Your French Immersion Residential Program in Périgord
Bonjour! My name is Stanislas, I have been teaching French to adults and children for 10 years. My light-hearted and humorous approach to formal lesson as well as conversation will help you relax and enjoy learning. I am French native, and have lived in the US, England and India.
Melanie is my partner. Her love for well being expresses itself through her warm and authentic welcome in our home, her peaceful and lively yoga classes, her caring and healing massages and her delicious vegetarian meals. She was born in Germany and is fluent in French and English.
We are a multicultural, artistic and well-travelled family, with two children: Moïse and Carlos, 7 and 5 years old boys. They speak French, German and English. We also have two cats (Peanuts and PiouPiou) and one gentle dog (Pema).
Healthy living and mindfulness are part of our everyday life.
Welcome to Our Home in Périgord
Our home is set in a picturesque landscape, in the Dordogne vineyard area, also called “Périgord Pourpre”.
We live in a former farmhouse, entirely renovated and carefully decorated, surrounded by fields, hills and forests.
Behind the big windows are Melanie’s yoga and message studio. Then comes the student’s suite, our bedrooms, and the kitchen / living room area.
Our open kitchen and living-room – the heart of our home – is waiting to welcome you.
Join us around our much-loved antique wooden table which has many a family tale to tell, share with us some delicious homemade healthy meals.
We like to cook tasty dishes using locally sourced organic ingredients. An opportunity to discover a natural, fresh, healthy and diverse cuisine.
Melanie’s vegetarian dishes are so delicious that our guests want to learn cooking with her.
Your Suite With Private Bathroom
Your suite, with its own private entrance, is decorated with character and taste.
It features a spacious and comfortable room with a sofa bed on the ground floor and a large bed on the mezzanine, so it can easily sleep four.
Adjacent is a good size and elegant bathroom with a bathtub, a standing shower and a toilet.
The student suite has a private entrance and terrace. It’s heated with a very powerful wood stove: you won’t be cold in winter!
There is wifi (a bit slow though) throughout the house.
We’d be happy to welcome your pets as far as they are well behaved, won’t run away (the garden is open to the countryside) and friendly to other animals (we have a dog, 2 cats and a few chicken), kids and people.
We don’t smoke and smoking is not allowed inside the house. You may smoke in the garden if you wish to.
Finally, we have an awesome bungalow in the garden. We love it out there: it’s very quiet and inside, it feels like you’re in a cozy tree house! The bungalow is heated and has electricity, it could welcome two more guests but it has no bathroom nor toilet.
In any case, it’s yet another quiet space to read, paint, meditate or just relax!
The Region of Périgord in France
Also known as the “Tuscany of France”, the Dordogne region offers a wide variety of landscapes, historical venues and traditional food markets.
Our house is located in the countryside, in a region of Dordogne called “Périgord Pourpre”. Nature is omnipresent around this beautiful and hilly region, with its vineyards, farmland rivers and forests.
The rich local history is visible through its many medieval bastides (fortified towns), villages and castles, quietly telling the story of their eventful past.
The biggest town of our region is called Bergerac, with its charming streets and boutiques, museums (tobacco, wine…), covers and open-air markets, river with typical regional boats…
The nearest town to us is Eymet, 5km away, 5mn by car or a 20mn nice bicycle ride.
You will find a bakery, a supermarket, restaurants and cafés…
In Issigeac, Sainte Foy la Grande and Eymet markets take place several times a week, proposing craft, regional food, clothes, etc. After a stroll around the colourful market displays, you can enjoy a coffee and croissant on the terrace of a café.
Other excursions includes visiting medieval castles, wine tasting in local vineyards, canoeing on the Dordogne river, monkey-bridge trails, cable slide park…
We can also visit a Buddhist community of monks and nuns, join their walking meditation, share a delicious and quiet meal, experience their peaceful and yet spontaneous way of life.
Practical Info About Your French Immersion Residential Course
One standard week (7 days – 6 nights) for one person includes :
- 15 hours of french courses (usually 3 hours in the morning over 5 days) +at the end of the stay, I will give you a report of your French courses + advice to go on improving your French with some references of useful websites and books
- Full board – three meals a day that we’ll be happy to share with you unless you’d rather take off on your own.
- Accommodation in one of the rooms above + your private bathroom.
- 2 activities or tours (extra fees such as museum entries are not included)
- Prefered arrival on Sunday, departure on Saturday
The price with these options is 1300 euros per week for one person.
Since we have two guest rooms, we can accommodate up to 4 adults and two children, so you can come with your family or friends.
For one additional guest, the price per week is:
- Euros 315 in full board, without lessons or excursions,
- Euros 805 in full board with shared lessons and excursions.
We will be happy to pick you up at :
Sainte Foy La Grande railway station (train from Paris via Bordeaux).
Bordeaux airport (with an additional fee) and Bergerac airport.
If you want to be more independent and to discover the area on your own, we suggest renting a car.
My program is very flexible. I will be happy to adapt to whatever kind of immersion stay best fits your personality and need: give more or less structured lessons, provide more tours or outside activities, less meals, be more or less present. Together, we’ll design the very best French immersion stay for you.
I am also a singer and a guitar player and I love to share our beautiful and dramatic French repertoire.
French Immersion Homestay + Health and Well-being
We feel privileged to have guests coming to our house, meeting them and sharing our way of life: we enjoy cultivating awareness, looking at life with a detached and curious point of view.
If you are interested, we are happy to share our insight about meditation, yoga, how to be aware of our thoughts, beliefs and behaviours.
I lived in a buddhist monastery for 5 years practicing mindfulness and leading group sharing.
My partner Melanie is a trained and experienced massage therapist, holistic coach/mindfulness trainer and yoga teacher and she has a fully functional massage/yoga studio in our house. Joining a French speaking yoga class is a fun way to practice your French and interact with the local French people.
You may enjoy our savoir-vivre package which includes:
- 2 healing massages,
- three yoga classes (of which, one private)
- and a health coaching session.
Other packages are available upon request (beauty detox, mindfulness/breath work, and more)
My approach to Teaching French
My goal is finding the balance between effort and relaxing. Of course students want to improve their French, and are ready to study hard for it.
However, this is also your vacation in France, so it’s also important your have a great time, enjoy all that the Dordogne region has to offer, and relax! So at times we will dive in the complexities of the French language to help you progress in French and then, we’ll shift to relaxing and let your brain do the work!
In addition to your French immersion experience, our holistic approach can help you expand your well-being potential for a more mindful, serene and fulfilling life.
See you soon in Périgord !
Follow Stanislas’ Bilingual Articles On French Today, Where he Talks About His Beautiful Region.
Reviews From French Immersion Students
Natasha – 2018 – Learn French in Périgord
I decided to use two weeks of my month sabbatical from work to brush up on the little French that I learned in High School and in adult continuing education courses. I have a personal goal to be able to speak with more confidence to native speakers when I travel. This trip became more than language lessons, though. I chose Stan and Melanie, in the peaceful country, with vegetarian meals and yoga lessons, clearly with the intention of also finding peace and stillness from my life in New York.
Stan greeted me warmly at the train station, and on the ride to the house, he was able to gage my skill level and decided it was best to exercise patience and start me off slowly, which I much appreciated. Lessons are 3 hours a day, mostly in the mornings, but we would sometimes break this up depending on our day’s plan, and we would change the scenery by going to the town’s café. Stan is a great teacher, and he adjusted the day’s lesson to fit my level, while still challenging me to incorporate and practice what I had learned so far. One of the most encouraging things he told me was that I already knew it, it was already in my brain.
Since I am still a beginner, I didn’t exactly come out of this immersion fluent, but I learned so much. After leaving the immersion, I spent a couple more days in Paris and then went to Belgium, where I was able to practice some more. I look forward to building upon this base in future advanced lessons back at home.
Room & board:
The renovated farmhouse is so charming and cozy, and the country they are in is beautiful and serene. I was given as much privacy as I needed, but I also looked forward to our meals and movie nights together. Melanie is a fantastic cook and even only a couple days in, I could tell the clean vegetarian diet was making me feel healthy. I even took advantage of her open yoga lessons in the studio attached to the house. Their two boys are very sweet, incredibly clever, and have been raised multi-lingual. They were on school break for part of my time there and so I was able to get some quality play time in with them. Pema their dog is very friendly and still a bit of a pup and loved any attention I could throw her way.
Out and about:
The package includes a minimum planned excursion, but I was able to join the family on their trips into both d’Eymet as well as Bergerac. Stan took me on a long walk and to the castle in Duras. But I think the highlight was experiencing Tết at the Buddhist monastery where Stan lived for 5 years.
In closing, my time with Stan, Melanie and the boys is something I will never forget. Even though at times I would get down on myself for not mastering all I could, I found satisfaction in the challenge and growth I saw in myself from day to day. I think of them often, since the trip, and refer to them as “my French family” to my friends. I hope that one day our paths will cross again.
Brian & Anne – 2018 – Learn French in Périgord
I feel a big thank you is due to Stanislas and Melanie for a brilliant and engaging week of french language immersion.
My wife and myself are at very different levels of comprehension. Stanislas patiently guided me through the future conditional, which I had been using for years but did not know why, and in the same session found just the right spot on the learning curve for my wife. Small exercises were pitched at just the right level for each of us, with just the right amount of formal tuition.
There were lovely walks available in the surrounding countryside, and the visit to Eymet on market day was definitely not to be missed.
We both took the optional health package. The massage was just amazing!
My wife has already asked him when he is free next year. Need I say any more?
Roisin – 2017 – Learn French in Périgord
I spent an amazing 10 days in the French countryside with Stan, Melanie, and their 2 sons. I primarily had decided to go to France in order to improve my French in advance of an oral examination. Not only did I end up advancing an entire level with only ten days in France (this can take up to a year of normal study), but also I was able to relax, enjoy, and embrace French culture and feel like part of the family in this magical place.
Everything about my stay was even better than I had imagined! The private, charming room where I stayed was of a hotel-standard with an amazing tub and enchanting fireplace. Coming from a warm climate, I was worried about being cold but always felt cozy. The room offered as much privacy as needed while also being close enough to the family to not feel distant. Their whole home is beautiful and located in a unbelievably gorgeous location. It’s hard to describe just how beautiful the environment around the home is and photos really don’t do it justice. I can’t imagine a better location to be able to relax or study French in. One of my favorite activities each day was walking their well-behaved, adorable dog Pema who helped me further explore the surrounding forests and chateaus.
Cooking and Wine
I looked forward to my meals each day. Melanie’s cooking is so creative and varied, while being extremely healthy. I loved trying all her different salads and vegetarian dishes and she was so gracious in terms of cooking to any specific needs or requests I had. Stan also was great at recommending some great wines that went perfectly with our dinners each night. I am still greatly missing Melanie’s food and wish I would have had more time to be able to learn some of her recipes!
Stan’s lessons each day were engaging and creative. He was amazing at letting me improve my overall fluency and flow in the language while still ensuring he corrected mistakes. He also helped suggest new phrases and idioms that really elevated my abilities. In particular, I loved having time to speak with him and Melania throughout the day and over meals and definitely think it was the major contributor to improving my skills. Stan and Melania are a great team to be able to speak with especially for an intermediate speaker like myself where I was able to speak both with a native speaker teacher like Stan as well as with Melanie who is perfectly fluent but also speaks French as a second language so really is empathic to the challenges one faces. I loved speaking with both him and Melania on a variety of subjects outside of class too. Both were very patient with my halting French and made me feel at ease speaking on a variety of subjects which was especially essential to the success on my exam.
Feeling Part of this French Family
The best part of the entire homestay was really being made to feel at home. I never felt like an outsider and really felt that the whole family welcomed me wholeheartedly during my stay. From picking up the boys at school to conducting class in a local café to visiting their friend’s houses for walks or speaking with their friends over dinner, I was included in so many aspects of their life that gave me a deeper understanding of daily French life while also providing many more opportunities to practice French. I loved speaking French with the both Moises and Carlos when they were home from school and they added so much liveliness and fun to the house. I couldn’t believe two young boys could do so well with strangers but they were great hosts, themselves.
Excursions and Yoga Classes
I also loved separate excursions we took to a chateau near Bergerac and to the local market in a nearby town that felt particularly French and gave me an opportunity to indulge in some typical French treats! In addition, it was wonderful to participate in one of Melanie’s yoga classes and visit the monastery the family often goes to which are very unique but added to the overall relaxation and learning aspects of my time in France. I managed to do so many activities but also thought the whole family was very understanding about my study schedule and allowed me to perfectly blend activities with relaxation and study time. I can only imagine this would have been harder for me during warmer months where it would be hard to keep one’s self from exploring the outdoors or visiting more wineries!
I can’t imagine a better French homestay than this one and I am already trying to figure out a way to return. While I went alone which was great especially for improving fluency, I would also highly recommend the location for couples or families and have already been trying to get my boyfriend, friends, and family to return with me.
I believe Stan and Melania are uniquely suited to dealing with people from any level of background in French and they are highly adaptable to whatever one’s needs/desires are for a French homestay. The only hesitation I have in recommending them is that it will make it harder to find dates to return but I hope that others may also be able to experience such a wonderful time with such a lovely family!
Arden – 2017 – French Immersion in France in Périgord
I spent two wonderful weeks with Stan and Melanie at their home in Dordogne.
My goal was to improve my French before moving to Paris for my study abroad year. In the end, I gained much more than just improved French abilities. I feel as if I left with a new family and memories that I will cherish forever.
I had a small foundation in French from a few years of study in school back home in Canada and Stan took that into consideration when he crafted our lessons. He managed to make them interesting, fun, and level-appropriate each day. The advantage of one-on-one French teaching was obvious as I could ask questions whenever I wanted and the pace of learning was geared to my needs and wishes. Stan was a flexible and a patient teacher. He provided me with the fundamental tools and concepts to really improve my French, and I feel that I made some good progress, especially in becoming more confident with my speaking skills.
From the beginning, I was welcomed with open arms into their beautiful home and by the time I left, I felt like I had acquired a second family. Outside of class, I enjoyed getting to know Melanie, who is friendly and warm, and just a wonderful person overall to spend time with. Her delicious food and yoga classes were great and the three of us had many wonderful conversations over meals. I also loved hanging out and playing with their two boys, Moïse and Carlos, who are very sweet and playful. The family aspect added so much to the immersion experience and it allowed me to continue practicing my French in a fun and low-pressure way throughout my stay.
In addition, the many excursions we took were interesting and fun, and gave me the opportunity to meet many of their friends who live in the area. Each day there was something new to do, whether it was canoeing, swimming, visiting a chateau, or going into Eymet. Without hesitation, Stan and Melanie included me in every aspect of their lives and made me feel welcome, which I deeply appreciated. They have a wonderful talent of ensuring that you always feel included and part of the family, which made my experience so memorable.
My two weeks with Stan and Melanie flew by far too quickly and I will always remember our times fondly. My high hopes were thoroughly exceeded and I am so grateful that I took part in this program with them. I cannot recommend Stan and Melanie enough! Thank you for everything.
Agape – 2017 – French Immersion in France in Périgord
Stanislas, Melanie, and the boys were very fun to stay with. I got to practice my French with all of them, and really connect with them like they were my own family.
The yoga class and massage with Melanie were different from the ones I’ve had back in America. Both were a wonderful experience.
My tutoring with Stanislas was also great, I really feel like I progressed in the short time I was there.
I also enjoyed playing with the Moise and Carlos, they are delightful boys. I even got to connect with the community.
I’d highly recommend staying with them.
Brian’s Family (3 students) – 2017 – French Immersion in France in Périgord
My family and I spent a month in beautiful Dordogne, France, for four weeks of French immersion with Stan and his family. We came together to study French. We left as friends.
While my wife’s new Head of School role in Casablanca (Morocco) required that she fortify her French, Stan was happy to construct a program and pricing that allowed me and our daughter to join as well. He assessed and accommodated our different levels of early French (with me starting from nothing, my wife have studied it a bit long ago, and our daughter having picked up some conversationally from her Moroccan friends through our first year living in Casablanca).
We all progressed from our respective starting points, and returned home happy to have covered about a year’s worth of French study during our time.
When we arrived, together we established the routine that included our daily lessons; free time for study, for excursions that Stan and Melanie led to markets and castles and wineries and more in the region, or just to sit outside a café on the Medieval Town square of the village of Eymet less than 10 minutes from the farmhouse where we lived and studied.
For people more interested in a rustic experience in rural Southwestern France while learning or improving French, Stan and Melanie offer something very different from a corporate language program amid urban bustle.
The large loft room of their old stone house (actually a barn, built long ago, that they converted into their home) doubles as the teaching space. Accommodations in the room are simple, though with a very large bathroom featuring modern appointments.
Meals are taken with the family, offering opportunity for more cultural education as well as more French practice. Stan, Melanie, and their two young boys are all multilingual – so mealtime discussion becomes a mix of French, English, and German, with some Spanish and Italian thrown in for good measure – and willing to accommodate the guest preference for which language(s) should dominate.
In another room, Melanie teaches yoga in French and English, and practices massage as well. Language students are welcome to join those activities for additional cost.
Their simple rural lifestyle extends to cuisine, with chickens providing eggs and a garden providing vegetables for their mainly vegetarian diet.
Significant for me to note is that, while my wife is comfortable with a vegetarian diet and our daughter has eaten vegetarian for over a decade, I am quite happy as a steadfast carnivore; yet, I found Melanie’s cooking quite delicious and satisfying, and they threw a little meat into the household diet for me now and then.
During our month with Stan and Melanie, we learned much French and experienced much culture, as we had hoped. What we did not expect was to add new friends to our lives.
As an English-speaking expat assuming the Head of School role at my school in Casablanca, I needed to improve my French to be able to converse with parents and non-English-speaking staff, as well as with community people and government officials off campus.
Moreover, I wanted to be able to shop and pursue other daily life activities in Morocco with an ability to conduct myself in French instead of being restricted to English.
I found Stan and Melanie after friends told me of their own personally-tailored French immersion experience studying and living with a family instead of joining a cohort in a more rigidly-constructed corporate-focused program.
Studying with Stan, eating Melanie’s delicious mostly vegetarian food, and enjoying living in the Dordogne region of Southwestern France (including twice-a-week excursions led by Stan and Melanie) proved to be all I had hoped for and more.
It was just happy coincidence that, as a practitioner of Mindfulness, I learned not only that Stand and Melanie likewise are practitioners (in the old stone farmhouse where they live, Melanie also teaches yoga and practices massage – both of which their students are welcome to join for separate fees per service), but also that they have ties to Thich Nhat Hanh’s nearby Plumb Village.
While this appealed greatly to me, it is not a litmus test for choosing students they welcome to their home for study. Welcome, truly is the best description for how students feel there.
In addition to myself, my husband and daughter also came to the village of Eymet for French immersion study.
As students we learned about a year’s worth of a French in four weeks and experienced French culture. As a family, we enjoyed living with Stan, Melanie, and their two young boys. Because they are all multi-lingual, even the boys took pleasure on correcting our French mistakes when we spoke with them outside of class.
After a month, we returned to Casablanca with much-improved French and new friends with whom we still keep in touch.
Anna – 2017 – French Immersion in France in Périgord
I spent a very lovely week at Stan and Melanie’s house. The living accommodations are nice, private, and spacious. The food was excellent, I enjoy eating vegetarian so this was perfect for me. I really felt like a part of the family, having all of my meals with them. Their boys, Moïse and Carlos, are charming and adorable, and I really loved getting to know them as well.
I was able to enjoy many activities during the week. Melanie gives a yoga class twice per week, and I went both times. I also went into Eymet with the whole family, so I was able to see the town and have lunch there. I chose to visit a castle, Chateau de Duras, which was close to a winery and a chocolaterie, so we were able to visit all 3. I wanted to visit a market for my second excursion, so I chose the market at Issigeac, which was a very beautiful town. On my own I borrowed a bike and went out biking a couple of times. There are of course many hills but I didn’t think it was too bad.
Stan and Melanie embrace a lifestyle of mindfulness, and I find that interesting, so we visited a Buddhist monastery that has been an important part of their lives, Plum Village. We ate lunch there and it was very interesting for me to see a mindful living retreat center like this.
Overall this was a great week full of new experiences. I got along very well with Stan and Melanie and we had really interesting conversations, allowing me to progress in French. I would particularly recommend this family for a beginner level because their English is so good.
Jane – 2017 – French Immersion in France in Périgord
I have so many lovely memories of my recent visit to the beautiful Bergerac region. My stay with Stanislas, Melanie and family was delightful and I was very comfortable in their charming barn conversion with attractive garden full of bees and butterflies and greatly enjoyed playing with their dog and cats.
Melanie created delicious meals and catered so well for a vegetarian who can’t eat garlic/onion family and it was great being included in their daily lives such as going to see their older son as a pirate in the school play and to visit friends.
The excursions we made to the local market and Chateau Duras were extremely interesting.
Stanislas is a very patient teacher as I struggled with the intricacies of French grammar which I am determined to master before too long and he chose interesting subjects for us to talk about.
This was my first venture into French Immersion and I am so glad I made that step. It was a most interesting, education, enjoyable and entertaining few days.