CAVILAM – Alliance française is a private institute of higher education in Vichy, in France’s central Auvergne region, within three hours of Paris and two hours of Lyon. The school is open year-round.
Vichy is known as the “Queen of Spas” and has attracted many a tourist keen to sample the wonders of its waters. Its mansions and Art Nouveau opera house combine with the reputed powers of its mineral springs, the appeal of the Allier river and the promise of long walks through leafy parks dating back to the time of Napoleon III to imbue the city with unmatched charm and evoke the perfect embodiment of the French way of life.
Vichy also boasts state-of-the-art sporting facilities situated in splendid natural surroundings. Our school sits in the heart of the city, a stone’s throw from the Parc des Célestins. The campus provides easy access by bike or by foot to a whole array of amenities including the railway station, cinema, banks, shops, restaurants and accommodation.
A centre of excellence
CAVILAM (Centre d’Approches Vivantes des Langues et des Médias) was established in 1964 by the municipality of Vichy and the universities of Clermont-Ferrand. It joined the international Alliance française network in 2012.
CAVILAM has become a global benchmark with an international reputation for its innovative approach to teaching, attracting nearly 5,000 students every year from over 120 nationalities, who come to study and enjoy the inviting environment and outstanding surroundings.
Located in a superb setting, a stone’s throw from the splendid Parc des Célestins on the banks of the Allier river, CAVILAM – Alliance française offers high-quality teaching in the comfort and elegance of a modern facility spanning 9,000 square metres and equipped with exceptional technological resources.
The institute partners on a regular basis with France’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Institut Français, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, French cultural services abroad and a number of media outlets including TV5 MONDE, Radio France International and Canal Académie.
French as a foreign language teaching award
In 2008 and 2012, the institute was awarded the official Qualité FLE distinction by France’s education authorities, receiving the highest score on every criterion audited (hospitality, facilities, training and administration).
Our quality commitment
- Reply to requests concerning information and enrolments within 48 hours
- Strive to ensure full satisfaction in every field, with a focus on hospitality and high-quality teaching alongside a cultural and sporting programme offering an insight into the French way of life
- Deal with any issues by considering the appropriate solutions
- Monitor each course daily and ensure ongoing contact with students and trainees
- Run the institute in a manner that promotes overall well-being and due consideration for employees
- Encourage the personal and professional development of members of staff
A language school for everyone
CAVILAM – Alliance française represents a crossroads of world cultures in France, attracting nearly 5,000 students every year from over 120 nationalities. The school is renowned for its innovative approach to teaching languages.
Our teachers are qualified and experienced in teaching French as a foreign language, as well as other modern languages. They use the latest methods and resources, all of which focus on the linguistic needs of students and lead to effective language learning, covering reading, writing, listening and speaking. Examples include working on authentic documents and situations requiring communicative skills, developing interactivity and creativity in the classroom, using task-based approaches and drawing on modern technologies applied to language acquisition.
The French Language Department
The French Language Department offers:
- French immersion courses for adults of all levels
- Training courses for teachers of French as a foreign language
- Preparation for French proficiency certifications (DELF/DALF, TCF, etc.)
- Language study trips for school groups
- Sports & Language summer courses for students aged 12-16
- French Language & Cuisine courses combining hands-on workshops, conferences and tours with plenty of opportunities to indulge
The Foreign Language Department
The Foreign Language Department caters to more than 1,700 students a year from France and other countries.
The department offers:
- Intensive courses in English, German, Spanish and Italian
- Longer, extensive courses (evenings or afternoons)
- Language classes tailored to specific job requirements
- One-to-one tuition
- Special courses for younger students (aged 10-17)
- Sports & Language courses for students during the summer holidays
- English courses for younger children (aged 6-9)
- An opportunity to take the internationally recognised Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)
CAVILAM – Alliance française offers a rich melting pot of interaction, language learning and cultural diversity built around our key values:
Excellence,teaching innovation and hospitality
From host families to an array of organised excursions and evening events, everything is geared towards helping you quickly settle into life in France and rapidly improve your language skills.
- The highest teaching standards (Qualité FLE award)
- The school is open throughout the year
- New courses begin each Monday
- Free, unlimited access to the inter-university media library
- A variety of accommodation options including host families, student residences, studio flats, furnished apartments and hotels
- French lifestyle to promote language immersion
- Personal pick-up and shuttle service from stations and airports
- Cultural programme
- Friendly, international environment
- A city designed with people in mind
- Readily available team on hand to help
- Individual support
- Quality commitment
We aim to provide knowledge of French and an understanding of French society. CAVILAM-Alliance française draws on the latest methodological innovations as part of a communicative, action-oriented approach to teaching that combines:
- Intensive learning through a variety of activities
- Techniques to promote the acquisition of communication skills
- Rewarding intercultural exchanges
- Upon their arrival, students are given a language test to ensure they are placed in the class best suited to their level and objectives. Course content and levels are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
The teaching staff takes into account each student’s individual learning pace and conducts a weekly review of the student’s progress. Our courses are monitored by the universities of Clermont-Ferrand to ensure we maintain the highest standards.
At the end of the course, all students receive two official documents:
- A certificate of attendance, indicating the student’s class performance and participation
- A certificate of proficiency, jointly signed by CAVILAM-Alliance française and Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand
This school offers programs in: