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Avignon was our third séjour linguistique in the last five years. Each has been remarkably pleasant in its own way. And each of our profs has been helpful, thoughtful, and knowledgeable. But there was something special about Julie Gaudin and Avignon.

First, Avignon is a charming city that benefits from a “taille humaine” and, second, Julie is a charming prof with an infectious eagerness and the energy of youth.

Debbie and I had been to Avignon for 48 hours about two years ago prior to touring Provence on a group bicycle trip. We therefore knew some of the city’s charms. Our plan was to study with Julie for a week and then tour the city and the region on our own for ten days. This worked out well.

Julie sent us a questionnaire in advance of our arrival asking us about dietary issues and requests, activities of interest (she supplied a list of suggestions and excursions), and language skill goals. She followed through on that exercise.

An adept cook, Julie whipped up some of my favorite French dishes including sweet breads (ris de veau). She took Debbie to a Pilates class. And, one of our favorite excursions included a kayak trip under the Pont du Gard.

Debbie and I are at two different language skill levels and Julie adjusted accordingly. She also served as a graciously effective umpire when our competitive juices were flowing. Her classes were efficient and fun. She has a pleasant way of drawing people out into challenging conversations.

Finally, her accommodations were excellent. They are spacious, appealing, and well located in town.

Debbie and I are already plotting a return trip.

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