The full-immersion junior high or high school programme will be offered in the town of Bayonne, near Biarritz in the south-west of France, in partnership with three local boarding schools: Lycée Catholique Saint Louis Villa Pia; Lycée Catholique Largenté; and Collège catholique La Salle Saint Bernard.
Students have the choice of an academic term, semester of year, with entry from September or January. Junior high school programmes are available for students aged 11 years old and above, while the high school course starts from 15.
France Langue is also offering a two-week French language preparation course at its Biarritz school to transition students into the high school immersion.
Mathilde Brouillet, Development Manager at France Langue, advised StudyTravel Magazine that increasing demand from key agents was a major factor in the development of the programme.
Commenting on the location, she said, "We decided on Bayonne as a good destination because it is a small town, safe and has Catholic private institutions with a very good reputation and success rate." She added that the town was relatively easy access for most of the countries that were likely to request the programme, and said that France Langue was targeting Ireland, Spain and Latin America in particular.
Mathilde said that the secondary school immersion course had three major benefits over a regular junior language course: more practice of the French language from mixing with domestic students; study of academic topics in French, producing a better awareness of French history and culture; and longer immersion of at least a term, leading to better progress.
Meanwhile, the new university pathway course will be offered at France Langue Bordeaux. The one-year preparation will include assistance with the university application process and entrance examinations, and students can apply for three public or private universities anywhere in the country.
"When we first decided to launch the pathway programme, it was mostly to attract students from countries that required the enrolment into a university or private school to get a visa," explained Mathilde.
"Also, we thought France and its higher education system can be a good option for students looking for a high-quality degree at a low price. France and its 'education for all' policy makes it a good alternative to programmes in the USA or the UK that are much more expensive."
France welcomed 309,642 international students to its higher education institutions in 2015/16, according to figures released by Campus France earlier in the year.
Agents have commented in StudyTravel Magazine that German language pathway programmes have increasingly become a way for them to work within Germany's similarly free public higher education system, a trend that may now develop in France.
"I think just with many trends, agents always try to have the right programmes to fit with the students' actual interests, therefore I understand why agents are going along that path."
Established more than 40 years ago, France Langue has four schools in France as well as a centre in the Caribbean island of Martinique and offers a range of French language programmes including professional, exam preparation, juniors, au pair and French plus.
By Matthew Knott