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April 2010 issue

Contents
News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Market Report
Direction I
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
CityFocus
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Flavoursome
France

Made up of 21 different regions, all with their own individual culture and traditions, France promises language students a varied experience of discovery during their time in the country. Bethan Norris reports.


With so many different regions of France to choose from, the most difficult thing language students wanting to learn French have to decide is exactly where to study.

“We propose programmes all over France,” says Volodia Maury-Laribiere, Sales and Development Coordinator at Silc, a family-run business operating in France and Spain. “The students choose an area in France because they have an acquaintance in the area or because it’s easier for the transfer and less expensive. [Others] have a specific interest for a part of France, about the culture or reputation,” he adds.

One of the key selling points for language schools in France is the country’s reputation for fine wines and a wide range of delicious food and many language students arrive in the country eager to sample plenty of both. Maury-Laribiere encourages students to take advantage of what is on offer. “The favourite places are Cognac and Bordeaux,” he says, “and I recommend students spend time with the [host family] and visit the country and regions and their specific gastronomy.”

In Dijon, in the region of Burgundy, which is famous for many food and wine specialities – including the famous mustard – Sylvie Wormser at Ecole Suisse Internationale says that the city is a good place for young students and adults looking for a good quality of life. “The city centre is mainly forbidden to cars,” she says. “[This means there is] less pollution and easy use of transportation. [It has] a past full of history represented in the town architecture; a great gastronomy; and not least the kindness of people.”

Wormser says that she has worked at the school for five years and came to language teaching after a career change. “The small structure of the classes, the creative pedagogy, the excellent inner relationship and atmosphere within the team and the close relationship that we develop with students pushed me to first work in this school and then to stay,” she relates.

The many medieval streets and houses in Dijon also enhance its attractiveness as a place to live and work, and the wider area also offers many attractions for locals and students. Wormser says, “Outside of the town, there are also many things to discover. Students do not often take the time to visit the countryside and our role is also to give them ideas like the castle of Veaux le Vicomte – near to Paris – or the Abbey of Fontenay, north of Dijon.”

In the south of France, on the Mediterranean coast, Nice, Biarritz and Cannes are popular destinations for language students and there are plenty of schools located in the region to cater for demand. Education en France runs a junior summer course for students in both Biarritz and Cannes and organised activities take advantage of the mild climate and close proximity of the sea. Surf courses are available with a professional instructor at the Biarritz campus and Delphine Crevelle at the organisation says, “Biarritz is for teenagers who like a more familiar atmosphere. It is the European first destination for surfing and is close to the border of Spain and the Basque country [with its] strong regional culture.”

As well as surfing, students in Biarritz “can also learn about other typical local sports such as rugby and pelote basque [a game similar to tennis], as well as visit [nearby] Bayonne, St Jean Luz for some local culture and history,” adds Crevelle.

In Cannes, students are often attracted by a wish to experience the lifestyle of the rich and famous, who often visit the area for holidays. In summer, the town is buzzing with glamorous tourists and the marina is full of expensive yachts and motorboats. Crevelle says, “My favourite thing to do in Cannes in the summer if I was a teenager would probably be to go to Marineland, enjoy the beach, eat ice creams and go shopping. Students also like the excursion to Monaco and the visit to the Oceanographic museum as well as the excursion to St Tropez by boat.”

As well as being the playground of rich tourists, the French Riviera is also a place where it is possible to find out more about some of the great French artists and writers. William Rubinstein, Director of International House Nice, says that there are many art galleries for students to visit nearby, exhibiting the work of Chagall, Matisse, Renoir, Picasso and Fernand Léger. He adds, “My favourite place is St Paul de Vence, a beautiful village on a hill where the French poet, Jacques Prévert, and the actor, Yves Montand, used to spend their summer. There I like visiting the Maeght Foundation, which is a fantastic museum of modern art surrounded by a beautiful park.”

Rubinstein opened the language school 25 years ago and says that Nice is a “fantastic location to learn French”. He adds, “The school is part of a private business school and therefore our students can use all the facilities of this university – the caféteria, open terrace, lecture theatres – and they can meet up with French students.” The facilities for students are not just confined to academic and structural ones, however. Rubinstein says, “The landscape is just fabulous, with a sea that is permanently blue; it is ideal for swimming and scuba diving.”

Inland, in the Savoie region of France, students at ISEFE can have a totally different experience while learning French. Located near to Switzerland, mountains and lakes form a backdrop to learning and leisure pursuits for students here. Karine Joly-Patrouillault at ISEFE says that skiing in winter and swimming in the lake during the summer are popular activities with students. She adds, “Hiking in the mountains, beach trips to Lake Aiguebelette or to Lake Bourget, paragliding and trips to Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s house” are popular activities that are laid on for students at the school.

Foreign students are made to feel very much part of the region and every year the University of Savoie, the city of Chambéry and the local tourism office organise “Le Tour du Monde au Manège” for local and international students. “The French students organise this event and the foreign students are the participants,” says Joly-Patrouillault. “They present their country – by food, geography and history – to the people of Chambéry. It is very interesting for them.”

As the capital city, Paris is one language destination where students are guaranteed an international experience. Education en France and Ecole Suisse Internationale both run programmes for students in Paris and Crevelle says, “Paris is a destination for teenagers who are interested in culture and history, who want to discover the beauty and major sights of the French capital and want to have fun in an international environment.” As one of the most visited cities in the world, much of Paris’ charm lay in its striking monuments; think the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the modernistic Louvre art gallery. However, while much of what Paris has to offer visually can be experienced on an unmissable Seine River cruise (many of the aforementioned landmarks line its banks), Crevelle recommends students get a real feel for the Parisian way of life by sitting in one of its many pavement cafés, eating crepes in between bouts of shopping!

Meanwhile, Wormser notes riding a bike around Paris at weekends is one way for students to see local life at its very best. She adds that there are many opportunities for students to engage in different experiences through their host families. “I remember one of my students was involved in the counting of votes during the last Presidential election,” she says. “What a unique experience!”


Agent viewpoint

Neil Stawarz, Cactus, UK
“Our students really enjoy France’s café culture and vibrant street life, as well as its incredible historical and cultural heritage. They also give us great feedback on the additional activities organised by the schools, which also help to give them a much greater insight into French customs and traditions.  These can be anything from cheese and wine-tasting sessions to walking tours of the local tourist attractions. They love the city life in general but when they get the opportunity to visit smaller villages in the countryside they love the scenery and the pace of life.”

Mamiko Tagutschi, Cosmolingua, Switzerland
“The Swiss need French as well as English and German for their career in Switzerland. This is the main reason why they learn French. Many students choose schools located at Côte d’Azur like IH Nice so that they can spend their free time at the beach and seaside. The Mediterranean warm climate as well as the charming atmosphere of the Côte d’Azur attracts lots of our students.”

Miriam Walter, GLS Sprachreisen, Germany
“Our students love the combination of interesting destinations, good weather, friendly people, varied sport and leisure activities and quality French courses. Whether they want to study French in a world famous city like Paris or Hyéres at the Côte d´Azur, every student can find a suitable destination. In the south of France lots of our clients like to do watersport activities like sailing and surfing. But also going to the beach, sightseeing, shopping and other sporting activities are very popular.”


Contact any advertiser in this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company
Country

Telephone

Email


ACCOMMODATION
France
      Accommodation &
      Culture  

ASSOCIATIONS/GROUPS
English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
International House
      World Organisation  

EVENTS
Alphe Conferences  
British Boarding
      School's Workshop  
International House
      World Organisation  

EXAM BOARDS
IELTS  
Pearson Education  

INSURANCE PROVIDERS
Dr. Walter GmbH  
Student Guard
      Insurance  

SERVICES
LTM Star Awards  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority  
Office de Tourisme
      Montpellier  

AUSTRALIA
Bond University  
Carrick Institute
      of Education  
English Australia  
La Trobe University  
Language Studies
      International  
Pacific Gateway
      International College
Shafston
      International College
Global Village
      Sydney  
University of
      Tasmania  
University of
      Western Australia  
University of
      Western Sydney
      College  

BELGIUM
CERAN Lingua
      International  
      (Belgium, England,
      France, Spain)

CANADA
Global Village  
      (Australia, Canada,
      USA)
ILSC - International
      Language Schools
      of Canada  
National School
      of Languages  

CHINA
iMandarin
     Language Training
     Institute  

ENGLAND
Cambridge
      Education Group  
Camp Beaumont  
International House
      World Organisation  
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
King's Colleges
      (Prime Education)  
LAL Language
      and Leisure  
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      South Africa,
      Spain, Switzerland,
      USA)
Queen Ethelburga's
      College  
Spinnaker College  
St Giles Colleges  
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy,New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
      USA)
Thames Valley
      Summer Schools  
Twin Group 
      (Ireland, UK)
University of
      Essex -
      International
      Academy  
University of
      Sussex  
Wimbledon School
      of English  

FRANCE
Accent Francais  
AGISEFE -
      Université de
      Savoie  
Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France
Home Language
      International  
Office de Tourisme
      Montpellier  

GERMANY
International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

HONG KONG
Q Language Ltd  

MALTA
Clubclass
      Residential
      Language School  
EC English
      Language Centre  
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
Feltom Malta  
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

NEW ZEALAND
Dominion English
      Schools  
Languages
      International
      Christchurch  

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
      Centres and
      Activity Camps.  
      (England, Ireland,
      Scotland, Wales)

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Costa Rica,
      Ecuador, England,
      France, Germany,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Spain, Switzerland,
      USA)

USA
Columbia University
ELS Language
      Centers  
IH New York  
Julian Krinsky
      Camps & Programs
Language
      Consultants
      International, LCI  
Rennert  
Zoni Language
      Centers  
      (Canada, USA)




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