After an intense week at Alliance Française in Nice, here is my super honest review and whether I think the courses are worth your time and money.
Also, I paid for the course myself and didn’t tell them that I would be reviewing the school, so here’s my honest and unbiased review!
My Honest Review of Alliance Française in Nice
My overall review of AF in Nice is that I had a wonderful time and as soon as it was over I wanted to sign up for another week. The teachers and staff were so kind and fun and made the experience as smooth as possible.
I personally loved feeling like I was back in school taking French but actually getting it this time(I ended up majoring in Spanish, although I took 2 French classes and graduated in 2016!)
Also, if you still think the French are rude, you haven’t studied French in Nice! I felt welcomed and wanted from the minute I got there, which is super important since it created a learning environment where you felt comfortable making mistakes and taking risks.
Plus, according to their website, this school is one of the oldest French schools in the world, founded in 1884!
I’ll go over some main questions and then review each part of my experience below.
Before going to Alliance Française, check what level of French you are at! This free quiz run by AI will figure out exactly what level you are (it’s crazy accurate!)
Where is AF Nice Located?
If you want to learn the French language in a Mediterranean climate just a few kilometers from the bluest ocean you’ve ever seen, this Alliance Française is perfect for you.
The campus is on 2 Rue de Paris in Nice, France. There are a few other Alliance Française locations in the South of France including Montpellier, Toulouse, and Aix-en-Provence.
What Courses Are Available at Alliance Française de Nice?
The courses available:
- General French Super Intensive (26 hours/ week)
- General French Intensive (20 hours/week)
- General French (12.5 hours/ week)
- Business French (4 hours/week)
- Business French (12.5 hours/week)
- DELF / DALF Preparation (2 hours/week)
- Oral French (4 hours/ week)
- Written French(2 hours/week)
Some courses are only available during certain periods of the year or only open when there is enough demand:
- General French Evening Classes (4h / week, September to June)
- Phonetics Workshop
- French for Au Pairs
Which Course Should You Sign Up for?
The Alliance Française course that you sign up for will definitely depend on your goals and how long you plan to stay in Nice.
If you will only be here for a week, I would highly recommend the General French Super Intensive Course which is 26 hours of classes in just one week.
This is the course I decided to do, and although my brain was exhausted by the end of each day, I could really tell that I was making quick progress in such a short amount of time.
I definitely recommend bringing snacks and Advil with you, since you might have less time between classes and you may get a bit of a headache from the amount of new information you’re getting.
How Much Does Alliance Française Nice Côte d’Azur Cost?
The cost of Alliance Française in Nice varies a lot depending on which course you choose and which accommodation you sign up for.
If you stick to the cheapest accommodation and cheapest General French course, you would be spending 357 euros per week.
However, if you are staying for just a week, I would recommend getting cheap accommodation, but signing up for the most expensive course (General French Super Intensive), which would cost 523 euros in total.
We’ll go over the types of accommodations and best courses available later in this post.
Is Alliance Française in Nice Worth the Money?
Yes, I would absolutely say that Alliance Française is worth the money. It’s a great learning experience and if you love language learning or miss being in a learning environment, you’re gonna love it.
Although I can’t speak for the accommodation since I live here in Nice and stayed at my own apartment while taking the course.
When to Sign Up for the Course
According to Alliance Française in Nice, if you are a complete beginner (meaning you have never studied French) then you should start your course on the first Monday of the month. If you are a more advanced student, then you can start on any Monday of the year.
How to Sign Up for an Alliance Française Course in Nice
Signing up for Alliance Française wasn’t as easy as I would have liked it to be and the site could use some updating, but here’s exactly how to do it.
1. Switch the Site Language to English
Even if you don’t think you need to, I would switch the language to English just to make sure you’re understanding everything correctly. Then you can switch back to French to get more practice if you like.
2. Create an Account
You’ll need to create an account using your email address and some personal information, then make sure to check your email for confirmation.
3. Choose a Course
First, you need to decide how long you plan to stay in Nice, what your language learning goals are, and what your budget is.
Also, don’t buy your course or accommodation before you purchase a plane ticket to Nice. Buy your plane ticket first, the courses will for sure be there still once you’ve done that.
To find the courses, click on the “Courses” tab and “Our Courses and Rates.” There they have a full list of the courses available and the prices depending on how many weeks you sign up for.
I would recommend sticking to the General French Courses since the rest are stand-alone classes that might not run through the year. If you want extra courses like “Oral French” and “Written French” then you should choose the Super Intensive Course which comes with both of those included.
Once you choose your course, you can click on it to add it to your cart. If you’ve already taken an Alliance Française course, make sure to get the 50 Euro sign-up fee taken off. Also, if you already have the books, use the code “LIVRE35” so you don’t pay for them again.
You have to write in the date you plan to start the course as well. This is the part that I felt was confusing since you literally just type in the date and then checkout.
It doesn’t tell you whether that date is available or not. So I’m guessing that you could choose any Monday and there wouldn’t be a problem with full classes.
4. Choose Your Accommodation at Alliance Française
You’ll need to have made an account with Alliance Française before requesting your accommodation since the application requires you to enter your Student Code or Student ID, which you can find in your Account under “Information.”
There are two types of accommodations available: Host Family and Student Residence.
The cheaper of the two options would be the host family, which costs 30-35 euros per night depending on which plan you choose.
The two options with a host family are:
- Single Room or Double with Breakfast: 30 Euros per night
- Single Room or Double with Half-Board (Breakfast and one main meal): 35 euros per night
If you choose the cheapest option, then a week of accommodation would only cost you 210 euros and would include breakfast every morning.
For a more private but also more expensive option, you could stay at the student residences on campus.
Below is a graph showing the different types of bedrooms they have, how big they are, and how many people can stay there.
Then you can look at this graph and see how much that room would cost you. If you’re staying for any amount of time less than 2 months, there is no discount, but any time longer than that and you get 5-20% off your stay.
However, you should also keep in mind that there are other costs involved that aren’t listed above, including a 500 euro deposit, 50 euros administration fee, a 200 euro per month fee if you stay in July or August (high season), 6 euros per week for the energy crisis, and also fees if the apartment is left dirty.
The cheapest option at the student residence would be 170 euros per week but would include more fees and the deposit, plus no meals are included. However, that is still a great deal and could be worth it if you like your privacy and quiet time.
The First Day of the French Course
On your first day, you’ll show up at the “Welcome” area of campus. Alliance Française has multiple buildings and not all classes are in the main building, so finding the Welcome area might not be easy on your first day.
Since I forgot to take a picture while I was there, here’s a screenshot from Google maps so it’ll be a bit easier to find:
You’ll be shown into a room where you’re given a quick test to see where your French skills land on the CEFR scale.
If you want to get an idea of where you’re at ahead of time Take this free quiz run by AI to figure out exactly what level you are.
When I took the test, it was two simple essay questions like “What did you do over the weekend?” and “What do you like to do?” to test which tenses you can conjugate in.
Then once you’re finished with that, one of the French teachers will call you over for a short interview where they’ll test your spoken French and understanding of Oral French. From there, they’ll give you a level on the CEFR scale (from A0 to C2, A0 being the lowest and C2 being the highest).
However, if you would rather be at a higher or lower level, you can discuss that with them. For example, I was placed in B1, but after we talked a bit more, she put me in the B2 class so it would be more of a challenge.
Since I live here in France, it’s a bit harder to test my level since I use simple French often so it can be a bit deceiving. I definitely don’t think I’m a B2, but I had a great time in that class and was definitely challenged.
The Textbook & Workbook for the Course
The textbook and workbook used at the Nice Alliance Française are included in your tuition price and are called Cosmopolite.
Although this book is definitely used in the classrooms, it would be super hard to use it to study French on your own. So if you’re looking for a good French textbook to study at home, check out this textbook or one of these.
The Classroom Setting at Alliance Française, Nice
A huge plus of Alliance Française is how small the class sizes are. Even though a one-on-one course might be more efficient (for that I would recommend iTalki online classes), the classes at AF are small enough that you definitely feel engaged and part of the class instead of fading into the background.
In the class I was in, we mostly used a projector and Google Docs during the class, which was sent out to use after the class so we didn’t need to take notes.
It was a small group of around 8 people, but some of the lower levels most likely will have more students.
The class was very interactive and engaging and the teacher was great at getting everyone to speak a bit and participate in class.
The Alliance Française Café
On the corner of campus, there is a café run by Alliance Française with discounted coffee and meals for students.
On my first day, there were some delays with class starting, so they gave out free coffee vouchers to redeem at the Café, which was really nice.
Google Reviews of Alliance Française
Alliance Française Nice Côte d’Azur has 4.8 stars on Google with 350 reviews, which speaks for itself!
What Are Classes Like at AF Nice?
The classes will be totally different depending on your teacher and the level they place you at. Some teachers focus their French lessons on grammar (usually for the more advanced students) and others focus on conversation.
The classrooms also have air conditioning, which is a huge plus in the summer.
You have access to high-speed wifi all over campus and in the French classes, although you won’t need to use your phone often during class.
The Teachers at Alliance Française
According to AF, all of the teachers are native speakers and most have a Master’s degree in teaching. They also have an FLE Quality label, which means that each year they are evaluated and receive the highest scores possible.
Taking Tests at AF Nice
Although I haven’t experienced this yet for myself, I plan to prepare and take an official test at AF Nice in the future.
There are a bunch of different French tests that you can take, whether you need it for work, to teach French, or to apply for a resident card or French citizenship.
You can find all the options under the “Certifications” tab on the AF website.
What’s super cool is that they linked to this website that has free prep quizzes to practice for the tests, plus podcasts and videos.
Overall Experience at Alliance Française Nice Côte d’Azur
Overall, I would definitely study at Alliance Française again and plan to! Although it’s language-learning based, it is worth more than just what you gain in French knowledge, it’s an experience and one definitely worth having.
It may not get you as far as if you took the same amount of hours and spoke to a native speaker one-on-one on iTalki, but sometimes learning languages in person can actually help you remember vocabulary and phrases more than if you only studied online.
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Dayna Brockbank is a travel and language-learning blogger who has lived around the world but has now settled in Nice, France. She speaks 3 languages at varying levels of fluency: Spanish, Italian, and French, and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Spanish Education. She and her husband focus on making travel part of life by living cheaply and traveling on a budget.