “Aix in Music” in June. Throughout the year there are numerous dance events, mainly thanks to the Ballet Preljocaj.

To read more :

The importance of student activities:

• Why is organising student activities important? 
It’s important for the students to see another side of the city of Aix-en-Provence, not just take the classes, and experience what we enjoy doing. Learn , discover and try something new – all in French. A good selection of activities offers all students the possibility to interact and thrive outside of the classroom.

• What is the impact of student activities on the overall student experience? 
The student will meet a “real” French person, not just the school’s teachers and staff and will get to practise speaking French doing something outside the classroom. Just like homestay, it’s an excellent complement to their learning experience.

• How do student activities contribute to adding a personal touch? 
It gives us an opportunity to get closer to our students, to learn what they like, what they are looking for, what they do or don’t appreciate. Good contact with the students means getting more information from them and improving our offer.

• What are the key challenges when organising student activities? 
Offering every week a wide variety of activities for all tastes, levels, ages and budgets; cultural, sports, gastronomical, literature, games, outside, indoors etc. Something for everyone so that everyone is tempted to participate and interact in French.

• What are the most popular activities and why? 
Excursions to discover our beautiful region (Luberon, Arles, Avignon, Pont du Gard, Cassis, St Tropez, Gorges du Verdon etc) as well as activities with a gastronomical theme close to the heart of the French : winetasting, cooking classes, pétanque tournament.