Your French Immersion Residential Program in The Pyrénées
Bonjour! My name is Emilie, welcome to our home.
I am a native French woman born of German and Belgian parents. I speak German, English, and Spanish and always dreamt to be an “ambassador”.
I am a certified French teacher from l’Alliance Française and I have a DAEFLE degree in teaching French as a Second Language.
For the last six years, I have been teaching children and adults of all ages from beginners to advanced level. I also give language lessons to our local refugee group, which has been a rich and rewarding experience.
Being very fond of wildlife and open spaces, my husband David and I decided to bring up our two children in the marvelous countryside of the “little Pyrenees” between Toulouse and the Pyrenees mountains.
Our two children, Aristide 17 years and Myrtille, 10 years old, both love having foreign guests around. Aristide is in high school in Toulouse where he lives during the week but he usually joins us here on weekends. Myrtille is eager to be a “little French teacher”: she is patient and lots of fun to be around and will enjoy playing French board games with you if you are so inclined.
Finally, we have a cat called Eustache – a very old-fashioned French name: it’s our little nod to all that is retro!
Life here combines calm and quiet with convivial social gatherings. You will be part of our everyday life, meet our local friends: it’s a real opportunity to see another side of French contemporary life!
Welcome to Our Home in The Pyrénées
We recently moved to a new house as we wanted the perfect place to welcome students for French immersion homestays, and luckily found the ideal place to do it!
Our former farmhouse has just been totally renovated: wood, stone, and metal offer a sleek and simple décor combining modernity and tradition with space.
Almost all year round we use the deck as an extended living space for everything from a morning coffee to an alfresco teaching space. It is also the best place to watch wild deer and the really wonderful birds of prey who are regular visitors. There’s a comfortable sofa and a piano in the right corner.
Cooking and eating is an important part of our family life! We both really enjoy cooking with organic vegetables from our local producer, salads with edible wild plants, or local classic dishes such as confit de canard, fresh porcini mushrooms…
On the weekends, Myrtille and Aristide like to cook homemade cakes, crepes, and other goodies! We especially like to gather in the convivial kitchen while cooking and talking about the day.
The house is large enough to have both shared and private areas, and I have a dedicated classroom available for teaching.
I do like to get out of the classroom; we have plenty of other places to choose from, and the garden can be lovely too.
On a practical note, Wi-Fi is available throughout the house (although a bit slow) and inside the house is non-smoking. You may smoke in the garden if you wish. There is central air throughout the house.
As we have a shy cat, we’ll welcome your pet and just ask that he or she be friendly to other animals and people, calm and doesn’t run away!
Your Suite and Private Bathroom in France
Your private suite is furnished with one double bed and two side tables, a desk, and a chair, and has an adjacent dressing room.
Your modern private bathroom has a shower and double-sink, and there is a separate toilet just next door.
The suite accommodates either a single person or a couple. It can be adapted to welcome a family with one child – we’d then bring in an extra bed.
The house was built to achieve maximum light in the day throughout the living areas, and of course the deck. Bedrooms are dedicated to rest and are more intimate with smaller windows: a private, cozy and relaxing atmosphere.
The Region of Petites Pyrénées in France
From the house, you have the impression that we are in the heart of the countryside, with just fields, woodland, and wildlife…
In reality, we are only 8km from the nearest village, called Aurignac (o-ri-niac). It’s a pretty and vibrant medieval village, with lots of history, local shops, two restaurants, a great bookshop/cultural space, a museum, as well as a cinema, open-air pool in the summer and tennis courts.
Further afield we can also visit Toulouse “the rose city”, the regional capital of Occitanie, with its charming city center of rose pink brick buildings, museums and café life, great for shopping and all things cultural.
In winter, skiing is also an option with several choices of resort, including Superbagnères and Peyragudes, and for the very daring among you there are paragliding and via ferrata opportunities. Walking, hiking, cycling etc… are readily available around hour house.
We can hop over the border into Spain for tapas in the typical Spanish mountain village of Bossost!
Practical Info About Your French Immersion Residential Course
The Standard One Week (7 days – 6 nights) Stay Includes:
- 15 hours tuition – usually 3 hours in the morning over 5 days.
- As much (or as little) homework as you want: listening activities, preparation for conversation/discussion, extending your vocabulary, writing a diary etc…
- Comfortable suite with private bathroom.
- 3 meals a day: breakfast with myself and my daughter Myrtille, a lunch with myself or a prepared picnic lunch for days when you prefer to go out sightseeing and a family dinner with Myrtille, David and me: Aristide will join us over most weekends.
- 2 accompanied excursions or cultural activities – eg. a visit to Aurignac, Saint-Bertrand de Comminges, Toulouse, a walk through fields and woods or in the mountains, a visit to a local château or special garden, a local festival, preparing a French specialty dish together – according to your interests.
- Inclusion in my hobbies and activities (yoga, singing rehearsal for local events, cashier at the cinema, coordinating French classes for asylum seekers)
- Preferred arrival on Sunday, departure on Saturday
For this program, the fee for one person is 1350 Euros per week.
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.
There are other options for more tuition or excursions further afield… I am flexible, and will happily adapt to special requests.
Train tickets and museum entry fees not included
Our nearest international airport is Toulouse. Trains from Toulouse arrive in nearby Boussens, from where we can easily pick you up. Other regional airports are smaller but worth looking at, such as Lourdes and Carcassonne.
To really make the most of your stay I recommend that you rent a car, but it’s absolutely no problem if you would prefer to be picked up at the train station, not bother with a car, and take things at a slower pace.
There are so many things to do around here, and so many interesting French people to meet. I personally contacted these reliable professionals who are eager to meet French immersion students, help them practice their French and will be happy to provide the following extra services.
- Gourmet cooking class, gathering and using wild plants, with Anna Lisa or Vanda.
- One-on-one singing tuition from Fanny Roz, a professional singer, and tutor.
- Kundalini Yoga focusing on breathing with Laurence.
- Paragliding with Philippe who is a certified paraglider.
My approach to Teaching French
Whether it is for an intensive brush up of your French, a chance to sample authentic family French life and converse, or the possibility to overcome those fears that have been holding you back, I’m here to help.
My teaching approach is to first make you feel comfortable and create a relaxed atmosphere for you to learn with confidence. As an experienced and graduate French teacher, I use a lot of different tools to teach, and together, we’ll design a tailored program to best fit your needs, learning style and interests.
Learning French in immersion is a fantastic way to put theory into practice: studying with me will be a great confidence booster, and I’ll do my very best to make sure you also have fun along the way!
My family & I really look forward to helping you progress in French and have a truly unique stay in this stunning part of France.
Contact Emilie – French Immersion Homestay Teacher
Reviews From Students
Keith & Mary – Immersion Homestay at Teacher & Family in France
It was with no small degree of apprehension that I signed up for a week of immersion with Emilie and her family. My wife and I were immediately placed at ease as we met our temporary French family in their country home overlooking the areas of lush green farmland with the spectacular Pyrenees mountains as a backdrop.
Emilie and I made a plan for the week and happily we accomplished all of our listed objectives. She remained patient and empathetic to the mental work required to learn a new language.
Additionally, my wife, who accompanied me was included and made to feel welcome, even as a non-student.
Family mealtimes were a treats well beyond expectations.
I am ever so thankful for this experience and recommend Emilie to others without reservation.
Carolyn – French Immersion in France’s Pyrénées
I chose an immersion experience because living in New Zealand & Australia affords virtually no exposure to the french language, and many courses over the decades had not improved my ability to speak french with confidence, even though my enthusiasm for becoming fluent in french remains a lifetime goal.
Emilie & David were hosting a birthday party for their 11 year old daughter Myrtille when I arrived & although they were busy, made me feel very welcome & part of the family absolutely immediately.
Emilie and her family are warm, caring, friendly and clearly enjoy sharing their spacious, comfortable, quiet home. The setting is idyllic, being rural with a fabulous view of the Pyrénées on a clear day, but only a few kms from the charming village of Aurignac.
Emilie was super organised for my visit with teaching materials and options for activities well prepared. At the same time one of her greatest strengths proved to be her flexibility, so that she could change plans at a moments notice and still distinguish relevant teaching points. In fact, no opportunity was lost to teach either language or culture. It was great to learn colloquial phrases and be able to hear them and practise them at the dinner table and other everyday situations.
I found Emilie to be an experienced and enthusiastic teacher. With a kind, fun loving nature and good sense of humour, Emilie was also patient and understanding of my needs. One week is a very short time to attune one’s ear to a new language, assimilate grammar and vocabulary and converse with french speakers. However I’m pleased to say, that thanks to Emilie, I am now more confident to try conversing in french whilst travelling around France.
I can’t wait until I can come back again, and enjoy the pleasure of Emilie helping me achieve a higher level.
I thoroughly recommend an immersion stay with Emilie. If you still have any doubts about whether or not to try an immersion stay, my advice is, “Just do it!”
David – French Immersion in France’s Pyrénées
I stayed with Emilie and her family for 2 weeks full immersion. I cannot speak highly enough about the experience, Emilie and her family were just fantastic! They welcomed me into their home and lives from the very start.
Their family home is a beautiful converted farm house with awesome views over the nearby countryside and the distant Pyrenees mountains.
Every day we ate delicious meals prepared using fresh and organic food, and we drank a glass or two of great red wine.
Emilie is an excellent teacher; she prepared structured and tailored lessons in a fun and informal environment but was also very flexible to my changing levels in motivation! My French has improved drastically, thanks to Emilie.
Emilie introduced me to many of her friends living in the area, who were all very interesting and creative people and lots of fun.
Emilie arranged a number of great activities during my stay, from a day hiking in the Pyrenees, selecting and delivering farm grown organic vegetables to her friends and neighbours, long walks in the local countryside and villages, markets, to even a New Year’s eve party with all their friends!
Having said that, Emilie and family also made sure I had plenty of time for myself to enjoy the area, exercise and just relax – which this immersion is great for.
I returned to the UK feeling relaxed, revitalised and determined to come-back! I highly recommend an immersion stay with Emilie and family!
James – French Immersion in France’s Pyrénées
To help me prepare for my A-Level French I thought I needed a bit of a boost so I booked two weeks immersion with a French family – the Faure-Delforge.
For my A’s I needed to speak about things like sociology, politics and culture. I wanted to meet French people and try and have conversations in these areas to feel more comfortable. Having Aristide there was a big help as he is around my age and really into graphic art and drawing like me. Myrtille was nice too, she’s younger but friendly and smiley and happy to help with the basics! One of the good things was feeling like I was having a real conversation and sharing my ideas, not just speaking French for an exam.
David was into all things to do with French Culture so he gave me a crash course in French cinema and music! I really like Vincent Cassel in Ocean’s 12 and 13, but I had no clue he was French! David is from a musicians family so music is a big part of their life, he introduced me to a lot of new singers and styles, retro and now. I wasn’t expecting this but it was great. Actually they all sing or play some sort of instrument, and Emilie uses songs to teach and help remember things.
We had an afternoon out with friends and other teenagers like me to play petanque, sort of bowls but a lot better! It was nice to talk while doing something and having fun.
I feel I’ve got to grisp much better with full speed spoken French as French people actually speak so I’m understanding spoken French much more now. I’ve learned to talk about myself and my daily life in a more natural way, and have had a chance to practice talking about culture and society, with all sorts of nice people that I’ve got to know, which really boosted my confidence.
Michael & Susan – French Immersion Homestay in Haute-Garonne Pyrénées
We decided to book an immersion stay, as we wanted to really make the most of our travels round France, and start off on the right foot so to speak.
Emilie’s teaching style, while very precise, is lively, vivacious and entertaining. We worked hard, but it was fun and enjoyable at the same time.
We have found Emilie very helpful in teaching us language useful to particular situations for our future stays in France, whether buying some local ‘fromage de chèvre’ on market day, or health vocabulary while doing relaxation exercises on the terrace looking over the valley, or a real bonus for us – discussing tennis as we love it and we came during Roland Garros!
We enjoyed the area in the heart of the nature and full of historical sites and stories. Aurignac is known as the cradle of modern man and also has many traces of its medieval past. We have felt especially lucky to visit the former Bishops Palace of the Comminges which is a private house now and manages to combine renaissance spender, stunning views, contemporary art gallery and cozy family home all rolled into one!
As Emilie and David know so many people in the area we got to visit this and other places rarely open to the public and the chance to meet the owners and practice our French was really special.
Our course has confirmed to us all the reasons why we love France in the first place, and Emilie’s lessons have given us real confidence to engage in conversation with people in our travels around France.”
Bob and Annette – Learning French at Teacher’s Home in France
Knowing that we would be moving to France in the not to distance future, my wife and I decided to book an immersion course. We knew exactly the area of France we wanted to settle in and we were extremely lucky to find Emilie who not only held immersion courses but was in the area we wanted to be.
Having booked the course with Emilie we think it is fair to say that we were apprehensive the nearer the time came never having done this type of thing before and having a limited amount of French in our armour!
Our apprehension soon dissipated within minutes of arriving for our course. Emilie and her family were so welcoming and put us at our ease. Over a very pleasant family meal Emilie took the time to establish what our needs and expectations were during our stay.
Not relishing going back to a classroom environment we were pleasantly surprised that Emilie works in a totally informal and relaxed atmosphere and the lessons were tailored to our needs and flexible. She is lively and has a great sense of humour and above all – buckets of patients! Very adept at finding different ways of helping to understand when we struggled. Our lessons not only covered the French language but also gave us an insight into the French culture.
She has a great knowledge of the area and events going and is generous with her time taking us on impromptu visits so that we could get a feel for the area and practice our French.
Our time flew so fast and we were surprised just how much we had learnt and with ease in such a short time which is a credit to Emilie and her teaching skills.
We will be definitely contacting Emilie when we finally move to France with a view to continuing our French lessons as we loved her way of teaching.
Liz – French Immersion in France at Teacher’s Home in the Pyrenees
What a great way to learn French, staying in a lovely home and being part of a ‘French Family’ learning not only the language but the culture and customs as well.
The region is beautiful and if you are an outdoors person the cycling and walking is fantastic. Although there are lots of other interesting things to do and places to visit, the chance to cycle and learn French at the same time for me was really good, so much more relaxed than just the classroom situation, a chance to talk about more diverse things, what you can see, and the small villages you ride through, and a little of their history, stopping for a coffee and practicing what you have learned during the course, the same when walking. Not just text book grammar!
I have gained the confidence to have a go at speaking at French, and if I don’t succeed the first time in making myself understood I now have another go.
My hosts were’ très gentils’, very patient with me, gently correcting my mistakes, they were more like old friends. Certainly is a lovely way to learn French.
Gary – French Immersion in France’s Pyrénées
Learning the complexities of the French language was never going to be easy however, doing so immersed in the peaceful and beautiful Occitanie region of France has certainly made it a fantastic and stress free experience.
As a language tutor, Émilie has a teaching style which is endearing, fun and above all else, well-structured enabling me to grasp the basics very quickly. The foggy mysteries of feminine and masculine articles, verb tenses and verb endings soon began to clear as Émilie gently explained and guided me through each lesson, using real life conversational situations as a basis for discussion based learning.
All of these benefits are surpassed only by the wonderful and recently renovated accommodation which is set high on a hill in the grounds of Émilie’s family home offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside and which is very close to the Pyrenees mountain range and Spain beyond. As a result, there are plenty of places to go and things to see and do, ranging from delightful and ancient small communes and villages to the historic and most beautiful cities of Toulouse, Carcassonne, Saint-Bertrand-de Comminges and Auch to name but a few.
In short, I very strongly recommend learning French the ‘Émilie Way’… intuitive, practical and excellent French language instruction combined with a marvellous stay in one of the most stunning areas of France… what’s not to like!!’