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I spent a delightful two weeks in the countryside of France with Emilie and her family. My time with them was everything I could have hoped for and more in terms of practicing my French and having an authentic immersion in the south of France.

I immediately felt welcomed and like a part of the family (Emilie, David and Myrtille) upon arrival. Emilie’s house as well as the countryside are stunning and look like something out of a postcard. I’ve also never been able to see so many stars at night as I was able to see at Emilie’s house.

I love that I was fully integrated into Emilie’s life and was able to meet several of her friends as well as explore some of the surrounding area. I was originally concerned about not having a car but ended up enjoying the more relaxed pace and went on several outings with Emilie, as she is very involved within the community.

Working with Emilie on my French was really great and I feel like my spoken and written French both improved dramatically (I joked when I first arrived that I felt like a child and had a “birthday” every day until I left feeling like I was actually 22 years old). My goal was to be able to travel through France and be comfortable speaking in French, and Emilie helped me achieve this goal.

I was fortunate to go on several great outings while staying with Emilie. Some of the highlights include going paragliding with Philippe, one of Emilie’s friends, in the Pyrenees mountains, attending an Iranian dance class that Emilie organized for the women in the area, going for a movie with Myrtille and some family friends, and visiting Toulouse and Aurignac with Emilie. I also enjoyed making crepes with Myrtille and a lemon meringue pie with Emilie. David and Emilie are both wonderful cooks and I really enjoyed getting a taste of everyday French meals.

Overall, this has been an unforgettable experience, and I am so grateful to Emilie, David and Myrtille (and Eustache, their cat) for everything they did to make my stay so enjoyable. Hopefully, I will one day be able to come back for a visit!

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