January in Noumea, New Caledonia

Experience ‘France in the Pacific’ as you study and live in Noumea, the diverse and vibrant capital of New Caledonia. New Caledonia, a French overseas territory, offers the unique opportunity to 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!

Program Overview

This unique January 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 2 weeks or 2 months to spare during summer, 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 6 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 are 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
  • Pristine natural environments: reefs, lagoons, beaches, islets, forests, mountains and more!
  • Warm and hospitable residents
  • Frequent program intakes
  • 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.

Course Offerings: 

  • This program offers French language immersion studies to students of all abilities, from complete novices to advanced speakers of the French language.
  • 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 6 levels – 2 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.
  • 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.

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.

Course Load: 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.

  • Depending on your Australian university, “courses” may be referred to as “subjects” or “units”.
  • Each course/subject/unit you undertake on a CISaustralia program is designed to be a full-time, semester course that has been condensed to fit into an intensive, short-term program. As such, for any 1 course you study abroad, you should receive the credit points for 1 full-time course/subject/unit at your Australian university.
  • Many universities work off of a 1-for-1 equivalency (1 course abroad = 1 course in Australia), but ultimately credit approval is the decision of your faculty and Australian university.
  • CISaustralia strongly recommends that you have any overseas courses pre-approved for academic credit before you depart for your program. Some documentation that may be useful are the course outline/syllabus, program overview and the contact hours.
  • Your CISaustralia Program Advisor can assist with any questions or details your university needs to make a decision.

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, you may still be considered for the program but will need to be prepared to provide supporting documentation. Please contact us to discuss your situation and we will work with you to help find another suitable program if required.

Course Descriptions:

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.

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.

COVID Safe Travel

The health and safety of our students is our highest priority. We take our duty of care for our students, their families and our Australian University partners seriously. For all of our program locations, we have developed a site-specific COVID-19 risk matrix and risk management and emergency response plans so that health and safety response protocols are monitored, managed and communicated.

We have also developed a flexible COVID-19 Refund Policy that limits the financial impact on students should CISaustralia (or one of our overseas partners) have to cancel or suspend a program due to COVID-19.

In preparation for your overseas program, it’s important that you carefully read and understand information related to COVID-19 Travel Safety and Insurance Requirements.

CISaustralia monitors Smartraveller and reliable news feeds to keep up to date with the latest COVID information and any associated travel restrictions and entry requirements for all destinations where we have programs. Due to the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation, Government travel advice can change quickly. For the most up to date information on New Caledonia, visit the Smartraveller website.


One excursion is included for every 2-week program. These vary program to program. Past excursions have included:

  • Visit to the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre
  • Kayaking out to Duck Island
  • Cooking classes
  • 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.

Amédéé Lighthouse: After climbing the 247 cast-iron steps, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking panorama 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, about a 2-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 2 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.

The University

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 two kilometres 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 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.

Resort-style accommodation
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.

Students will be accommodated in a standard sized, same gender, shared hotel room. Students 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.

Program Fee & Dates

January 2023 (2 weeks)
2023 Program Fees TBC. 15 hours of French language instruction per week. A minimum of 5 students taking the same level of French is required to run the course. Please enquire with CISaustralia about options to extend your program for additional weeks.
Application Deadline27 November 2022
Arrival Date15 January 2023
Departure Date28 January 2023
Application FeeA$ 95
Program Fee A$ 3,699 - 4,599
OS-HELP A$ 7,100


Program fees include the following:
  • CISaustralia support services before, during and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial advice
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure guide and session
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off (on specified program dates within designated times)
  • On-site orientation
  • Homestay or resort-style accommodation (shared or single room)
  • Tuition fees (15 hours per week of language instruction)
  • All enrolment fees
  • Wifi included – at accommodation and language centre
  • Free computer use at language centre
  • Access to independent self-learning language facilities
  • 1 x excursion per program, including transport
  • Program risk matrix and COVID-19 risk assessment
  • Risk Management and Emergency Response Plan
  • CISaustralia 24/7 on-site support – Site Director
  • CREIPAC course completion certificate*
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Participation (available on request)

*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.

What is not included:

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
  • Beer: $6-9
  • Coffee: $3-5
  • Fruits/Veg: About 50% more expensive than in Australia
  • Bus trip: $2.50
  • Pizza: $15-20
  • 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.

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.

CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Adventure Awaits

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