What is the Alliance Française?
The Alliance Française is a world-wide nonprofit network devoted to promoting French language and culture. Its World Headquarters is based in Paris, France.
Created in Paris on 21 July 1883 under the name "Alliance française pour la propagation de la langue nationale dans les colonies et à l'étranger" (French alliance for the propagation of the national language in the colonies and abroad)and now known simply as the Alliance Française, the network has 850 centers in 137 countries on five continents.
Why choose the Alliance Française de Portland?
The Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization which means that rather then focus on making commercial profit it is dedicated to fulfilling its mission. It is a membership-based organization so anyone can join to support it and participate in its growth.
It is not just a simple school. It serves the francophile community by offering a wide variety of cultural and social events including lectures, cultural outings, art talks, dinners, conersation groups, etc. When you choose to become a student with us you will become part of a vibrant community of people who share your goals and interests.
You will benefit from:
- French language classes offered year-round.
- Full immersion classes for adults and children.
- Highly qualified instructors. Most of the Alliance's teachers have masters’ degrees, are native-fluent and specialize in FLE – teaching French as a foreign language.
- International scale: AFDC courses follow the CEF Global Scale (Common European Framework for the Learning of Foreign Languages)
- Multi-faceted learning experience: enrich your learning with themed workshops, a full library/médiathèque and cultural events.
- All French classes are held in Full French Immersion. You put French language into action from day one!
- We cultivate French language and culture with dynamic and current multi-media content.
- Groups accomodate up to 10 students for optimal interaction between students and native French-speaking instructor.
There are over 1,000 Alliances in the world. Of 100 Alliances in the U.S., the Portland group is the only Alliance in Oregon and ranks 8th in the United States.
The Alliance Française has no political or religious affiliation and welcomes students, members, and volunteers of any age, sex, creed, race, color, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin.
If the Alliance Française is a nonprofit, why do you charge for services?
The Alliance Française is headquartered in Paris and has close to 1,000 chapters worldwide. Individual chapters are self-funded organizations with 501(c)3 status which gives an exemption from federal taxes and qualifies them as nonprofit organizations. However, it is necessary to charge for many services in order to cover the overhead that keep us in operation.
In order to continue to serve the community, we depend on donations, student enrollment and membership dues.
I have studied French before. How do I know which class is right for me?
Visit our Assessing Your Level Information page or find your level with our online assessment test (opens in a new window). After our local placement specialist receives your written test electronically, she will connect with you by phone to complete the oral assessment and will make recommendations for appropriate classes.
How much do your classes cost?
I have a change in my schedule. Can I cancel my group class?
You can withdraw from the class any time. However, since the Alliance establishes class schedules based on enrollments at the start of a session, our cancellation policy is restricted as described below:
Class withdrawals must be made in writing, submitted to the Alliance office, and should specify the submitter’s request for one of the following options:
1. A refund (terms)
2. A course credit valid for one year that can be applied towards the purchase of future classes. The credit is non-transferable and non-refundable.
3. Agreement to offer potential refunds as a donation to the 501c3 organization (i.e., tax deductible).
In order to be eligible for a full refund, minus 4% credit card processing fees, the cancellation must be made before the first week of the term.
In order to be eligible for a partial refund, minus 4% credit card processing fees, the cancellation must be made not later then the third week of the term.
For cancellations prior to mid-term, class credits can be issued for use at a future session. Classes held before the withdrawal notice is submitted will be deducted from the class credit.
No refund or credit is issued after mid-term (for 10 week classes), or after half of the classes have been held (for shorter series of classes).
What is your refund policy for group classes?
For 10-week classes, any cancellations prior to the first class being held are refunded in full, minus a 4% credit card fee (if the student paid by credit card).
Alternatively, the student can choose to apply a credit of 100% of the payment toward a future class. Please note: The credit must be used within one year from the date of the withdrawal and is non-refundable once a credit has been selected.
If a student cancels in the first or second week of classes and before the second class is actually held, the options are to choose a 90% credit toward a future class or a 70% cash refund. If a student cancels after the second class but before the third is held, the options are to choose an 80% credit toward a future class or a 50% cash refund.
Cash refunds will not issued for cancellations after the first three class sessions, regardless of how many classes were attended by the student.
The best option for withdrawals prior to mid-term is the class credits for use at a future session (classes held before withdrawal notice will be deducted from the class credit).
I scheduled a private class and I can't attend it. How can I cancel it?
Students in private lessons must notify their teacher AND the administration by phone or email by 5 PM the day before the scheduled session regarding any changes in schedule. After that time, there will be a penalty deduction of half the regular lesson time (e.g. 30 minutes for 1 hour lesson).
Call the office at 503.223.8388 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I missed a class. Do you offer make-up sessions?
We offer several complimentary make-up options for missed classes. Makeups must take place prior to the next regularly scheduled group class. Note that missed classes are not refunded or pro-rated.
For those in the Saison series, you may attend any other class of the same level (that same week) to cover what you missed. For 101-105 Saison students, if a class is not available or if the time is not convenient, we offer one complimentary one-on-one make-up lessons (30 minutes) per term. Schedule your make-up lesson with the office and complete it before your next class. Please note that these complimentary sessions are on a teacher-available basis.
For make-ups of thematic classes, you may attend any other thematic class – although the material may not be the same. This option still provides the group class and conversation experience.
Do you offer payment plan for group classes?
We do offer a special FlexPay Plan: Pay $155 to register (plus applicable books and membership fees) and then pay the balance at mid-term. Note: Earlybird or Senior discounts may not be taken with the FlexPay plan. FlexPay is applicable only to 10-week classes. Contact our office for details.