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Chantal – Brian, Nancy & Adam review

Stayed in September 2019

Chantal – Picardie Town – Flexible French Immersion At Teacher’s + Pool

The French immersion was a wonderful experience and I cannot praise Chantal’s teaching ability enough. She quickly assessed my ability by conversing with me after picking me up at the Airport. She then selected lessons to strengthen my weaknesses. We worked a solid three hours per day with lessons and she gave me an hour or two of homework to practice each evening on my own.

Beyond the lessons, we were also speaking French a great deal at the breakfast and lunch table and during our excursions. She was constantly correcting me, but did it in a very friendly way and I appreciated it. The whole point of the trip was improving my ability to communicate properly and I could sense good progress. No one will magically become fluent in one week but I definitely felt more confident in using my French by the end of the week and felt more prepared to handle my classes upon my return home.

Chantal and her partner, Stephane, were also the most wonderful hosts. They could not have been more friendly and welcoming to us and treated us as if we were part of their own family.

I traveled with my wife and teenage son and we stayed in the bungalow unit next to the pool. It was very comfortable for three people. We took our breakfast in Chantal’s home just before beginning the day’s lessons. We had our main meal in the afternoon with Chantal and her mother in the main house, which is connected to the home of Chantal and Stephane.

Speaking with Chantal’s mom, who only spoke French, was a big part of the learning experience. The food was always wonderful and all we really needed in the evening was a light snack to satisfy us until the next morning. We also had a few opportunities to use the pool in the evening and it was very relaxing.

My wife and son were not participating in the lessons but they occupied themselves exploring the town while I was busy. Mouy is a small town and there was not a lot to do there, but there are markets, parks and a train station within walking distance.

My family and I took the train to Gare du Nord-Paris one afternoon by ourselves and we explored the Montmartre neighborhood and visited Sacre Coeur, which is within walking distance of the Paris station. We also did two afternoon excursions with Chantal serving as our tour guide. We explored the Chateau at Chantilly and the Ville of Compiegne. Both were beautiful and Chantal explained the sites to me in French and I translated into English for my family.

Chantal picked us up and dropped us off at Charles deGaulle airport so we got by the whole week without a car. Since we took the train to Paris and did our excursions with Chantal, a car was not necessary during the week. You may want to explore more areas by the train or rent a car to drive but that is an individual determination. We got along fine without a car rental.

One final piece of advice. We arrived in France three days before the immersion week began and we used that time to take the train to Strasbourg and explore that city before taking the train back to the airport and meeting Chantal. That provided time to recover from the jet lag of the trip to Europe. I think I would have been too tired to concentrate on the language lessons if I had begun them the very next day after arriving in France. So I was glad we had a few days to adjust to the time change before beginning the immersion lessons and then returned home after the immersion week was done.

In sum, a wonderful week. I felt I learned more about French culture and language being in Chantal’s house than ever would have been possible if I had stayed in a hotel and spent the week visiting tourist attractions. This was my first immersion vacation.

I hope to participate in more immersion experiences in the future. I fully recommend Chantal to anyone interested in this type of experience.

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