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French Language in Noumea, New Caledonia
Learn or improve your French language skills as you study and live in Noumea, the diverse and vibrant capital of New Caledonia. Experience French language and culture set amongst a beautiful, natural backdrop of palms, beaches, reefs and mountains. Enjoy the advantages of beautiful weather, accessibility and affordability on this unique program!
This unique study abroad program allows you to immerse yourself in the French language and culture without the inconvenience (time and cost) of travelling all the way to France! Nearby New Caledonia, a French overseas territory and archipelago, provides a perfect setting for French language study, combining the language and culture of France with a pristine Pacific Island backdrop. Study in charming historical buildings by the sea, live in resort-style accommodation or with a local host family, and enjoy a relaxed island atmosphere as you improve your French and appreciate the unique culture and landscapes of New Caledonia. Whether you have two weeks or two months to spare, you can be sure to make the most of it in New Caledonia!
French immersion – Through small, personalised French language courses, you’ll be able to improve your formal language foundation. You’ll also have the chance to practice your French in your daily activities as you enjoy the French-inspired cafes and restaurants, as the vast majority of residents (about 98%) speak French. Whether you’re a complete novice or just need some refinement, you can choose from six levels of French language. We cater for all levels of French language on this program – from absolute beginner to advanced.
Study by the sea – Combine authentic French immersion with an idyllic setting, as you study by the sea in quaint historical buildings. The program’s language school provides a beautiful and relaxing setting on a peninsula.
Affordable alternative to France – Why spend the time, money and effort to go all the way to France for language study, when you could make the most of your break by studying the same language in New Caledonia? This affordable, comprehensive program includes everything you need for a rewarding study abroad program at a fraction of the cost. Plus, with about 20% of residents born in France, Noumea still counts on plenty of Parisians to uphold French authenticity on the islands. 98% of the island’s population is French-speaking.
Pristine environment – Despite its World Heritage barrier reef, biologically diverse hinterland and pleasant climate, New Caledonia’s tourism economy is admittedly underdeveloped, meaning you can have entire islands, reefs and peaks to yourself! When keeping to the beaten track, you can enjoy the tranquility of New Caledonia’s pristine beaches and harbours as you sip coffee in your petit café.
Island time – Things may move just a bit slower than on the Parisian boulevards and you will be warmly welcomed in Noumea.
While you may have to see it to believe it, here are a few highlights of the program in New Caledonia to whet your appetite:
Affordable and personalised French immersion language studies
Unique combination of French and French-New Caledonian culture
Beautiful and tranquil study setting
Resort-style accommodation opposite the city’s largest beach, or homestay with a local family
Mega-diversity in ethnicities, cultures, ecosystems and landscapes
Pleasant climate year-round with consistent sunshine
Choose Your Course
Hosted at CREIPAC (Centre de Rencontres et d’Échanges Internationaux du Pacifique), a public institution established to promote French language in the Pacific area, this program offers personalised and immersive French language learning for all levels of experience (from beginner to advanced). The personalised instruction is established in accordance with Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching and Assessment.
Participants of this program enjoy a course designed specifically for university students. Students will improve their knowledge of French language and at the same time learn about aspects of the history and culture of New Caledonia. Visits and speeches by guest speakers with specialist knowledge of the topics in question complement classroom instruction.
Program participants will have 3 hours of face-to-face French language instruction in a classroom setting per day. This equates to 15 hours per week, or 30 hours per 2-week program.
Typical schedule: 8:15am to 11:45am with a 30-minute break.
Independent self-learning facilities are also readily available (at no additional fee) for students who want to take advantage of the opportunities to further progress their language ability.
How to Choose Your Course:
You will be asked to fill in a self-evaluation of your previous French language studies, if any. This will place you in one of six levels – two sub-levels in each of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. You will also be re-assessed on-site to ensure you are receiving the proper level of instruction.
If you plan to take this program for academic credit, you must receive approval from your home institution. Courses are generally approved if they fill a major or elective requirement. Speak with your faculty advisor/course convener or equivalent. For assistance with course approval, you can also contact us.
This program offers French language immersion studies to students of all abilities, from complete novices to advanced speakers.
This course aims to establish a strong foundation in basic structures and principles, encouraging further study. Foundational elements include: pronunciation, intonation, basic grammar rules and basic vocabulary. The course blends both traditional materials and methods of instruction with active participation and activities.
Experienced (Any Level) French Learners
This course is for learners who already have some knowledge of French, recent or not. In this course, instructors will make students talk about their field of interest and will quickly use what is said in the class to create the content of the course. Topics of instruction include pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar, all with each student’s abilities and interests in mind.
Academic Requirement: To qualify for this program, students must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 4.0 (out of 7) or equivalent. If your current GPA falls below the requirement please contact us to discuss your situation. We will work with you to find the right program for you.
Note: CREIPAC is a language institution, and as such, does not provide official university transcripts. If approved for credit, students can use their CREIPAC Certificate of Completion to show proof of having completed the program.
One excursion is included for every two-week program. These vary program to program. Past excursions have included:
Visit to the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre
Kayaking out to Duck Island
Bus tour around the island
Other places of interest past students have recommended that you may choose to visit (at own expense) include:
Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie: See species found in New Caledonian waters – including nautilus, sea snakes, stone fish, turtles, sharks and stingrays, as well as living coral displays. Don’t miss the emperor of coral reefs – the Napoleon fish.
Amédée Lighthouse: After climbing the 247 cast-iron steps, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view over the beautiful turquoise water of the lagoon, the large reef and the mountains of Grande Terre.
New Caledonia is a French overseas territory (specifically a ‘special collectivity’) in the Pacific Ocean and is about a two-hour flight northeast of Brisbane. The third largest archipelago in the Pacific (18,575 square km), New Caledonia is made up of the main island (Grande Terre), the Isle of Pines to the southeast, the Loyalty Islands (Maré, Lifou, Tiga and Ouvéa) to the east and finally, to the northwest, the Belep Islands and many other smaller islands.
Grande Terre is the largest and most densely populated island in the archipelago, and home to the capital city Noumea. Along its entire length runs a mountain range whose highest peaks rise to over 1,600m. The highest points in the range are covered with diverse and often unique forests, which are likely to have been Captain James Cook’s inspiration for the archipelago’s namesake, as he was reminded of the Scottish landscapes.
New Caledonia draws on a variety of cultural and ethnic influences, as it blends characteristics from Melanesia, Polynesia, Europe, Asia and even Africa. Of its roughly 270,000 inhabitants, the current demographic makeup of Noumea nearly splits the majority between Kanak (original inhabitants of New Caledonia) and European descent. The archipelago’s diversity is reflected in additional ethnic groups, including Polynesian, Tahitian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Algerian. With all these distinct backgrounds, it’s quite appropriate that French language has become the predominant ‘lingua franca’, with only a couple percent of inhabitants not proficient in French.
New Caledonia has been called the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’, with its tropical ocean climate and consistent sunshine. There are two main seasons with very short spells in-between:
The hot season from December to March with average temperatures around 25-27°C and brief tropical showers.
The cool season from April to November with average temperatures around 20-23°C.
The CISaustralia program is based just outside of central Noumea, New Caledonia’s capital and largest city. Albeit somewhat quaint (especially in comparison with the likes of Paris!), Noumea offers all you need to enjoy yourself, including museums, shopping, sports activities, beaches, aquatic activities, hiking, etc., as well as amenities and conveniences you can expect from a city of about 170,000. You’ll have quick and easy access getting to and from the language centre, with central Noumea about 10 minutes by bus, and the accommodation about 20 minutes by bus.
Founded in 1980, the Centre de Rencontres et d’Échanges Internationaux du Pacifique (CREIPAC) is dedicated to the promotion of the French language in the Pacific area. The Centre is located on a largely undeveloped peninsula just 2km west of Noumea, and consists of charming, old historical buildings by the sea, set amid frangipanis and palm trees.
Playing an active role for the past 20 years in French as a Foreign Language, CREIPAC developed a teaching style truly responding to learners’ needs. Courses offered at CREIPAC follow the recommendations of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching and Assessment (CEFR), created by the Council of Europe in 2001. CEFR has been adopted worldwide in order to harmonise program conception and teaching. Moreover, it offers an innovative approach in teaching, being more focused on the needs of the learners. It also allows a better standardisation of diplomas and certificates.
CREIPAC hosts approximately 1,200 students per year, with an average of 120 students at any given time. The majority of students are from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Europe, as well as some local students. The language centre has a library stocked with novels, manuals, newspapers and comics – all in French. A study room is also available for use, with desks and computers with free internet access.
CREIPAC counts on friendly and experienced staff and instructors to create a warm and welcoming environment in which to learn the French language while learning about French and French-Caledonian culture.
Participants of this program can choose between basic resort-style accommodation / rooms at a full-service hotel in Noumea, or a homestay.
Conveniently situated opposite the Anse Vata Bay and Beach (the city’s largest), the hotel resort provides all the basics – comfort, cleanliness, safety and convenience. Participants enjoy a full range of amenities, including a kitchenette (refrigerator, microwave and kettle), satellite television, coffee and tea. Facilities include a bar and lounge, restaurant and business centre. The hotel also offers on-site aerobics, breakfast (for purchase), currency exchange, free wifi, a grocery store and a hair salon.
Participants will be accommodated in a standard sized, same gender, shared hotel room. Participants can choose a single room, at a supplementary fee.
The hotel is approximately a 20-40 minute bus ride from the language school.
Students choosing to stay in homestay accommodation could be housed in a single, double or triple room – pending the homestay family. Homestay includes breakfast and dinner daily. It also includes transport to school in the morning and pick-up from town in the afternoon. Lunches are not included, but can be provided on weekends (for a small additional fee, i.e. approx. A$10) if requested on arrival from the homestay family.
Every effort will be made to match each student with the most suitable family.
Tuition fees (2-week base language studies, 15 hours per week of language instruction)
CISaustralia support services before, during and after the program
Assistance with travel arrangements
Health and medical insurance (if requested)
Pre-departure guide and session
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Resort-style accommodation (shared or single room), or homestay
1 x excursion per two weeks, including transport
Access to independent self-learning language facilities
Wifi included – at accommodation and language centre
Free computer use at language centre
24/7 on-site support – Site Director
Language school course completion certificate
CISaustralia Certificate of Completion
What is not included:
Vaccinations (if required)
Meals (unless mentioned above)
Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)
Relative cost of living:
You can expect to spend more for most consumables in New Caledonia than you would spend in Australia. Consider the cost of the following (all in AUD$):
Bottle of Coke: $2.50
Fruits/Veg: About 50% more expensive than in Australia
Bus trip: $2.50
Bread (baguette): $1.50
McDonald’s value meal: $9-11
During breaks at the language centre you will have on offer coffee, tea and hot chocolate for $0.70c. You can also purchase soft drinks and snacks during the day.
Please note that you also need to budget for flights, meals and personal travel expenses. We will provide a realistic sample of expected additional expenses so you can be fully prepared for all expected costs and budget accordingly.
Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.
CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees and inclusions at any time due to currency fluctuations and / or changes made by our partner universities.
Dates are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.
New Caledonia is such a beautiful country and my French improved so much. I would definitely recommend this program to French learners of any level. Learning French in an immersive environment [and] meeting new people [was the best part of the program].
Gain immeasurable growth, both professionally and personally. Read more about the benefits of mobility.
Comprehensive program. Fees include full on-site support, accommodation, cultural activities and more.
Meet people from all over the world while expanding your horizons and immersing in another culture.
Program fees include the first two weeks of specified start dates.
Sunday 6 January – Saturday 19 January 2019
Sunday 13 January – 2 February 2019 (3-week program, minimum numbers apply, POA)
Sunday 24 February – Saturday 9 March 2019
Sunday 2 June – Saturday 15 June 2019
Sunday 18 August – Saturday 31 August 2019
Sunday 24 November – Saturday 7 December 2019
Application deadline 6 weeks prior to program commencement.
$3,199 – Hotel, same gender, shared room, 2 weeks (30 hours French language instruction)
$3,899 – Hotel, single room, 2 weeks (30 hours French language instruction)
$3,399 – Homestay, single, double or triple room, breakfast and dinner included, 2 weeks (30 hours French language instruction)
All language programs are built on a two-week base; however, students may be able to extend their program (on a weekly basis). Please enquire to CISaustralia about options to extend your program for additional weeks. Program fees for additional weeks are dependent on the overall group size.
Alternate start dates are available during the more traditional Australian semester period. Please enquire to CISaustralia about a customised French language program in Noumea.
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