French Immersion Homestay At Teacher's In Volvic, Auvergne

With Soline - your French tutor, language buddy & host

From €1500 Per Week

  • 15 hours minimum of French tuition with me
  • Fully independent private house (80 m2) with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and terrace
  • 1 meal per day (Lunch) with active French conversations + Welcome aperitif
  • 2 French practice excursions in my region
  • 1 to 4 guests traveling together (family or friends)
Contact Soline
A unique opportunity for you to enjoy an "All-in-French" immersion in Auvergne region, in the heart of the Chaine des Puys, a natural volcanoes site classified by Unesco. Soline, your French trainer will welcome you and your family/friends in your own entire private house. During your French immersion homestay in Volvic, all you need to do is to practice French intensively in an exceptional natural environment by hiking on the volcanoes, discovering the origin of the natural mineral water Volvic and its famous grey stone, or visiting the surrounding cities (Clermont-Ferrand, Vichy, Riom) which are rich of an architectural, economic (Michelin company) and cultural heritage specific to this region.

Amenities/Features

Private Bathroom
Wifi
Garden/Yard
Teaches Adults & Children
Multiple Bedrooms
Free Parking

Sleeping Arrangements

Bedroom 1
1 queen bed
Bedroom 2
2 single bed

Types of Courses Offered: French conversation, professional French, French for specific purposes, exam preparation...

Teacher Certifications: Certificat d'enseignement du FLE (CAVILAM - Alliance Française) - Berlitz International internal training - Cambridge Advanced Certificate - Registered under number 84630536363. This registration does not imply state approval.

Extra Activities/Options: If you are a good walker and you dream of hiking on the volcanoes, I will be happy to help you discover them and to continue to actively practice French during the hikes. On top of that, on site, it is possible to organize yoga sessions, massages, lava enameling courses or sewing classes. For the bravest, we can also plan a paragliding or hot air balloon flight! (depending on the weather and availabilities). A dinner in a local restaurant to taste a delicious Auvergne dish is also a wonderful idea! Contact me for more info and prices.

Meet Soline - your French tutor, language buddy & host In France

Hello to all of you, welcome in the heart of France!

My name is Soline. I am lucky to live, with my husband and our two boys, in a peaceful village in the heart of the Auvergne volcanoes natural park, classified by Unesco, a place known worldwide for its mineral water and its lava stone, Volvic.

Learning helps to know how to teach...

I like saying that before being a trainer of French as a foreign language, I am first and foremost a (greedy) learner of foreign languages and cultures. My journey began at the university, in an English language and civilization course. In this context, I seized the opportunity to work as a French assistant in England. That was more than twenty years ago... since then I have never really left teaching French as a foreign language! A few years later, it was in Denmark, at the French high school in Copenhagen, that I accompanied children and young people in their learning of French. Then my path continued in Flemish Belgium where I was trained by the Berlitz International School with whom I worked with companies, private individuals and some schools. I then decided to become an independent trainer. I obtained my Certificate in tx eaching French as a foreign language at the CAVILAM Alliance Française. Since then, I have been working mainly with newcomers and I occasionally train teachers. By living and learning foreign languages in their respective countries, I quickly realized how crucial it was to be confronted with the language in its context in order to acquire it in a lasting way.

French immersion is THE solution!

Immersion gives you the opportunity to speak only the target language from morning to night, it confronts you with it, and you will put it into practice in a multitude of different contexts, which will allow you to appropriate it and to inscribe it in a durable way in your memory. Make your learning a unique experience, come and "Live your French" in the heart of France, in Volvic!

My French immersion program is actually Your program! Flexibility is the rule.

A tailor-made French immersion, based on your personal goals

My priority is to offer you a completely customized program in order to fit your goals and needs. I can be more or less present. We can share meals or you can be more independent especially thanks to your entire private guest house. I can give you more formal French lessons, or on the contrary replace lesson time with guided excursions. If you are traveling with your family or someone else, I can give you lessons separately or arrange for a semi-private or even group lessons. In this case, other family members can join the lessons or follow us only during the outings. Contact me for more info and prices. Everything at your convenience! We will focus on your goals, whether they are professional, personal, exam preparation or any other goal.

Typical One Week French Homestay Program

However, to give you an idea, here is a kind of typical program for a week stay in Volvic :

  • 15 hours of French language tuition. The formal lessons are usually held in the morning.
  • 2 guided tours with me. We’ll spend the whole afternoon together and I’ll help you practice your French in context as I show you around my beautiful region.
  • Your own comfortable and private accommodation. You’ll be at the same time immerse in our family life if you wish to, yet able to enjoy some quiet time in the privacy of your own home in France.
  • Extra activities available *not included*
  • Preferred arrival on Sunday, departure on Saturday

Special wishes?

Beyond this typical program, you and I can set up a completely customized program for you alone. Want more outings? Want to come with someone? Prefer intensive courses? Do you have a very specific goal? Please contact me. I will be your Single Person Of Contact from the first contact to the end of your training here in Volvic and I will be happy to answer your request.

My French Teaching Credentials And What Method Do I Use?

20 Years Experience Teaching French

I’ve been teaching French for 20 years now. I started teaching in Great-Britain, then in Denmark and Flemish Belgium to kids and adults alike. I have been training in companies, individuals, in private or in group classes. I was trained by the Berlitz International School in Brussels, and few years later, I obtained a certificate in teaching French as a foreign language at the CAVILAM Alliance Française.

Lessons and action

I propose you a balanced program, with lessons to work on the language itself on the one hand, and activities, outings and visits to share the cultural and informal aspects of French on the other hand. Sharing these moments with me will allow you to express yourself in a more spontaneous way and to gain confidence when you are speaking French. This last point is a crucial step in the progression of your language learning.

Experiencing your French!

Everything is said! Come and live your French intensively, on a brain-friendly way. As I said above, learning a language in context is the best way to progress and memorize it in a lasting way. You will practice the language through different types of experiences, visiting the Michelin Adventure, the Volvic stone caves or the history of Volvic's natural mineral water, following a guided walk in the depths of a Volcano, or simply sharing a family dinner around a barbecue.

Learning with pleasure is the key to success.

If your brain associates pleasant moments with your learning, neural connections will be made more easily and your memory will function over the long term. This is why I offer a variety of activities in addition to the French courses. From hiking in the Chaine des Puys, or visiting cultural, economic or picturesque sites, to workshops on local activities such as enameling on lava stone. You have certainly already experienced these conditions of learning in different areas, observe how you can remember them today... Try it, you'll see!

Learn French In France – Your French immersion Program in Volvic, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Welcome to the majestic environment of the Auvergne!

Here, water, volcanoes, stone and wide open spaces reign... the Auvergne has a lot to offer you! It is a great region of nature with varied and amazing landscapes, offering a multitude of activities throughout the year. Do you like hikking, running, cycling, mountain biking, skiing or are you looking for thrills? Are you interested in volcanism, geology, fauna and flora of the middle mountains? You will be satisfied! but not only...

The surrounding towns are full of architectural treasures, traces of a rich historical past.

Clermont-Ferrand and its cathedral made of lava stone, Riom, the former royal capital of Auvergne, Vichy, the thermal city. Even the small village of Volvic has its own medieval castle, the Tournoël castle, dating from the 10th century!

Clermont-Ferrand, land of tires!

And of course, one cannot mention Clermont-Ferrand without mentioning the famous tire manufacturer Michelin, who was responsible for the phenomenal development of this working-class town. A visit to "L'Aventure Michelin" is a must if you want to know all the history and the emergence of a small family rubber company that gave birth to this city in the center of France, and that still makes it live today.

And without going so far...

Here, on the spot, in Volvic, you will be able to discover the history of the famous volcanic stone of Volvic and that of the natural mineral water which takes its source only a few kilometers from your lodging. A very pleasant walk will lead you to the medieval castle of Tournoël (mentioned above), a jewel of French history. You will also have the possibility to visit a lava enameling workshop if you wish.

Last but not least, you are in the land of cheese!

No less than five cheeses with the "appellation d'origine contrôlée": Saint Nectaire, Cantal, Salers, Bleu d'Auvergne and Fourme d'Ambert. And many others that you can taste at your leisure. The gastronomes are not left out, many restaurants propose you a local cooking combining delicacy and rusticity.

Your French Immersion Homestay Accommodations in Volvic, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

An entire independent house for yourself in an authentic 19th century building

Situated in the heart of the village and fitted out in an old 19th century barn, your house is the result of a renovation that we wished to carry out with respect for the building and the environment. You will stay in a spacious interior (80 sq.m) where the charm of the place and the modernity of the simple and practical arrangements coexist. It is an entire independent house of a capacity of 4 persons (+ 1 baby). On the ground floor, you will find an entrance, an equipped laundry room (washing machine, dryer, maintenance kit...), plus an independent WC and a washbasin. On the first floor, a large living room is open on a fully equipped kitchen (dishwasher, fridge/freezer, oven, espresso machine, kettle...) and on a large terrace facing south - south/west, to enjoy the sun while doing your French homework. On the second floor : two rooms with high comfort are welcoming you (and your family/friends), each room has its own bathroom. One room is equipped with a queen bed (180x200), and the second one has twin beds which are ajustable in a 160x200 bed. All beddings are high quality and new. All bed and household linen is provided of course ;) Free WIFI access (and wire network) in the whole gite and terrace. TV. You are staying in a quiet and secure environment (located in a dead end street). Free parking on the spot. You will also have the possibility to store bikes or other equipment in a secure garage if you wish to. The gite is a non-smoking accommodation, but you are allowed to smoke on the terrace, using an ashtray. Our friends the animals are not welcome in your accommodation, we have ourselves a cat named "Poes" which is likely to come to visit you on the terrace as our house is next door!

In a quiet area, close to all amenities

You will find all the local necessities in Volvic, a bakery three minutes away for fresh bread and croissants :P, a butcher's shop, a store selling local gastronomic specialties (wine, cheese, sausages, pâtés...) and a mini-market for emergency supplies. There is also a weekly market within walking distance where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other local products. At 5 minutes by car, a commercial area will allow you to complete your shopping and to refuel your car if you have one.

Several ways to come to Volvic

The highways are 15 minutes away by car. Daily rail links between Paris and Riom. Riom is the nearest train station, 15 minutes away by car, and Clermont-Ferrand station is about 30 minutes away. Clermont-Ferrand airport is about 30-40 minutes away. I can pick you up at the train station or at the airport of Clermont-Ferrand for free. It is also possible to arrive at Lyon Saint Exupéry airport. I can also pick you up there with extra charge.

You want to come with your family or friends?

If you are traveling with your family, friends, they will be able to stay in your guest house (up to four persons). If you wish to come with a group, you can find many comfortable Bed and Breakfast options around including facilities which could accommodate a group. The program fee does not include additional guests. Please do not hesitate to contact me for more info and prices.


Contact Soline - your French tutor, language buddy & host

French Immersion in Volvic, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Visit Soline's Website


NOTE: All immersion teachers/hosts are completely independent of French Today. All communication, transactions and contracts will be exclusively done between you and the immersion teacher/host.


Reviews (6)

Showing 1 - 6 of 6
Marc

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.

Eleanor

I was so lucky to have spent a week with Soline and her family! Before I even arrived, Soline went out of her way to tailor my immersion experience to my needs and interests. She and I spent our mornings conversing in French and honing my grammar skills. In the afternoon, we’d hike around one or the many gorgeous volcanoes close by. Soline and her family made me feel extremely welcome and comfortable. Their cooking was delicious. The gite was well designed, with a lovely porch from which I’d listen to the birds as I ate pastries from a bakery just a few steps away. My French skills improved enormously over the week. I would happily return!

Eleanor

Bill & Cindy

            Volvic, France.  My wife, Cindy, and I drove into this small town, famous for its natural spring water, on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Although we have spent several months crisscrossing France over the years since retiring ten years ago, we had never spent any time in the Auvergne region.  We came here to fill this “hole” in our knowledge of France and to improve our French.  Thus began a wonderful week with Soline Sterbecq and her family as part of the France Today immersion program. 

             Volvic is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne and is located about 15 kilometers northwest of Clermont-Ferrand.  Like many small towns in this area, Volvic is nestled on a hillside. Behind it, the hills continue to rise and on the ridgeline overlooking it and the valley below is, of course, a castle, Château Tournoël.

            Cindy and I met Soline in the late afternoon that Sunday.  She showed us our apartment, which was next to her house.  As we later learned, her husband, Jérôme, and she had converted what was many, many years ago a barn into a very modern and well decorated 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment that also served as a “gite” when not housing her students. That night, we met Jérôme over an aperitif and learned that the couple’s two boys were spending their spring vacation at their grandparents’ farm near Chartres. 

            The next morning, and each morning through Friday, classes started at 9:00 a.m. sharp.  Soline came to our apartment where the classes were held around the dining room table and lasted until noon.  As both my wife and I have reached the intermediate level, Soline concentrated on improving our conversation skills.  We covered a range of topics, and, after each day, we received written notes reminding us of what we had covered and what we needed to work on. Towards the end of the week, we played some word games to improve our vocabulary.

            After the morning sessions, Soline (and Jérôme) prepared a scrumptious lunch that we shared with them either at their dining table or on their outdoor patio while continuing to speak French. On Monday evening, Soline invited us to her house for dinner, where we again were able to enjoy delicious French food and wine while practicing our French. 

            Besides daily morning classes during the week, we took two afternoon excursions with Soline and, on other afternoons, explored the region on our own.   In the way of background, in the months before traveling to France, we were able to select where we wanted to go for our two excursions.  We chose to visit Vichy and Clermont-Ferrand, two nearby but quite different cities.  In each case, Soline was able to find two excellent local tour guides.  In Vichy, one of the great spa towns of Europe, a retired French actor led us on an outstanding and entertaining walking tour of the art deco/art nouveau central downtown area, including its sparkling opera house.

            Likewise in Clermont-Ferrand our guide was top-notch, and the tour of the city center very informative.  Especially striking was the majestic Cathedrale Notre Dame de l’Assomption, which was built entirely in black lava stone making it highly distinctive and visible from a great distance.

            On two of our ”free” afternoons, Cindy and I hiked in the hills overlooking Volvic, on one day visiting the place where the Volvic water originates and on the other day climbing up to the Château Tournoël (though the castle was not yet open for the season). 

            And on a third afternoon, Wednesday, we drove about 20 kilometers south to the visitor’s center below Le Puy de Dôme, an extinct volcanic mountain that along with other volcanic mountain peaks in the area dominate the landscape in this central region of France.

            From the visitor’s center we took the tourist train to the lava “dome” on top of the mountain.  There, we could see for miles in all directions since the day was clear and crisp.  Besides those of us enjoying the 360- degree views, there were many locals parasailing –- taking advantage of the brisk winds and the many easy jump-off points atop the domed mountain.

            On Thursday night, Soline invited us to join her at one of her favorite local restaurants for a “farewell” dinner.  Again, the evening was quite enjoyable and provided ample opportunity to practice our French, ordering our meals and discussing the world’s problems over excellent regional French food and wine!

            All in all, it was a memorable week, well-worth the time and expense of the trip.  Thank you to Soline for the detailed planning in advance and outstanding execution during our week in Volvic and to both Soline and Jérôme for your wonderful hospitality throughout our stay.  Quelles merveilleuses vacances!

Jonathan and Terry

We loved the Gite de la Planche! France assigned four stars to the Gite but we would give it five. It has everything one would want for an extended stay, which for us was two weeks while we worked on our French with Soline and her family, all of whom were very gracious during our stay.

We chose to study French with Soline in Volvic because we wanted a teacher with solid credentials in a town where people would not automatically switch into colloquial English whenever we walked into a store or restaurant, or as we just walked around town. We were not disappointed, and quickly settled into a daily routine of French with Soline in the mornings followed by afternoon outings where we of course practiced our French some more. Soline was solicitous in shaping our activities to match my wife’s and my varied interests and proved adept at working our schedule around the vagaries of Volvic’s weather in late March and early April, when one can experience all four seasons in the course of a day. Be sure not to miss going to the top of the Puy de Dome or a visit to Coline’s lava art workshop during your own stay!

When the need arose for a visit to the doctor, Soline arranged an appointment at the local clinic. A very positive experience, and yet another opportunity to practice our French. The village of Volvic had everything we needed. Soline kindly picked us up at the train station and took us back to catch the train to Paris at the end of our stay: no need to rent a car.

This was our second of two, two-week French immersion study sessions. We now feel capable of navigating around and staying anywhere in France where little English is spoken.

Thank you, Soline. A bientot!

Jonathan and Terry

Pat and Jeremy

La meilleure formation linguistique que j’ai trouvée est la méthode d’immersion totale. Il y a une semaine je suis partie avec mon mari pour une semaine de formation en immersion française dans la belle Auvergne. Celui-ci a été dirige par l’incroyable Soline Sterbecq de French in Context (www.frenchincontext.com).

Pendant une semaine nous n’avons parlé que français, cours avec Soline le matin, suivi d’un déjeuner (Soline et son mari Jérôme étaient de très bons cuisiniers), puis l’après-midi découverte de la belle campagne et des villes d’Auvergne, de Vichy au champ de bataille de Gergovia, tout en français et parfois avec des guides locaux. Il y avait en plus l’hospitalité de Soline et Jérôme certains soirs. C’était un travail vraiment dur, mais Soline nous a aidés en grammaire mais surtout en parlant français dans tous les environnements. C’était toujours amusant et notre confiance dans la parole et notre vocabulaire ont tellement augmenté au cours de la semaine. Nous avons couvert un très large éventail de sujets, allant de la politique, de la culture, de l’éducation et de la science. Et nous avons beaucoup ri !
Cordialement, et bonne weekend, 

Pat

David and Wendy

Le dernier mois j’ai passé une semaine de cours immersif français un-a-une avec Soline Sterbecq de « French in Context » en la belle région de l’Auvergne. C’était une expérience inoubliable ; un défi bien sûr, mais si productif, récompensant, et agréable aussi, pas pour moi seulement, mais pour m’épouse Wendy aussi. Soline, ma professeure, était une femme très sympa, patient, professionnelle mais gentille. Nous avons eu beaucoup des blagues pendant nos conversations en français.  Les 3 ½ heures nous avons passé toutes les matins parlé français semblé de tirer par.  J’ai profité si beaucoup de l’expérience.

D’apprendre une langue n’est pas facile ; ce sera une marche longue, je sais ça. Mais je l’adore, et maintenant après mon temps avec Soline je suis pleine de motivation, et enthousiasme. Je sens j’ai fait grand progrès pendant le dernier mois. Maintenant je juste veux le faire encore. Au fait, nous allons revenu encore l’année prochaine. Si vous été sérieux à propos d’apprendre Français je ne peux pas recommande Soline assez.

David

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