The Alliance Française (French pronunciation: [aljɑ̃s fʁɑ̃sɛz], French Alliance), or AF, is an international organization that aims to promote French language and culture around the world.
The Alliance was created in Paris on 21 July 1883 by a group of eminent men, including the scientist Louis Pasteur, the diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps, the writers Jules Verne and Ernest Renan, and the publisher Armand Colin.
It finances most of its activities from the fees it receives from its courses and from rental of its installations.
More than 440,000 students learn French at one of the centres run by the Alliance, whose network of schools includes:
- a centre in Paris, Alliance Française Paris Ile-de-France
- locations throughout France for foreign students and
- 1,016 locations in 135 countries.
The organizations outside Paris are local, independently run franchises. Each has a committee and a president. The Alliance Française brand is owned by the Paris centre. In many countries, the Alliance Française of Paris is represented by a Délégué général. The French Government also runs 150 separate French Cultural Institutes that exist to promote French language and culture.