Practical information with details on French language trip and Alpha B French language institute
French courses abroad in a language school in France
French learning courses in a French school specialised in French courses for adults and foreigners
Study French in Nice - French Riviera - France.
My arrival in Nice
Do I need a visa to come to France?
Nationals of the European Union don’t need a visa. Special agreements exist with other countries and might allow you to stay for up to 3 months without visa.
For detailed information have a look at:
What do I have to bring along (clothes, etc) ?
You can find all you need in Nice. To get an idea about the weather : in winter temperatures are between 11 and 15°C (50 and 60 °F), in spring and autumn between 16 and 22°C (60 and 70 °F) and in summer between 23 and 30°C (75 and 90 °F).Voltage for electronic devices is 220/240 volts.
If I come by car or motorbike, what do I need to know?
- We drive on the right side and speed limit is as following : 130 Km/h (80 miles) on the motorway, 90 Km/h (55 miles) on roads and 50 Km/h (30 miles) in town.
- Alcohol limit is of 0,5 g for 1 litter of blood. This corresponds to about 2 glasses of wine.
- Security belts have to been fasten at front and back seats of the car.
- You are not allowed to use a mobile phone while driving.
- Motorcyclists have to wear a crash helmet and have to put headlights on.
- Always fix your motorbike or bicycle to a solid base by using a thief-proof lock. Never leave personal affaires (bags, coats…) or values in your car.
How will I get to my accommodation? Is there a pick-up included?
The geographical situation makes transportation in Nice very easy. In case of host family accommodation, your family is offering free of charge pick-up on arrival (but no pick-up between. 22.00 and 8.00). For other accommodation types you have the following possibilities: When arriving at the airport a taxi will take you in 20 minutes to your accommodation for the cost of 25 / 30 €. The Airport bus is less expensive (4 €) and you will reach the town centre in less than 40 minutes. When arriving at the train station you are already in the town centre and can go to your accommodation by taxi (15 €), bus or tramway (1 €) in less than 10 minutes. You will receive detailed information about local transport with your confirmation package. Regardless the accommodation type we will need your arrival details (arrival time and place, flight or train no.) at least 3 days before your arrival date in Nice in order to arrange a transfer or your reception in the accommodation.
How much « pocket money » will I need?
Currency in France is the Euro.
To get an idea of your budget, here some prices in Nice :1 coffee : 1,80€ // 1 coca-cola : 3€ // 1 pizza : 8,50€ // 1 sandwich : 3,50€ // 1 lunch : 9€ // 1 entrance in a disco including a drink: 20€ // 1 car rent for a weekend : 100€ // 1 cinema entrance : 8€ // 1 entrance fee to a museum : between 2 and 5 € // 1 bus or tramway fare 1€.
Which network for my mobile phone?
In France, 90% of mobile communications are covered by 3 main networks: Orange – SFR – Bouygues.
Life in Nice
Is Nice really expensive?
Contrary to what you might have been told, Nice isn’t more expensive than other European cities of same impact. You will find the same price structure as in Barcelona, Cologne, Florence…
Like any other tourist site, you will of course pay your coffee much more higher if you take it in a tourist place. Private beaches, cafés of 4 star hotels or the pedestrian zone means a price increase of 30 to 70%..
Same thing for your meals and your night life. A drink in a « in » pub will be 2 to 3 times higher than in an ordinary place. But isn’t that the same for any country?
But it is right that lodging in Nice is quite expensive, and not only for tourists but also for the inhabitants. VAT at 19,6% for nearly any product besides food (here it is of 5,5%) might be something you know from your own country.
I’m ill, what should I do?
If you need an urgency, you should go to the Saint Roch hosptial : Urgences de l’hôpital Saint Roch (24h/24h), 5 rue Pierre Dévoluy – Nice. Phone 04 92 03 33 75.
If you can’t go by your own, call 18 or 15 to get an ambulance.
In other cases you might only need a doctor’s visit at your home.
Call (24h/24h): S.O.S. Médecins Phone 08 10 85 01 01
Nice Médecins Urgence Phone 04 93 52 42 42.
(administration and doctors are English speaking)
The formula E111 has to be given to the C.P.A.M.
International Relations, Phone. 04 92 09 42 64.
Where is my consulate?
Any information at « Secrétariat Général du Corps Consulaire des Alpes-Maritimes » in Nice. Phone 04 93 88 01 49 or
Is Nice a dangerous city ?
Alpha.b is now running since 1993 and during this time we had 4 cases where students were « attacked ». In all cases students went home at night and were assaulted for their money. No injuries or further pursuits took place. Nobody of the 18 Alpha.b staff members had ever been attacked during all the years they live in Nice. But you really have to pay attention to pickpockets! Especially during summer they are very busy in shops, in the bus, in pubs and at the beach. We also highly recommend that girls don’t return home on their own during night. There is the possibility of being bothered by men. Usually, they aren’t dangerous but it might be disquieting … Better take the bus (1€ the fare and the night bus is running until 1.30am) or a taxi (about 15€, but ask the price for the fare before ).
Phone : 17 or 04 92 17 20 31 Foreigners Department. Complaints, loss or theft of passports, etc…
Commissariat de Police – 1 Avenue Maréchal Foch – 06000 Nice
At what time do shops and banks close?
Usually, shops are open from 9.00 to 19.00 from Monday to Saturday.
Banks, post offices and administrations are open from 8.30 to 17.00.
I am under 18!
For those under 18, we have asked your parents for a permission form to allow you to go out in the evenings.
In the case of restrictions being imposed, host families strictly ensure that these curfews are respected. If you have a mobile phone, your French family must take a note of your number so that they can contact you in they need to or if you are late. Your host family must always ask you where you intend to spend the evening and with whom.
If the curfew fixed by your parents is broken, the host family must warn the director of the school on his emergency number so that he can report ‘absence or unexplained lateness’ to Nice police.
For this reason, if you think you are going to arrive late or have some sort of complication, phone your French family to warn them. This will avert any problems.
However, given the seriousness of any disturbances, if we ascertain that you have deliberately disobeyed your parents’ wishes we will proceed to remove you from your accommodation and from lessons, and you will not be entitled to claim any reimbursement of your stay.
Alcohol and drugs are of course completely forbidden.
If the family or the school catches you in possession of these substances in your accommodation or in class, this will also result in your expulsion.
In France the possession of drugs, even ‘soft drugs,’ is punished by the law.
Your attendance in lessons is compulsory. If, however, you are unwell, your host family will warn the office on the morning of your absence.
When you are doing independent activities (shopping with friends, the beach) during the afternoons or on Saturday or Sunday during the day, neither the school nor the host family is responsible for watching over you. The family must however ensure that you have returned home in good time for the evening meal.
Your attendance in class as well as your prompt arrival in lessons is compulsory.