Standard Course, Nice
- Standard Course (20 lessons)
- Number of weeks
- 4 weeks
I wanted concentration mainly on pronunciation, grammar, refinement of the spoken language. I’d already got a good level of French but needed some serious brushing up, to get rid of the rust. Was told by CESA Languages to expect a professional study environment with a laid back atmosphere and students to be of lots of different nationalities.
I got all of the above, though in retrospect I could have learnt more if I’d taken some one to one or the additional Intensive lessons – but I didn’t want to pay for private tuition or extra group classes, so I guess it’s a balance of time, attention and what you’re prepared to spend!
The French language school in Nice was well organised, friendly and the teachers were good. They were all French native speakers, which I’d been told to expect, but honestly didn’t imagine would be the case – don’t know why, but I thought some of them would be English for some reason.
There was a great student/teacher interaction – if I had been unhappy it would have been easy to talk to someone and I know they would have rectified the problem – but I wasn’t. In fact despite my initial cynicism that it couldn’t be all it appeared – it truly was. There was a good balance between grammar and vocab teaching and group exercises. The class I was assigned to was exactly the right level for me. I would have liked to have learnt more everyday colloquialisms, but they covered this in the afternoon Intensive class sessions and I really didn’t want to spend my afternoons (even just 3 of them) in the classroom, as well as Monday/Friday mornings. The extra speaking practise opportunities offered by the Intensive course would have been a good idea though (hindsight is a marvellous thing).
The Nice French school is just lovely. A very good location. It’s well organised, spacious, the atmosphere was friendly and they organised good trips.
Going out in the evenings you have to accept you are in a large city and like any city Nice has it’s not so good areas – there are a few where it just isn’t safe to walk alone – so the French school sensibly tell you where they are, and advise you not to do so late at night.
The best elements for me were
1/ the actual school
2/ my host family
3/ the people I met
4/ enjoyable excursions
The worst element for me was
Only 1, hard to meet French people other than staff and hosts
Maybe 4 weeks wasn’t enough, maybe I was just unlucky.
Old Nice is the main draw for everyone when going out. Loved the beach life – the stony beaches reminded me of Brighton, always a good place to be reminded of. Shopping in Nice was great and I’d recommend you seek out Fennochio’s ice cream parlour – very bad for the waist line, but who cares.
My hostess was lovely, friendly and made excellent meals. Very caring but not inflexible. I was able to come and go as I pleased – which I’d been told would be the case in advance, but again I had suspected this wouldn’t really be the case, so it was good to be proved wrong!
Would love to return to Nice but having reached C1 level I really can’t justify returning to the French language school (shame) – need to work, so I can save up and buy my own villa on the Riviera one day (yes I know it’s not likely – but if that Lottery win comes up, who knows!). I would certainly recommend others, from Beginner to Advanced level, to get over there and learn French in Nice – great location, great French school.