5 Questions To Ask Before Going on a French Immersion

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Before you pick a French immersion, you should ask yourself 5 essential questions. Follow my tips to make the best of your French immersion.

You’ve been through the pros and cons of the many French learning methods and decided to go for a French immersion experience. Great!

In this article, I’m going to suggest questions you should ask yourself to select the best French Immersion program for you.

Let’s start!

1 – French Language School or Residential French Immersion?

Many students of French associate the idea of immersion with a school, in their home country or in France.

French Immersion Schools

It’s true that for the longest time, a French language school was the only option. Furthermore, many schools have been around for a long time, offer all sorts of French language courses and activities, and convenient accommodation options on campus or with French host families.

However, a new kind of immersion has been emerging lately: French immersion homestays.

Residential French Immersion

Imagine a really involved host family who will actively help you practice your French. Or a French guide who will take you to visit the region while gently encouraging you to practice your French. Or French teachers who would welcome you to their own house, provide formal French lessons and also share their daily life with you.

In the past ten years, French Today has played a key role in helping French learners find an array of French immersion programs.

I personally believe a French residential immersion is a great way to improve your French, and can provide an unforgettable “studycation”.

Now, let’s focus on the best place to experience your French immersion.

2 – Immersion in France or in the rest of the world?

It’s a dream for many francophiles to travel to France.

French Immersion in France

The advantages of a French immersion in France are obvious: you’ll be surrounded by the French language and culture (and French food!). The opportunities to practice your French will be endless and you’ll experience France like never before.

French Immersion in a French Speaking Country/Region

However, there may be a country near you where French is one of the official languages. For example, for US residents, why not consider doing a French immersion in a region of French-speaking Canada, or in Guadeloupe, or why not Tahiti?

French Immersion at a Local French Teacher’s House

Furthermore, you could also experience a French immersion in your own town… If you could find a French teacher who would host you, give you French lessons, spend their day with you speaking French… It would still be an immersion in the French language – if not totally in the French culture.

French Today is currently looking for French immersion professionals throughout the world. If you know someone who could be interested, please tell them to contact us.

So, French immersion in France, immersion in French in another country… A good question to ask yourself.

Let’s see what else you should think about.

3 – French Immersion in a Town or the Countryside ?

Whether you’re going for a French immersion in France or a French speaking region, the French language will be all around you.

French Immersion in a City

A French city will surely be buzzing with life. Shopping, restaurants, museums… all these may be key elements of a great vacation. They may also be as many French practice opportunities.

However, it’s not because you are surrounded by French-speaking people that you will be able to speak French with them. Especially if you are a beginner or low intermediate student… Especially in a busy city where the locals speak English, and may not have the patience to help you practice your French.

French Immersion in a small town / countryside

Sometimes, going for a French immersion in a smaller town, or even in the French countryside would be a better choice for your French studies. In small towns and in the countryside – at least in France – people are much less likely to speak English. They may also be surprised to see a foreigner in their neck of the woods… and welcome you with curiosity, questions (= French practice) and open arms.

Now, if you’ve chosen a French immersion homestay, a teacher in the countryside is more likely to double as your language buddy, and include you in their daily lives. It’s easy for a teacher in a larger city to spend time in the morning with you, then send you off to a museum… In the deep countryside, your teacher knows they have to entertain you as well…

Especially in the heart of winter. Which brings me to my next point.

4 – French Immersion in Summer or Winter?

Ahhhh… May in Paris.
Yes. It’s lovely, for sure. So is summer in Provence.

Again, if you want to prioritise the “vacation” aspect of your studycation, then pick the high tourist season for your French immersion in France.

However, there’s a lot to consider for a French language immersion off-season. For starters, cheaper air plane tickets, hotels, rentals…

But also, more attention from all the tourist industry. Waiters, shopkeepers, and also immersion professionals… The bulk of their business is going to be during the high touristic season.

A French immersion teacher in the countryside would be thrilled to have a student in the heart of winter. If it rains all day… all the better for you: it means your teacher will have to find a way to keep you entertained and busy… That means more individual attention, more French practice for you!

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5 – What Kind of French Immersion?

What’s the point of a French language Immersion? There are many positive points such as enjoying a great vacation, discovering a new country, immersing yourself in the French culture… but the priority of it all should be intense French language practice.

Depending on your French level, you may practice your French in many different ways: visiting a region with a super friendly French guide, practicing yoga or taking cooking classes in French, staying with a dynamic French family, meeting with a French language buddy for a couple of hours each day, residing at a French teacher’s house…

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Let’s Start…

The possibilities are endless! At French Today, we want to bring you many different French immersion solutions, so you can pick the one that best fits your dream, and experience an exceptional French immersion. Check out our French immersion program section.

French Today is currently looking for French immersion professionals throughout the world. If you know someone who could be interested, please tell them to contact us.

I post new articles every week, so make sure you subscribe to the French Today newsletter – or follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Please react! Leave a comment, make a suggestion, share this article… Your engagement really encourages me to create more free French lessons!

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 23+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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