French courses

Learning French

Learning the language of the country in which you intend to settle considerably facilitates daily life. This allows you to get information, find a job, communicate with your neighbours, develop your social life and help your children in their learning.

The Integration Act provides that it is essential for people to familiarise themselves with society and the way of life in Switzerland and to learn a national language. For certain procedures, such as the renewal of a permit, the cantonal administration may ask you for a certificate of your level of French.

Language levels

For children, school is compulsory from the age of 4 to 15 years old in Switzerland. As soon as they start school, students arriving from abroad are entitled to intensive French lessons at school.

FROM 4 TO 15 YEARS OLD: COMPULSORY SCHOOL AND DAY CARE FOR CHILDREN

For young people aged 15 to 20 years old who have just arrived, reception classes allow them to learn French and seek training. The application for admission is made via the Migration Portal.

Finding training upon arrival

For adults, many French courses are offered throughout the Vaud region. There are two types of courses presented in this chapter: those of private schools and those of associations.

Advice

A very good way to learn French is to practise it by meeting other people and taking part in volunteer, leisure or social integration activities.

Leisure and social life

School and training

FRENCH COURSES AVAILABLE

ASSOCIATIONS

French courses organised by associations are given by professionals and are accessible and can be free for those on a small budget. Sometimes childcare is available in parallel with the classes.

For more information, see below for a list of these activities available in each region.

Search for activities

Accueil, rencontre et orientation sociale
Responsable : Appartenances - Espace Femmes Lausanne
Lieu du cours : Lausanne
021 351 28 80
Accueil, rencontre et orientation sociale en faveur de femmes migrantes avec ou sans enfants
Accueil, rencontre et orientation sociale
Responsable : Appartenances - Espace Femmes Riviera
Lieu du cours : Vevey
021 922 45 23
Accueil, rencontre et orientation sociale en faveur de femmes migrantes avec ou sans enfants
Activités autour du français
Responsable : Commune de Montreux
Lieu du cours : Clarens
079 228 62 16
Activités sociales variées permettant d'apprendre et de pratiquer le français dans toutes sortes de situations (conférences, visites culturelles, ateliers)
Atelier créatif de français: une étape vers un emploi
Responsable : Ville de Renens
Lieu du cours : Renens
021 341 12 50
Cours de français pour femmes avec garde d'enfants
Ateliers de conversation
Responsable : Français en Jeu
Lieu du cours : Lausanne
021 329 04 49
Ateliers de conversation
Ateliers de français et activités manuelles
Responsable : Commune de Bex / LIBex
Lieu du cours : Bex
079 686 61 10
Ateliers de français et de couture
Ateliers d'échange interculturel
Responsable : Commune de Bex, secrétariat municipal
Lieu du cours : Bex
079 365 07 47
Ateliers d'échange et de partage d'expériences vécues en français
Café Bienvenue
Responsable : Commune de Montreux
Lieu du cours : Clarens
078 845 86 18
Ateliers d'échange et de partage d'expériences vécues en français pour femmes migrantes accompagnées de leurs enfants
Café Bienvenue
Responsable : Commune de Villeneuve / CIV
Lieu du cours : Villeneuve
077 407 58 75
Atelier de conversation pour femmes migrantes et suisses, ainsi que pour leurs enfants en âge préscolaire
Café Bienvenue
Responsable : Ville de Morges, Service cohésion sociale et logement
Lieu du cours : Morges
021 804 15 14
Ateliers d'échange et de partage d'expériences vécues en français pour femmes migrantes accompagnées de leurs enfants
Café du Monde Payerne
Responsable : Administration communale de Payerne
Lieu du cours : Payerne
026 662 68 68
Accueil, discussion en français, point d'information
Café entre Elles
Responsable : Administration communale Payerne
Lieu du cours : Payerne
026 662 68 68
Espace dédié aux femmes pour exercer le français en discutant autour d’un café, enfants non-scolarisés bienvenus

Private schools

Private schools offer French courses. These courses have flexible schedules and variable admission requirements, at a higher cost.

You can find an offer by visiting the local.ch website and entering “Language school” in the search engine.

The website of the l’Association vaudoise des écoles privées (AVDEP) contains a directory of all these private schools.

Additional information

Certifications

For certain procedures (for example for an application for a B permit, a renewal, an anticipated C permit or a naturalisation procedure), the administration will ask you for a certificate of your level of French.

More information

Interpreting and translations

As part of a medical, social or school interview, the professionals who receive you can call on trained interpreters.There are several interpreting and translation services in the canton of Vaud

More information

Do you have specific questions?

Your privileged contacts

The Fraternity of the Centre Social Protestant (CSP) and the Habitants Registration office of your municipality are at your disposal to help you with administrative procedures.

“Welcome” brochure

To facilitate the settling of the newcomers in the canton, the brochure “Welcome to the canton of Vaud” (available in 13 languages) contains the practical information you need.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Listed on one page, you can access the most frequently asked questions on various topics.

Find out more

Administration's website

It contains the useful information on integration and prevention of racism matters in the canton of Vaud. The site is dedicated to migrants, Swiss citizens as well as to professionals in these fields.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Published four times a year, the newsletter “IntégrAction” presents various news of the BCI and its regional offices (projects, activities, publications, etc.).