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I arrived at Hélène’s home in Lyon about 8:30 in the morning, the Monday just after Bastille Day. I was filled with nervous excitement about my next step in learning French. I had spent the last 7 months studying French on-line and with a tutor in the US, and going to monthly French language meetups to try and speak French. Now, French immersion! From the first moment, Hélène put me at ease welcoming me into her home. I quickly settled into a bright and airy room with a well-equipped study space and adjoining bath.

The next two weeks were fantastic allowing me to improve my French to the best of my abilities in a kind and supporting manner. Here I was, now living with Hélène, her husband Laurent and their two wonderful teenage daughters, Manon and Solène. Mornings started at breakfast with everyone and I was there for all the family discussions at dinner. For two weeks I became a part of their family where French was always spoken.

Hélène and I started the mornings at breakfast just talking in French as much as I could. Then we spend several hours in formal lessons, after which, lunch and more talking in French. In the afternoon we went on trips around town, on bike or walking. We went to the markets and on errands with Hélène showing me around the beautiful city of Lyon in a way that only some who lives there and loves the city can do.

Hélène has her home set up for learning French with just about everything noted with cards of their French names, many with pictures. Upon my arrival we went over the diagnostic test I took before I arrived, and we discussed my goals. Hélène was always supportive and focused on helping me meet my goals of learning French.

Hélène and her family are extraordinary, and I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know each of them in the two weeks we spent together. I was introduced to their friends and in the evening, we went to events together as a family, and I was fortunate to be able to join them for a weekend in the country in Ardèche about 2 hours from Lyon.

No review of Hélène’s French immersion experience would be complete without mentioning Kickass, the sweetest dog a family could have, who would come and listen attentively to my French as I practiced pronouncing.

I had a wonderful experience where I went to Lyon to study French but left with a new family.

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