My husband, 11-year old son and 16-year old nephew spent one week with Soline and her family, improving our French language skills and experiencing life in the lovely village of Volvic. This week was the highlight of our three weeks in France. From the moment Soline picked us up at the train station to when she dropped us off for our car rental, she was encouraging and accommodating. In our formal lessons, she was able to accommodate our very different skill levels by using games and activities that were both fun and challenging. The two members of our group who came with a basic knowledge of French and were hesitant to use it at first gained enough confidence that they spoke French for most of the rest of the trip. There were ample opportunities for casual conversation and for us to ask questions about what we were seeing and experiencing around us.
Lunch was always delicious and featured some classic French cuisine, a variety of local ingredients, vegetables from the garden and interesting discussion. Our afternoon activities varied from a walk and swim in a volcano to the Volvic water and stone museums. One afternoon our boys spent the afternoon with Soline’s boys playing sports while Soline took my husband and I shopping for some necessities. Another evening, the boys hung out together eating pizza and watching a movie, while the adults went out to a local restaurant. Our interactions, both formal and informal, made us feel like we were “at home,” and part of the family.
The accommodations – Gîte de la Planche – were roomy, comfortable and very tastefully decorated. The kitchen was well-stocked with every tool we might need. There were laundry facilities, lots of books and games for us to use, and a lovely terrace where we had our evening meals and some lessons.
I cannot more highly recommend this experience: French immersion lessons, afternoon excursions and comfortable accommodations right beside our host.
First of all I want to assure you that my week in Tayrac was a wonderful experience is many, many ways. Learning more French and hopefully improving a bit were of course important.
In addition was learning about and gaining an understanding of the history of that region of France. The afternoon hikes and excursions were so special for me.
I learned a lot about myself and came to understand more and more those things that are challenging in one’s life.
My week with you was a perfect preparation for the remaining weeks that I spent in my travels. I have so much to think about and for which I can be very thankful.
Thanks again and again for the wonderful week you gave to me.
I’ve ordered Farine de Sarrasin and I plan to master making the Galette. Like all of you meals, that was great. I cannot remember feeling so comfortable and healthy as I did having three well balanced meals, plenty of water and good exercise in the afternoon for an entire week.
You’re the best, Pierre, and stay in touch.
My friend Lauren, and I went to study with Eliane after several years of studying French in the USA and we learned so much in one week! My husband came with us, but did not take lessons during the week. During our lessons, Steve took short walks around the town or appreciated a quite time in the garden.
We appreciated the structure of the program and Eliane truly listened to us and created lessons to improve the skills we asked for help with and she used subjects according to our interests! (Like for example, wine and couples therapy! 🤣)
We liked her style of teaching also! Eliane is very particular about grammar and pronunciation. We liked her way of stopping us for corrections. (We liked that she explained what a French person hears when we pronounce words incorrectly! 🤣)
Eliane also had many simple rules for memorizing common points of grammar!
Finally, we loved her dog, Okami! He was like a therapist for us! If we felt nervous, etc he would always show up for a cuddle! What a sweet dog!
Thank you to Eliane for a wonderful week!
Our French version of our review for Eliane :
Mon amie Lauren et moi, on est allés étudier avec Eliane après plusieurs années d’étude de français aux Etats-Unis et on a appris beaucoup en une semaine!
Mon mari est venu avec nous, mais n’a pas pris de cours durant la semaine. Pendant nos leçons, Steve faisait des petits tours dans la ville ou se reposait tranquillement dans le jardin.
On a apprécié la structure de son programme. Eliane nous a vraiment écouté et elle a créé des leçons pour améliorer les compétences pour lesquelles on lui avait demandé de l’aide et elle a utilisé des sujets selon nos intérêts! (Comme par exemple, le vin et les thérapies de couple! 🤣)
On a aussi aimé le style de son enseignement! Eliane est très rigoureuse au sujet de la grammaire et de la prononciation. On a bien aimé sa façon de nous arrêter pour nous corriger quand on parlait! (On a aimé qu’elle nous explique ce que les Français entendent quand on prononce mal les mots! 🤣) Eliane a aussi beaucoup de simples règles pour mémoriser des points de grammaire communs !
Et enfin, on aime beaucoup son chien, Okami ! Il était comme un thérapeute pour nous! Si on était nerveuses etc. il venait nous faire un câlin! Quel chien adorable!
Merci à Eliane pour une super semaine!
Wow! What an amazing experience to spend a week with Marion and Mélie in this idyllic area of France. My spoken French is really at more of a beginning level and conversation was my focus. They were both extremely patient with me, helping me learn in a supportive environment. Three hours of French instruction plus breakfast and lunch together was easily over four hours of Immersion each day. Plus four out of five days I was there I had excursions or time with Mélie. The immersion was exactly what I was looking for.
Marion was an extremely knowledgeable guide in Lyon and at the Chateau at Cormatin. I love history and both experiences really were incredible for me. Coming from Canada made me truly appreciative of the incredibly rich and long history in France.
I highly recommend the wine experience. Not only did I get at least 12 hours more of French Immersion, I learned so much about wine and the art of being a sommelier. Mélie is definitely gifted in this area. I was worried that my lack of experience would be uncomfortable but she teaches in a way that builds from one day to the next and built my confidence along the way.
It is a little off the beaten path but after being in Bordeaux and Paris provided me the opportunity to see another very real side of France.
Un grand merci à Eliane et Benjamin pour leur accueil chaleureux à leur jolie maison. Dès mon arrivée, ils m’ont fait sentir le bienvenu et une partie de la famille. J’avais ma propre chambre bien équipée avec le Wifi, la télévision et l’accès à Internet. La chambre était très confortable avec salle de bain privée et une petite cuisine. Tout était d’une propreté supérieure. En plus, Eliane est une bonne prof encourageante, serviable, sympathique et positive. Tout le programme s’est déroulé comme prévu avec plusieurs magnifiques visites dans la région. Elle est bien informée et avait toujours de nombreuses anecdotes historiques à partager avec moi. C’est une personne avec qui je pouvais facilement parler, partager des idées et poser des questions. Pour la cuisine, j’étais d’autant plus impressionné. D’abord, tout était bien à la française, pain et croissants et fruits et légumes toujours frais. Les repas étaient toujours savoureux et appétissants, sains, équilibrés et copieux et bien entendu, toujours arrosés du bon vin. Si vous voulez passer un joli séjour en France, je vous conseille de le faire avec Eliane, Benjamin, et avec la petite Elena. Vous allez vous régaler, faire une étape agréable et apprendre beaucoup de français.
Many thanks to Eliane and Benjamin for their warm welcome to their lovely home. From the moment I arrived they made me feel welcome and part of the family. I had my own room well equipped with Wifi, television and Internet access. The room was very comfortable with private bathroom and a small kitchen. Everything was spotlessly clean. In addition, Eliane is a good, encouraging, helpful, friendly and positive teacher. The whole program went as planned with several wonderful visits to the region. She is knowledgeable and always had many historical anecdotes to share with me. He is a person with whom I could easily talk, share ideas and ask questions. For the kitchen, I was even more impressed. First of all, everything was good à la française, bread and croissants and fruits and vegetables that were always fresh. The meals were always tasty and appetizing, healthy, balanced and plentiful and of course, always washed down with good wine. If you want to have a nice stay in France, I advise you to do it with Eliane, Benjamin, and with little Elena. You will enjoy yourself, have a pleasant stopover and learn a lot of French.
What can I say? I had the best week with Eliane Benjamin and Elena (not forgetting the gorgeous Okami).
I was a little apprehensive about the trip but was immediately put at ease when I arrived being welcomed with a delicious relaxing lunch.
Eliane tailors the lessons to your level but gently pushes you, praising and encouraging all the time. Every day my lessons were interesting and varied. We would chat over breakfast and lunch discussing current affairs, books, TV shows etc. Eliane has a gift of getting the best out of you. We also laughed a lot!!
The accommodation was spotlessly clean and very comfortable with everything I needed, the perfect place to relax after lessons.
The food is amazing. I think Eliane should write her own cookery book, my waistline has definitely grown – beware!!
I feel I have gained confidence in speaking French and my understanding of grammar has improved and would thoroughly recommend this experience.
Thank you xx
In August 2022 I spent 2 weeks in the region of Limousin in the French Immersion Program « Chez Nicole ». It was a wonderful experience that exceeded my expectations. Nicole is a highly educated professor with great knowledge of history and arts. She is organized, attentive and patient. She uses different strategies (exercices of course but also videos, role-playing…) to accommodate the student level as well as incorporate his interests into conversations and lessons.
The house is very pretty with a nice garden. The room for the student is beautiful, clean and confortable.
I loved the opportunity of living in the French Campaign. Limousin is a region with beautiful nature. Il is peaceful and filled with history. Corrèze is particularly special to me with its pretty villages and great farms. That brings to mind the delicious meals Nicole prepares: well-balanced and with fresh products.
Merci beaucoup Nicole.
We spent one week in a French immersion course with Pierre in his lovely home in Tayrac. We felt at ease straight away with his calm and patient demeanor. My husband and I are at different levels of French but Pierre figured a way to help us both progress. We thoroughly enjoyed the lessons, the hiking trips and the home cooked food ! We felt that we both made progress with our French and felt more confident in conversing in French. Many thanks Pierre !
I had been thinking of doing an in-home immersion for several
years. For over twenty years I have done French classes at
various schools, online tutors, and even a week of intense
private lessons at a boarding school. What I was missing was a
more organic experience. I contacted Pierre and he was kind
enough to accept a last minute booking and squeeze me in.
Initially hesitant about sharing personal space with somebody
that I did not know, plus having to communicate in French, I
was surprised how quickly I felt at ease.
Every day I was blown away at the beauty of the countryside
and history of the surrounding villages that we visited. For me it
was a nice balance of structured learning followed by visiting a
chateau and tasting wine, a miellerie and tasting honey, hiking
Pierre has crafted an environment that allows one to focus on
French 100% without any distractions. With the amazing meals
he prepared and planned activities I felt well taken care of. We
spent over 12 hours each day together and his patience never
To top things off and give Pierre a break from all of the cooking,
on my last evening we enjoyed dinner at a restaurant led by a
Michelin starred chef.
This homestay exceeded my expectations and I am already
making plans for another immersion with Pierre. An experience
of a lifetime!
What an amazing week with Eliane and her beautiful family! I wasn’t sure what to expect from an immersion program and was a little nervous before getting to France, but I’m so glad I came. Eliane spent hours talking with me each day, giving small corrections as needed or taking the time to explain a concept I was struggling with. She was a gracious host, taking me for several outings, and making some delicious meals! The studio is tranquil and private, a good way to mentally unwind after concentrating on learning, and there are some cute baby hedgehogs who visit to eat the figs off the ground. Eliane’s adorable (and extraordinarily well behaved) baby and her husband, who also took the time to have some conversation with me, were the cherry on top of a great week.
Thank you for such a rewarding time, my confidence has been boosted and I’m reinvigorated to keep up my studies!
My friend and I spent a delightful week with Eliane. The accommodations were very comfortable. The French breakfast featured sumptuous local pastries and fruit.
Eliane is an excellent cook. Her lunches were wonderful and varied. I enjoyed dining with her family.
The morning French lessons were structured around my needs and wishes. Eliane addressed all of my questions in as much detail as I wanted. We had French conversations on many different topics, — history, culture, cooking, movies, politics, … She paced her discussions to my level and would often restructure her sentences when I had difficulty with comprehension.
Our week with Eliane was wonderful. My friend enjoyed exploring the area or just hanging out while Eliane worked with me. It was a great experience for both an aspiring francophone and an « English only » guest.
Merci mille fois, c’était une semaine formidable !
What a wonderful week of great conversation, lessons to help improve my French pronunciation + grammar. I very much appreciated the music, trips, movie and lessons in all the different subject areas. I look forward to staying in contact with you. Nora Marpole, Canada
Nicole est une prof bien organisée, expérimentée et à l’écoute. Elle s’appuie sur ses connaissances de l’histoire, des arts, de la vie à la campagne et de ses qualités personnelles pour rendre l’immersion exceptionnelle. Le séjour a dépassé mes attentes et Nicole est une prof hors pair.
J’ai eu un coup de cœur pour la Corrèze. Le paysage est magnifique et verdoyant et les vaches limousines sont belles. On a pris nos cours sous la glycine dans le jardin et on a dégusté du vin et des excellents produits locaux sur la terrasse. J’ai adoré le calme et d’être entourée de la nature.
On a profité des visites aux villages et villes voisins pour se plonger dans l’histoire et dans la vie traditionnelle de la région en passant par des boutiques, bien sûr ! Je te conseille de faire une visite guidée au musée national Adrien Débouché à Limoges pour apprendre l’histoire de la porcelaine et de ses utilisations multiples. L’art de la table est vraiment magnifique. Si vous avez l’opportunité d’aller à Brive, je recommande vivement la visite guidée chez la distillerie Denoix. On peut y faire une dégustation des liqueurs. Une visite chez le chocolatier Borzeix Besse dans le village charmant de Treignac est incontournable. Les gâteaux sont à tomber. Une balade au bord de la rivière, la Vézère à la ville médiévale d’Uzerche est un bon moyen de profiter de la nature et de faire de l’exercice après avoir bien mangé !
My stay in Volvic was truly a fantastic experience. I was surprised by how much progress I made in my ability to speak and understand French in just the two weeks I was there. At the beginning of my stay, I hardly understood most of the French being spoken around me, but by the end I could grasp the meaning of almost every conversation I heard and participated in. This was thanks to the fantastic one-on-one French instruction I received along with the complete immersion I had in the language. This stay was also culturally informative. I greatly expanded my knowledge of French culture through directly observing and living it, and through the many culturally important sites I visited as part of my immersion program. Whether it be the stunning cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand, or the panoramic views from the alpine meadows of Puy de Dome, the many excursions and activities made this experience not only informative, but memorable and fun. There were many other factors that made this experience great, such as the kind, welcoming and helpful family, the ample and delicious food, and the living quarters, which were spacious, clean, and, in sum, a perfect place to stay. I was so lucky to be able to have this experience, and I am so grateful that I did.
I can’t say enough good things about my stay with Raymonde! I loved absolutely everything about my immersion experience here. Raymonde is a warm, caring, fun person who takes great care of her students. She is very generous with her time—she took us to the train station whenever we needed to be there, she took us on wonderful excursions, she cooked for us, and she was always available to help us with any small concern or detail at all. She is so kind and always has a smile on her face, and is always checking with her students to make sure we are doing things we like to do and that we feel comfortable and welcome. She cooked amazing meals when we were with her. She hiked with us up a mountain to a restaurant where we ate fondue, she drove us to Montreux and showed us many other beautiful places along the way. Having a knowledgeable local to show us everything is priceless. There is no way a normal tourist would be able to have the same wonderful experience as we had with Raymonde. Her partner Michel is also a very kind and fun person—we were always laughing with him as he sang, visited with us, and had meals with us. They live in a beautiful home in a very charming village!
I can think of no other way to be able to see this area of Switzerland, while at the same time having your own private French tutor who is willing to create your own personal curriculum or study exactly what you want to study and the method in which you feel most comfortable. I am leaving here very grateful and thrilled about this amazing experience! Not only did I practice and improve my French, I had a wonderful person watching over me, spending time with me, teaching me, and ensuring that I experienced the best this area has to offer. This immersion is an experience I will remember with great joy. Raymonde is the best, and I hope I will be able to repeat this experience again! I will miss her!
I joined my niece as the second on the party. I have some French comprehension, and appreciated the opportunity to listen and enjoy the conversations. I got to enjoy the amazing home, company, food, excursions and ambiance. Sitting and looking out the window at the bucolic view, listening to the birds and church bells was so relaxing and peaceful. I am so happy to have the chance and good fortune to visit this beautiful region of Switzerland. Raymonde provided a lovely and unforgettable experience. I really did not want to live. Thank you Raymonde.
Lynn ( Lily) Carol