Learn French in Tours: Social Life
Many students make their own plans to explore the Touraine-Val de Loire vineyards covering the local slopes or enjoy a summer river trip along the Loire amongst the islets of golden sand taking in the scenic beauty, watching the bird life and the limestone cliffs with their troglodyte dwellings. You can chose to discover the elegance, beauty and grace of the Loire Châteaux is exemplified by Chenonceau, built in the XVI th c. and famed for its Renaissance architecture and formal gardens. There are around 300 Châteaux in total.
Alternatively, visit Chinon, with its historic buildings and famous Château, once the site of major French historical events and host to famous historical guests, Henry II Plantagenet, Joan of Arc, Charles VIIth etc or discover Vouvray, with their famed wine cellars hollowed out from the local rock.
All students are encouraged by the college to make the most of their time in Tours by exploring the city and the surrounding region. You can participate in the guided excursions and activities offered by the college. At the beginning of the main sessions and all summer sessions, the college arranges a free tour of the city, these visits are accompanied by a college guide. Once a month a student dinner is arranged at a small local restaurant, this is also attended by the College Directors.
In addition once a week visits are offered to the renowned Renaissance Châteaux of the Loire, Chambord, Chenonceau, Azal-le-Rideaux etc. Occasional weekend visits are made further afield to Mont-St-Michel, Versailles, Chartres cathedral and La Rochelle by students under their own steam (full information is available at the college). Whatever sports you prefer are readily available to you with tennis, golf, horse riding and rowing available at the many sporting clubs active in Tours.
Do not forget to bring a couple of passport photos of yourself so that you can arrange a college student card, which entitles you to reduction on public transport, some cinemas and museums etc!
The college arranges two or three activities per week. Every other weekend they arrange a full-day excursion around Tours and its surroundings.
For those who want to explore Tour’s night life we recommend the bars of the Place Plumereau (and the nearby nightclubs for the night owls) which are only a few minutes walk from the college.
A sample of a Week’s cultural programme:
Monday: Cheese appreciation course at the local covered market (presentation of the different cheese and students are able to sample them).
Tuesday: Afternoon classes followed by free time.
Wednesday: Watching a French DVD at the college (in July and August visits are arranged to evening music shows at a local Château).
Thursday: Afternoon classes followed by free time.
Friday: Answer email, self-study at the college and free time (in July and August a visit may be arranged e.g. to an old bakery).
Saturday: Explore the city and shop or plan a weekend trip with other students to Normandy, Brittany or Paris.
Sunday: Free time, or join an afternoon excursion to some of the nearby Châteaux (in July & August a full day visit to the local Châteaux, small villages and wine cellars of the Loire).