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, working in the Tourism and Communication fields. I held many jobs in my life, founded different businesses, and also traveled a lot all around the world. I truly like to experience new things and meet new people.
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!
Although I am not a French teacher, I have been in contact with many foreigners, and since I speak English, I also understand the challenges of speaking another language. I am confident I will be able to gently encourage you to get over your fear of speaking and provide you with many opportunities to 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: unlike the other teachers of the French Today immersion team, I won’t be able to explain the French language rules to you, and I will not provide formal French lessons. I will encourage you to speak in French and if you want, offer some corrections.
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!
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 rooms have a queen size bed.
Both rooms 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 but they have not yet been renovated and you’ll have to share the same bathroom.
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
Because the house is hard to heat in the winter, I only welcome immersion guests from April to October.
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 a lot of 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 attack my hens!
A One Week (7 Days, 6 nights) Residential French Immersion Includes:
- Accommodation in your own suite with private bathroom.
- Three meals a day: 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 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).
- Preferred arrival on Sunday, departure on Saturday
Of course, I am flexible, and will happily adapt to special requests. Just let me know.
For this program, the fee for one person is 1000 Euros per week.
For one additional guest, the price per week is 350€ in full board with shared excursions.
If you are a larger family/group traveling together, contact me for more pricing 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 the true French lifestyle. Relax in the comfort and security of my family house, read a book in the garden and enjoy a true vacation while improving your French.
Susan & Martha – French Immersion in France
Our stay at Nathalie was by far the best travel experience we’ve had so far in France! We didn’t rent a car. Nathalie took us to many memorable places, but we also spent a lot of time relaxing in her beautiful house, and enjoying the garden.
My sister and I have been studying French forever, and we’ve traveled to France quite a lot by ourselves, and also attended many language schools. We know the grammar rules, but we still hesitate when speaking, and understanding the French can be a challenge.
Nathalie was really friendly, helpful and sweet at all times and went above and beyond to ensure our stay was perfect. She is very patient, and easy to understand: she made us feel comfortable from the get go. When we didn’t understand something, she found another way to say what she wanted until we understood. She gently corrected our pronunciation, and we both feel we’ve improved quite a lot, especially with our vocabulary and everyday conversation.
Nathalie often pointed out we were trying too hard, putting together difficult sentences when there was a much easier way. In other terms, she helped us break from our “book” French habits, to adapt to an easier, more natural way of speaking. And the results are great!
The highlight of the stay was a garden party Nathalie organized to celebrate our visit. Everybody was so nice and eager to talk to us, and we were amazed at the confidence we gained at speaking French. Of course, we still make a lot of mistakes, but now, we don’t care as much.
We definitely recommend her place if you want to take your France experience to the next level.
Ann, Andrew & Steven – Immersion in French & Tours in the Loiret
My husband, our fourteen years-old son and I visited Nathalie for two weeks in the spring of 2018. I speak French at a B2 level, my husband can communicate abit and my son has taken two years of French at school. Nathalie was great at adapting her language: she spoke French with me, and English to Andrew and Steven, managing to slip in a couple of useful French sentences here and there.
She and I had long conversations in French, and went on a couple of tours just the two of us so I could really challenge my French.
Our immersion stay was also a real vacation for all of us. This area of France is amazing, with so much to do all around us. We had our own car and visited a couple of castles and medieval villages on our own, and I got to do all the French speaking! Nathalie arranged for the boys to play tennis at a nearby club… I even went antiquing with Nathalie! Nathalie helped us pick the best places to visit, and the two weeks went by so fast.
Our own private suite was really nice: we had our own rooms and shared the bathroom. Nathalie’s house is tastefully decorated, and very quiet. And what a garden! Icing on the cake, Nathalie is an amazing cook. I learned quite a few recipes and cooking was once more a great way to practice French. She even got my son to help her in the kitchen (a trick I have to remember at home…) Even the picnic basket she prepared for a day tour was fantastic.
I highly recommend you go to Nathalie to experience a true immersion in the French language and culture.
Ruben – Learn French in Immersion in France
I just finished my studies in French and aimed to improve without being in a scholastic setting.
As my great grandparents originated from the Loire area, I chose Nathalie’s place because it made me feel like going back to my roots… And It has been a wonderful experience!
Nathalie is a fantastic host. I felt very welcomed in her place and the conversations were natural. She is a great cook as well and her house is comfortable and unique. I enjoy antics and we went to a couple of yard sales and antique shops together: I got to bargain for prices in French, and learned a lot of vocabulary from just pointing at things.
We also spent a lot of time visiting the area, and it was easy to practice French since it was all around me.
Thank you Nathalie for a very enjoyable stay: as I mentioned, I already plan to return in the early fall.
Kate & Steve – French Immersion Homestay in the Loiret
My husband and I stayed at Nathalie’s beautiful home in the Loiret for one week. I was a bit hesitant to go to an immersion program with him since he doesn’t speak French. But I shouldn’t have been: Nathalie spoke French with me, and English with him. He even learned a couple of French sentences!
I loved the tours with Nathalie. What a fun way to practice French! I learned a lot: vocabulary of course, but many expressions as well. Nathalie was very patient, encourage me to speak and I never felt judged or out of place. Actually, it felt like staying with a friend. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel nervous speaking French, and so, I spoke a lot.
Steve really enjoyed the stay as well, particularly Nathalie’s home-made pies which she makes with the fruits from her garden. He was always volunteering to go pick fruits, knowing he’d get a delicious pie in return! The French wine was not bad either…
Nathalie was kind enough to introduce us to many of her friends. Her daughter came visit as well and it was fun to get to know her as well. Like her mom, she is very patient and quite artistic.
Come for a stay at Nathalie if you want to improve your French: you won’t regret it!