Standard French Course: 2 wks
2 weeks in Montpellier
“I expected a pleasant atmosphere with friendly and motivated staff and students. I had never done anything like this before, so didn’t know what to expect in the lessons. I wasn’t sure if there would be homework or how much written work there would be. I knew there would be 3 hours of lessons a day and I expected to learn lots of vocabulary, improve conversation skills and do some grammar.I came away much more fluent than when I started. The classes were fun and constructive. Homework was always optional, but the teacher (Laurence) marked work overnight that was handed in. I didn’t learn as much vocabulary as I expected but I discovered that I knew a lot already (I was in the advanced class)!
Lessons seemed well organised. The teacher asked for feedback and was open to ideas. I was concerned about repetition or lack of progression as students come and go each week, but that didn’t seem to matter. Most days we did a section on listening, grammar, discussion, an article and we worked in groups a lot which worked well, although there was some individual work too I liked.
I was at one of the buildings in the centre of Montpellier, which was ideal. The building was well looked after, classrooms were clean and furniture was good. Staff and teachers were excellent.
The best part of the French language course was the overall experience. I wanted a holiday with a purpose. Holidaying alone, it could have been lonely, but in fact it was very sociable and I would consider doing something like this again.
Other students were friendly. One student in my class was older than me and the others were younger (16-21) but it didn’t seem to matter. Everyone thought I was about 20 which was flattering since I’m 30! The two students I mainly spent my time with were lovely. I didn’t take part in the social activities or excursions as I tire easily, maybe next time! Travelling around was fine, a weekly bus/tram pass covered everything. The number of lessons per week was just right, it still felt like a holiday although I was going to school everyday!
I thought Montpellier was an excellent town for a course. There was plenty to see and the people were friendly. I felt safe, even going home late at night. I had mixed experiences of eating out, but there are certainly lots of places to choose from. I didn’t speak to many people outside of the course, but my host family were great and helped my French enormously. They invited friends round to dinner on several occasions. I chatted to people at the Tour de France too – it was easy to chat to people there.
As mentioned earlier my social life was restricted due to tiring easily, but I went to a concert in the Corum which was an experience, I’d never seen a modern opera house before.
The Estivales were excellent, really lovely atmosphere, no staggering drunks or brawls!
My host family were very friendly and well-educated, able to explain things clearly. They were very welcoming and easy-going. The other student staying there was easy to get along with too. The host family threw a lovely birthday party for the other student, we had a great evening.
The people I spoke to at CESA were willing to talk and answer all my questions. They arranged a good family with easy access to the school as I have ME, much appreciated, thank you very much!”