Your French Immersion Homestay Program Near Aix-en-Provence
Bonjour, and welcome to our house.
My name is Virginie and I am a certified DAEFLE French teacher. I taught French in Paris but also in Brussels, to diplomats, lawyers, politicians, and I also gave private classes to students of different levels. Therefore, I know how to adapt my classes to anyone who wants to practice/learn French.
I also have an MBA in leisure travel and I worked for 10 years in the hospitality business. With French Today’s immersion program, I combine my two passions: teaching and traveling. Therefore I enjoy just as much as my students touring my region and love to talk about it.
When you come to my home for a French immersion, you will experience an authentic French family lifestyle. My husband Alex and our three beautiful kids love to meet new people and will help you practice your French outside of the classroom.
Alex, my husband, is a very open-minded and fun person. Just like me he loves traveling and meeting new people. We both lived in Australia in the past, and Alex also lived in Taiwan for a year. We are both fluent in English. I also speak German and a bit of Dutch, and my husband speaks Spanish and basic Chinese Mandarin.
We have two boys, Léo (6 years old) and Tom (4), and one girl, Lily (2). They all have different personalities but are getting along pretty well. My kids are not shy and love to chat, so you’ll get a lot of French practice with them! They do go to school Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, so we will also have plenty of grown-up time.
We also have an indoor/ outdoor cat called “Fripouille”. He likes to be cuddled and is very friendly.
Last but not least: we will definitely have fun together! Not just because your trip here is going to be memorable, but also because I cannot imagine life without fun, and I always try to bring lots of laughs and plays during my classes!
Welcome to Our Home in Provence
Our house is located in the heart of Provence, next to the lovely village of Éguilles, just 15 minutes away from the town of Aix-en-Provence.
The location is really private and quiet since the house is literally located in the middle of a vineyard. You can go on walks or bike rides in the countryside directly from our house, and enjoy the privacy of our large garden and of course, the refreshing swimming pool.
It is a large typical Provençal house that has been entirely renovated. There are 5 bedrooms, a dining room, and 2 living rooms. There is a large fireplace which we love for the ambiance and the warmth and a large pool table.
The kitchen and dining rooms are an important part of our house. I love to cook and shop at the local markets to purchase the freshest products, and there are plenty of organic options around here. Although we eat all sorts of foods, I will be happy to cook vegetarian, vegan or even gluten-free should you have a special diet.
Cooking together is definitely a great way to practice your French: I specialize in cooking traditional French pastries, and I’ll show you how to do it if you are interested!
Of course, I can also arrange some wine tastings at walking distance from our house since we live on a vineyard.
We have a nice dining table indoors, but we often eat outside, on the patio. In any case, we enjoy quality family time at mealtimes, and we can’t wait to share this with you!
Your Room and Private Bathroom in France
Your room is bright and comfortable. There is a desk, a shelf, a large drawer case and a hanging closet to store your belongings, and a king size bed which can be split into two single beds if you prefer.
It features a large glass door which opens up to the garden, so you have your own key and private entrance to come and go as you please. Both door and window have traditional provençal shutters for privacy and/or should you prefer to sleep in the dark.
Because our house is an old renovated house, it remains quite cool in the summertime. It’s very quiet and safe here, so you’ll have no problem sleeping with the windows open if you want to.
In the winter, the house is warm since it’s well insulated and we have a very good heating system.
Adjacent to your room is a private bathroom equipped with a modern shower, a toilet and a sink.
We have a simple lifestyle, organized around our young children’s rhythm: we are all pretty active, I enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, and practice dance and yoga. Alex plays soccer. And we all enjoy jumping on the trampoline in the garden!
We are not big TV fans (but there is one in your bedroom), and prefer board games, reading or drawing with the kids, gardening, playing pool and finishing the day on the patio, under the stars, with a glass of wine.
The Region of Provence in France
Provence is known to be one of the most beautiful regions of France, and if you don’t know it already, you must absolutely discover it: lavender and sunflower fields, wonderful vineyards, beautiful hikes, breathtaking landscapes, unique villages and historical towns, tasteful gastronomy, gorgeous beaches, a mild microclimate…
Our house is in the countryside, in the middle of vineyards, near the typical provençal village of Éguilles, a fifteen-minute drive from the historical town of Aix-en-Provence.
Aix is a great place to visit, with a stunning architecture and history, plenty of shops, restaurants, and a great outdoor market… and it’s just next door.
We are only at a 30-minute drive from the sea and “la Côte d’Azur” with its pristine beaches,
Only 40 minutes away from “Lubéron” and its scenic perched villages…
Provence is really full of treasures and depending on your preferences, I will take you to visit what most interests you. No doubt that you are going to love it!
Practical Info About Your French Immersion Course Homestay
You can easily reach my place either by plane (Marseille airport) or by train (Aix-en-Provence TGV).
A pick-up from these two places can be arranged for an additional fee.
However, we recommend that your rent a car so you can be fully independent and discover the thousands of wonders around our place.
My husband and I don’t smoke, and smoking is not allowed inside the house. You are welcome to smoke outside should you wish to.
There is descent Wifi and cell reception throughout the house.
Because we have a cat and a swimming pool, unfortunately, we cannot accept your pet.
The pool is open, there is no fence around it. Although there is an alarm system, please understand that if you do come with children, it will be your responsibility to watch them carefully.
A One Week (7 Days, 6 nights) Residential French Course Includes:
- 15 hours of French courses – usually 3 hours in the morning over 5 days
- 2 meals a day together – a copious breakfast and lunch. You can drive to Éguilles or Aix and enjoy your dinner in one of the many restaurants there, or store some food in our fridge for a dinner at home, it’s entirely up to you.
- Accommodation in your private bedroom + bathroom suite.
- 2 accompanied activities or excursions (extra fees such as gaz for longer excursions and museum entries are not included)
- Preferred arrival on Sunday, departure on Saturday
The price with these options is 1500 euros per week for one person
Should you not rent a car, we can arrange for three meals a day for an extra fee. Please see the details with me.
Given the size of our house, we can easily accommodate 1 or 2 persons but are also flexible for families or group of friends up to 4 adults and 2 children.
For one additional guest, the price per week is:
- 210 euros in half board, without lessons or excursions
- 700 euros in half board with shared lessons and excursions
My program is quite flexible and I will do my best to adapt it for your convenience, so never hesitate to ask if you have particular needs.
Somatic Therapy option
Somatic therapy is a form of body-centered therapy that looks at the connection between mind and body and uses both psychotherapy and physical therapies for holistic healing. It helps to release the tension that can affect your physical and emotional wellbeing.
I am currently following a training to become a certified somatic therapist and could help you with any problem linked to stress, anxiety, depression or addiction that you may have. The area I am more focusing on is the transfer of energy through mind-body exercises and soft massages. I indeed strongly believe that everything in ourselves is linked and connected: mind, emotions, body, and spirit.
This is purely optional of course: feel free to ask any question you may have, or discuss this directly when you are here.
Winter Excursion in the Alps
If you come and stay with us in the winter time, I could organize a tailor-made excursion to discover the Alps in the winter: enjoy the fresh air of the mountain and experience its culinary delights (fondue, raclette, mulled wine …). According to your tastes, I would be happy to organize a ride in sled dog or a paragliding adventure. Do not hesitate to let me know if you are interested when you contact me.
My Approach to Teaching French
I am very flexible on my teaching and understand that different people have different learning styles, goals and motivation. As I mentioned before, I like to have fun, and this applies to life as well as in the classroom. I often use games, videos or quizzes to make the formal teaching part of the program enjoyable and light.
Should you have a specific field on which you want to improve, just let me know and I’ll make sure we cover it in depth.
Being immersed in my family will also bring you lots of opportunities to talk French out of the classes: with my husband and kids, our friends, people in the village and during our excursions. Staying with a large family is the real added value of my immersion program and you will progress faster than you can imagine.
Let me know if you have any question regarding my program in the form below.
My family and I are looking forward to hosting you and help you develop your French skills.
We hope to see you soon in Provence!
Contact Virginie – French Immersion Homestay Teacher
Follow Virginie’s Bilingual Articles On French Today, Where She Talks About Her Beautiful Region.
Reviews From French Today Students
Avin & Ilan – 2018 – French Immersion Near Aix-en-Provence
My son (13 years) and I spent a week of “immersion” with Virginie and Alex in her lovely home deep in the countryside outside of Eguiilles late last summer.
For me it was a chance to review the language and to experience the place and people after years away. For my son, who had taken two years of “school” French, it was an opportunity to try out his modest skills in an authentic environment and make leaps of progress beyond what was likely in America. It turned out that we accomplished both goals, and far more.
We nervously drove up to the house on day 1, but were quickly made to feel at home. Tucked between two vineyards with a mountain of pine trees running above and behind, the house was a true rural hideaway. The pool, trampoline, and nearby path up and into the forest made it an outdoor paradise; the accommodations and openness of the house to us gave us a whole world to enjoy and explore. Virginie and Alex were generous and attentive hosts throughout and welcomed my boy and me as friends and equals.
Each day was a new experience, with the “course” modulating to our needs, my own and my son’s so different, and our tolerance for “classroom” study varying by the day. We experimented in the kitchen as a group, trying local wines, making local recipes (quiche and french toast!), and wandering the local, and not so local urban attractions–one day visiting Arles, another doing a “ring road” around Mt. St. Victoire.
Throughout the feeling was casual and open, filled with the French language and gentle prompts to find le mot juste and to refine the accent.
We had a blast, and our experience with Virginie and her family is now without hiccup or hesitation a wonderful, lasting memory of the trip.
Jeannie & Megan – 2018 – French Immersion Near Aix-en-Provence
Ma fille et moi avons toujours aimé la culture française: l’art, la langue, les délicieux vins et le fromage. Nous aimons tout! C’est pour cette raison que nous avons décidé d’essayer une semaine d’immersion avec une famille française. Vivant près d’Aix-en-Provence, Virginie et sa famille nous ont ouvert leur porte —et leurs cœurs— pour rendre notre séjour inoubliable!
Après un long vol des États-Unis, nous étions heureuses de voir Virginie nous attendre à l’aéroport de Marseille. Elle nous a conduit chez elle et nous a présenté son mari et leurs trois charmants enfants. Ensuite, nous avons joué aux cartes avec les enfants, mangé un bon repas et dégusté des vins régionaux et le traditionnel bonbon aux amandes d’Aix: les Calissons. Après une bonne nuit de sommeil dans notre suite privée et spacieuse, nous nous sommes réveillées prêtes à apprendre le français.
Chaque jour commençait sur la terrasse avec le petit déjeuner et les cours de français. Parfois, le chat, Fripouille participait à la discussion! Virginie est une prof formidable. Avec ses enfants, elle aime la méthode d’enseignement Montessori, et elle utilise le même genre de matériaux avec ses étudiants.
Virginie nous a emmené dans un vignoble local et chez un chocolatier. Nous y avons acheté des cadeaux pour nos amis et familles. Elle nous a emmené à la boulangerie et à son marché bio préféré.
Nous avons aussi visité Aix-en-Provence et Arles.
Nous avions commencé notre séjour en jouant aux cartes avec les enfants de Virginie et Alex. Il était donc approprié que nous finissions notre séjour en regardant le dessin animé Les Simpsons que leurs enfants appellent « Spider Cochon »!
Virginie est une excellente prof et sa famille est charmante. Nous la recommandons vivement à tous ceux qui souhaitent étudier le français en Provence.
Horace – 2018 – French Immersion Near Aix-en-Provence
I stayed in the house of my teacher Virginie and was made to feel comfortable from the very beginning.
The house is just outside of the village and is a community close to Aix en Provence. Our day began with breakfast around 8:30 and continued the noon meal. There is a road just beyond the house where a vineyard climbs the hill behind the house. I liked to walk several times a day up the hill to an olive orchard.
On some days Virginie would join me, and we would have lessons while we walked. I enjoyed these lessons very much. Other times we would sit on the veranda behind the house, overlooking the pool, and have a more formal lesson. There was plenty of homework, which was helpful and enjoyable.
We also traveled Aix for the market, and to other small villages to enjoy what they had to offer, and to continue our language lessons. My preference to small towns, and local attractions can best be exhibited by our trip into Eguille, which I enjoyed very much. We visited a garden in the town, that boasted not only a variety of plants and trees, but also of naturalistic artworks completed by the owner.
We also stopped by a local vineyard for some tasting of their wines. It is very easy to increase your language skills when talking about the things you are doing, or seeing, or tasting.
I came to France with a small amount of French vocabulary, and less of the proper French sentence construction. With Virginie’s help I am much better in my communication and writing skills. As an appreciated bonus she has given me via paper, and via email, a variety of resources that I am taking home to help me progress in my French.
I highly recommend both the immersion program and in specific Virginie. Thank you for helping me have a most enjoyable time in France.
Chris – 2018 – French Immersion Near Aix-en-Provence
My weeklong stay with Virginie and her husband Alex in Aix en Provence was an amazing time. It was positive on all fronts.
The French lessons were very flexible and customized to address my weaknesses and level. Speaking and listening comprehension are the main areas where I need improvement and Virginie made sure that we were talking all of the time. Her method of teaching certain concepts with topic cards was very fun and useful and allowed us to complete exercises while walking through fields or streets. The only area for improvement would be to have a review of the previous days learnings before beginning new topics.
The location of the stay was fantastic as it was a short drive away from many cities in Provence. I chose to focus the excursions on exploring French towns and Virginie happily obliged, as we spent afternoons in Aix en Provence, Avignon, and Arles. Each trip was interesting and provided a lot of learning. Virginie and Alex even helped organize additional outings that I was interested in such as playing football.
Their house was beautiful and I immediately felt at home and comfortable with my living space. The food made was delicious and generous, and I was happy that the meals were often French specialities. My week felt like I experienced a genuine southern French lifestyle.
As a student for the next year in Paris, I am very glad that I chose to spend a week on a French immersion homestay. I would have liked to spend more time but given I will be paying tuition for the next two years, the price for more than a week was out of my range. Regardless, I’d recommend to anyone looking to improve their French and experience a true French life.
Celia, José & Twins Daniel & Emily – 2018 – French Immersion Homestay in Provence
We really enjoyed our stay with Virginie, Alex and their lovely three children in Eguilles and would highly recommend them to others interested in learning French and experiencing life in Provence.
We didn’t really know what to expect from our stay, as we had never done an immersion or homestay program before and were a bit worried about how our children (6 year-old twins) would react to being in a different home and country…however our time in Provence was truly delightful and we would go back in a heartbeat.
Virginie, Alex and their children were very welcoming to us, and quickly made us feel at home. Within a few hours of being at their house, our kids were already catching grasshoppers with Leo, Tom and Lily, chasing each other around the pool, and happily sharing chocolate cookies. Watching the kids play together – and try to communicate – was great fun for all of us.
Virginie was a very patient, flexible and creative teacher and made learning French a lot of fun. We really enjoyed our morning classes and our lunches together, and also appreciated the many excursions we did together to beaches, old villages, the lavender and sunflower fields, the Calanques, and much more. When Virginie found out that my husband was an avid birder, she even organized a visit to an ornithological park together to see flamingos! Virginie also gave us really helpful ideas for places to visit with our children, which made exploring the region much easier and lots of fun.
In short, we were incredibly happy that we choose to stay with Virginie, Alex and their lovely children, and hope we will have an opportunity to visit them again in the near future.
David – 2018 – Immersion Chez le Professeur en Provence
Jhané – 2018 – French Immersion Homestay in Provence
Today marks the end of my week with Virginie and her family and I’m sad to go. They were very welcoming and I couldn’t have asked for better hosts.
When I arrived at the airport, I heard someone call my name and turned to see it was Virginie. She approached me as if we already knew each other and this immediately put me at ease. Her husband, Alexandre, was also very friendly and their 3 kids were adorable and lively.
Virginie was extremely accommodating. She made sure that I got to try all the French dishes that I was curious about and even suggested to me some I had never heard of. I tried escargots, légumes farcis, tropézienne, pain au chocolat and even Alex’s very own rosé. She also would change the daily schedule to suit me and what I wanted to do.
For our two excursions, we went canoeing along Les Calanques and horseback riding along the coast. They were both new experiences for me and I enjoyed them a lot. Even though canoeing for that long was tiring for us both, les Calanques was a beautiful sight to behold. I also loved the different views we saw while horseback riding along the coast and in the forest surrounding the ranch.
Virginie also dropped me to Éguilles as well as carried me to the bus stop so I could go to Aix en Provence, and gave me a map for traversing each. Both towns had their own charm and I enjoyed exploring each of them.
Concerning the French lessons, I wanted to work on my speaking and that’s exactly what Virginie ensured that I did. Not once did I speak English during my trip and Virginie taught me so many ways of sounding more like a native French speaker. In addition, I learnt a lot of new vocabulary and French expressions, not only from her but from her mother and friends who were also very friendly.
While working on my speaking, we also simultaneously improved my writing. I learnt better ways to structure my sentences and she gave me written assignments to practise the vocabulary that I had learnt that day.
All in all, it was an amazing trip. I was able to accomplish all I wanted to and more.
I hope to return to Provence to spend another wonderful week with Virginie and her family.
Jan – 2018 – French Immersion Homestay Near Aix-en-Provence
I had a wonderful stay with Virginie and her family.
She is professional, a talented teacher and a very caring and fun person to spend time with. She made the experience of improving my French so much fun.
She arranged for me to spend the morning at the local bakery to spend time speaking and learning about the art of baking wonderful breads. We visited an olive oil producer as well as an artisan chocolate factory. We traveled to the coast and experienced wonderful food and beautiful beaches.
As you might guess my focus was on food and she wove that in with all of my French lessons.
I can’t wait to go back!
Mona – 2018 – French Immersion Homestay in Provence, France, Near Aix-en-Provence
July, Richard, Tom, Jade, Sarah, Brandon – French Immersion Near Aix-en-Provence
What a wonderful week!
When we arrived Virginie and Alex welcomed us like we were part of their own family!
Our plan was to improve our French speaking skills and discover Provence with our kids and friends, Sarah and Brandon. We can tick both boxes after our stay here.
Virginie succeeded also in responding to our requirements in terms of meals. July is vegan, Brandon and I love red meat and tasty burgers. Our kids even eat veggies well hidden in Virginie’s beautiful and delicious “quiches”. Everything was delightful!
All the classes were adapted to our French level, especially for the kids who did not know any French word before coming here! Léo, Tom and Lily were also a solid backup for the kids and looking at all of them play and trying to communicate was a memorable experience.
Virginie also gave us some useful tips so as we could correct our own mistakes by the end of the stay. The kids definitely made progresses that they could not have achieved without living in immersion with a French family like this.
The evening story with the kids was a wonderful moment as well. We were reading a local tale taking place in “les Baux de Provence” every day to 5 beautiful kids. What a joyful moment! Then we got to visit the actual village. It was incredible!
The big advantage of staying in immersion at Virginie’s is that she knows exactly where to go to make parents and kids all happy! She proposed plenty of activities: zoo, planetarium, treasure hunt in Aix-en-Provence, visit of les Baux de Provence etc. She always insisted that we were doing in the lead to choose whatever we wanted to do!
Before being a good cook and an awesome teacher, Virginie is also a beautiful person.
See you next year!
Janneke – French Immersion Homestay in Provence
I stayed with Virginie and her family one week and she has been a wonderful French teacher. Virginie is very flexible, professional, open-minded and enthusiastic. As I work for a brewer I also wanted to learn some specific vocabulary which is not so common for people outside of this world. Virginie was so perfect to meet that request! She organized a visit in a local brewery where I was able to practice all that I learned during the week.
I will remember the lunches we had together, the long strolls around her beautiful place, the visit of Aix-en-Provence and so many more moment shared together. Everything was done to fit my specific requirements and I could not have a better experience for this immersion stay.
Sharing Virginie’s family daily life was wonderful! Alex is a very fun guy, very patient with me, when Léo, Tom and Lily are so adorable. What a beautiful family!
We will definitely stay in contact and I wish we will have the opportunity to see each other again soon.
Cinzia & Pietro – Séjour d’Immersion en Français en Provence
We are very pleased to share are our experience in Éguilles with Virginie and her family.
Between hikes, visits of small villages, wine and local products tastings, chilling time under the sun of Provence, we did not notice that the time was flying!
Virginie listened very closely to our needs and desires, sometimes even guessing what we wanted without us saying anything. Classes were clear, structured, fun and interesting all the time.
We did not know Provence much before… and we were really thrilled. As wine lovers we followed the classic “route des vins” and it was great: an added bonus was that Virginie was able to drive us back after the wine tastings!
Spending time cooking dishes typical from Provence was fantastic. We cooked the famous “daube provençal” and also some “calissons d’Aix”. Even if it was not always aesthetically perfect, everything was very good!
We do not have kids but very quickly got attached to Lily, Tom and Léo who really are 3 little sunshines!
Finally we also tried Virginie’s little secret: the somato therapy massage. We really recommend it. Such a relief and a relaxing moment. Like Virginie would say it was “topissimme!” (like in the cartoon Kung-Fu Panda!).
Benedicte – French Immersion Homestay in Provence
Virginie was my personal French teacher during this amazing stay in Provence. Sharing time with her family was priceless and I am so glad to say that my French improved so much in just a week!
Virginie really adapted to my needs. We discussed various aspects of the French language. I am using French in my professional life so we focused also on writing emails, official letters, making presentations, etc. She did not forget to teach some more common words so as my French could best fit the real life of a family in the Southern France. The teaching approach was really tailor made, considering my needs but also my personality and feelings. Virginie is just so great to adapt to your specific needs! She always chooses interesting topics to discuss and the right and easiest material to learn the always difficult French grammar.
All the family is so charming. I never had a dull moment during the entire week and enjoyed so much both the classes and the visits we have made. I really recommend the immersion program with Virginie and Alex, you will not regret it!
Bernard – French Immersion Homestay in Provence
What a memorable week it was! Enjoying perfect weather, eating succulent and generous local dishes prepared by Virginie, being treated as an important guest of a delightful family, strolling the streets and lanes of the local, better-than-typical Provincial village and visiting the remarkable hill-top villages of Les Baux and Gordes.
Intertwined with this was improving my ability to converse in French – after all, it had been with that hope that I had traveled all the way from Australia to France. There was the opportunity to converse in French at all three meals as well as during the major part of the rest of each day and Virginie’s skills as a teacher were outstanding – encouraging my confidence, correcting repeated errors and supplying vocabulary where it was lacking. This wasn’t just a three-hour lesson – the whole day held the opportunity for learning.
And there was more. Virginie has great generosity of spirit. I received care and attention of a sort which I will remember forever and I am so pleased to know that I am now have a French family as special friends – Virginie and her husband Alex – and their children, Leo, Tom and Lilly. Nothing would please me more than to spend time with them again in the future.