If you’ve had it with academic French, and you want to practice the language in an informal setting where you can talk the REAL French, while putting your shy aside, then a language exchange might be the thing for you. Meet in a cafe (public spaces are encouraged) and have a chat with a local. Split the time between your native language and theirs.
MeetUp is a French/English language swap event taking place every week from 7 to 9pm in some of the best venues across Paris. It is only for native English speakers and native French speakers (or bilingual people). Practicing is the best way to learn French and you’ll discover French culture with locals.
Franglish is a bit more commercial, in that it makes a small profit to organize these little get to togethers, and is purely an English-French exchange. You speak seven minutes in French, seven minutes in English, but switch tables and meet new French native speakers. It’s very much a social event – find out where and when they’re meeting on their website. You’ll pay 10 euros, but that includes one drink.
Apart from these mediums, one need not a formal program to establish a language exchange. I think you’ll find a fair number of people attempting to speak to you in your language who take the opportunity of a foreigner to practice themselves. Why not turn this into a chat over a café? You’ll also find offers on Craigslist…LeBonCoin….etc. but we STRONGLY advise you meet in public if you go that route…