You’re a student or an expat and you’re wondering how you can learn French for free (or almost) in Paris? Keep reading to find out what options are available to to study French in Paris without breaking the bank.
Cheap evening and afternoon French classes for expats and students in Paris
Paris City Hall evening and daytime French classes
If you want to study French in Paris cheaply, you should look into the classes offered by Paris City Hall every semester. The courses are adapted to all levels (A1 to C1) and you have the choice between choosing evening or daytime classes. The price depends on the number of hours you choose: 140€ per semester for 2 classes a week (60h total), and 270€ per semester for 4 classes a week (120h total).
How can you buy the classes ?
1) Go to the site cma.paris.fr and select the file “Français” , then “Français pour non francophones scolarisés, Français Langue Etrangère [FLE]
2) Click on the file “FLE Oral et écrit”, then choose which type of course you want : Evening or daytime classes (“Cours du soir ou cours en journée”), twice or 4 times a week (“2 fois par semaine ou 4 fois par semaine”), and your level.
3) You’ll then see a page with more information, including the list of locations where courses are offered.
4) Register online and confirm your registration during the first class
5) Pay online before the second course
Red Cross free French classes in Paris
Some branches of the Red Cross offer free French classes. The price & the frequency depends on each branch, but in general, they hold 2-hours long classes, 3 to 4 times a week.
⚠ In some branches, these courses are for refugees. To know which branches have courses open to everyone, look in their online directory available here.
Free French speaking workshops in librairies for expats and students in Paris
Several libraries offer free French-speaking workshops. These workshops are ideal for busy expats or students that want to study French in Paris for free without committing to a full course. Here is a list of some libraries hosting those events:
- Médiathèque de la Canopée la Fontaine (10 Passage de la Canopée, 75001 Paris)
The library’s workshops are open to everyone, but they recommend that the participants have at least an intermediate level to get the most of those sessions. The objective is to practice by discussing various themes in an informal and friendly setting.
The workshops usually take place on Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm, Registrations must be made on-site 15 minutes before the beginning of the workshop.
For more details, check out the site of the library here.
- Bibliothèque de la Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (17 Boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris)
The library of the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (student residence for foreign students) has a language area, a center intended for students to perfect their French with several books and courses and to take part in conversation groups. This center is opened from 1 pm to 7 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and from 1 pm to 9 pm on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
The entry is free of charge for students living at the residence. For others, it’s 3€ per day or 40€ for an annual card.
You’ll find more information about specific dates and times on their site.
- Bibliothèque Louise Michel (29 / 35 rue des Haies. 75020 Paris)
Every Friday from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm, the library team leads a conversation workshop in French. This workshop is for people who are learning French or who have some basic knowledge of French and wish to practice speaking. During these meetups, the participants discuss various subjects (culture, daily life, experiences…) using pictures, games or videos.
Access to these workshops is free and without registration, you just have to be present at the library around 2.30 pm. The workshop is open to a maximum of 15 people.
If you have more questions about the workshop, here is their site.
- Bibliothèque Václav Havel (26 esplanade Nathalie Sarraute. 75018 Paris)
This library offers several events are open to everyone :
- French classes from 3 pm to 5 pm (with a French teacher) on Tuesday and Friday for beginners, and on Thursday and Saturday for intermediate learners.
- Speaking workshops with the library teams on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Check their site for more information.
Kill two birds with one stone: learn French for free and make new friends by attending a language meetup! There are dozens of events each week, all you have to do is pick the one you like. If you don’t know where to look, here is a list of groups that hold meetups regularly
Free French classes in universities
If you’re a student, most universities offer free intensive courses before the start of the first semester for students taking part in an exchange program and regular classes during the academic year.
To find out if your host university offers those classes, just ask! In general, the service that takes care of this is either called “Service des Relations Internationales” or “Accueil des étudiants internationaux“.
💡 Quick tip
If you're a student and you want to know about other cool tips like this one, we got dozens of other deals, discounts and many more on our free app available here.