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-traveled 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 massage 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!
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 include 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
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.
There is wifi 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.
We cook delicious vegetarian food and are open to other diets: please let us know what you need.
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.
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
John – 2018 – Family Immersion Homestay in Dordogne + French Lessons
I spent a week with Stan and his family trying to improve my spoken French. The house is in beautiful countryside and the accommodation for the student is very spacious with a very large bathroom. Having previously spent time in France with a Famille d’accueil, in my opinion things such as one’s own accommodation are quite important when you are away from home. I am 55 years old but I accept that this may not be considered so important by others.
Throughout my stay the food was very nice, always freshly prepared and plenty of it. Moreover, I was constantly asked if I would like more or to eat something different. I made the choice to follow a vegetarian diet, as per Stan and Melanie, whilst I was with them and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. If you decide to stay with Stan and his family you will become part of the family and your ability to speak and understand spoken French will improve just by chatting around the table with them.
During the week I was given the opportunity to visit at a Buddhist monastery where I was able to speak French with people there as well listen to everyday spoken French which is clearly a benefit to anyone seeking to learn a language. The visit also enabled me to experience another way of life. Also, during my time at Stan’s due to the flow of friends through their home I was able to have (attempt to have) conversations with other people who were all extremely welcoming and tolerant of a non native French speaker attempting to converse.
My particular goal was to try and improve my spoken French, to help my confidence when conversing with strangers and not to be afraid of making mistakes. However, each student is different and it is important to define your own objectives before you start your course. During all of the discussions in class or chats around the table with the family Stan will gently correct or show how something might be more easily said in everyday conversation.
Apart from studying and my visit to the Monastery I was also able to use their bike to cycle around the local area and to Eymet as well as walk in the wonderful countryside. With the family we ate out and visited local towns and cafes. All of these things allow the student to absorb everyday French and listen to French conversation as well as speaking.
If you are going away from home to study it is important that you feel comfortable otherwise it will, in my opinion, affect your ability to learn or can lead to distraction. With Stan and Melanie, their family and friends, you will definitely be made to feel at ease and it is difficult to think of any family more welcoming.
Colin – 2018 – French Lessons in Dordogne in Immersion
Stanislas is a very competent and patient teacher. His perseverance helped me improve my French skills and understanding of the French language.
The home is in a peaceful country area which is great for relaxing. The accommodation was very nice with a lovely bathroom.
I also enjoyed walking and cycling through the local countryside.
Philippa & Shehan – 2018 – French Lessons in Dordogne in Immersion
When you regularly hear laughter during classes, you know that things are going well!!
My son (aged 14) and I stayed for 9 nights with Stan and Melanie in their welcoming home in rural France. I decided not to hire a car; I walked when the weather permitted but otherwise was very happy by the fireplace reading a French novel Melanie had loaned to me, or doing my “mots fléchés”, or watching a French film or two on my computer.
We had a few outings with the family – we saw Eymet on market day, a charming village (which is within cycling distance and probably even walking distance in better weather) and went to an open day at a monastery, which I really enjoyed. We also met several family friends and were warmly welcomed into their homes.
Stan was a great teacher for my son who appeared to find the lessons engaging and loads of fun, often saying “is it time to stop already?”, or words to that effect, when it was time for a break or when the class was over. Stan structured the lessons around my son’s interests, concentrating on speaking and listening; they watched videos, did some grammar exercises, and sometimes just chatted in French.
My son has retained a great deal of what he learnt with Stan, still popping out with vocab or other French facts (e.g. when is “s” an “s” sound and when it is a “z” sound) I am reasonably fluent in French, so did not have formal lessons but certainly learnt a great deal during my stay. It was lovely to see my son’s confidence in spoken French grow during our time there. He was greatly encouraged by the warm, positive reinforcement from Stan, Melanie, the boys and also Georg, a delightful family friend who was staying with the family for a few days during our visit.
The accommodation is spacious, very clean and toasty warm. It is attached to the family home, but has a separate entrance. It is ideal if you are someone who needs their own space during downtime, or if you are there for a longer stay. It makes it perhaps less “immersive” than other immersions I have attended, but gives you more privacy, and a quiet place to do any extra work if you are so inclined, which my son was not – lol.
The comfortable mattress is on a “mezzanine” level, which keeps the ground level spacious. The mezzanine is without a barrier though, so if you are prone to sleep walking, opt to use the sofa bed on the ground level. We loved the novelty of sleeping up so high and as a bonus, it was very warm up there. Meals were adequate and delicious and most often made with organic produce. There were lovely cheeses after each meal. We were asked regularly if there was anything in particular we would like to eat, but chose to follow the vegetarian diet enjoyed by the family, and did not regret it. Yum.
Should you go ? I would. :)
Patricia & John – 2018 – French Lessons in Dordogne in Immersion
I offer a ringing recommendation for participating in the French language immersion study with Stanislaus in Eymet. Every part of our time there was perfect. The breadth and depth of the language study, the daily schedule, our accommodation, the family life, the dog (quite a sense of humor in that dog!), and the general environs. It was also very fun to be on the fringe of a very active and well-functioning family. Reminded me quite a bit of when my own boys were small. Except that Stanislaus and Melanie seemed more competent than I remember being!
In the time leading up to my planned immersion experience, I was excited and fearful, perhaps in equal measure. I’d read other reviews of people’s experiences that allayed some fear, and I decided I’m a person who can handle possible humiliation. You aren’t likely to be surprised to hear that the fear wasn’t warranted. And, also unsurprisingly, no humiliation, not even internal! I learned more than I would have expected during the time I studied with Stanislaus. Happy about that!
Some things that we experienced above and beyond were
– a gracious and competent handling of my food allergy, with deliciousness, I may add.
– easy incorporating of my non-studying husband into daily activities.
We loved the cuisine, healthy and expertly prepared. We loved eating dinner with the family. My husband had been a bit concerned about how he’d spend his time while I was studying, but he found much to do, without even getting into the car. He walked locally, he read, he investigated where we may want to explore in the afternoon. Eymet is a lovely, smallish village with quite old buildings and a central square with cafes that function as spectator areas. We took one longer visit up to Bergerac and enjoyed that, too.
I’d love to come again, and it’s in the back of my mind, trying to find my way back to Eymet.
Suomi – 2018 – French Lessons in Dordogne in Immersion
This summer I decided to have a true language immersion experience while exploring different regions of France. I have always been amazed by the diversity of the country. The network of French Today teachers allowed me to combine my two objectives – to improve my French and to visit different parts of the country.
Stanislas lives in a quiet rural area where I enjoyed daily walks observing vineyards and farm animals with their dog, Pema. It is close enough, though, from the medieval village of Eymet with a lovely village square. We did few of the lessons there sitting in an outdoor cafe overlooking the square. We also went to the weekly market there.
Stanislas concentrated in oral communication using videos on topics of interest to me. We would discuss the content of the video and Stanislas helped expand my repertoire of useful expressions.
I was impressed how Stanislas was able to quickly customize the learning material to my level and my interests.
I would recommend an immersion stay with Stanislas.
Rick – 2018 – Learn French in Immersion in Dordogne
My immersion in Perigord with Stan, Melanie, Moïse, Carlos and Pema was absolutely amazing and exceeded all of my expectations!
To start—and thanks to the rail strikes—part of my train rides were cancelled which resulted in most of my luggage being lost in transit. Stan was not only flexible but supportive and even helped to speak with the SNCF on my behalf, given that my French was nowhere near the required level to do so.
Coming to their beautiful home and walking into the majestic suite in the countryside eased my mind and set the stage for an incredible experience. Each day began with breakfast and then lessons in our suite that extended into lunch with everyone. I was challenged to continue speaking French in a supportive and patient environment that took me out of my comfort zone and exhausted my brain, but got me closer to the results in which I was looking.
As part of the program, there were two excursions to both the scenic village of Eymet where we continued our classes strolling the streets with some light shopping—to replenish some of my lost things—eventually stopping at a café where I was taught how to eat a croissant and café properly French.
The other excursion was to the Chateau Bridoire with Stan and the boys to play with medieval games, interact with the stylized rooms and understand the local significance.
While our program was structured, I was brought into the community where we met with other friends as well as shared meals at the Buddhist monastery that was a 5 minute drive or 30 minute scenic stroll along rolling green fields that I asked to take.
The week ended very quickly and bittersweet with the relationships that we developed, delicious vegetarian cuisine and sunny cloudy days that I would return to without question.
Vicky – 2018 – Learn French in Immersion in Dordogne
I had an amazing 2 week french immersion study with stanislas and his family, in the beautiful region of dordogne, where I had travelled in late june , with the expectation of improving my french. I believe I accomplished this, and on a personal level, way more.
Stanislas is an experienced an excellent teacher with a nonjudgemental teaching style infused with warmth and encouragement , that puts you at ease from the onset.
Determining where you are with your french, your level, and what you want and need, he adapts to your needs and interests . French study includes daily classroom work as well as interaction with family and friends, and various outing adventures aimed to introduce you to french culture in general and to more specifically to areas of interest in the area, the beautiful French countryside, and interaction of friends and family.
While melanie is not the formal french teacher, she offers the important additional means to practice French conversation. Melanie also teaches body awareness, and yoga, does massage, and offers special workshops in other related areas. Her interest in total body health also comes through in her knowledge of good nutrition, herbs and spices, and delicious vegetarian meals, which I have already begun to try to recreate in my own home. and she will generously share with you if you have an interest. In addition she is also a talented sculptor, and several of her pieces can be seen around on the property. She offers an important piece of your french immersion.
The family also includes two active adorable young boys, and a dog. they are fun to watch and interact with, and they too accept your presence without reserve. Pema the dog will be your instant friend if you want that, and is thrilled to take you on walks.
Additionally ,the area where they they live in is very beautiful , with rolling hills and spacious open fields and farms. If you enjoy walking or biking there is no shortage of lovely secluded and open areas to walk and bike.
I was also able to visit nearby towns and markets , sip coffee in the outdoor cafes , sample previously untasted french pastries ,and visit the peaceful serene plum village monastery which is close by, and quite inspiring. What you visit of course is to your specific interests, and these were mine.
I also went to several children’s school drama events which , while I did not understand it all, I enjoyed very much. I met friends and all were accepting and welcoming. I was also fortunate enough to be included in a weekend trip to the beach with the children and other friends, which was really fun.
If you are interested in an amazing french immersion adventure, I believe this is the one you should choose.
Wendy & Cefas – 2018 – Learn French in France Périgord
After moving to France from the Netherlands we found ourselves struggling with the language and understanding people. So we decided to do an Immersion course with French Today and picked Stan and Melanie as our hosts. We could not have made a better choice.
Stan is a very patient and skillful teacher and Melanie is very warm and welcoming. The house is located in a beautiful rural area of the Dordogne, there are multiple nice walks in the area and Eymet is a lovely town to visit and have a drink on the square.
The accommodation is very comfortable and is situated in a separate part of the house with a private bathroom. It has a little stove that kept us warm during the colder days, being there at the end of the winter. It has its own entrance so when we went out for a nice dinner in Eymet we didn’t have to bother Stan and Melanie when we came back late.
The meals that Melanie provided where great! Tasty and healthy and we really enjoyed them as much as the conversations over dinner.
We took our lessons in the morning, starting each day where we left off the day before. Stan was able to keep the lessons engaging and fun. We practiced grammar as well as speaking and we learned a lot in a very short period of time. The afternoons were used for homework, excursions and relaxation. Stan and Melanie took us to the market of Eymet which is lovely and has an abundance of local produce. And both of us had a lovely massage from Melanie.
But the highlight was the excursion to the Buddhist monastery where we had lunch with the monks.
We loved our time with Stan and Melanie, not only did we make great progress with our French but we made new friends along the way. We would definitely recommend a stay with Stan, Melanie, the kids and of course Pema the dog!
Wayne – 2018 – Learn French in Immersion in Dordogne
Stan, Melanie, Carlos and Moïse are a wonderful host family. Stan is a great teacher, and although I was more advanced in French than most of his students, I can imagine that he is also very well-suited for beginners; we did some review of more basic rules of grammar which I enjoyed and learned from. He is many “tricks” for explaining rules that are not intuitive for English speakers.
The apartment, including the private bathroom is lovely. As my travels in Europe continue, I dream of the huge claw foot tub and walk-in shower. The apartment in general is very spacious and has a lovely old farmhouse feeling. The house is on a hill with picturesque views of sweeping fields, and neighbours that include goats, donkeys and the friendliest race horses you will meet if, as they did for me once, trot across the field to meet you at the fence so you can scratch their noses.
Melanie is a fantastic cook! Périgord is known for its cuisine. You will not be disappointed! I am a rabid meat eater and did not miss meat at all when Melanie (and sometimes Stan) prepared meals.
Eymet is a charming village. You can bike there, but Stan also took me a couple of times for the last hour of class at a cafe. I also had the best meal to date (6 weeks and counting) that I have had in Europe in Eymet.
I have no doubt that you would enjoy a stay with the family and learn French too!
Roy & Cindy – 2018 – Learn French in Périgord
We had a very enjoyable week with Stan, Melanie, and their two young sons. We had hoped to not only learn some valuable French language skills, but also a greater understanding and appreciation for the people, their lifestyle, values and interests. We feel that our expectations were fully met.
Each morning we had lessons with Stan, but we also interacted with the family throughout the day – during lunch and dinner meals and outings. Although we have had some French classes in the past, we are at different levels of proficiency with the language. Stan was able to target the areas most in need of guidance so that we each left with a firm action plan to continue to hone our skills. Hearing spoken French throughout the day was very helpful and an effective tool to enhance learning.
In addition to the language skills, we thoroughly enjoyed Melanie’s creative and delicious meals and yoga class. She was even kind enough to share some of her recipes with us.
Our room accommodations were very nice. We had adequate storage space in our lodging, a very comfortable private bathroom, a comfortable bed, a work table and chairs and a sofa. The weather was chilly when we first arrived, and additional bedding was supplied to keep us warm at night.
Because of the beautiful rural country setting, we enjoyed taking walks along the road and in the forest with the family dog in the evenings.
The week went by quickly, and we were sorry to say good-bye to our new friends, however our fond memories of this experience will stay with us for a long time.
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.