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My week of French immersion with Françoise was a fabulous experience. I feel like both my understanding of the French language and my facility in speaking have had a big boost. From the moment Françoise welcomed me to her lovely apartment I was thoroughly immersed in speaking. However, she made me feel right at home; her apartment and neighborhood are exactly as she described them, she is a gracious and friendly host, fabulous cook, and fun to be with.

Françoise set high standards for my daily three-hour dose of intense study. She quickly determined my fluency level and my weak points. By the end of the week, I not only felt more confident in speaking but gained a better understanding of what I need to do as I study on my own. Even though I didn’t suddenly become a fluent speaker of French, Françoise has given me the tools I need to continue to improve.

In addition to the formal study, Françoise helped me feel comfortable moving around the various arrondissements of Paris on my own, by bus, metro or “à pied”. During my free time, and with her good directions, I was able to visit several private museums many tourists never see. She also helped me discover how to get tickets for two very popular sites, the Fondation Louis Vuitton and the Atelier et Lumières exposition.

In addition to our initial tour of the Batignolles quartier, Françoise proved to be an excellent guide as she led me through parts of Paris I had not visited on previous trips. As we walked through Montmartre, she provided history as well as a look at the non-touristy parts of the quartier.  On another excursion we visited the Latin quarter, the Panthéon, the beautiful église Sainte Geneviève, and due to Françoise’s expertise, we were able to get a personalized tour of the law library. She gave me good ideas for some things to see during the few extra days I stayed after the immersion week, including finding an atelier for French cuisine that offered short and inexpensive classes, all in French of course.

For my last night, Françoise invited a delightful friend to join us for dinner and conversation. Françoise prepared the main course, a delicious dish of ham and endive that required a béchamel sauce which I got to prepare. It was a perfect end to a very special week.

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