French immersion holiday - intermediate-advanced levels

South West, Dordogne, France

8 days from
per person

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Holiday Itinerary

This 7 night/8 day French language immersion holiday is the perfect way to experience the French lifestyle and culture like a local. This is not your usual French language course with formal school-like language classes.

You will be speaking French for the whole duration of your holiday from the moment you arrive, in situations such as ordering a croissant at the local bakery to conversing with fellow guests during meal times as well as giving your knowledge of French language a boost during the language lessons.

The beautiful region of the Dordogne will provide the perfect background for your French immersion week. It is renowned for its wine, stunning landscapes, charming villages and chateaux, good food and has plenty to offer in terms of history. Your host Jane knows the region very well as she has published a travel guide about the Dordogne and its area.

You will be taught by French language experts Alexandre, Florent, Barbara, Caroline and Dominique. Alexandre, also known as ‘The Oracle’ due to his in-depth knowledge of Dordogne and unfathomable general culture, produces organic wine in a village near the famous appellation Saint-Emilion and will also act as a tour guide, sharing his insight and passion for Dordogne. 

All teachers have different and complimentary teaching methods and will be on hand to help you with any questions you might have. Throughout the week, they will help you with pronunciation, grammar and listening and encourage you to communicate in French. Alexandre, Florent, Barbara and Caroline are French natives and Dominique is Belgian so you’ll be sure you’ll been learning from native Francophone speakers.

Your language level will be determined during the first day and you will then be placed in a suitable language group. Language groups are small so each student will be given individual attention and their progress will be supervised.

Your itinerary will be flexible and vary according to the season and weather. The language lessons will take place in the morning for 3 hours with a break and the afternoons will be used for the excursions.
The outings – all in French - could include a wine tasting, a visit to the Issigeac market, a guided tour of Bergerac and the Chateau of Monbazillac, a visit to Périgueux and its market, touring the Dordogne valley and Sarlat as well as the world famous prehistoric sites of the Vézère valley. You might also be going to a local fête, going around gardens or visit a local exhibition.

In the evenings before dinner, guests will decide to either watch a French film, or have a discussion of a topic of your choice in French which could cover literature, society or even politics.

You will be staying in a wonderfully restored late 18th century manor house (a gentilhommière) with 10 beautiful and comfortably furnished bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. The manor boasts 7 acres of private land, an extensive meadow garden, a lake, tennis court and an outdoor heated swimming pool. In your free time, you could go for a swim, enjoy the beautiful views of the woodland and fields or go fishing in the lake.

This French language immersion holiday is a great eye-opener to discover the French lifestyle, traditions and customs and enjoy the wonderful region of the Dordogne whilst practising your French language skills in a convivial way.

- Please note that this course is suitable for people with an intermediate or above language level which is equivalent to B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
- This means that you need an understanding of grammar and tense system as well as sentence structures while being able to ask & respond to questions about familiar topics 
- Beginner and elementary levels are NOT permitted on this holiday
- This holiday is aimed at people with in a keen interest in French culture and lifestyle, who have previous knowledge of the French language but have not had the opportunity to speak it
- Whereas the group on the holiday can up be up to a maximum of 20 people, language classes are kept to maximum of 8 to give maximum attention to participants
- Minimum age 18 with no upper age limit

Travelling solo?
- This French language immersion holiday is a great singles holiday and singles are welcome to join the existing group
- Prices are based on two people travelling together and sharing a twin/double room
- There is a compulsory single supplement for solo travellers; please see ‘Costing and Extras’ tab for more information and prices

French language immersion holiday start days
- This holiday runs on set Saturdays from April-June and September-November
- PLEASE NOTE: 6 April and 19 October 2019 are intensive advanced levels only
- If this holiday appears ‘on request’, we can usually accommodate your requirements, to check availability, email us on or call us on +44 (0) 208 144 5990 with your preferred dates and someone will get back to you very quickly

French language immersion holiday itinerary
The itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change depending on the group’s needs and wishes but is typically as follows:

Day 1 – Saturday - Arrival day and welcome dinner

- You will be met from Bergerac airport or Bergerac train station and driven for 15 minutes to the manor house
- Check into your room at the elegant manor house any time in the afternoon
- After settling in, you will meet your fellow guests for drinks and introductions at 7.30pm
- At 8pm enjoy a specially prepared dinner with your welcoming host Jane
- Jane will outline your itinerary for the next few days and provide you with some information on the house, lessons and what you can expect during your week at the manor house

Day 2 - Sunday
- Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the manor 9am
- You will be introduced to the teachers who will go through the week’s lessons at 9.30am
- Part of Sunday will be useful for the teacher to establish your level of French by engaging in conversation with you in order to establish which group you will be allocated
- From 10.30, leave for Isseagac street market
- Depending on the weather, enjoy a picnic lunch or lunch at the manor between 12.30pm and 2pm
- The afternoon will be dedicated to a tour/outing that will be decided on arrival and which will depend on the weather, what’s on in the area and on people’s wishes
- At 5.30pm, return to the manor where you will have time to relax
- As part of the establishing your level of French, the teachers will read out a dictée (dictation) and then engage in conversation at 7.30pm before dinner
- Sit with your fellow guests and host for a delicious dinner prepared by resident chef Bernadette

Days 3-7 - Monday to Friday
- Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at 8.15am
- Your language lessons will take place from 9am to 12.30am with a break from 10.20am to 10.40am
- Lessons will focus on pronunciation, listening exercises, grammar, spoken and written expression, topical discussion and presentation of themes relating to French life
- Time for lunch at 12.45pm in the manor
- The afternoons will be used for the excursions around the Dordogne
- At 2.30pm, you will leave the manor for your daily afternoon excursion
- The afternoon excursions will depend on the weather, people’s wishes and what is on in the area
- Typical excursions can include a visit to Bergerac and possibly a wine-tasting at a nearby vineyard and a visit to Chateau de Monbazillac, various bastides of the area, Périgueux, Brantôme, the prehistoric sites of Les Eyzies, Lascaux, Sarlat and the numerous chateaux and villages of the Dordogne valley and possibly going to a local fête
- You will be back in the evening at between 6 and 7pm
- Enjoy aperitif (pre-dinner drinks) with your guests at 7.30pm before dinner
- Sit for dinner with your fellow guests at 8pm and converse in French about the day’s outings and reflecting on the things you learnt

Day 8 – Departure day
- You will enjoy a final breakfast at the manor at 8.15am
- At 10am, you will check out from your room and a transfer will take you to Bergerac airport or train station
- For those leaving in the afternoon, a visit to Bergerac market and town will be arrange with a lunch in town or at the manor

Who are our guests?
- French language immersion holidays are typically made up of international travellers (but most predominantly English speakers) looking to improve their knowledge of French and experience the authentic French lifestyle
- Ages vary, but the typical customer falls in to the 35-65 age bracket but younger and older guests are of course welcome
- Guests have, at a minimum, an intermediate level of French or a more advanced level of French

About your tutors and host
- Your host Jane, has been running her French language immersion holidays in her manor house for 10 years now
- She has recently written and published a travel guide about Dordogne and the surrounding area, so has a wealth of knowledge to offer you
- Your language tutor and guide Alexandre knows all about the history and geography of Dordogne like the back of his hand, and also produces organic wine in a village near the famous appellation of Saint-Emilion
- He will share his knowledge of Dordogne and his love of French language in a convivial and way
- Your language tutor Barbara is truly international: she is native French and is trilingual in French, English and German as she went to school in Germany, Belgium and France
- Your language tutor Caroline is bilingual in French and English, was brought up in New York and worked in public relations in Paris and as an interpreter
- Your language tutor Dominique is Belgian and was a professional teacher in Belgium
- Your language tutor Florent is French and a new addition to the teaching team
- Your tutors will accompany you on the afternoon excursions and act as guides

What will I learn?
- This is an intensive French language immersion holiday, so you will be speaking French all day long, every day from your arrival day
- The language lessons will take place in the morning for three hours from 9am to 12.30am
- There will be a little 20 min break in the middle of the lesson at 10.20
- You will be improving your French conversational skills, pronunciation, intonation and written French
- You fill confident communicating in French in everyday situations
- Motivation for learning a language varies person to person and this then influences your goals when taking part in a language course
- At the beginning of the week, the teachers will ask you what you would like to gain from this week and what areas of the language you would like to focus on in order for them to help you achieve your goals
- Find out about the French way of life, the country’s history, institutions, society and culture

The accommodation
- Your accommodation is set in a beautifully restored elegant 18th century manor house
- The manor house was built in the 18th century and has a great feel of history about it
- The manor house is surrounded by secluded meadows, woodland and fields and boasts 7 acres of private land
- There is also a private boating and fishing lake on site
- At the main house, there is a large entrance hall and open living room with a cosy traditional fireplace, satellite TV and two double sofa beds
- The kitchen is complete with dishwasher, washing machine, separate dryer, microwave, and fridge
- There is a spacious dining room which can easily seat 22 people
- The main house has 4 large double bedrooms with queen size beds on the second floor, and 3 double bedrooms on the third floor
- Please specify if you would prefer a twin bedroom or a double room when booking
- All 7 double bedrooms have their own private bathrooms
- There is also the pigeonnier (converted dovecote) with a vaulted living room with 2 sofas, an open fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, 2 double bedrooms (1 with double bed, one with 2 single beds), a shared bathroom and a private garden
- The wing is also attached to the manor house and provides alternative accommodation should it be required and comprises of a large living room with an open fireplace and three sofas, a double bedroom (with double bed), a bathroom and a second kitchen
- The wing and the pigeonnier will be offered if the manor house is full, and are all on-site and a very short walk from each other
- Accommodation is included for 7 nights / 8 days
- Prices are based on 2 people travelling together and sharing a twin/double ensuite room
- If you are travelling solo private rooms must be booked for a compulsory supplement, which can be added during the booking process
- Please note shared rooms are not offered on this holiday
- Check in any time after 5pm on day 1 and check out by 10am on day 8

- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included for this holiday
- Breakfast will include freshly baked bread with home-made jams and honey from a local bee-keeper, yoghurt, fruit from the local orchard, coffee, tea or hot chocolate
- Lunches are prepared by chef Bernadette and typically include light local delicacies, country salads, freshly baked bread, fresh fruit and of course the best local Bergerac wines
- Dinners are typically served in the dining room of the manor house or outdoors on the terrace
- Dinner is cooked by Chef Bernadette and is typically a three course menu including regional cuisine such as duck, foie gras, truffles, asparagus and strawberries served with a variety of excellent local wines
- If you have dietary requests these must be communicated at the time of booking and can be catered for

Free time around Bergerac
- There is a wide variety of activities to make the most of around Bergerac, and your host Jane will be on hand at all times to suggest local attractions and help to organise your time at the manor house
- There is a large fishing/boating lake where you can try your hand a catching a carp, borrow a rowing boat, play a game of tennis on the full size all weather tennis court, explore the 7 acres of private land, or take a swim in the outdoors heated swimming pool
- Alternatively, you can relax in the hammock or on a sun lounger and soak up the views and the sun

Pursue your passion for French and experience the Dordogne, its history, culture and gastronomy on this French immersion language holiday with a difference.