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It has taken me months to sit down and write this letter. My immersion trip with Chantal Paauwen in Mouy last July was such a life-changing experience that I wanted to be sure I captured every aspect of it in my review. Each time I sat down to write, I just couldn’t express the experience in words. I am still not able to find those words, but too much time has passed, and it is important that you know how pleased I was with the entire immersion experience.

As an American who had only studied French as a high school and college student, I always knew I wanted to experience France through the lens of a native French citizen. I couldn’t have asked for a better host and teacher than Chantal!

To begin, Chantal was an incredible host. She helped me design an immersion experience that included every facet of French living. From her daily trip to the local boulangerie to formal meals enjoyed with her family, Chantal introduced me to the French way of life. As a host, she truly opened the doors of her life and her home. The accommodations she provided exceeded my expectations in every way. The studio for immersion students was located near the main house but also provided a private setting in which I could relax or study. Chantal was also a talented chef whose traditional French dishes rivalled any restaurants I have visited.

As a teacher, Chantal planned engaging and thorough lessons each day. She spoke entirely in French, but she personalized her lessons for my level of speaking and writing. She was patient and professional in every way. Her natural sense of humor and welcoming personality immediately put me at ease. By the end of the week I was learning at an intermediate level and enjoying conversations in French—something I had always dreamed of doing.

Chantal truly has a gift for hosting immersion students. I would recommend this immersion program to anyone who has ever wanted to experience France’s beautiful language and culture from the perspective of a French native. Thank you so much for helping to connect me to Chantal and to an experience in France that will last me a lifetime.

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