Alternatives to French Public School

Not all séjour families have children who speak French. But if you're going to be in France for an extended stay during the school year, you're going to have to do something with the kids... Here are a few options:

Private schools

France has quite a few private schools, particularly in or near larger cities. Each school will have it’s own admissions policy, philosophy and fees. Catholic schools will typically be less expensive; international schools are typically more expensive. The searchable database for private schools in France (in French) is or you can google around and see what you find.

If you decide to go the private school route, contact the schools, explaining your desire to live in their area and have your kids finish the school year at their school.  Explain your personal reasons for doing so (experience French culture, improve language skills, etc). Be up front and explain that you will only be there X months and ask if it is possible to waive certain fees. You might even suggest ways the two schools could work together. (classroom skype pals, pen pals, etc.)

Travel as education 

Since you will only be on séjour a few months, you might be able to get a hall pass from your child’s current school. Many families like to séjour during the spring and summer months. By sticking to this schedule, you may only need to miss 4+ weeks of school.

Before you meet with your child’s teacher and principle, do your homework. Develop a plan for how you would use this experience as an inspiring way to educate your child. Write out your suggested plan. You may offer to bring textbooks with you, email assignments, write reports from the road, or keep a daily blog.

For more information on this topic, check out the Bootsnall Community.

Summer séjours

Why not skip all these problems and go during the summer! Check out Summer Camps in France.