FAQ

Preparation before arrival

I am a European Union (EU) national, do I need a visa?

You don’t need a visa for a short stay (90 days) if you are an EU national, from the European Economic Area, Switzerland. 

Do I need a visa ?

I need a visa, how do I obtain one?

For a stay of less than 3 months, a « short stay» or « Schengen » visa is sufficient to do a language course at CIEL Bretagne

The « long stay studies » visa, for a stay of more than 3 months, can be obtained after registration in a French further education establishment and validation of your study plan by the local Campus France office.  The demand for a visa must be made at the French Consulate or French Embassy in your country of origin. To obtain your visa you will need to provide certain documents.

Steps to ask for a visa. 

Attention: Once you arrive in France, if you have a « short stay » or « Shengen » visa and you would like to obtain a « long stay » visa, you will have to return to your country to make the application.

How can I travel to Brest?

The town of Brest has an International airport aswell as a TGV train station. It is also possible to come by ferry from Cork, Plymouth or Bilbao to Roscoff and drive or take a bus to Brest.  These ferry routes run from April onwards.

More information


→ Registration

What is the enrolment procedure?

Step 1: Choose the course or courses and accommodation for the dates you would like and put them in your basket.

Step 2: Validate your basket contents (there is the possibility to add or change the courses and accommodation)

Step 3: Pay the deposit or the total amount on line (by credit card or bank transfer)

Step 4: Send the level test, questionnaire, needs analysis and host family questionnaire to us.

 What is the date limit for enrolment?

We accept enrolment all year provided there are places available on the course that you are interested in.  However we advise you to enrol at least 2 weeks before the start of your course.  

How do I pay for my course?

Possibility 1: Pay the total amount of the stay when you enrol.

Possibility 2: Pay a deposit of  153€ on enrolment + pay the  remaining balance 1 month before the start of your stay.

You can pay by credit card (except American Express), by bank transfer or by cheque in Euros, made payable to Ciel Bretagne.  All payments should be made in Euros.

For all payments by bank transfer, please send confirmation by email to: solene.arzur@ciel.fr


→ Course

What is the minimum age required to study at Ciel Bretagne?

To do a course in an international group, (an intensive course or oral communication course), you must be at least 16 years old. However, courses for school groups are open from 14 years old and our one to one courses from 6 years old (initiation to the French language and preparation to attend a school in France).

What is the minimum level required to register for a course?

There is no minimum level required. The Ciel Bretagne offers courses from a beginner level (A1.1) to an advanced level (C2).  We also have a long experience in teaching French to people whose mother tongue and written language is very different to French e.g. Speakers of Arab, Chinese, Japanese etc.

When do the courses start?

Courses start every Monday for all levels except beginner.

Dates for beginner courses: 07 January – 04 March – 6 May – 01 July – 29 July – 2 September – 14 October 2019

What is the maximum and minimum length for a course?

A course lasts a minimum of one week.  There is no maximum duration. The length of your stay should take into account your availability and your objectives. We advise a minimum of 4 weeks to see real progress in all the skills.

How many students are there per class?

Our international groups (intensive courses and oral communication classes) never exceed 12 students to enable real progress.

Which nationalities are most represented?

The nationalities the most represented are Swiss, British, Russian and Mexican.

How do you evaluate the level of the students?

A written level test is sent to you on enrolment (to be completed on line if you enrol on our website or sent by email if you enrol by another way. It is composed of 8 open questions and covers levels from A1.1 to C2.  It allows the director of studies to analyse your knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and spelling aswell as your overall comprehension and writing skills. Your oral skills are evaluated in class by your teacher during class the first morning.

How are the teachers recruited?

All the teachers at Ciel Bretagne have a Masters degree in teaching French as a foreign language and at least 5 years teaching experience. They master the CEFR levels   (Common European Framework for Language) and know all the different teaching materials which exist for French as a foreign language.

They are chosen not only for their professional skills, but also for their interpersonal qualities and their ability to work as a team.

What do I need to bring on the first day of class?

You only need a pen and paper. If you are a beginner or elementary level a small alphabetic notebook is very useful for noting vocabulary. During the welcome meeting on the first Monday morning you will be given a folder in which you can keep your notes and any course materials given by your teacher.

What do I receive at the end of the course?

At the end of every course, providing you have attended regularly, you will receive a certificate.  This document indicates the type of course, the level, the number of hours   and the duration of the course.

For a course of more than 4 weeks, the certificate will give the level of French on arrival at Ciel Bretagne and the level reached at the end. For students of long courses the presence in class is also given.

A detailed individual report card (giving progress in the 4 skills, marks of the weekly tests, teachers comments etc.) is available on demand.  You should request this report from the director of studies when you arrive at Ciel Bretagne (it is provided systematically for long duration courses, closed groups and grant holders.

What happens in the case of absence?

In the case of absence, your course is neither reimbursed nor caught up.   If your absence is justified by a medical certificate, an exam, or an appointment with the OFII (French Immigration and Integration Office), you should provide a copy of the document to the Director of Studies so that the absence is not counted.

In the case of a long period of absence, your place in your class can no longer be guaranteed and we cannot provide a certificate at the end of your stay.  You can however integrate another class depending on your level.

If you have to abandon your course because of serious illness, a refund could be made on presentation of a medical certificate.

Can I take holiday?

If you are enrolled on a long duration intensive course you can take the following holiday:

·  1 week of holiday for a stay of 24 weeks,

·  2 weeks of holiday for a stay of 36 weeks. 

What is the programme for the intensive courses?

Our school has created an efficient programme which will enable you to progress rapidly and acquire the knowledge and skills which can be directly used in daily life situations. This programme adheres to the Common European Framework for Language (CEFR). For each course level it defines the skills of written and oral communication, the linguistic skills (grammar, syntax, vocabulary, phonetics and spelling) and socio-cultural aspects which should be acquired.

What course material will I use during the course?

The teachers at Ciel Bretagne work with teaching materials which are up-dated every year and choose the tools which are best adapted to the needs of the student and the class:

·  French as a foreign language students books,

·  reference books for grammar, vocabulary, spelling, written and oral communication, literature etc.

·  authentic material which may be written, audio or video from newspapers, magazines, reports, documentaries, interviews, short films etc.

·  games, songs, films,

·  multimedia exercises developed by the director of studies and the team  since 1998: polarfle, lexiquefle, phonetique.free,

·  exercises for the preparation of DILF and DELF developed by the teaching team since 2007 which can be found on the internet site of Ciel Bretagne: Exercises online

Are the teaching materials included in the price of the course?

Yes the price of the course includes the teaching materials.

Can I extend my stay?

Yes, by contacting the person in charge of enrolments and accommodation.

I would like to add a class to my course, is it possible?

Yes, only if you have enrolled in an intensive course.  In this case you can add an oral communication class or individual classes provided there are available places.



→ The school

How do I get to the school?

The number 11 and 14 buses, run by the company Bibus, come to CIEL Bretagne.  During the summer period (July-August), Bibus run a special shuttle bus for Ciel Bretagne which runs between the University residences and the school.  This bus uses normal bus tickets and stops at Place de la Liberté, Place de Strasbourg then the regular stops of the number 14 bus.

Is there internet access?

Yes, free WIFI is available throughout the school.  You will receive the access codes during the welcome meeting the first day.  They can be found in the booklet which will be given to you then.  

Is there a restaurant at the school or do I have to bring a packed lunch?

Ciel Bretagne has its own restaurant-cafeteria where you can have lunch. It provides different meal options and sandwiches (sandwiches must be ordered before 10am). You can also bring your own meal.  Microwave ovens are available for reheating.

If I have my own vehicle, can I park at the school?

If you come by car, motorbike or bicycle you can park free of charge at the school which has 2 large car parks and a place for bicycles.

Is the school closed at any particular period during the year?

Yes, Ciel Bretagne closes for 2 weeks for the Christmas vacation.  However the school does take closed groups (school or adult) who cannot come at another time of the year or who wish to learn French and discover the festive season in a host family.

During the rest of the year the school remains open for courses as normal.



→ Accommodation

What type of accommodation do you recommend?

We recommend accommodation in a host family for total immersion, your progress in French will be much better!  75% of our students choose this type of accommodation,   23% choose University residences and 2% choose another type of accommodation.

What are the arrival and departure days for the accommodation?

Arrivals are on Sunday and departures are on Saturday for all the types of accommodation. However you can add extra nights, (payable per night) depending on your needs.

I have chosen accommodation in a host family, what do I have to bring?

You only need to bring your personal belongings.  Your host family provide bed linen.  Which will be changed once a week.  Washing details should be discussed directly with your host family.

Where are the host families situated?

All our host families are situated at most 30 minutes by bus from the school.

Does the host family take care of transfer from the station or airport?

Yes, whether you arrive by plane or train, your host family will come to collect you free of charge.  However you must inform them as soon as possible of your travel plans so that they can organise to pick you up.