ACA @ The French Riviera


Join ACA for the Summer-of-a-Lifetime!

Welcome to ACA @ Nice, France!

Bienvenue a la Côte d'Azur!

Set on the picturesque, pebbled shores of the Mediterranean, Nice is a city of fascinating contrasts. Although it’s the largest city on the French Riviera, Nice actually belonged to Italy until 1860. It resonates with Italian-inspired architecture, food and culture! Magnificent museums honor those Romantic roots; others celebrate modern masterpieces created by artists like Chagall and Matisse. Nice and the surrounding Côte d’Azur create a quintessentially French experience.

Weekday Schedule

Classes run Monday through Friday.


At ACA, we believe safety comes first. That’s why we maintain an eight-to-one student-to-staff ratio – one of the lowest in the industry! This lets us offer unmatched attention and unique personalized programs.

As part of our commitment to student safety, ACA staff members live on every student-occupied floor and accompany students on all activities and excursions. ACA also uses chartered coach and taxi services to get around town, never public transportation. All ACA staff members are always equipped with cellphones.

For additional safety, ACA provides all students with local cellphones, allowing them to maintain easy contact with directors and staff!

The hotel adds an additional element of security, as well. The front desk is staffed 24 hours a day with trained personnel for your comfort and convenience.

Parents will be reassured to know that Nice is a friendly city with all the modern medical and safety resources one would expect of a popular European tourist destination.

Travel to Nice*

Students traveling to Nice will fly on ACA-staffed group flights from the New York area to Nice. 

We are also happy to make arrangements for students connecting to our ACA overseas group flight. Please contact the ACA office for additional information.

Students enrolled in the Greek Isles Extension will also fly on ACA group flights, accompanied by ACA staff.

Of course, parents are also welcome to bring students to the programs directly.

Please Note: For your safety and convenience, we require students traveling to our international programs to fly on ACA group flights.

*Transportation is not included in tuition.

Parent's Day

ACA is excited to host our Parent’s Day! We invite all parents to join us in Nice on Monday, July 8  for a special dinner & evening event with your student and ACA’s program. 

Our Electives

ACA’s Nice program combines a French language class, community service or your choice of select enrichment courses. Run by The University of Nice, the language classes benefit from being held in the midst of Nice’s French culture, adding depth to the conversation few conventional classrooms can match! Courses are offered only to ACA students and meet five days a week.

ACA courses in Nice are held at The University of Nice, a prestigious university well-known for its outstanding language program. Located in the midst of everything that makes Nice marvelous, it’s an ideal location for genuine cultural and language immersion! Excellent faculty and facilities mean every ACA student receives top-caliber enrichment, and that translates to a true learning advantage!

Students can earn up to 6 hours of applicable college credit upon successful completion of their coursework. In addition, high schools often grant credit for ACA courses as well. We’ll be happy to work with your school ahead of time to determine whether your ACA coursework qualifies for such credit.

College credits are conferred through Marist College (for an additional fee) and are transferable to most universities, according to their individual standards. Official university transcripts, including course credit and grades, are available to each ACA student. As an added benefit, ACA’s professors are always happy to write recommendation letters for college.

Elective Options: 

You will choose two of the following options:

  • French Language (3 College Credits)
  • College Electives (3 College Credits)
  • Culinary Arts
  • Community Service
  • Outdoor Adventure

*Please Note: There is a fee for the credit option.

Choose 2 Electives:

Each weekday, you’ll attend French classes geared to your skill level, learning to master conversational and written communication as you practice linguistic structures and tenses, with a focus on proper pronunciation. Students with more advanced skills can focus on more complex sentence structure and verb tenses. The emphasis is on reading, writing and comprehension.

But most of all, you have the entire city of Nice as your classroom! And whether you’re a total beginner or practically fluent, you’ll be amazed at how much better your French becomes and just how much fun learning a language can be when you immerse yourself in the culture.

The program offers three levels of classes to choose from, with placement dependent upon previous French-language experience, as well as your own comfort level:

Elementary French

The beginning class covers basic pronunciation, sentence structure, numbers, present-tense verb conjugation and the introduction of the past tense.

Intermediate French

This class picks up where the elementary class ends, covering more in-depth use of the past tense, along with the imperfect, future and conditional tenses, as well as subjunctives.

Advanced French

The ideal class for students who desire a greater proficiency in French conversation as well as composition. The course employs readings and discussions on contemporary subjects to put your speaking and writing ability to use.

French Conversation

Encouraging basic conversation, this course will take your French beyond the grammar and language focus of intro classes to the next level of fluency! Learn how to order from a menu or shop with conversational confidence. Discuss French periodicals, appreciate popular French music and discuss the lyrics. A fun, informative way to absorb and appreciate a great Romantic language! (Intermediate and Advanced students only)

History comes to life in this incredible class, with Nice itself as the center of your study! In short lectures held twice each week, you learn about the diverse influences that shaped France. You’ll also see how this created a unique environment that encouraged creativity and made France one of the world’s great sources of art and intellect. Three days a week, you visit sites discussed in class, an experience beyond any textbook! This is real interactive learning!

This inspiring look at French art and architecture will introduce you to world-renowned galleries and take you on tours of legendary buildings. Focusing on the accomplishments of great French artists and architects, you’ll enhance your understanding of the French influence on painting, sculpture and construction, which still resonates with architects and engineers worldwide. Marvel at the diverse influences – Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque – still seen in buildings today. Plus, you’ll examine the works of more modern masters who have influenced the appearance of contemporary skylines around the world.

Getting Involved, Giving Back

“Only a life lived in the service of others is a life worth living.” So said Albert Einstein, and we think you’ll agree that these opportunities provide rewarding ways to spend some of your time, reaching out to the less-advantaged residents of Barcelona. ACA’s carefully crafted program exposes you to multiple aspects of service, ensuring fulfilling projects that leave a positive mark. Earn 30 hours of community service in three weeks. Upon completion, every participant receives an official certificate highlighting the total number of hours volunteered and projects completed.

Examples of ACA Service-Learning Projects Include:

  • Helping teach English to Spanish children
  • Beach Clean Ups
  • Distributing food at food pantries
  • Playing games and engaging in conversation at a senior center  

Please Note: Public transportation accompanied by ACA staff is permitted if you are enrolled in this course.

The French know football! Here’s your chance to really kick it, français style. A top local coach will help you take your game to the next level, with focused practice sessions designed to help you improve footwork, passing, endurance – all the skills essential to winning soccer! Whether you’re a star player or just lacing them up for the first time, you’re going to enjoy taking the field in France!

Catch some waves, hit the trail for a hike, or spend some time in the woods. If your idea of a day at the beach means a good game of volleyball after a couple hours of surfing, if you can’t imagine heading over the hills unless you’re ripping along on your mountain bike, if a river cruise means you need a canoe or kayak, then this is the course for you. Anyone who would rather rock climb and shoot the rapids than just lie back and take it easy will want to sign up!

What happens when you put French and Italian cooking across the table from one another for a few centuries? You get the best of both traditions – and the result is delicious! Here’s your chance to savor the flavors of Nice, maybe the most unique in Europe, and work with professional chefs who know what it takes to make unforgettable meals. Save room for dessert! Please note: This course gives you the chance to work with culinary instructors preparing authentic gourmet meals.

Get a close look at the way the world really works! Learn how world markets interact and how investors learn to profit as a result. The euro has changed the way the European Union, and therefore the world, does business! Examine the interaction of currencies, which play a huge role in the health and wealth of the world’s economy. You’ll learn about the distinct challenges of running a successful company in the dynamic international arena.

Improve your picture-taking ability in the French Riviera, a region that demands to be photographed. The spectacular city of Nice and the breathtaking Côte d’Azur provide you with centuries of artistic and architectural beauty – remarkable subject matter that will give you plenty of inspiration! This course will help you develop an understanding of how to create unforgettable photos using proper lighting and composition. Please note: A darkroom is not featured in this course, and students must supply their own cameras.

Longing to indulge your creative side? If so, this course is ideal for the artist inside you. Select either the drawing or the painting concentration, then view legendary works of French art and use them to inspire your own skills. Pursue painting and watercolor techniques, or try your hand at both surreal and traditional French-inspired drawing and sketching. See if you can tap your inner Monet or Matisse!

What better place than France to learn how today’s fashion concepts become tomorrow’s “must-have” trends? You’ll peek behind the curtain to discover the storied worlds of modeling and fashion are not just about glitz and glamour. Learn how to draw different garments and suggest bold styles. Examine how fabric, texture and color come to life on the catwalk. You’ll study the French fashion industry firsthand with field trips to fashion hot spots throughout the Côte d’Azur! Plus, you’ll get the chance to design and develop a fashion idea of your very own. Très chic, indeed!

* A supplemental supply or lab fee will apply.

Cosmopolitan Mélange of French and Italian Culture

The vieux and nouveau blend seamlessly in Nice, a seafront city where grand Belle Èpoque façades co-exist elegantly with modern minimalist structures. Here, you’ll find sweet scents at legendary parfumeries like Molinard while fresh-picked flowers perfume the air at the thriving street markets. Get swept away by the sounds of the annual Nice Jazz Festival. Sample delicious international cuisines, or savor local specialties like socca. Stroll the narrow streets of pastel-hued Vieux (Old) Nice, then turn the corner to experience the 21st century shopping splendor of Avenue Jean Médecin. The South of France never ceases to astonish!

You can count on outstanding accommodations – this is ACA!

You can count on outstanding accommodations – this is ACA! Your French home, an upscale hotel, is a charming landmark located in the heart of Nice’s cosmopolitan old town. It’s an ideal location for exploring this incredible city, and it’s also a great place to relax after you’ve had a day basking in the French sun. The hotel’s idyllic location makes for an unforgettable experience combined with picturesque ocean views! Of course, the building is secure and supervised at all times. Clean, comfortable rooms have daily housekeeping service, air conditioning, and WiFi. You get all the comforts of home you’ve come to expect from ACA!  Of course, ACA staff live on-site, ensuring a safe, comfortable stay. 

Dining the French Way

ACA serves up amazing meals throughout your stay in the French Riviera! Start your days at the hotel breakfast buffet, a serious spread of eggs, cereal, pastries, baked treats, and fresh juices and fruits. You’ll have no problem fueling up for the day.

For dinner Monday through Friday, you’ll enjoy ACA’s exclusive Dining-on-the-Town-Plan, which lets you choose from a variety of ACA-selected restaurants – and it’s included in your tuition! Whether you want to tackle some local delicacies or would rather stick with American-style favorites, you’re sure to find a restaurant that suits your taste.

Once a week, if you want, you can also venture beyond the Dining-on-the-Town-Plan and visit additional restaurants of your choice. It’s an additional opportunity to sample outstanding local restaurants featuring authentic French cuisine. Need help translating the menu? Don’t worry, ACA staff are always at the restaurant ready to recommend a few favorites.

Around Town & Beyond

Take a flavor-filled walk through the lively street markets of Vieux Nice. Browse chic boutiques and soak up the sun on the city’s popular pebbled beaches. Discover quaint plazas, inspiring galleries and magnificent museums. Sample traditional French specialties at truly authentic bistros, but be sure to take a bite out of Nice’s delicious Italian heritage. Stop into popular, wood-fired pizzerias and savor late-night glaces, or ice creams, at the family-owned Fenocchio in the city’s old town. Of course, a leisurely stroll down the legendary Promenade des Anglais, one of Europe’s most famous boulevards, is a must!

From the modern Musée d’Art Modern et d’Art Contemporain to the Asian Musée des Arts Asiatiques, from the timeless splendor of Matisse to the inspiration of long-time Riviera resident Chagall, you’ll be at one of Europe’s cultural epicenters.

Nice is famous for its dazzling summer sunshine, gorgeous seafront and pristine Mediterranean waters. Stretch out on the pebbled beach lining the Promenade des Anglais, strap on some rollerblades or take a jog.

Pay attention while you stroll the streets; Nice’s stunning architecture features Belle Époque gems from the 19th century, as well as modern and minimalist structures that simply amaze. Looking fabulous is a way of life in France. The elegant Galeries Lafayette department store and plenty of designer boutiques on Rue Paradis and Avenue de Suède line the streets, making it easy to keep up with the latest looks.

Ooh la la! Nighttime in Nice is vibrant, colorful – and unforgettable! Take in the live show at Théâtre National de Nice, check out a nocturnal concert at Palais Nikaïa, or simply stroll along the Promenade des Anglais. Café terraces on Cours Saleya are great for sipping beverages and indulging in a favorite French sport – people-watching! Stop in one of the city’s ice cream parlors for a scoop, then amble through the beautifully lit streets of Vieux Nice. This spectacular city is a pedestrian’s paradise. Put on your most stylish walking shoes and take it all in!

Afternoon & Evening Activities

  • Soak up the sun and stretch out on the pebbled beach lining the Promenade des Anglais, 
  • Get to know Nice at its best during ACA’s welcome scavenger hunt!
  • Be part of Nice’s Sizzling Summer Celebrations at July’s annual Nice Jazz Festival, one of Europe’s largest at 75 days long.  
  • Explore Le Parc Phoenix, a magical park with 17 acres at the Promenade’s western edge, it houses thousands of native plants and exotic birds.
  • Hike up to Nice’s northern quarter for Le Parc des Arènes de Cimiez, site of Roman ruins and a preserved amphitheater that hosted the Nice Jazz Festival each July for over 30 years. 
  • Be sure to snap up soaps crafted from the local lavender or pick up traditional terra cotta Provençal pottery.
  • Shop til you drop at the trendy stores on Avenue Jean Médecin, the city’s main shopping street and is called “The Avenue” by residents
  • Hoop it up at the ACA 3-on-3 basketball tournament and find out who rules the court
  • Nice comes to life at the Night Market in the heart of Old Town. Spend an evening strolling through the stalls admiring the pottery, paintings, and jewelry and talking to local artisans. 
  • Catch a sunset at the hill of the Chateau de Nice; the view of Nice doesn’t get much better than this.
  • Savor a latte while exploring the scene at the famed Old Nice
  • Score a goal in a pick up fútbol game with your new friends!
  • Monaco– Grand prix racing, famed casinos and a bastion for beautiful people – this independent nation is ready to give you the royal treatment!
  • Cannes– Famed for its international film festival. Its Boulevard de la Croisette, curving along the coast, is lined with sandy beaches, upmarket boutiques and palatial hotels. It’s also home to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, a modern building complete with red carpet and Allée des Étoiles – Cannes’ walk of fame.
  • Antibes & Juan-les-Pins– Often called twin towns, Antibes and Juan-les-Pins are distinctly different, each with charms worth visiting. Antibes is renowned for the Musée Picasso, a 14th century château where the famed artist once lived that now houses more than 300 of his works. A 10-minute drive takes you to Marineland, where visitors can get up close and personal with sharks, penguins and giant turtles. Juan-les-Pins is where waterskiing was invented. It shines during the summer with bustling beaches, boutiques, restaurants and nightlife.
  • Eaz– A medieval village on a scenic road winding through the mountains, Eze is famous for breathtaking hilltop sea views. The town’s Jardin Exotique is known for an incredible collection of scented plants. The parfumerie Fragonard maintains a famous perfume, soap and cosmetics factory. Eze’s many shops, art galleries, cafes, hotels and restaurants make it a favorite destination for international tourists.

Staying in Shape, à la Française

No need to fear that those buttery, fresh-baked croissants and crispy pommes frites will pack on the pounds. ACA makes it easy to maintain your fitness routine, or even kick- start a new exercise habit! You’ll have access to a swimming pool, weight room, treadmills, Stairmasters, and favorite exercise machines and equipment throughout your stay in Nice. If you need some competition to fuel your fitness efforts, team up with new friends for a game of soccer, tennis or beach volleyball. If you would rather get out on the town, just join ACA staff for a sightseeing stroll through the streets of Nice – always a great way to burn calories and get an up-close-and-personal look at French culture.


Complete your ACA Nice experience with exciting weekend adventures.

St tropez (3 Week Program)

An international tourist mecca, St-Tropez is famous for anchoring the Côte d’Azur legend. In St-Tropez, everything is famous, beginning with its beaches. There are at least 40 on its peninsula: Tahiti, Pampelonne, Moorea, and Bouillabaisse, to name a few. There is the tree-lined Place des Lices, where movie stars and local stars gather to play a game of pétanque or sip Pastis. St-Tropez captivated the show-biz set in the 50s, which transformed it from a charming Riviera port to a celebrity playground. Put on your sunglasses, stroll the streets, and imagine that you’re one of the world’s favorite movie stars – this is the perfect setting!

Ventimiglia, Italy (3 Week program)

The first town you reach when crossing the border into Italy from France, Ventimiglia stands on the Italian side of the Riviera. In fact, one could walk from the French town of Menton across into Italy. A town that dates back to Roman times – and where you can still see a preserved 2nd century Roman theater – Ventimiglia is best known for its outdoor market, which woos shoppers in search of fine clothing and leather goods. The city’s also known for amazing Mediterranean views and a graceful boardwalk. A four-mile drive east of the city takes you to Giardino Hanbury, one of Europe’s largest and most noted botanical collections.

Paris (3 days)
(2 & 3 week programS)

Soak in the sights and sounds of this amazing city on the Seine. You’ll visit many fascinating places, such as…

The Louvre– The world’s most famous art museum, and home of the one and only Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

Eiffel Tower– Not only will you see it up close, but you’ll also travel to the observatory at its top for a
breathtaking view of Paris.

Notre Dame Cathedral– One of the world’s most majestic cathedrals, you’ll marvel at this immense structure with its Gothic architecture and beautifully crafted rose windows. Is that a hunchback ringing those bells?

L’Arc de Triomphe– The world-famous landmark from Napoleon’s imperial capital, this beautiful arch marks the place where twelve avenues converge in the shape of a star.

The Latin Quarter– In this cultural hub for students, teachers and artists, you’ll explore street markets, bookstalls and boutiques. Shop at one of the many cafes for a croissant or “chocolat” and do some prime people watching.

Seine Floodlit River Cruise– A moonlight cruise in a sleek Bateau Mouche on this unforgettable river will
give you a nighttime view of Paris you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

Musée d’Orsay– This gorgeous converted old train station now houses one of the most awesome collections of French Impressionism in the world, featuring artists like Monet, Renoir and Cezanne.

Champs Elysées– One of the most elegant streets in the world, this is the spot for some prime shopping, where Parisians and visitors alike come to see and be seen.

Please Note: The excursion to Paris replaces the Seaside Weekend for students who select this excursion. 

(Supplemental fee of $795 including roundtrip airfare to Paris)

French riviera Seaside Weekend (2 & 3 WEEK PROGRAMS)

Aquasplash Water Park– Cool off at the mega water park of the COTE D’AZUR! Check out the fun rides, a wave pool, slides and much more.

St-Paul-de-Vence– An artistic heritage defines St-Paul-de-Vence, a charming hilltop village dotted with dozens of art galleries. With breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and sea, this medieval town caught the eye of the showbiz set decades ago, putting it on the French Riviera map. And while its cobblestone streets get crowded during busy tourist seasons, St-Paul-de-Vence is worth a stop largely because one of the region’s finest art museums, Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght, is housed here. Its rotating 20th century collection is regarded as one of Europe’s largest and most treasured.

The Greek Isles Extension

Add 5 days to your European Adventure

Add to your European experience and explore the wonders of Greece, from Athens to Santorini to Mykonos!

You’ll remain in the secure company of trusted ACA staff members, as well as many of the friends you’ve made on your ACA program. Of course, you’ll also enjoy the comfortable accommodations and superior guidance you’ve come to expect from ACA.

The best part? ACA students from our European adventures will be together for our time in Greece! (supplemental tuition required)

Catch some rays on the black sands of Santorini, check out the scene at the party resorts of Mykonos, and soak in the rich historic legacy. It’s all possible in the fabulous Greek Isles. You’ll visit . . . 




What Alumni are Saying

"I spent two of the best summers of my life on ACA trips! Both European programs were incredible. I made amazing friendships and memories that will last forever!"

New York

"ACA was amazing, seriously it was SICK!!! It was unbelievable! I love my new friends and definitely all the staff! I am so glad that i was able to experience ACA!"

"My trip to Europe was absolutely amazing. Being able to experience a cultural immersion while still in high school was the best experience of my life!"


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