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  • Paris: Sacre Coeur

    Paris: Sacre Coeur

Learn French in Paris (Les Halles): Student Reviews

Paris A level Revision Course

Revision Course / 1 week
Eleanor Ruskin    

I was so impressed with the Paris A level revision language course. I’d hoped that the lessons weren’t going to be like school with just endless grammar and exercises and my hopes were fulfilled. The A level lessons being in French were great revision and practice for both listening and speaking confidence and the cultural topics were so interesting: French schooling, political system etc.

The experience exceeded all my expectations!

I was so impressed with my lessons: On the Paris A level revision course there was only me and two other students so we were able to get to know each other really well and have lots of attention from the teacher. The lessons were so interesting, much better than school! I found cultural topics such as the French political system and education system so interesting, and learning about it in French help the with the language skills as well. I really liked the relaxed feeling in the class.

The language school’s building and location in Paris could not be faulted, I loved being so close to the metro, shops and le Centre Pompidou – such a nice central area of Paris!

I only had a week on the A level course in Paris and was staying with a French friend, so I had visits planned for me, however had I had longer I would’ve loved to go on an excursion planned by the school – they looked like a really good blend of the famous Paris tourist attractions and experiencing typical French life – very impressive!

French Mini Group Course

Nicola Reed
12 weeks in Paris (Les Halles)
Mini Group Course    

I wanted to improve both spoken and written French, grammar and vocab skills – everything frankly!

I was delighted with the college, well located in Paris – easily accessed and equally easy to reach all the main sights.  The staff, all very professional and native speakers of French were wonderful and the school staff generally (office staff etc were all lovely too).

The lessons were great.  I really appreciated the small class sizes (max 6 per group).  CESA explained that you get more teacher time in Paris (Les Halles) because the class sizes are so small, but of course you pay for the privilege.  If you can, do it!  Smaller classes, well prepared teachers and really interesting subject matter made for the perfect programme for me!

Paris – of course it’s wonderful (and equally it’s pricey, especially with the Pound so weak at present).  I realise it can be difficult to meet French people in a large city, but it is worth persevering as the more you do so, the better your French gets – and it’s the best way to improve your French out of class.

The best part of the experience for me aside from the significant improvement in my French language skills (!) was meeting so many interesting people at the French language school in Paris.  The other students were from quite literally everywhere – most continents were represented and everyone had their own reasons to learn French, but we were all a well motivated and very keen bunch.  We all wanted to make the most of the opportunity to learn French and live in Paris – well wouldn’t you?

CESA staff were always really helpful and quick to respond to any questions by email or phone.  Thanks for your advice.  I’m really pleased I decided to study in Paris (Les Halles) with CESA and I would highly recommend it to any French student – particularly adult students though.

3 weeks Combined Course Paris

Emily White
3 weeks in Paris (1)
Combined Course

I’m reading French at University and wanted a real brush up of my skills over Easter before the end of year exams.  I needed some intensive teaching to ensure some rapid linguistic improvement (!), and hoped for a relaxed environment with some friendly people so that whilst I’d learn a lot, I could enjoy the experience too!

The school’s location was perfect, and my commute from my accommodation in Paris with French hosts only took 30 mins (which I realise is pretty good for Paris).  I’d decided to stay with hosts to ensure I was immersed in the French language and I’m so glad I did.  Staying with French hosts is the best way to meet French people and improve your French in real world situations. On top of which my hostess was extremely welcoming and accommodation, her apartment was modern and spacious and she was a fantastic cook!  She hosted two or three students at a time, but far from being a problem this worked really well for us all, there was always someone to discuss French language learning with, to go out in the evening with and walk to school with.  Our hostess did everything she could to make us feel at home and encouraged us to talk French with her and each other at all times.

The school was likewise a total success story.  The combination of 15 group lessons of 4 or 5 students per class (varied from week to week) with the addition of 10 private lessons meant that I had to work hard.  The group lessons were professional and enjoyable but I think the private lessons were particularly beneficial, being virtually identical to the supervisions I have experienced at university. 

On the  basis of this French language course experience and my explorations of Paris, I have decided that I want to spend a year here in my third year, as part of my degree course.

Thanks to CESA and everyone in Paris who made this work so well for me.

All the best – Emily 

Combined Course : One week

Matt Taylor
1 week in Paris (1)
Combined Course

I wanted to improve my French for work and I was looking for a teaching environment that was exclusively French so that I could use what I already knew (a good O’level plus some Adult Education classes of late), but was still hesitant to use in real situations. I also hoped to expand on this base, though accepted one week wasn’t long enough for a great deal of progress.

CESA staff were excellent.  Giving me good advice both prior to and once I’d booked, and handled the whole process very efficiently.

I am lucky enough to have friends with an apartment in Paris, so that made the choice of location easier for me.  I also work in the city quite often, so to gain first hand of Paris as a student, even for a week was attractive.

First impressions of the French language school in Paris were terrific.  I love the building, which is very attractive.  The French school staff and teachers were extremely nice and very approachable. 

I was placed in a language class, after a short assessment of my level that was exactly right for me.  The need to speak French all the time meant I made good progress forming simple phrases which actually communicated with others, rather than my usual efforts (trying to screen all sentences in my head for correct content, structure and grammar and finally never quite saying anything at all).

I liked the private lessons a lot and found them a good addition to the programme.  Looking back I’m glad I didn’t opt for solely private lessons though, I feel this would have been too great a strain on my level of skill, but it was very beneficial to communicate one to one with a French tutor for two lessons a day, in French.  The focus was totally on me, and really helped me gain in confidence, and gave plenty of opportunity to put my French into practise.  Actually even the group work, with 5 students in my class (Dutch, American, Japanese, German and me) was challenging and required concentration, but at least there were times when the teacher’s attention was on another student!  The group work also ensured we felt the camaraderie of a common cause – our attempts to grasp the convulutions of the French language weren’t always successful and our teachers had to patiently find alternative ways to get a point across.  The joy felt by the group when we’d all mastered a particular point was a shared pleasure I hadn’t anticipated beforehand.  Liked the way students were encouraged (pushed!) to explain or describe things or events in French to the class members, and thus had to learn to use what vocabulary we had. 

Prior to the course I was concerned about the other students, and especially the age range but actually there was a great mix of people, nationalities and I’d guess our group were around 25yrs/45yrs of age (didn’t like to ask, so can’t be 100% sure of this)!

I was surprised at how readily the people I meet in Paris, out of class were prepared to let me practise my French on them.  Once they realised that I didn’t want them to revert to English, there was far more encouragement than I’d have anticipated.

Plan to go again next year – hopefully for 2 weeks, work commitments permitting!

French course in Paris

Sandra Stephens
1 week in Paris (1)
Mini Group Course

CESA were recommended to me by a friend and I found you really helpful and very professional.  I had a tremendous time in Paris and can’t wait to go back.

I thought Paris was a great place to stay, the Parisians were very willing to wait for me to try and form coherent sentences without interrupting and they were also helpful the numerous times that I got lost.  One lady even personally showed me the way to my accommodation in the pouring rain!  I did find Paris to be expensive but that was probably because I chose to do typically “touristy” things which tend to cost more.  I had so much to do during the day I didn’t manage to see everything and wished I was staying longer. 

I stayed with a delightful lady and both she and her family were incredibly welcoming and kind to me.  I would definitely recommend Dominique to other students.  My room was clean and I even had my own bathroom which was an unexpected bonus!  I think any student would find it amazing to live and explore such a wonderful place as Paris.

The school lived up to my expectations and was everything that CESA told me to expect.  I found the group lessons enjoyable and really effective.  I especially liked that the lessons alternated between two teachers.  I felt very comfortable at the French language school in Paris, despite only having the opportunity to study for one week.  Both the staff and the other students were welcoming and approachable.  The fact that the school is so close to a mainline metro stop made the morning commute and seeing sights after class very straight forward.

Even though I was only there for a week I can honestly say that I have noticed a great improvement in my speaking skills. 

Overall the trip was excellent!

John: 2 weeks Mini Group Course

2 weeks in Paris (1)
Mini Group Course

I knew where I wanted to study French (Paris) and that I didn’t want to be with a lot of young people (it’s been years since I described myself as a  student – and really couldn’t have faced studying with lots of bright young teenage things around me). 

So when I spoke to CESA Languages I asked for a French language school that was adult friendly, where being in my late 30’s wouldn’t make me feel like a freak and for a study environment that did NOT treat me as if I was a 16 year old school boy again! They suggested their Paris College One school – because of the small language classes, and the high average age of the student body.  I could only spare a fortnight – but I was assured that the small group French tuition and the personal attention of the native French teachers would ensure a lot of ground could be covered.  I was delighted with my language course experience; all us newbies duly arrived at 8.30 am on the Monday as per our instructions for the first day of school.  We sat a placement test (oral and written) which was a little intimidating, but the staff were kind and as the Briefing Pack stated I quickly realised that everyone was feeling nervous to some degree – so pulled myself together and got on with the task in hand.

After the test a complimentary breakfast (nice croissants by the way) was served in the cafeteria – where we had a chance to chat and get to know each other whilst waiting to be placed in our class groups, post the test. I got chatting to a Japanese lady (early 30’s), a Russian man (in his 40’s) and an Italian guy (late 30’s).  There were a couple of girls in their 20’s as well (not sure of their nationalities though) – so we really were a mixed bunch.

I’d been told to advise the teachers of my personal language goals on the first morning and this ensured my views were taken into account in the group work.  Lessons started at 10.00am on the Monday (but 9.00am every day there after). I was really impressed by the teaching – everyone at the French language school in Paris knew their stuff.  We had two French teachers each week (so we were listening to different accents and were able to get two views on the French language – very helpful when I got confused on a grammar point, which happened quite often)!

I really needed to work on my spoken skills, primarily for telephone work for business – so my teachers firmly (but kindly) pushed me to talk a lot and used role plays as a useful exercise – incorporating a range of vocab in situations I knew I’d be facing when I got home.  I was in a B1 French language group which meant we all knew a fair amount of the basics, but needed a lot of polishing up to take us to a higher level.  I would have loved to have been out there for longer (another 2 weeks more and I reckon I could have made the B2 class) but real life dictated that I had to return to London to earn a crust.

Some of the students booked additional French private tuition – but I had decided against this, it was my first language course abroad so I didn’t want to tie myself into a programme that was too intensive for me.  As it was my brain was aching from the group work by the end of each week.  I didn’t register for any of the cultural activities – with Paris at my feet there was no problem finding things to do in my free time and there was always someone to visit a museum with or eat out with in the evening, when I wanted company.

I’d booked my own Hotel accommodation (didn’t feel like taking up the host family option – despite the encouragement from the CESA staff).  Maybe I’ll try a host next time, other students certainly seemed happy with the arrangement.

Overall I was delighted – very positive experience.  I had to work but honestly it felt more like a holiday and I certainly had a sense of personal achievement by the end of the course.  I meet some nice people and felt very comfortable at the college (great teachers and general staff).

Thanks to Gemma at CESA for arranging the course for me and to everyone at the college for their encouargement – “Merci à tous”.

Emily: 2 weeks Combined Course

2 weeks in Paris (1)
Combined Course

I expected the teaching to be intensive for rapid linguistic improvement, and to be taught in a relaxed and friendly environment.

My expectations were definitely met.

 The private lessons were particularly enjoyable and beneficial; being virtually identical to the supervisions I have at University. Group lessons were also enjoyable. The location of the French language school in Paris was excellent. The staff and teachers were very approachable. The best parts of the course were the private lessons and meeting so many nice people.

Paris is amazing! I’ve decided thanks to my exploration of the city during the course, to spend a year there next year as part of my degree course.

Staying with a host family is the best way to meet people and improve my French. I was lucky enough to have lovely classmates, which resulted in many rendez-vous out of lesson time. I had an excellent host, not to mention cook, who was welcoming and accommodating. Her apartment is modern and spacious, and there are always other foreign students so the atmosphere is animated. I would definitely go again!