chantal – Michelle review
Stayed in September 2019
I had the pleasure of staying with Chantal for one week in September. It was an incredible experience.
Chantal is very warm and welcoming and takes care to make her students feel right at home. From the moment Chantal and Stéphane picked me up at the train station and greeted me with bisous they treated me like family. The student bungalow is spotlessly clean and cozy, having all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay.
Chantal is a great teacher – she quickly assessed my speaking ability and identified what I needed to work on. Each morning we walked to the boulangerie and boucherie, then chatted over breakfast. This was followed by three hours of focused instruction with verbal and written exercises and the occasional humorous video. Chantal is patient and would kindly correct my mistakes and prompt me when I was searching for a word. We spoke in French exclusively and covered a lot of complex topics which I could understand because she tailored her speech to my level of comprehension.
My favorite part of the day was lunch, which we shared each day with her mother, Liliane. Chantal is an excellent cook and I enjoyed watching her in the kitchen and making notes of her recipes. I most enjoyed talking to Liliane, who could understand my grammatically incorrect French and told me many stories of her home and of growing up in Paris during WWII. Although I didn’t expect dinner, each night Chantal or Stéphane would appear at my door with a simple dinner on a tray. It was perfect.
We took two excursions, visiting the chateau at Chantilly and Friday morning market in Senlis. Each day we took the dogs for a quick run in the country. After lunch I walked into Mouy and explored the picturesque village and hiked the nature trails in a nearby park. The pool right outside my door was very inviting but the weather was a bit too chilly for me to take advantage of it.
I highly recommend this immersion program. To me, the one-on-one instruction and ability to live with a family and participate in their daily lives makes this a cultural experience that goes beyond simple language instruction. Chantal is a gracious host, a knowledgable tour guide and an excellent instructor who welcomes you into her family. As a student, I couldn’t ask for more.