Your French Immersion Homestay Program in Loiret
My name is Nathalie. Welcome to my house!
I am a 55 years old French woman, and I have been living most of my life in Paris. Last year, I settled down in Auxy, a tiny country village of the Loiret region, located only one hour south from Paris.
Here, I am now fulfilling my dream to restore my gorgeous family house, garden, paint, cook and host family and friends: activities that I’d love to share with you in French!
I have been in contact with many foreigners since I worked for many years in the travel and communication industry. I speak English fluently, and therefore understand the challenges of speaking another language. Although I am not a French teacher, I am confident I will be able to help you practice your French in the context of our daily activities and tours, in a relaxed, natural way.
Of course, to best take advantage of this immersion program, it’s better if you are already conversant in French (level B1 or higher) since unlike the other teachers of the French Today immersion team, I will not provide formal French lessons. I will however adapt my speaking to your French level: using simpler or more challenging constructions, tenses and expressions depending on what works for you.
I have a wonderful 26 years old daughter, Marie, who lives in Paris and often visits with her boyfriend. Actually, my house in Auxy is quite popular among my friends and family, so chances are you’ll get to meet them too!
The other permanent residents are my cute black-and-white cat named Simon, and my two egg-laying hens, Thérèse and Monique!
Food is an important part of French culture, and cooking is one of my hobbies. I therefore also offer a “foodie option” with cooking lessons given by four different teachers: a fun way to mix your interest for French cuisine and practice your French with many different people.
Welcome to My Home in Loiret
My home is a mansion house built in 1770 by an English aristocrat Lady. It’s located in a very small and quiet village midway between the Seine and the Loire Rivers, surrounded by wheat and corn fields.
Once through the entrance gate, you will enjoy the paved courtyard, where we usually have meals in the summer under the 4 centuries-old lime trees. At the back of the house, there is a 20 000 sq. ft. garden with deck chairs, table-tennis set, fruit trees…
Inside the house, on the ground level, there are two large living rooms and one formal dining room with fireplaces, an eat-in kitchen, a laundry room, a toilet and my shower room. The house is quite large!
Decoration is one of my favorite hobbies! I have tried to harmoniously mix the 18th-century style of the mansion with antique family pieces as well as items I brought back from all over the world or shopped on flea markets, garage sales…
If you like to go antiquing, I’ll be happy to go with you. There are many yard sales around here, and it’s a great place to practice your French and learn vocabulary in context.
I love food, and and I love cooking. Preferably with local and seasonal products, mainly bought in the organic farm close to the village. I can cook French traditional dishes such as boeuf-bourguignon, soupe à l’oignon or pot-au-feu, as well as exotic dishes like chicken tajine, masala shrimps, and also some family recipes such as my Russian grandma’s pirojki, or my Mum’s best-in-the-world tomates farcies!
Desserts are usually made with the garden treasures: apples, wild strawberries, figs, raspberries, mint…I must confess that I am not a specialist in diet cuisine! I do not know how to cook neither vegan nor dairy free, but I can learn if you teach me.
When we are not eating in the garden, we often seat at the kitchen’s table. We can chat in French while I cook and you enjoy a glass of wine.
Your Private Suite in France
A wooden stairway leads up to the first floor where your private suite is.
The student suit consists of two bedrooms, a little living room with a sofa that could be used by a child, a bathroom and separate toilets.
Both bedrooms have a queen size bed.
Both bedrooms feature a garden view, large French windows with shutters and are very quiet.
The bathroom has two sinks and a bathtub. The toilet is in a separate room.
To host you in the best conditions, this part of the house has been fully renovated in 2017.
If you wish to come with friends or family, feel free to ask, there are several other bedrooms available: they are a bit more rustic since they have not yet been renovated.
Please note that, even though the house is comfortably equipped and has a lot of character, it is still an “antic lady”, with a kind of slightly bohemian style, quite different from a luxury brand new palace.
The Loiret Region in France
Whether you would like to have a cultural, sporting, gastronomic or relaxing stay, you will be happy in the Loiret!
Auxy is located in a very central area, about an hour south of Paris, and 40 minutes away from Orléans.
My house is surrounded by corn and wheat fields, and we can walk in nature, in the large nearby forests or by the peaceful banks of the Loire rivers.
There are many sites to visit around here as well: Sully castle, St Benoit abbey, Gien and Orleans historic cities; the medieval villages of Yèvres-le-Chatel or Ferrières-en-Gâtinais; the historical castles of Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte; Barbizon, the village of Painters; the museum of perfume in Chamerolles; the amazing André Eve rose garden in Pithiviers; the Eiffel canal bridge in Briare …
If you are gourmet, I will take you to the Chocolate museum in Nemours, or to the beautiful city of Sancerre, where we can visit the wine cellars, experience good restaurants, taste wines.
You can also practice your favorite sport nearby: tennis (clay courts), outdoor pool (summer only), golf, horseback riding, cycling, hiking in Orléans or Fontainebleau forests…
Practical Info About Your French Immersion Course Homestay
As I stated before, since I am not a French teacher, guests coming to practice their French in immersion should already be conversant in French. I can, however, speak English with your traveling companions.
My house is located in the countryside, near a tiny village called Auxy. There are no shop, restaurant nor public transportations in Auxy, so in order to be independent, I suggest you rent a car. Should you not rent a car, I’ll be happy to drive you around, but I will have to ask for a 50 Euros gas fee (a full tank), maybe more should we decide on doing several longer excursions.
The nearest airport is Paris-Orly. Direct trains from Paris-Gare de Lyon leave every hour to Nemours within 50 minutes. Pick up at Charles-de-Gaulle or at Orly or at the Nemours train station can be arranged.
The house is non-smoking, but smokers are welcome, as far as they do not smoke inside the house. I occasionally smoke a cigarette in the garden, although I am seriously trying to quit!
There is wifi reception throughout the house.
Caution: there are steps throughout the house, which makes it not easily accessible by someone with limited mobility.
I am happy to welcome your pet as long as it is friendly, quiet and obedient, gets along with my cat, and won’t run away nor chase my hens!
A One Week (7 Days, 6 nights) Residential French Immersion Includes:
- Accommodation in your own suite with a private bathroom.
- Three meals a day with me: French breakfast, 3 courses lunch (or a prepared picnic lunch, for sightseeing days), and 3 courses dinner, with wine or beer. My friends and family will often join us, especially in summer.
- Four accompanied French practice excursions or cultural activities – eg. a visit to Orléans, a walk in Fontainebleau forest, a visit to a local château or special garden, a local festival, – according to your interests (museums entry fees not included). During these excursions, we will speak French together.
I can be more or less present, spend a lot of time with you chatting away in French, or give you more personal space. Before your arrival, we’ll discuss how you imagine your immersion stay and I’ll give you plenty of additional info on what is available around here. I will happily adapt to special requests. Just let me know.
For this program, the fee for one person is 1200 Euros per week.
If you are a larger family/group traveling together, contact me for more pricing information.
If you are a foodie like me, why not combine French cooking classes and French immersion?
If you choose this option, the focus of your stay will be food and gastronomy. You’ll stay in my house, sharing your day with me and practicing your French as described above, but also enjoy 4 cooking classes (that’s 12 hours of guided French practice), and a lunch in a gastronomic restaurant.
Cooking lessons are given by three different teachers, who will join us for dinner after the lessons and help you practice your French.
- Marie-Caroline, expert in exotic food
- Raymond, expert in organic recipes
- Yvette, specialist of traditional cooking
- And me, expert in family cuisine
The price of this full board option is Euros 1500 per week for one student (+500 for one additional guest sharing the same bedroom).
If this programs interests you, please let me know and I’ll give you additional information.
My Approach to a French Immersion
A French immersion with me means more than an immersion in the French language: of course, our daily activities, tours, and visits will provide plenty of opportunities to practice French and learn new vocabulary in context, but more importantly, you will experience a true French lifestyle.
Relax in the comfort and security of my family house, share a meal with me, discover this amazing region of France and enjoy a true vacation while improving your French.
Contact Nathalie – French Immersion Homestay Host
PLEASE NOTE NATHALIE’S PROGRAM IS CLOSED DECEMBER TO MARCH (included).
Follow Nathalie’s Bilingual Articles On French Today, Where She Talks About Her Beautiful Region.
Reviews From Immersion Guests
Brian and Gail – 2018 – Immersion en France dans le Loiret
We have just spent a wonderful week in Auxy with Nathalie working on our very basic French conversation skills. As a couple we have very different levels of spoken and written French but Nathalie was able to work with both of us.
Staying in Auxy was a great delight. Nathalie’s mansion house was amazing to live in. It was built before the English landed in Australia!
We had a wonderful walk in the le forêt d’Orleans, visited the city of Orleans, the small medieval village of Yevre-le-Chatel and Chateau Fontainebleau.
Time by the roaring open fire in the evening and dinner with Nathalie’s friends from the village stretched our french, both in speaking and listening. It was a great challenge.
Our last day happened to be Le 11 Novembre and the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War. It was a privilege to join with the people of Auxy in the ceremony held around their very unique memorial.
Merci Nathalie, merci Auxy.
Pamela – 2018 – French Immersion in France’s Loiret
I spent 2 weeks with Natalie and loved every minute of my adventure! Nathalie is funny, warm, and enthusiastic, and I felt instantly at home with her. I love her house and Simon, the cat.
If your goal is to speak French constantly, this is an ideal immersion for advanced speakers. I was especially appreciative of the numerous interactions with Nathalie’s many friends – apéros, dinner parties, dancing, and petanque competitions!
It was terrific to be surrounded by locals with differing French accents and conversations at a machine-gun pace. Excellent practice!
This was my fifth immersion experience with French Today, and once again, I was not disappointed.
I have already made plans to return to Auxy next year, and look forward to spending another week with Nathalie and her friends.
David – 2018 – French Immersion in France’s Loiret
My memorable week with Nathalie followed two weeks of immersion at other venues and it proved to be a perfect conclusion for my visit from Australia.
I am somewhat challenged in the hearing area – however I found that I could understand virtually everything that Nathalie said to me, the exceptions being those words or expressions with which I was not familiar. Of course, she was speaking to me at a rate which was slower than normal and when she spoke to French friends I was not always able to follow. Her diction is excellent and I learned a lot from her. In addition, the opportunity to speak in French all day is a marvelous aid to making progress along the road to fluency.
Her home is special. Set in spacious grounds, it is a grand old structure – built before the French Revolution. My apartment was comfortable, with everything that I needed. Most of our meals together were at a table outside in an enclosed cobbled courtyard with a statue of Diana alongside and the house itself is filled with all sorts of antique treasures.
Nathalie has a gift of being able to quickly whip up any one of a variety of delicious French dishes.
Thank you Nathalie for that opportunity to share a week of your life. Attached photo is from an evening when friends came to share a meal.
Jessica – 2018 – French Immersion in France’s Loiret
I decided to do an immersion week to improve the fluency of my spoken French, as well as my confidence.
I chose to stay with Nathalie as she wasn’t located too far from Paris, where I was staying, and the area looked beautiful.
I am so glad that I chose to stay with Nathalie! She was incredibly welcoming and friendly, and despite being fairly nervous, I felt at ease straight away. Her house and garden were lovely, she had two adorable cats, and it was really nice to have my own part of the house.
We did many excursions, such as visiting Fontainebleau castle, looking in vintage shops, going to the market, walks and bike rides through the countryside and visiting other villages.
Throughout these trips Nathalie and I discussed a broad range of topics, allowing me to pick up a lot of vocabulary and get better at explaining myself in French.
I was also invited to a dinner party and an annual party, where I met lots of other French people and got to practice French in a natural environment.
Overall, not only did Nathalie help me to gain confidence and make my French feel more natural, I also had a really fun, relaxing week in a beautiful part of France.
It was a really great experience and I’m thinking about coming back next year to do it again!.
John – 2018 – French Immersion Homestay Near Paris
I had an excellent time at Natalie’s staying in a mini-suite of my own in her lovely house and garden.
She made me feel immediately welcome and at ease, adapting her speaking, both speed and use of language, to my modest understanding of French, reinterpreting difficult conversations that I had not fully understood between her and her friends or on our trips to various sites close to the house.
Her daughter visited from Paris for a few days and was equally helpful and welcoming, gently correcting my French but never making me feel stupid or over self-conscious when I did not understand or struggled to express myself.
Natalie’s food and cooking was also wonderful and the meals relaxed and informal, starting with a lovely breakfast and coffee, a picnic or excellent lunch, thé anglais around 4pm, apéros at 6ish, often with friends, and a nice meal later in the evening.
I have come away feeling more confident and less timid about speaking French, happier to initiate a conversation and grateful to Natalie for welcoming me into her house and involving me in her daily life.
Emma – 2018 – French Immersion Homestay Near Paris
I decided to stay with Nathalie because it was simply immersion- in the fall I will be a senior in high school taking my sixth year of French, so I thought it would be beneficial to learn and practice the language in a different method than lessons.
Right away, Nathalie was able to adjust to my level of French very well. She helped me to verbalize my thoughts in French and discuss everything from 1970s folk music to Henry Clay Frick– which was quite a break from the verb conjugations and grammar exercises in school. It was nice to hear the vocabulary spoken by the French compared to what I learn in the classroom, as well– it turns out the word “mobylette” isn’t really used much anymore :).
Nathalie’s home was very lovely and welcoming, and although jet lag often got the better of me with daily naps, I really enjoyed spending time in the courtyard and the back yard. I loved the history of her house, as well as in the region. We visited three castles– Chamerolles, Sully-sur-Loire, and Fontainebleau– all wonderful in their own ways, and all unlike anything in the United States.
I’m fond of painting, and so Nathalie suggested we visit Barbizon. It was fantastic and definitely a highlight for me.
Nathalie is an excellent cook, and I enjoyed the meals we shared with her friends. It really helped to characterize the country in a way only a homestay can.
I definitely recommend a stay with Nathalie, and I would repeat my time there without a second thought.
Johanna – 2018 – French Immersion Homestay Near Paris
I chose to use French Today because it seemed a solid and reliable company. It was difficult choosing which teacher to apply to stay with. I decided to apply to stay with Nathalie because she was based in a village, she wasn’t too far south so the weather wouldn’t be too hot and she offered French conversation with no lessons.
This suited me down to the ground. I wanted to build on my conversation skills, to put into use vocabulary I’d learned here in Singapore and I wanted to begin developing a sense of humour in French. I had had experience of language immersion but not in French. I was somewhat nervous about how I would go. Nathalie had stated that she preferred B1/B2 level. Thankfully she accepted me at A2 level.
I paid extra in order to be picked up from Paris which was well worth it. The French began from the moment I got in the car! I was somewhat nervous I have to say. Would I manage? Did I have enough vocabulary? Would Nathalie and I get on?
I had an awesome time! Nathalie was welcoming, friendly, intelligent and funny. Prior to my arrival she emailed to ask what I hoped to get out of the program so she had the heads up prior to my arrival. Nathalie quickly found some children’s books with songs in French that I could start learning. I showed her my murder mystery book in French that I’d bought. Way too hard she said. I’ll find you something more suitable (all said in French). She found me a book she’d had as a child called Contes et légendes du Mexique by Fernand Nathan. I read the story called La cucuracha. It began like this: Il était une fois une cucuracha…..
We visited a traditional market next to a beautiful river. At a tabac shop I bought a magazine called Marmiton. I thought Marmiton was just a website. Apparently not. There were loads of good recipes (all in French) I offered to cook one of the recipes for dinner (see the photo). Such fun. We also bought food for a picnic and went and sat beside a beautiful river and ate lunch. We visited Fontainebleu which was truly amazing. Living in Singapore, we are a bit short of space. The sheer size of Fontainebleu just blew me away.
We did what I call a mini Camino. A walk had been laid out beginning in a village and then going beside a river and fields and back to the village. We just had to follow the yellow arrows. We went to a local bar after that for quick drink. I talked to some locals. One evening Nathalie’s friend held a dinner party. I was invited. What a privilege. They were inclusive but at the same time spoke at their normal pace, no slowing down for me. It was awesome. I loved the challenge.
Another evening we went down to the community space and watched the semi-finals of the world cup soccer. For Bastille day we went and watched a Spectacle with dancing, music and fireworks. This was followed by a disco.
Nathalie introduced me to popular music in France for example Claude Francois. I started to learn how to sing Si J’avais un marteau, je cognerais le jour – the French version of If I had a Hammer.
As you might have guessed, I had a wonderful time. Would I apply to do an immersion program again? Sure thing.
Jackie – 2018 – Immersion en Français à côté de Paris
J’ai passé une très bonne semaine avec Nathalie en juillet. J’étais en France pour quelques mois cet été, et à la dernière minute je me suis inscrite à un séjour d’immersion. J’avais de la chance dans toutes les façons – l’hôtesse, mon logement dans une belle, grande et vieille maison, la région, la nourriture et, bien sur, l’aide avec mon français. Tout était bien!
J’en garde plusieurs bons souvenirs – surtout de Nathalie comme hôtesse chaleureuse, de ses voisins et ses amies, et de nos activités. Même le petit village d’Auxy a ces charmes pour moi. Moi, j’ai grandi dans une grande ferme aux États-Unis (et aujourd’hui j’habite à New York City – complètement le contraire!). Le paysage autour d’Auxy avec des champs à perte de vue de blé, d’orge, de tournesol et de betterave m’a plu. Ca m’a rappelé mon enfance. Et Auxy est un bon endroit pour faire de l’exercice comme la marche ou le vélo. Les routes serpentent à travers la campagne. Il y a plus de tracteurs que de voitures.
J’ai commencé chaque jour à la table pour le petit déjeuner dans la cour de la maison sous les grands tilleuls. En fait, nous avons mangé dehors pour tous les repas. Quelle belle façon de profiter de l’été chez Nathalie.
Nathalie a planifié beaucoup d’excursions pendant la semaine. La première était une visite à Yèvre-le-Chatel, un des villages préférés de France. Il y a une émission populaire à la télévision en France qui s’appelle “Les Villages Préférés de France,” et cette année, les téléspectateurs ont nommé Yèvre–le-Chatel un de ces villages. Ça le mérite. Le village – avec moins de 300 habitants – est souvent sur une liste de beaux villages. Au centre du village se trouve une forteresse construite au 13ème siècle avec des tours et une petit châtelet. Pendant une promenade autour du hameau, on voit beaucoup de sculptures en plein air et il y a des fleurs partout. C’est tellement beau. Prenez votre appareil de photo. L’écran d’acceuil de mon portable est une photo que j’ai prise la. J’adore la regarder car ça me rappelle ma visite.
Nous avons également visité un château – Chamerolles – avec les douves, les tours, la cour, les grande pièces – tous les éléments d’un vrai château. Il date au 16ème siècle. Derrière le château il y a un jardin qui a été restauré au style de la période. Aujourd’hui, une partie du château abrite un musée de parfum présentant l’histoire de parfum de nos jours. La présentation est excellente.
Nathalie et moi nous sommes également allées à un jazz festival, accompagnées de certains de ses amis d’Auxy. J’ai aimé faire leurs connaissances, en premier pour l’apéro d’accueil dimanche soir, au début de la semaine, et plus tard pendant une soirée chez Nathalie – dans la cour sous les tilleuls, bien sûr. A la fin de la semaine, ils étaient aussi mes amis ! Tous m’ont aidé avec mon français. Tout le monde était gentil, amical, très patient et encourageant.
J’ai bien profité de mon séjour de toutes les façons possibles.