The decision you make to work, school or live in a country like France is a very good way to perfect your French language skills and to learn more about their culture. The population of Nigerians living in France by schooling, business or work is estimated to be over 30,000. There are several job opportunities available to foreigners in France. However, the level of French you can speak or understand will give you an upper edge.

As a Nigerian going to work or school in France, you will need a residence permit to legally work and an admission from the school of your choice, if you are going to further your education there. As it is to be expected, you will need a visa as a Nigerian before you can travel to France for whatever purpose you have in mind including tourism (always have this at the back of your mind).

According to a website called studying in France, a website for international students looking to school in the country,  there were about 358 thousand students who moved to France to study in 2019/2020.

In total, there are over 2.5 million higher education students in France. Because so many people have chosen to move abroad to France, it has made the country with the most non-francophone speakers in the world.

To maximize your learning opportunities in French, you need to practice the language as much as you can.

The more you include French in your daily routines, the more you improve your French speaking skills! Of course, you can enrol with any of the French language schools in Nigeria or hire a private tutor to teach you or help you improve in the language.

Whether you’re looking to work, further your education, or you simply just want to live in France, the first place to start is by assessing your level in the French language. I am sure you wondering what level of French you will need for your move or stay while in the country? This Superprof guide will walk you through it and help you understand all you need to know before your big move.

Are you already looking for ways to improve your French language skills? then you can just contact any of our French tutors on our platform Superprfof Nigeria (www.superprof.ng). We have the best private tutors and rates for tutoring in Nigeria.

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You can improve your French skills by spending time studying and practising the language. Source: Unsplash
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Preparations Towards Your Stay in France

The truth is that it can be hard to live in France if you do not understand or speak French at all. Your early experience of living in France will be so much simpler if you can speak the language. You will be able to ask questions and express yourself better.

Fluency will eventually come after a prolonged period of immersion, however, you can prepare in advance by taking French lessons before you leave Nigeria or whichever country you will be moving from.

Moving to France is a dream for many people. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before moving to France:

  • Why are you moving to France?
  • What will you be doing during your stay?
  • Where would you be living?
  • Where in France are you going?
  • What is your budget for accommodation?
  • Do you have enough money to sustain yourself?
  • Are you qualified for a visa?
  • Do you have a visa?
  • How good is my level of French?
  • How long do you intend to stay?
  • Do you have a job already waiting for you?
  • Are you moving alone or with family?
  • Do you have any family or friends in the country? 

Once you can answer these questions, then you can start making adequate preparations for your stay. Many Nigerians move to France for majorly two reasons; work and study. As discussed earlier, you will need a visa and a residence permit before you can legally work in France.

Students Looking to further their admission will also need to secure a study visa and an admission to study and live in France. Whether you are going to study or work in France,  it is also advised you take some French lessons before you move to the country. Speaking and understanding the language will make life so much easier for you.

To know the requirements for study and work visa applications for Nigerians, you should visit the VFS global website or the website for the French embassy in Nigeria.

All the requirements and information you will need are stated there. The cost of the visa is dependent on the visa type you are applying for. The most important thing you will need before you can apply for any visa or move to France or any country is a valid Passport.

As you plan to move to France, you can also be rest assured that you will meet other Nigerians and other Engish speaking nationals in the country as time goes on.

There are even groups you can join as a newbie in the country that will connect you to other Nigerians and there are also groups available that you can join that will help you settle in as a new person in the country.

passport to travel the world
You will need a valid passport to travel to France or any country in the world. Source: Unsplash

Learning The French Language Through Immersion

Learning French is not just limited to the four walls of a school or the use of a private tutor. You can learn the language by watching videos online or even watching tv series, movies and news in the language.

If you are planning to relocate to France, you can end up speaking the language fluently after spending a few years in the country. It all depends on how willingly you are interested in learning the language.

If you’re interested in preparing for your time in France, or simply want to learn French without the costs of relocation, it might be a good idea to try an immersive French program.

What then is learning through immersion? Immersion learning refers to any education approach that teaches by placing a student directly in an environment.

The most common use of immersion learning is in teaching foreign languages. This does not necessarily mean that the learner must travel to a foreign country. It just means that the class will be structured in such a way that it is only the language that will be spoken.

Here are some of the components you will likely encounter in an interactive, fulfilling language course:

  • French vocabulary
  • French grammar
  • Oral and written comprehension
  • Oral and written expression
  • French phrases and idioms
  • Cultural knowledge

The University of Illinois at Chicago recently put together a study where they taught two groups of students a made-up language. The first group went through normal classroom training while the second group went through immersion training. At the end of the training, although both groups had high proficiency in the language, the students who went through immersion training had developed brain mechanisms that mimicked those of native speakers.

Some of the ways you can learn the French language through immersion is by:

  • Living overseas with a local family that speaks French - you will have access to French 24/7
  • Enrolling with a school that adopts the immersion way of learning. Any other language asides from French in the environment will be unacceptable eg of a school that has programs that adopt this method is The Nigeria French Language Village.
  • Immerse Yourself in French on the Internet - with the accessibility to the internet, you can immerse yourself 24/7 with french videos, podcasts, textbooks and resources you find online. For it to be useful, you need to hear, read and practise French that is at the right level regularly.

To fully immerse yourself in French, you’ll either need to travel to a French-speaking region or sign up for a domestic immersion program. With full immersion in the French language, you can expect to be relatively fluent in six to twelve months. Of course, this is also totally dependent on you and how willingly and dedicated you are. Remember, practice makes perfect.

The Nigerian French village
With a good French immersion program, you can start speaking the language fluently within 6-12 months. Source: Unsplash

French Tests Before Getting Into A French University

Anyone who moves abroad to study in France will need at least a B2 level of the language, which is an intermediate level. However, there are still some universities you can apply to that your level of French will not be a hindrance.

There are some English speaking universities in France but to expand your choice of school, you may need to have at least a B2 level of the language.

One of the language tests you’re likely to encounter before and after you move internationally for your studies will be the TCF, of the “Test de Connaissance du francais” as it’s known in French, is the French language equivalent of the TOEFL. The test is usually structured like this:

  • Oral comprehension: 60 questions, 40 minutes
  • Written comprehension: 50 questions, 60 minutes
  • Written expression: 2 subjects, 60 minutes
  • Structure: 40 questions, 60 minutes

Diplomas for French Language Studies

These diplomas are issued by the French Ministry of National Education. It certifies the French skills for personal, school, academic or professional purposes. Studying French as a foreign language is awarded a diploma through a test known by the acronyms DILF, DELF, or DALF.

DILF: DILF (diplôme initial de langue française). This exam awards students with a diploma for the most basic level, A1 which makes it an initial step toward DELF and DALF.

DELF & DALF: ​DELF (Diplôme d'Etudes en Langue Française) and DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française).These diplomas for the French language award students with six language levels: DELF A1 & A2, DELF B1 & B2, DALF C1 & C2.

If you’re a foreigner in or will expatriate to France, you may have to encounter these tests in France or if you are planning to become a French citizen, you will have to take one of these exams to prove your grasp of the language.

No matter what path you choose or take to live in France, make sure you understand the boundaries of your visa and abide completely by all rules. French is an interesting language and with the right tutor, school and practice, you will start understanding the language in no time.

Get one of the best and most affordable French tutors in Nigeria on www.superprof.ng.

Bon Apprentissage !!!

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Oyin

I am a creative freelancer and fashion designer who loves to travel, explore and meet new people.