Mirian 6 weeks Standard Course
Linguistically my expectations were exceeded – lessons were far more dynamic than I had prepared myself for, and we were encouraged and helped with our speaking so much that after 6 weeks I felt confident in any conversation which was incredibly rewarding. I really learnt a lot of French.
Socially my expectations were also met – I now have a network of friends all over the world.
Our French lessons were always interesting – we never recited verbs in front of a blackboard – it was more like a long conversation starting off about a point of French culture of society, and going on to how that issue is dealt with in our own countries. I learnt so much about many different cultures as we discussed things in class. My French vocabulary and grammatical fluency was constantly expanding. The French language school teachers were friendly and very easy to talk to. They taught and corrected us in an interesting yet kind manner.
On my first day the French school felt very big and I wasn’t sure how I’d make friends. However from Day Two on I felt incredibly relaxed and happy there. All the staff were friendly, chatty and funny. Friendships grew quickly so there were always people to talk to in the cafeteria and spend the afternoons and evenings with.
The best part was undoubtedly the close friendships that formed. My class grew very close indeed and I am still in touch with nearly everyone. I have many very funny memories of all our jokes in class, making up a song for our teacher, making crêpes with her and the entertaining role-plays used to practise new vocabulary.
I loved the other students at the college, I learnt so much about different cultures (not just French), and it was very rewarding to be able to speak all in French! A real strength of the school is its ability to make you feel comfortable and confident in communication, which is great.
There was always something to do in Paris, and the surroundings were beautiful. I love Paris! It wasn’t the cheapest place, but you could go out to eat for reasonable prices. I found most local people surprisingly warm and friendly, and I had good chats with many. I felt safer in Paris than I have ever felt in London.
I loved the social aspect of my stay, and ran out of time do everything I wanted to do in the city. I recommend going to the comedie francaise, roller-blading at Bastille and going to a reading at Shakespeare’s & Co. Having a picnic at Buttes Chaumont on a very sunny day was also great fun.
I was more than satisfied with my host family accommodation. Once I settled, I soon became accustomed to Madame’s manners and grew very fond of them! They were extremely flexible with the fact I went out and about in Paris quite a lot. The food was great and I was very grateful that my vegetarian diet was completely respected. My room was nice and by the end of my course it felt like home. The hosts were very kind at the end of my stay to invite me back to stay whenever I wanted.
CESA – very good, all was done in a very efficient and friendly way. I had a very reassuring chat with Katherine about whether I would be able to eat vegetarian meals at the host’s home. She was very positive, realistic and caring, which eased my pre-trip worries no end!
I would definitely go again. Over my 6 weeks I grew enormously independence, confidence and communication skills. I now have offers to go and stay with friends I made in Japan, Sweden, Korea, Canada, Italy and Iceland. I am definitely going to go back and visit my host family at some stage. I also have lots of happy memories from my French experience, and of course the ability to speak French. Thank you!