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, 11 years old, both love having foreign guests around. 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. My immersion style is to really include my students in our everyday life, take them to meet our local friends, enjoy with them the local events happening all around us: 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.
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
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.
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, I’m sorry but we cannot welcome your pet.
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 1400 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
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
Pauline & Richard – 2018 – French Immersion at Teacher’s & Family in the Pyrénnées
I knew it would be a great week the moment we drove up and saw the family outside waving to us as we drove up the hill to their home.
I jumped right into the French language by attending a « guinguette » that afternoon at a lovely home of the host family’s friends. There was music, dancing, French conversation and delicious food and wine shared by everyone.
All week long Emilie was willing to share local cultural events of which there were many to chose from. We went to a yoga class together, walked along the countryside to a former château to buy freshly baked bread, toured local villages and went shopping in local stores.
Emilie’s family is very involved in their community, so we were frequently greeted everywhere by neighbors and friends. Being able to connect with locals while traveling really makes a world of diffference!
But of course I really came for the lessons and they were certainly rated at 10 ! This was not my first time taking an immersion course, so I knew what to expect, but Emilie went beyond my expectations because she had taken lots of time to tailor the lessons specifically to my needs. The questionnaire she has prepared for her students is really a fantastic idea and allows her to customize the lessons in advance.
We worked on my weak areas, with some grammar and pronunciation as we went along. Some morning we watched short videos tailored to my needs that were very helpful, interesting and made the time fly by. Emilie takes terrific notes on your studies each day allowing you to focus on what is really important. I ended the week with a wonderful summary that is very practical and will contribute significantly to my conversational skills in the future.
Knowing that I love yoga, Emilie obtained written instructions in French for various yoga poses and we spent the final morning lesson doing yoga with a pause in between each pose to practice the vocabulary and
verb conjugations. What a great way to end the week! C’était top !
Thank you Emilie for your dedication and the hospitality shown by your family. It is an experience that will forever remain with me and I left many fond memories.
Jillian and Jonas – 2018 – French Immersion Homestay in the Pyrénnées
My husband and I spent one week in September with Emilie and her family. I studied French. My husband relaxed. Together we thoroughly enjoyed the warm welcome, the beautiful house and surroundings, and the opportunity to share French life in a way not possible when foreigners like us travel on our own.
Emilie is a great teacher of French language and culture. She shares her knowledge in a way that keeps the lessons from being pedantic or dull. She works with the level you’re at, correcting errors as they happen and explaining what is “au courant.” And she takes you into her life so that the French you are hearing is real, not theoretical. She also figures out what kinds of things you are interested in and finds ways to include them in the schedule. For us, for example, having learned about my past work in ceramics, Emilie arranged for visits to a wonderful ceramic artist and a private museum that focuses on traditional faience tiles and pottery along with modern artists’ work. The people we met in those activities were a wonderful treat of their own.
While improving my French was the primary goal of our visit, my husband and I found the time with Emilie and her family to be satisfying on a deeper level. We loved hanging out with David while he cooked and after dinner under the stars. We loved getting to know Myrtille and being an audience for her developing gymnastic practice. Her physical flexibility and her sense of humor are fantastic! We enjoyed our limited time with Aristide, who was off at school during the week. He showed a fine sense of design and presentation in serving up the tarte tatin that (ok, I admit it) I made. And of course we had a great time being with and observing Emilie as she went about her daily activities, shopping, helping asylum seekers, and giving bisous to virtually everyone we met. It is clear that Emilie loves everyone, and they love her back.
If you are looking to learn or improve your French but also to have a very special and wonderful experience, we highly recommend doing an immersion program with Emilie.
Maria – 2018 – Immersion Homestay in the Pyrénnées
I’m Maria, I’m 15 and I have stayed with Emilie and her family for 2 weeks.
I have really enjoyed my time here, getting to be a part of their family, meeting their friends, and going on trips together. They made me feel welcome and comfortable from the start, and they have truly built my confidence when it comes to speaking French.
We have been hiking in the mountains, canoeing down a river, and they even convinced me to take part in a show as a dancer along with Emilie and her daughter.
I have learnt so much more casual and useful vocabulary for everyday scenarios from being here and being a part of their daily live that I would never have learnt in a classroom.
Nora – 2018 – Immersion Homestay at Teacher & Family in France
Mon séjour d’immersion chez toi en famille était un vrai cadeau pour moi.
Un grand merci et beaucoup de bises à toi, à Myrtille, à David pour votre accueil si chaleureux, votre générosité, votre gentillesse, votre aide linguistique, pour tout ce que vous avez partagé avec moi : des amis courageux et créatifs, les repas délicieux, la Lune, le Soleil, la Nature, la Chaleur, l’Histoire et la vie quotidienne des Petites Pyrénées.
A tous les trois, je vous remercie de tout mon cœur.
Linda – 2018 – Immersion Homestay at Teacher & Family in France
Our stay with Emilie has been truly memorable.
From the moment my husband David and I arrived she made us feel so welcome and comfortable and her enthusiasm for everything and everyone is contagious!
Over the past week we have experienced many wonderful occasions ranging from a magnificent balade in the Pyrenees followed by a refreshing swim in the clear waters of the river, a fun-filled evening with the locals watching France play in the World Cup football, a visit to a Boulanger in a chateau, an evening performance by a group of travelling actors and a delightful barbecue with friends on the magnificent terrace.
We have also been so fortunate that Emilie’s husband Davide has been on “vacances “ and he has prepared for us many absolutely delicious meals. Davide and Emilie cook with the freshest local produce and create amazing and healthy meals with ease. Every meal has been an absolute delight and nothing has been too much trouble.
Emilie worked tirelessly over the week to make sure we experienced many different and interesting things and managed to juggle teaching at two levels with absolute ease and patience.
We have loved our stay and would recommend it highly and hope one day to be able to return to this wonderful part of the world.
Linda – 2018 – Immersion Homestay at Teacher & Family in France
What an incredible week I just spent with Emilie and her family in their restored farmhouse at the foot of the Pyrénées.
The accomodations were excellent.
The week began with a wonderful welcome from the family and friends and the opportunity to speak French with many interesting people.
As a teacher, Emilie recognized exactly what I needed to improve my French and we worked on that during the week. She is an oustanding teacher.
And speaking with the charming Myrtille was a delight.
In the beautiful countryside there are also opportunities for cultural outings. We had a yoga class together, visited a artisans market, a museum called « Musée de la Peinture de Saint-Frajour » met a Yougoslav artist ( more French conversation), a tour of the medieval village of Aurignac and a charming tour in Toulouse.
I also had the good fortune to be here during the « Ciné-Sciences » festival to watch documentaries and listen to the directors speak about their film.
Emilie is very creative in finding opportunities specific to the needs of her students.
This truly was an experience I will always remember as highlight of my life.
I can recommend Emilie’s immersion to anyone who would like to learn or improve his or her French, while enjoying an outsanding experience.
The immersion was « au-delà de mes attentes » ( beyond my expectations ).
Thank you Emilie, David and Myrtille.
Nicky – 2018 – Immersion Homestay at Teacher & Family in France
I have just spent a most wonderful week with Emilie and her family (Husband David and children Myrtille and Aristide).
From the moment I arrived I was immediately made to feel like a family member and given my own bedroom and bathroom, in the most charming house, situated on a hill with spectacular views over working farms and the snow covered Pyrenees mountains as a backdrop.
The meals made by Emilie and David were healthy and delicious and in the evenings they often invited friends to join us which added both interest and conversation.
We made visits to the local ancient town of Aurignac a few kilometres away to a magnificent Chateau housing a spectacular collection of 16th and 17th century ceramic tiles and to the beautiful home and studio of local sculptor Guy Reid.
I brought my bike with me and this made it possible for me to explore the local lanes and villages in the time away from the classroom.
Emilie is a very good teacher. She has a profound knowledge of French and she speaks very good English. I needed a foundation in French language and she has given this to me slowly and very patiently.
The week here has been enormously beneficial for me language wise but it has also been a great pleasure and a privilege to be with this family in their home.
Antoinette – Immersion Homestay at Teacher & Family in France
I was given a last minute opportunity to travel to France with my husband whilst he was doing business in Europe. One of my life goals is to learn to speak French. I wasn’t keen on attending a language school and during my search for something different, came across the French today website . An immersion stay sounded fabulous and I booked with Emilie.
Emilie fetched me from Boussens train station and immediately made me feel welcome and at ease. We arrived at their restored farmhouse with amazing views over the countryside. I met David and the adorable Myrtille who were as friendly and welcoming.
Emilie is an excellent teacher, very flexible, well organised and was very patient with me . Myrtille is a great little teacher too and helped me with my numbers. I feel that I have better attuned my ear to the language and feel more confident when trying to converse in French.
I had lots of fun and enjoyed walks to Aurignac, around the area and to Lac DôO. We cycled, picnicked, went to Toulouse to see a Baroque concert, enjoyed lunch at the Aurignac market and met some of Emilie’s friends.
The week just flew by and thoroughly enjoyed being part of Emilie’s family. An immersion stay is a wonderful way to experience a bit of French culture and life whilst learning French. I would highly recommend a stay with this lovely family.
Merci beaucoup Emilie, David et Myrtille
Keith & Mary – 2018 – 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 – 2018 – 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 – 2017 – 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!!’