France’s overseas cultural network

The Institut Français and the Alliance Française, promoting French culture overseas

The Institut Français, founded on 1 January 2011, now has sole responsibility for France’s cultural diplomacy. Under the auspices of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Institut is tasked with driving new ambitions for France’s projection of soft power, helping to enhance France’s influence abroad through greater dialogue with other cultures through a process of listening and partnership.

Founded in Paris in 1883, the Alliance Française is now the world’s leading cultural network, with more than 800 establishments in 137 countries across the five continents. Every year, over 500,000 people of all ages attend Alliance Française schools to learn French, and over 6 million people take part in the cultural activities on offer. The network is coordinated by the Alliance Française Foundation.

All Alliance Française establishments pursue three essential common missions:

  • offering French language lessons, in France and abroad, to all comers;
  • raising awareness of French and Francophone cultures;
  • promoting cultural diversity.

Updated: 2015