Study abroad

Catriona gilmore, france, chateau de chambord

All of our BA (Hons) French students spend their third year abroad and there are three options: Studying abroad; British Council Language Assistantship; and Work Placement with a Company. 

By spending your third year in France or another Francophone country, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and transform your language skills. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll gain new insight into a French-speaking society as well as valuable experience of adapting to another culture. For many of our students, it’s the real highlight of their course and it will make you stand out from your peers in the job market.

You'll have access to support and advice before, during and after your year abroad. In your first and second year at Leeds, you’ll be able to network with returning students for first-hand advice about living and studying or working in France (and choosing the right option for you). Preparatory meetings are organised by the Residence Abroad Team, and you’ll have access to online information before you relocate to France. We’ll be in touch with you during your year abroad and you’ll have support at your host university, school or job too.

Study abroad opportunities

You can choose to study from a range of modules at one of our exchange partner universities in France or Canada alongside local and international students or you can take an intensive language course in France. 

Some of our partner universities include: 


  • Université de Montréal 

  • Université du Québec à Montréal 

  • Université du Québec à Trois Rivières 


  • Alliance Française Bordeaux 

  • Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Pau 

  • University of Clermont Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand 

  • Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 

  • Université Michel de Montaigne, Bordeaux

  • Université Paris 8

  • Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3

  • Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3

  • Université d'Orléans

  • Université de Lille

  • Université de Limoges

  • Université de Lorraine, Metz 

British Council Language Assistantship

You can work as a language assistant in a school under the British Council’s programme: Teach abroad as an English Language Assistant | British Council

This highly popular opportunity allows you to spend 9 months in metropolitan France, the French Caribbean or Africa (see British Council website for specific countries). Previously our students have taught in Metropolitan France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and Senegal. Pay and holidays are generous, giving you the opportunity and means to manage your own time. This increases your ability to travel and pursue your hobbies/interests. 

Don't be put off by the fact that your job is to assist with the teaching of English. Working in English (for just 12 hours per week) will be beneficial to you as a linguist (as you will learn things about English grammar that you never knew!). Also, in many cases, your school(s) can act as a ready-made network of contacts. The British Council scheme is also open to final-year students after graduation. 

Work Placement with a Company

This is also an option for your year abroad. If you choose this route in France, the French Convention de Stage is for 6 months, so you'll either undertake two placements, or combine a work placement and a study opportunity. When working for a company in countries other than France, the legislation may be different and thus the contract could last for longer (up to 12 months).  

You’ll be provided with a list of current placement opportunities and the details of companies that have provided placements for students in the past. The University has links with a variety of organisations both in France and in French-speaking countries. 

Some of the companies where our students have completed work placements include: 

  • Altice Médi

  • HSBC France

  • Groupe ESSCA

  • Aviva

  • MyBestPro 

In the case of this option in particular, please note that you’ll receive support and guidance from the School’s experienced Work Placement Team, the Residence Abroad Team and the University Careers Centre.