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Dîtes-moi ! - Reviews

Everyone who comes to spend time with us leaves with some great memories and speaking much better French.

To my students: “Je suis vraiment fière” (proud) of your achievements and it has been a real pleasure to meet and share my knowledge with you. I look forward to seeing you again soon!!! 

Take a look at what “mes élèves” thought of their immersion course in Provence and consider joining our extended family. 

Reviews after an immersion course in Provence

All my students were very satisfied of their immersion course in Provence. 

Read their reviews below.

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Kathleen & Georges - November 2019

My husband and I stayed with Virginie and family for 2 weeks.

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We have different abilities in French but Virginie was able to address our various needs with humor and grace. She was quite creative in her approach. Sometimes we sat at her table and had more traditional lessons. One morning we took a hike to view Mt. Ventoux; another to visit Cassis, a sweet coastal town, all while discussing the French language in French. We also had excursions 2 afternoons a week. I wanted to visit Renoir’s museum so we drove the 2 hours to see where he lived toward the end of his life.

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We spoke French most of the time whether “in class” or not. Even while talking to Virginie’s dear family, her husband and 3 children. They would let you know (nicely) if you made a mistake. We enjoyed playing games with them, sometimes joining them for dinner. We always felt very welcome, like members of the family. Virginie made a delicious substantial lunch (more like dinner) most afternoons.

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My most memorable experience among many wonderful activities, was preparing and giving a presentation in French to Virginie’s 5 year old’s class. I was a bit nervous but the children were lovely, engaging and surprisingly attentive.

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We couldn’t be more satisfied and pleased with our entire experience. I especially feel that my French comprehension has improved.

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We WHOLEheartedly recommend Virginie as a French immersion teacher to anyone who might be interested.

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Sin Yee, Yu Shan, Lucas & Caleb - October 2019

We had a really memorable time with Virginie and her lovely family in Provence. My twin boys comprehend French well but have the tendency to reply in English when spoken to in French. After a week of French immersion with Virginie, they are speaking French more spontaneously and most of all, adored their experience.

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Having three children herself, Virginie really understands how to work effectively with children while immersing them in French. She prepared a wealth of fun activities to do with my children, including going on nature walks with them, collecting Autumn foliage and identifying them, playing various games with them, as well as reading a variety of fun books with them.

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My children love to cook and help out in the kitchen, so she organized cooking lessons for them, making cakes, crepes, and ratatouille. My children picked out the ingredients at the local market, measured the ingredients, and followed the recipe’s instructions, all in French.

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Virginie’s family was very accommodating and welcoming. Alex were easy-going and amiable, and my husband and I really enjoyed our dinners and conversations with him over glasses of wine. Her three children were very sweet and often included my boys in their play.

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For our first excursion, Virginie took us to the MUCEM (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations). She signed my kids up for a museum activity, where you had to link cities with their related cultural items via an iPad by exploring a large museum hall. Virginie patiently explained the activity and assisted them in completing the game. We also enjoyed a walk across the sky bridge to Fort St. Jean, with spectacular views of Marseille and the Mediterranean Sea.

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We went to Aix-En-Provence on our second excursion, and visited the Atelier de Cézanne, where we got to tour Paul Cézanne’s art studio. While there was a French guide, Virginie did her own introduction of the studio to my children at a more kids-appropriate level, which we really appreciated. She also introduced us to the best restaurants and shops; now I know where to get the best madeleines in France!

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We absolutely adored our experience with Virginie and highly recommend her to all those who would like to brush up their French while immersed in the French culture.

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Laurie & Georges - October 2019

From the very first day I could tell that my French immersion week was going to be everything I had hoped for. It was that and more.

Virginie is a true teacher. She quickly assessed my needs and preferences and worked with me continuously to create an effective and memorable language learning experience. In addition to being a creative, knowledgeable, and adaptive teacher, Virginie has a great family. The children turned out to be a definite bonus because they, like Virginie and husband, Alex, are warm, friendly, and welcoming to “les invités.” In listening to and talking with them, I had extra practice using French each day.

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Alex and Virginie make a great team and work together to create delicious and beautiful meals including not only good food, but also good conversation. The whole family enjoys card and board games and that was a regular part of each day. My French definitely improved as a result of this week in Eguilles, of course, but my husband and I agreed that what we treasured most was the opportunity to spend a week embraced by this kind, loving, and fun family.

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Reiner, Tanja, Ann & Merle - October 2019

We stayed for a week in October with Virginie and her lovely family.

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We all 4 had different levels of French. Virginie managed easily during the week to adjust the lessons to every bodies needs, e.g. to go for a walk with our oldest daughter for a private lesson and to have prepared the lesson with French exercises and games for the rest of us, so we could catch up afterwards.

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She was very fast in realising the different levels and to professional work with us. We also liked the cooking together and the family meals a lot, as well as the excursions in the lovely area.

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Marie - September 2019

I finished my French class at Virginie’s house today. I had a great experience spending time with her and her family. Her three children were a joy to be around and were well behaved. They taught me words in French and I learned a lot by playing card games with them.

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The family was friendly and welcomed me in their home with kindness. I felt relaxed and confident with my goal of improving my pronunciation and communication skills. Virginie was an excellent teacher and very patient. We had great conversations all in French.

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We had the opportunity to visit Les Baux de Provence where we had a good raw vegan lunch and on the same day we visited an olive oil mill where some of the best oil in Provence is made. On another day, we went to a museum in Salon de Provence where the famous savon de Marseille is made. These activities enhanced my educational experience in Provence.

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I highly recommend Virginie, especially if you want to experience life with a French family, being immersed in French and working on achieving your goal.

Mary - September 2019

I’ve just returned from spending a fabulous week learning French with Virginie, if far exceeded my expectations.

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She is a great teacher, very patient, warm, friendly & fun to be with she put me totally at ease while speaking French, my vocabulary improved immensely.

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We had some great days out, chatting in French all the time.

We did yoga, spent an afternoon in Marseille, another at the beach & visited a Chateau for wine tasting.

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I am delighted that I had the privilege of staying with Virginie, I enjoyed every minute of it, meeting Alex & her adorable children! We played board games & cards each evening with the children- a super way to improve my French. I loved her cooking also.

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An added bonus on my last day Virginie gave me an amazing body massage.

Kamal - September 2019

What a nice and natural way to learn French ! Spending a week in your home with your family, immersed in everyday life. learn french near Aix-en-Provence

I found our walks very useful as it enabled us to chat in a normal conversational manner and the repetition and vocabulary list that you made reinforced the memorising.

The vocabulary was useful because it was related to my everyday life and interests – I will use it again and again.

I found being in a normal family environment the best way to learn the language rather than in a classroom with a text book. learn french near Aix-en-Provence

Sarah, Damien & Alex  - August 2019

I wanted something that would enable me to take my partner and our three year old son along with me and Virginie’s immersion seemed ideal.

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The immersion was all I could have wished for and more. Virginie and her family are warm and lovely people and welcomed us into their home like we were part of their family. My partner doesn’t speak any French, but that wasn’t a problem as Virginie and Alex are both fluent in English and made him feel as much part of the experience as myself.

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The lessons were brilliant and Virginie adapted them to my needs perfectly. By the end of our stay I felt much more confident with speaking in French and I’d learnt many invaluable grammar points.

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We had days out to the market to buy food for dinner, we cooked together, visited Aix-en-Provence and went horse riding together. I took lessons in the morning sitting in the garden and also while we wandered round the beautiful surroundings. We met Virginie’s friends and family and our son had a brilliant time playing with the children and swimming in the swimming pool. We all got so much out of the experience and were very sad to leave.

David - July 2019

Last year, after spending a week with Virginie and her family, I wrote about the wonderful experience that it had been – to join in with the family’s activities and enjoy the healthy and tsty meals that Virginie prepares. I wrote too, of Virginie’s exceptional skills as a teacher. And of her generosity of spirit.

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Well, I travelled from Australia and spent another week there this year – and nothing has changed! I was fortunate to arrive on Bastille Day – 14 July – and joined the family in a visit to the festivities in the nearby village of Eguilles,

There was also another little surprise for me this time, Virginie’s husband’s 13 year-old niece Annwen was there with her family for a few days and one evening, while we were having apero and I was enjoying a glass of s drink called Mojito – a powerful concoction with a rum base and laced with Provencal mint – Annwen did a sketch of me. Completely without my knowledge, I might say, and all done within a matter of minutes. The details are very accurate!

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Ulrike & Anna - July 2019

How to make the most of an empty nest: Travel to Provence with a dear friend and spend a week improving your French with Virginie!

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My dear friend Ulrike (who lives in northern Germany) and I (an American) both have grown children and are experienced language teachers. We agreed that a week-long homestay in beautiful Provence would be the perfect way to improve our oral French skills while enjoying time together in the lovely region surrounding Aix-en-Provence.

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We drove to Virginie and Alex’s welcoming Provençal home from Germany, stopping in Strasbourg and Switzerland along the way. The week chez Virginie passed far too quickly, as we spent each morning discussing current events and other topics of interest, lingering over our morning coffee/tea and pastries.

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Virginie kindly prepared a list of vocabulary for us at the end of each day, helping us review what we had learned. While we chose to focus on oral skills, Virginie was ready to help us with any grammar questions that arose during our discussions. Our morning discussions were rich cultural exchanges that I will never forget. Ulrike and I appreciated Virginie’s willingness to adapt to our needs as well her expert native-speaker advice concerning vocabulary and colloquial expressions.

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We had a fabulous time sharing stories about our families, our travels, and life in general, tout en français !

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If you are fortunate enough to spend a week with Virginie and her delightful family, you will be warmly welcomed and treated to a week of delicious local specialties and wines (if you desire), have the opportunity to interact with her three adorable children, and have the distinct pleasure of working with an expert language teacher who will introduce you to the pleasures of living en Provence.

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During our stay, we visited the charming market in Éguilles, sampling calisson and a variety of olives, tapenades and cheeses and purchasing and then preparing local fish for dinner. One afternoon, Virginie treated us to a relaxing Korean massage (ask her for details).

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I found time to drive to Le Camp des Milles, a museum housed in a former brick and tile factory in Aix that was used as an internment camp during the Vichy regime. It was a sobering and timely reminder of how easily a society can devolve into one which allows atrocities such as the Holocaust to occur. On a much lighter note, we spent a wonderful day together in Aix, visiting Cezanne’s studio and exploring the city. I was delighted to learn that the chorale from the University of Delaware (where I teach) was scheduled to give a concert in Aix during our stay. Listening to these young vocalists (including one of my former students) was the perfect end to a magical week in Provence.

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Ulrike and I continued our explorations of Provence after our homestay, guided by the sage advice of Virginie. We visited one the France’s most beautiful villages and home to a medieval fortress, Les Baux de Provence; the Roman ruins in Arles; the Pont du Gard; we spent a day kayaking in the Gorges d’Ardèche, and then stopped in Lyon on our way back to Germany. Merci mille fois, Virginie et famille !

Melanie & Klaus  - July 2019

My French Immersion course with Virginie in Éguilles, France was a wonderful experience.

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From the start, we felt at home with Virginie and her lovely husband and children in her comfortable big home. It was nice to be away from the summer crowds in the midst of vineyards and olive trees!

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We arrived with the ‘canicule’ but luckily there was a swimming pool.

Virginie tailored the course to fit my needs and made it so interesting that I was able to converse with ease in a very short time. She corrected and explained my errors and varied the daily program.

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We went for walks in the surrounding vineyards, visited Aix-en-Provence and Cezanne’s workshop and home and the small local market in Éguilles.

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I really enjoyed the word games and the cooking experience. She is a good cook and makes simple but delicious food.

Virginie is also a very good and knowledgeable masseuse and I enjoyed a relaxing foot massage. 

I am so glad that I was able to do this and would love to do it again.

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Guillaume - June 2019

I spent a week with Virginie and her family and it was a great experience.

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The region they lived in was beautiful with the majestic Mont Sainte Victoire and the Mediterranean sea just 40 minutes away.The villages near the house where Eguilles and Aix en Provence. Both villages were beautiful with Aix being larger and more touristic and Eguilles being smaller and quieter.

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The house and the family were amazing and the food was always unique.

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Virginie was very good enough teaching efficient yet fun lessons. All in all the immersion stay made an unforgettable experience and I hope to visit Virginie again.

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Elizabeth & Mike - May 2019

My husband Mike and I spent a fun-filled 8 days with Virginie and her family in Eguilles, near Aix en Provence.

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Virginie and her husband Alex were incredibly warm, welcoming and generous, with nothing being too much trouble. Also, their 3 lively children kept us well entertained 😊

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Virginie is extremely well organised and thorough and was able to accommodate Mike’s and my quite different levels of ability with the language. She went out of her way to make our stay interesting and fun.

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We were able to become part of a French family for a short time and this improved our conversational skills immensely. Playing with the children, apart from being a lot of fun, was also helpful as they often corrected our French!

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The accommodation, a private bedroom (with its own private entry) and ensuite bathroom in Virginie’s home, is very comfortable and well appointed.

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Her home is a typical Provencal house and being in the middle of a vineyard it is quiet, peaceful and “oh so Provence!”

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We thoroughly recommend Virginie.

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Erica & Marine - April 2019

My daughter (aged 11) and I spent a wonderful week with Virginie and her delightful family.The lessons were tailored perfectly to suit our different levels and goals.

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The immersion stay is definitely a ‘get as much as you want to put it’ kind of experience – we tried hard to fill every minute with French, but also never felt bad or embarrassed if we needed to switch to English.

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Virginie’s house is situated in the middle of the countryside with lovely hiking as well as day trips.

We plan to return!

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Johanna - April 2019

My husband and I bought a house in France a couple of years ago, and I soon realised that my schoolgirl French was great for eating out and shopping but totally inadequate for all the technicalities of owning a property in France, from the basic setting up of household services, to the more complex processes involved in renovation, garden alterations and car mechanics!

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I had been using the French Today app, which I found fantastic to start the process of unlocking all of the vocabulary and grammar that I had forgotten, but I decided to take the leap and booked into a week’s immersion course with Virginie through the website in order to try to step up a level.

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I was a little nervous to begin with, but Virginie immediately put me at ease. She has a wonderful empathy with an individual student’s needs, and she was able to recognise my weaknesses immediately, helping me enormously with reviewing grammar, verb conjugations and encouraging me to use more complex vocabulary.

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Staying in Virginie’s home, with Alex and the children, was such a pleasure. I felt incredibly privileged and delighted to be accepted and included in family activities and mealtimes, where the children were as engaging and interested as the adults!

I only stayed for one week, and it flew by, but by the end of my stay, I felt I was growing in confidence, learning to recognise my mistakes and trying out my newly learned verb conjugations! We visited some wonderful areas, tasted some wonderful wines and I feel thoroughly enriched by my experiences. I can’t wait to do it all over again!

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Thank you Virginie, Alex, Leo, Tom and Lily for helping me, to not only improve my French, but to make amazing memories with you.

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Angela - March 2019

Despite taking high school French, private lessons and group classes at the Alliance Française for several years, I never felt that I progressed beyond basic French fluency. My goal was to learn enough French to be able to converse in French. I randomly found Virginie’s ad while researching language courses in France, and something about the ad caught my eye. I wanted an immersive language experience and knew that a one-on-one environment would force me to actually participate since there would be no other students to hide behind. I reserved my spot not really knowing what to expect. As I write this review, I have just completed a month in Provence with Virginie and her wonderful family, and the experience surpassed all expectations.

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Virginie and Alex welcomed me so warmly that I immediately felt like one of the family. My lessons began at 9AM most mornings with two excursions per week to locations around Provence. Virginie employed worksheets, conversation, vocabulary homework and many different games to incorporate new knowledge and reinforce previously learned concepts. The atmosphere was always low stress. It just felt like I was having tea with a good friend while we happened to speak in French. I also took advantage of the opportunity to play games with the kids who also helped me learn. Over the month, Virginie taught me new words and grammar, but most importantly she helped me gain the confidence to speak French.

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During the month, I was able to see so many parts of Provence with Virginie. We explored Cassis and the calanques, St. Cyr-sur-mer, Arles, Aix-en-Provence (including a trip to see a movie), Salon-en-Provence, Saintes Maries de la mer, Marseille, Aigues-Mortes and the Parc Ornithologique to see the Flamants Roses (flamingos native to the Camargue.) I enjoyed walking through farmers’ markets tasting tapenade, olives and tapenade de poivron rouge; taking a tour of a soap factory that makes the traditional Savon de Marseille; tasting Rosé wines at local vineyards; and visiting ancient Roman ruins and medieval churches. I rented a car for the month and made good use of it on the weekends. On my own, I visited Marseille, Chateau d’If, Avignon, Pont du Gard, Arles and Aix-en-Provence. Driving in the area was fairly easy with my Waze app making navigation simple. By the end of the month, I had explored so many places, but I know there are so many more things to see.

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Viriginie and her husband, Alex, are wonderful cooks. They prepared many different local culinary favorites like cassoulet, fondue, Mont D’or, ratatouille, fondant au chocolat, chocolate mousse, tarte au citron, tartiflette and Gardianne de taureau. They also served local pastry treats including the specialty of Aix-en-Provence, calisson. I also had the opportunity to cook with Virginie and Alex to learn how to prepare many of these Provençal dishes.

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The month flew by too quickly, and I am sad to be leaving this beautiful region. I highly recommend this experience to anyone looking to learn French and explore the South of France. I definitely plan to return in future years to continue my education.

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Karen & Sarah - February 2019

My friend and I moved to Paris a year ago, where we started our French language journey. We had been taking intensive French classes at a language school for almost 9 months and have been progressing well, but decided that we needed a change of learning environment to acquire the confidence to speak in our daily lives. That is when we stumbled across Virginie’s profile on FrenchToday, and decided to do a one-week immersion with her. It was one of the best decisions we made in our learning journey.

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During our one-week stay, we had 3 hours of “formal” lessons daily, but Virginie was very flexible to our needs, and we ended up having our lessons while cooking together, taking walks in the forest just a few steps away, playing card games, and even just having a lovely breakfast together every morning. We wanted to have more practical learning sessions and that was exactly what Virginie gave us. We requested to work on some grammar points and she managed to integrate what we needed into the activities we wanted to do.

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During our stay, we also had two excursions where we had the chance to visit the quaint little town of Arles and the animated Aix-en-Provence, both an easy drive away. Virginie was also our excellent tour guide, suggesting various options, taking us to the beautiful sights, exploring the colourful markets and trying the special cuisine of the region together with us.

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We were living the French life with her, speaking the language while discovering Provence and having so much fun in the process. The stress of speaking the language diminished and we left having much more confidence to use it back in Paris. This is something that we would not have gotten in a classroom environment.

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Virginie has a warm personality and her family were so lovely, making us feel right at home from the start. They gave us the privacy but were also open to us interacting with them when we wanted to. She had a cosy room for us with an attached bathroom, and all the amenities that we needed. The only regret we had was not trying the somatic massage from Virginie! She had offered us a session but we had so much to do together that we did not find the time.

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The one-week immersion seemed like a long time when we signed up, but we could have definitely stayed for more. Highly recommend this if you want to improve your French in an enjoyable, fun and effective way while having a mini-vacation in the south of France.

Gay & John - October 2018

Our immersion stay with Virginie and her family was brilliant. Virginie is an excellent teacher and a generous and good human being. My husband and I improved our French a great deal and staying with Virginie and her young family was a real treat! Highly recommended.

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Mona - October 2018

To spend a week with Virginie was an adventure. I loved learning more about the intricacies of the French language whilst living a typical week in the life of a French family in a rural setting in southern France, about 15 minutes from the nearest town.

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In one week, my French benefited from daily formal, structured lessons as well as the incidental support from Virginie whenever she corrected my grammar and verb tenses. The lessons were specific to my level of French, and Virginie was skilled at discerning where to target her teaching skills.

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Informally, Virginie and I discussed many topics. For example, French and Australian politics, and anything French compared with anything Australian. It was through these more informal discussions and visual interpretations of points of grammar where I felt my language skills and memorisation developed and expanded, where I was forced to dig deep for vocabulary, appropriate French phrases and to think quickly about correct verb tense.

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It’s possible to walk into Eguilles, or take a taxi ride for about ten euros. I explored the town on foot, bought un café et un pain au chocolat at the local boulangerie, and discovered the old stone laveries which were sought after by laundresses in the past due to the quality of the water in Eguilles. One of my more quirky souvenirs is a sample from Max Sauze’s eclectic gallery called Le Jardin d’Eguilles – well-worth a visit and, if you’re lucky, you may get to chat to the artist himself. He was dressed in red trousers and a mustard yellow jumper and eating his lunch on the day I visited his Dali-esque gallery and garden.

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Another highlight in Eguilles is the Catholic cathedral with a superb view over the surrounding countryside. I noted a plaque high on one exterior wall commemorating the death of a citizen of Eguilles killed for his involvement in the French Resistance movement.

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The excursions were fantastic! The time spent driving, walking and exploring allowed so many fruitful opportunities to work on my vocabulary, and expand my knowledge of French history, landscapes and local food. All in French, of course! Virginie and I spent time discovering Les Calanques. These are unique limestone cliff, beach and rock formations at the edge of the Mediterranean near the pretty port town of Cassis. Later in the week, we drove across the vast Valensole plateau, planted with acres and acres of neatly-pruned, grey-green lavender bushes. Our destination was Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, classified as un beau village de France nestled between canyon walls and built around a natural spring. We climbed the pilgrimage trail, crossing over the stone bridge between the walls of the canyon to the 12th century chapel dedicated to Notre-Dame de Beauvoir. The day ended at a local restaurant with gambas steeped in pastis, the well-known liqueur of southern France – delicious!

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The week passed all too quickly with Virginie, whose teaching style was well-organised, thorough and dedicated to my needs. The challenge of everyday conversation was difficult but rewarding, and mellowed by a shared sense of humour.

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A week of immersion with Virginie is to be thoroughly recommended.

Ida, Sunniva, Lucia & David - October 2018

We had a lovely stay with Virginie and her charming family near the village of Eguille in Provence.

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Our daughter who is 13 and has just started learning French at school had French lessons with Virginie in the mornings whilst the rest of us (mum, dad and an eight year old) hung out by the pool or in the village.

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As a young and motivated teenager, this is a great way of jump-starting your French learning.

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Virginie took us all on two wonderful excursions to the market in Aix-en-Provence and to Cassis and the seaside.

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She was very flexible and helpful in any way and we all had fun exploring French and Provence with her. We decided against renting a car, which was a limiting factor, yet there are local taxis and the adults enjoyed the 45 minutes’ walk through the vineyards and the woods to the village.

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The house is lovely with comfortable beds, a nice private bathroom and a large garden.

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When you factor in flights and trains at school holiday prices, the total costs of the week for our family holiday were substantial but for us it was a great and happy experience.

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David - September 2018

What a memorable week it was!

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Enjoying perfect weather, eating succulent and generous local dishes prepared by Virginie, being treated as an important guest of a delightful family, strolling the streets and lanes of the local, better-than-typical Provincial village and visiting the remarkable hill-top villages of Les Baux and Gordes.

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Intertwined with this was improving my ability to converse in French – after all, it had been with that hope that I had travelled all the way from Australia to France. There was the opportunity to converse in French at all three meals as well as during the major part of the rest of each day and Virginie’s skills as a teacher were outstanding – encouraging my confidence, correcting repeated errors and supplying vocabulary where it was lacking.

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This wasn’t just a three-hour lesson – the whole day held the opportunity for learning.

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And there was more. Virginie has great generosity of spirit. I received care and attention of a sort which I will remember forever and I am so pleased to know that I am now have a French family as special friends – Virginie and her husband Alex – and their children, Leo, Tom and Lily. Nothing would please me more than to spend time with them again in the future.

Jeannie & Meagan - September 2018

Ma fille et moi avons toujours aimé la culture française: l’art, la langue, les délicieux vins et le fromage. Nous aimons tout! C’est pour cette raison que nous avons décidé d’essayer une semaine d’immersion avec une famille française. Vivant près d’Aix-en-Provence, Virginie  et sa famille nous ont ouvert leur porte —et leurs cœurs— pour rendre notre séjour inoubliable!

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Après un long vol des États-Unis, nous étions heureuses de voir Virginie nous attendre à l’aéroport de Marseille. Elle nous a conduit chez elle et nous a présenté son mari et leurs trois charmants enfants. Ensuite, nous avons joué aux cartes avec les enfants, mangé un bon repas et dégusté des vins régionaux et le traditionnel bonbon aux amandes d’Aix: les Calissons. Après une bonne nuit de sommeil dans notre suite privée et spacieuse, nous nous sommes réveillées prêtes à apprendre le français.

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Chaque jour commençait sur la terrasse avec le petit déjeuner et les cours de français. Parfois, le chat, Fripouille participait à la discussion! Virginie est une prof formidable. Avec ses enfants, elle aime la méthode d’enseignement Montessori, et elle utilise le même genre de matériaux avec ses étudiants.

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Virginie nous a emmené dans un vignoble local et chez un chocolatier. Nous y avons acheté des cadeaux pour nos amis et familles. Elle nous a emmené à la boulangerie et à son marché bio préféré.

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Nous avons aussi visité Aix-en-Provence et Arles.

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Nous avions commencé notre séjour en jouant aux cartes avec les enfants de Virginie et Alex. Il était donc approprié que nous finissions notre séjour en regardant le dessin animé Les Simpsons que leurs enfants appellent « Spider Cochon »!

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Virginie est une excellente prof et sa famille est charmante. Nous la recommandons vivement à tous ceux qui souhaitent étudier le français en Provence.

Horace - September 2018

I stayed in the house of my teacher Virginie and was made to feel comfortable from the very beginning.

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The house is just outside of the village and is a community close to Aix en Provence. Our day began with breakfast around 8:30 and continued the noon meal. There is a road just beyond the house where a vineyard climbs the hill behind the house. I liked to walk several times a day up the hill to an olive orchard.

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On some days Virginie would join me, and we would have lessons while we walked. I enjoyed these lessons very much. Other times we would sit on the veranda behind the house, overlooking the pool, and have a more formal lesson. There was plenty of homework, which was helpful and enjoyable.

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We also traveled Aix for the market, and to other small villages to enjoy what they had to offer, and to continue our language lessons. My preference to small towns, and local attractions can best be exhibited by our trip into Eguille, which I enjoyed very much. We visited a garden in the town, that boasted not only a variety of plants and trees, but also of naturalistic artworks completed by the owner.

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We also stopped by a local vineyard for some tasting of their wines. It is very easy to increase your language skills when talking about the things you are doing, or seeing, or tasting.

 

I came to France with a small amount of French vocabulary, and less of the proper French sentence construction. With Virginie’s help I am much better in my communication and writing skills. As an appreciated bonus she has given me via paper, and via email, a variety of resources that I am taking home to help me progress in my French.

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I highly recommend both the immersion program and in specific Virginie. Thank you for helping me have a most enjoyable time in France.

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Ilan & Sharon - August 2018

My son (13 years) and I spent a week of “immersion” with Virginie and Alex in her lovely home deep in the countryside outside of Eguilles late last summer.

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For me it was a chance to review the language and to experience the place and people after years away. For my son, who had taken two years of “school” French, it was an opportunity to try out his modest skills in an authentic environment and make leaps of progress beyond what was likely in America. It turned out that we accomplished both goals, and far more.

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We nervously drove up to the house on day 1, but were quickly made to feel at home. Tucked between two vineyards with a mountain of pine trees running above and behind, the house was a true rural hideaway. The pool, trampoline, and nearby path up and into the forest made it an outdoor paradise; the accommodations and openness of the house to us gave us a whole world to enjoy and explore. Virginie and Alex were generous and attentive hosts throughout and welcomed my boy and me as friends and equals.

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Each day was a new experience, with the “course” modulating to our needs, my own and my son’s so different, and our tolerance for “classroom” study varying by the day.

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We experimented in the kitchen as a group, trying local wines, making local recipes (quiche and french toast!), and wandering the local, and not so local urban attractions–one day visiting Arles, another doing a “ring road” around Mt. St. Victoire.

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Throughout the feeling was casual and open, filled with the French language and gentle prompts to find le mot juste and to refine the accent.

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We had a blast, and our experience with Virginie and her family is now without hiccup or hesitation a wonderful, lasting memory of the trip.

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Chris - August 2018

My weeklong stay with Virginie and her husband Alex in Aix en Provence was an amazing time. It was positive on all fronts.

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The French lessons were very flexible and customized to address my weaknesses and level. Speaking and listening comprehension are the main areas where I need improvement and Virginie made sure that we were talking all of the time.

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Her method of teaching certain concepts with topic cards was very fun and useful and allowed us to complete exercises while walking through fields or streets. The only area for improvement would be to have a review of the previous days learnings before beginning new topics.

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The location of the stay was fantastic as it was a short drive away from many cities in Provence. I chose to focus the excursions on exploring French towns and Virginie happily obliged, as we spent afternoons in Aix en Provence, Avignon, and Arles. Each trip was interesting and provided a lot of learning. Virginie and Alex even helped organize additional outings that I was interested in such as playing football.

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Their house was beautiful and I immediately felt at home and comfortable with my living space. The food made was delicious and generous, and I was happy that the meals were often French specialities. My week felt like I experienced a genuine southern French lifestyle.

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As a student for the next year in Paris, I am very glad that I chose to spend a week on a French immersion homestay. I would have liked to spend more time but given I will be paying tuition for the next two years, the price for more than a week was out of my range. Regardless, I’d recommend to anyone looking to improve their French and experience a true French life.

Celia, José, Daniel & Emily - July 2018

 

Virginie, Alex and their children were very welcoming to us, and quickly made us feel at home. Within a few hours of being at their house, our kids were already catching grasshoppers with Leo, Tom and Lily, chasing each other around the pool, and happily sharing chocolate cookies. Watching the kids play together – and try to communicate – was great fun for all of us.

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Virginie was a very patient, flexible and creative teacher and made learning French a lot of fun. We really enjoyed our morning classes and our lunches together, and also appreciated the many excursions we did together to beaches, old villages, the lavender and sunflower fields, the Calanques, and much more. When Virginie found out that my husband was an avid birder, she even organized a visit to an ornithological park together to see flamingos! Virginie also gave us really helpful ideas for places to visit with our children, which made exploring the region much easier and lots of fun.

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In short, we were incredibly happy that we choose to stay with Virginie, Alex and their lovely children, and hope we will have an opportunity to visit them again in the near future.

We really enjoyed our stay with Virginie, Alex and their lovely three children in Eguilles and would highly     recommend them to others interested in learning French and experiencing life in Provence.

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We didn’t really know what to expect from our stay, as we had never done an immersion or homestay program before and were a bit worried about how our children (6 year-old twins) would react to being in a different home and country…however our time in Provence was truly delightful and we would go back in a heartbeat.

David - July 2018

J’ai passé une semaine très agréable chez Virginie et Alex ou j’ai fait des cours de français, visité le marché, bu des vins, marché dans la campagne et vu des films.   Virginie est une prof très bien informé mais Alex aussi parle très bien anglais, donc dans le soir quand on a mangé ensemble c’était facile de parler sans confusion – en français mais aussi (quand je n’ai connu pas un phrase) en anglais.   I would recommend Virginie to any English speaker who wants to improve their French and have a lovely Provençal break.

Jhané - June 2018

Today marks the end of my week with Virginie and her family and I’m sad to go. They were very welcoming and I couldn’t have asked for better hosts.

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When I arrived at the airport, I heard someone call my name and turned to see it was Virginie. She approached me as if we already knew each other and this immediately put me at ease. Her husband, Alexandre, was also very friendly and their 3 kids were adorable and lively.

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Virginie was extremely accommodating. She made sure that I got to try all the French dishes that I was curious about and even suggested to me some I had never heard of. I tried escargots, légumes farcis, tropézienne, pain au chocolat and even Alex’s very own rosé. She also would change the daily schedule to suit me and what I wanted to do.

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For our two excursions, we went canoeing along Les Calanques and horseback riding along the coast. They were both new experiences for me and I enjoyed them a lot. Even though canoeing for that long was tiring for us both, les Calanques was a beautiful sight to behold. I also loved the different views we saw while horseback riding along the coast and in the forest surrounding the ranch.

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Virginie also dropped me to Éguilles as well as carried me to the bus stop so I could go to Aix en Provence, and gave me a map for traversing each. Both towns had their own charm and I enjoyed exploring each of them.

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Concerning the French lessons, I wanted to work on my speaking and that’s exactly what Virginie ensured that I did. Not once did I speak English during my trip and Virginie taught me so many ways of sounding more like a native French speaker. In addition, I learnt a lot of new vocabulary and French expressions, not only from her but from her mother and friends who were also very friendly.

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While working on my speaking, we also simultaneously improved my writing. I learnt better ways to structure my sentences and she gave me written assignments to practise the vocabulary that I had learnt that day.

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All in all, it was an amazing trip. I was able to accomplish all I wanted to and more.

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I hope to return to Provence to spend another wonderful week with Virginie and her family.

Jane - June 2018

I had a wonderful stay with Virginie and her family.

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She is professional, a talented teacher and a very caring and fun person to spend time with. She made the experience of improving my French so much fun.

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She arranged for me to spend the morning at the local bakery to spend time speaking and learning about the art of baking wonderful breads. We visited an olive oil producer as well as an artisan chocolate factory. We traveled to the coast and experienced wonderful food and beautiful beaches.

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As you might guess my focus was on food and she wove that in with all of my French lessons.

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I can’t wait to go back!

Mona - May 2018

Virginie is an excellent teacher she adapted constantly to my French ability and I have greatly improved after spending a week with her.   She was very flexible I need to do some shopping shortly after I arrived and she used that as an opportunity to practice some specific vocabulary.   Her lessons very well structured and she gave me homework so that I could prepare for the following day.

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Virginie and her family were very welcoming and I felt at home immediately arriving. They included me in their day-to-day activities but also gave me a lot of space.   I had a very relaxing week and enjoyed spending time walking in the beautiful area around the house sitting in the garden and enjoying Virginie and her family‘s company.   The room was very comfortable, spotlessly clean and has everything one needs.   I am hoping I can return next year with my own family.