I write this as I am finishing a one week French language immersion with Julie. I am not ready to leave tomorrow because this has been such a wonderful experience. I had the opportunity to converse one-on-one with Julie everyday while she focused on areas to improve and answered all of my questions about the French life and language. It was the perfect mix of personal and professional. I also had the opportunity to explore and fall in love with a new city. Avignon has so much to offer and all of Julie’s recommendations for dinner (and more importantly gelato!) were perfect. Over the past week, I not only improved my French, which was the main goal, but I made a new friend and found a new place to visit again. I look forward to the next time and highly recommend Julie’s French language immersion to anyone that wants to improve their French.
My wife (who is not learning French) and I (who speak French at roughly the B1 level) spent the first two weeks of August 2021 at Le Français Chez Julie. It was a wonderful experience! Julie performs three principal roles for her clients, and she is outstanding in each of them: French instructor, cook, and local guide.
FRENCH INATRUCTOR. Every weekday morning from 9:30 until 12:30, Julie and I worked on improving my ability to speak French and to hear French with understanding. The focus was on French as it is spoken in the streets today, which entailed a lot of work on contractions, liaisons, and omitting the “ne” from negations. Her pedagogical methods included:
• Me extemporaneously relating stories from my life and discussing them with Julie.
• Playing games that entailed me speaking extemporaneously at some length; for example, drawing from a deck a card on which was written a situation and a list of words to be incorporated in a story about the situation.
• Listening to French popular songs, repeating the lyrics with proper pronunciation, and discussing the lyrics and the artists with Julie.
• As homework, watching one- or two-minute YouTube clips from a recent French movie and doing a dictation of the dialogue. The next morning, Julie and I would watch the clip together and I would repeat the dialogue, trying my best to mimic the actors. We enjoyed discussing the plot and the performances.
• Julie also engaged me in conventional drills on conjugation, gender/number agreement, etc.
COOK. Julie prepares breakfast and lunch every weekday and picnics for outings. She is an excellent cook who enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of French cuisine with her clients. She avoids processed foods, preferring fresh products from the market in town, her garden, and a neighbor’s small farm. She introduced my wife and me to so many great French cheeses, mmm! They were so good!
LOCAL GUIDE. Julie took us on two or three afternoon or evening outings each week. Some were in town (a tour of one of the grand old houses, a visit to a private garden, afternoon tea at a Michelin restaurant), others were in the surrounding countryside (river canoeing and an outstanding piano recital in a medieval chateau, preceded by a picnic).
The apartment that Julie provides for her clients is located in the center of town, which made it very convenient for my wife to walk to interesting destinations while Julie and I were engaged in our lessons.
One perhaps obvious thing that I would point out about being accompanied by a non-French speaking/learning spouse or partner is that the overall experience may be less immersive than it otherwise would be if, as I did, you encourage Julie to switch to primarily English during meals and outings when your partner is present.
To summarize, I give Le Français Chez Julie, my enthusiastic positive recommendation, without reservation. In fact, I will be following my own advice by returning to Avignon in April 2022 to study again with Julie.
I just spent a week of French immersion with Julie Gaudin.
All I can say is that “SHE IS THE BEST”.
Here is what I loved about my experience.
Julie is so easy to get along with.
Julie is remarkably good at what she does: understanding the needs of her student and then structuring her lessons in a manner that optimizes the end result.
Julie is an excellent host. The apartment has historical equity. The meals that she prepares are out of this world. Mon Dieu!
She is so knowledgeable about the area that you need not to do any research. She has it all.
I give her an A++
I have been to several language schools in France, but the groups there were usually too large and not adapted to my language level. Of course I learned a lot but it was far too little grammar and how to speak French.
A week of intensive language studies with Julie is the best choice I have ever made, when it comes to language courses in French.
She was able to listen and decide what weaknesses I had and with the help of various games and problems I got drilled into what I needed to learn.
Julie is a social and nice person. I liked and had fun during the lessons with her. When it ended, she always found a way forward.
Food and accommodation were included in the course cost and my wife and I lived in a spacious nice three-room apartment. During the XVII century this apartment belonged to Nicolas Mignard, court painter to Louis XIV and also a friend of Molière, who performed some of his plays in the courtyard of this house from 1655 to 1657.
Good French food was served prepared by Julie, who is an excellent cook. She was careful to find out what food I could not stand or could not eat.
At the lunch table we could sit for a long time and talk, which was a good language lesson.
The excursions were very interesting, because Julie has knowledge and is a good narrator.
One day was a whole day trip with lessons, food and mountain hiking in Provance. One day we went to the halls and she showed me ingredients and taught them what they are called in French.
So I really want to encourage you to get in touch with Julie.
Siv says :
My name is Siv. I’m from Sweden and I was a companion to my husband Lennart on his trip to France.
As I consider myself quite good in speaking French I didn’t take any language lessons.
So if you want to study French and your companionship won’t, but want to follow you to France, I can recommend you to be in contact with Julie.
I had a marvellous time in the beautiful apartment, where I lived with my husband and where we had our breakfast and lunch with Julie.
When my husband had his lessons I was on my own discovering Avignon, which I found was a nice city.
I have also been to France many times, but this week was absolutely the best one up until now without exaggerating.
So if you only had a covid-19 test negativ certificate you can easily go to France.
The students below stayed at Marion’s former house (in the same region)
My french immersion homestay with Marion truly exceeded my expectations.
It was evident immediately that she is a very skilled and qualified teacher. She uses many different tools and techniques to help make learning a difficult language much more enjoyable. We would play word games as we walked through the vineyards of Beaujolais, and enjoy conversation (in french) while taking long walks by the river.
The trips to the open market on Tuesdays were fascinating for someone from a big city, and I loved that all the produce we ate was locally grown. A true highlight in my 2 week stay was an all day excursion to my new favorite city of Lyon, only about an hour away by car. Of course it always helps to have your own personal guide when you visit a new city.
My apartment was next to the home of Marion’s lovely mother, Nicole. It was clean, spacious and very comfortable. I was surprised and impressed to learn that Marion and her very talented brother, Lambert, built this apartment themselves!
And at that time they were in the middle of construction of her own house which I see has been completed. It has incredible views of the countryside full of lush green meadows and rolling hills-perfect for biking! I can’t wait to stay there on my next visit, which I have already scheduled.
Well, an ambition achieved! I have wanted to spend a week on a course like this for a long time, but, needless to say, as the date of my arrival here approached, so my anxiety increased. But… what a fantastic experience.
I cannot thank Peter and Suzanne enough. My time in the classroom with Suzanne passed so quickly each day and she was so helpful with all aspects of my wish to improve my knowledge of French – patient and understanding – what more could one ask from a teacher when one is not the youngest of students?
And Peter, his cooking as well as his company was brilliant.
An experience from which I have learned so much and in such an enjoyable fashion.
I cannot thank Peter and Suzanne enough for all aspects of my stay. Thank you both.
Dear Suzanne and Peter, quelle semaine fantastique ! What a fantastic week!
To be honest, I was a little worried and intimidated about coming for this immersion course, but I need not have worried: I was in very capable hands with Suzanne. She seems to get to the level you need instantly – obviously all the information she gathers beforehand makes her plan out your lessons very well.
I feel I have met the goals that I wanted to achieve by coming for this week in Brittany, and Suzanne has given me the confidence to pursue my French lessons.
The icing on the cake was also the two wonderful excursions we had. Suzanne has such great knowledge of the history of everywhere we went. The weather cooperated on the day we went to Cap Fréhel. The sun shone just for us and it was a fabulous afternoon. Also our morning in Dinan couldn’t have been better. Suzanne’s knowledge of the history is outstanding, and she makes it so interesting.
I most certainly can’t leave Peter out over the course of this wonderful week, his meals were outstanding and presented with such flair! They are both such a great couple and make a great team.
I will always remember fondly my week here with Suzanne and Peter and I would not hesitate for a minute to recommend anyone coming here. It’s been a great experience for me and one I would like to repeat sometime and amaze Suzanne and Peter… and mostly amaze myself, because being here with Suzanne has made me want to do better!!!
Merci beaucoup à vous deux.
I’ve done a number of immersions in France, and my week in Avignon with Julie was number one. It was a superb week, time very well spent, working on improving my French, but it was oh, so incredibly enjoyable. Julie is generous with her time and instruction and genuine in her desire to help you improve in a short period. I liked her system of taking notes for you, so you can concentrate on listening and thinking. She’s multilingual, so that probably helps her understand the language learning process, and thus her explanations are clear and concise. I appreciated and benefitted from the amount of time she gives you to try to express yourself. And, she’s not afraid to point out repeated mistakes. By the end of the week, you won’t be making them. She’s immediately attune to strengths and weakness in French as well as your personal interests. She surprised me, a design lover, with a terrific excursion: a tour of a magnifient private residence. Through extended conversations, a few drills, some games, and a couple of homework sheets, I benefitted tremendously from my immersion with her and look forward to a repeat.
Julie also wants you to enjoy Avignon. From the moment I arrived at the train station, she was ready to share the city, its history, and culture. Breakfasts and lunches together, which she prepared on site, always included something to present the regional cuisine as well as other specialties of France. Her beautiful, spacious apartment in the center of the city is your private home for the week. Imagine studying in a grand, richly detailed apartment in a historic building dating back centuries. How could you not want to be more proficient in French?
What a wonderful week this has been!
From the first moment we arrived until our last moments here, we were welcomed into Suzanne & Peter’s home with a warmth we could never have expected!
Our French has improved more than we could have imagined this week. Suzanne has an incredible gift to teach French in a simple way that is easy to understand. Her passion and excitement for the French language was wonderfully contagious. She was just as passionate about teaching as we were to learn, and that made the lessons exciting and fun!
Meal times were a cherished part of each of our days. It was helpful to practice our French in a relaxed way. Peter’s cooking was incredible and his dishes were as beautiful as they were tasty!
I’m sure Peter and Suzanne had no idea what to expect when two energetic women came into their home. They were such good sports to participate in our matching pajama parties, our late night dance party (editor’s note: to Peter’s piano playing) and to put up with our cheeky behaviour!
We are leaving with new friends, lots of helpful French, full bellies of delicious food and joyful memories! BEST WEEK EVER!
After many years of not speaking French, I decided that I wanted to start learning again. I had always been afraid of speaking the language, but found it so beautiful. My aim was/is to slowly start again, to build up confidence.
I came across Julie’s profile and liked the idea of not having a typical classroom setting and having a comfortable solution that would let me combine a week of vacation with a learning experience. I had been to Avignon once before, but only for one day and found the city and region beautiful. Am truly happy that I made the choice to visit Julie in Avignon.
Julie is a delightful & very thoughtful host. I felt very comfortable with her from the very first minute onwards. This gave me the confidence to overcome my fear of speaking and that was the key for me to be able to open up to the language again. She assessed my skills very quickly and tailored my week to meet my goals whilst giving me a glimpse into the French way of life.
Our excursions to the covered market of Les Halles and to Châteauneuf-du-Pape topped off the experience. The apartment is located in the center of Avignon, just steps away from all of the city’s wonders that I was able to encounter during my free time. Our joint excursions to the covered market of Les Halles and to Châteauneuf-du-Pape were very enjoyable.
I truly recommend Julie’s French Immersion Class. It was a wonderful experience!
Julie, thank you very much for showing me the beauty of the French language & culture. It is a week I fondly remember. Hope to be able to come back soon!
Quelle semaine ! What a week!
You are easy, experienced and EXPERT hosts.
You are a kind and considerate and generous couple.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge of French but your knowledge of Brittany as well. I didn’t know what to expect of this week, but I can now say that you’ve set the bar.
For others reading this, let me just say that Suzanne doesn’t just take you to Dinan (or elsewhere) to have a look round and tick it off your list. She’s a sensational guide; it’s as if she secretly works for the local tourist office! Peter excels in the kitchen. Each meal is picture-perfect and delicious.
Of course, the reason I came was to improve my French. Mission accomplished! Suzanne was attentive to my needs, wise in her assessment, and patient – and encouraging – with her counsel. I leave with wonderful memories along with a lot more confidence in my ability and ease in French, thanks to her excellent methods and instruction.
Absolutely, completely worth every minute.
In early March, 2020, I spent a wonderful week in Avignon with Julie Gaudin for intensive French language learning. My wife was along for the ride but not learning French. It all started when Julie met us at the train station and we walked the short distance to the apartment. Each day, Julie made us a very nice breakfast after which we dove right in to the daily French lessons. I was an intermediate learner and the thing I liked the best was that I had A LOT of opportunity to just practice talking, which is what I wanted and needed. But Julie also did some guided learning as well. This was at the beginning of our time in France so it was perfect for getting my confidence up. Our two outings with Julie were nothing short of spectacular. She drove us to Chateau de Villeneuve les Avignon and on another day, Pont du Gard. And on the way back from the Chateau, she dropped us at the Musée Calvet, which was very nice. We also did an afternoon trip to nearby Nimes by ourselves, which was really good. And of course we had plenty of time to visit the sights in Avignon, of which there are many. The apartment was very nice, quiet, and secure. If you are wanting a really unique French learning experience, in a great city, with a really nice person, I encourage you to contact Julie.
My week of immersion with Chantal was magnifique, as always!
Despite grey skies and drizzle, we managed to amuse ourselves, cooking, shopping, walking the dogs, and sightseeing. Chantal celebrated her birthday during my visit, so I had a great opportunity to speak French with her friends at several celebratory parties !
Chantal is an excellent teacher, always kind and patient despite having to correct me constantly (which is, of course, the whole idea). The separate studio is extremely private and comfortable and Chantal is a superb cook. I love the family aspect of having meals with her mother, Liliane, and with her partner, Stéphane. Conversations are always lively and full of laughter.
If you’re looking for a casual, warm and welcoming experience where you can learn and practice French in a supportive manner, you can’t do better than a stay with Chantal. I’m already counting the days until I return in June !
I have to say that the week I spent with Suzanne & Peter at La Croix Julot was absolutely fantastic!
All of our communication beforehand was prompt and clear. The chambres d’hôtes is located in a very picturesque part of the countryside. My room had plenty of space and my bedroom was modern and rather large by European standards.
The day begins with breakfast and that is really where the teaching starts because we would discuss the latest items in the news or whatever topic came to mind. Suzanne had sent me a document before my arrival to help determine what I thought my strengths and weaknesses were, as well as what my hobbies and interests were. These often provided the starting points for our discussions. Suzanne very quickly identified some problems I was having with pronunciation. For the remainder of the week she would drill me with various pronunciation exercises woven into other topics of discussion.
I had the opportunity to meet a number of her friends and acquaintances during short trips into town, and also to interact with vendors at the market. As far as the French learning experience, I can’t say enough! It was way beyond wonderful!
But the teaching aside, it was the effort by Suzanne & Peter both to make me feel welcome, comfortable and really a part of their family. I certainly did not feel as if I were just another client. Everything they did made me feel relaxed, welcome, and of course ready to learn.
Peter is a wonderful cook but in addition he provides an extra facet to the language experience. Conversations with him allowed me to participate in a more relaxed style of conversation, an added benefit outside the classroom.
It was a moment of sadness when my stay came to an end, but I am looking forward to, hopefully, the next opportunity to again experience this very satisfying part of France.
I was here in October of 2019, and ever since then had been looking forward to my second visit here. Honestly, being here is like visiting good friends who live in a very beautiful place.
Suzanne has a lifetime of identifying ‘challenging’ areas for students and will customise the visit for you. Forget all the trauma of High School/College/Adult Education, of trying to study French.
So, you study; you do your homework; then what do you do with all this new-found knowledge? Well, you walk into town and practice your French on the very friendly locals. This place is nothing like Paris where the waiters know way more English than you do French, and you have no chance to practice. Here, people are more than happy, in fact insist on, talking to you. I know most of the restaurant owners by name, their kids, and if they have a dog or not. All covered by my French, or attempt at speaking French. Admittedly, I get mixed up whether they have dogs or kids, but the important thing is, I/we had an opportunity to talk undisturbed and without any ‘judgement’.
The stay here is very comfortable. The room is very nice and the food, wow Peter is an amazing (and a very funny) chef. The excursions are very very interesting and there are many to choose from.
The Chinese celebrate 2020 as the Year of the Rat. I think it will be best/worst remembered as the Year of the Coronavirus. In time of crisis people either step up to the challenge or shy away from it. My flight back to USA got cancelled but Peter and Susan immediately welcomed me to stay a few extra days here, until things got a bit more sorted out. The world could benefit from a few more people like Suzanne and Peter. Thanks.