Best French language school outside Paris
  • I'll be in france for 8 weeks this year and would like to attend an immersive french course. Right now I am looking at IFALPES and CILFA in Annecy, but I"m wondering if there are other destinations that might be fun too. I will be there in July or August.

    thanks for any info!
  • The best course provider I know of is "Alliance Francaise".

    Have used their courses in the UK and they were excellent.

    They have a centre in Paris: www.Alliancefr.org/en. They can also arrange accommodation in a family if you are interested.

    Bonne chance!

    www.frenchpedals.co.uk
  • Thanks for the post! I'm also interested in finding the best French School I can go with.
  • I know a very good French language school located in Anglet/Biarritz: Sud-Ouest French Institute 64 (SOFI 64).
    They are next to the ocean and provide quality French courses in a great environment.

    You can visit their website at: http://ww.sofi64.com/

    Bonnes vacances!
  • I can highly recommend FLEUR (http://www.coursdefrancais-fleur.com/english/index_en.html) or Ecole des Trois Ponts (http://www.3ponts.edu).

    Do yourself a favor and AVOID "Crea-Langues". Here's why:
    I stayed at the Crea Langues school (http://www.crealangues.com) for one week in May of 2012. I enjoyed the classes and activities that were offered. However, there were a few things that soured my experience. This is the fourth language school with a similar full immersion program that I have tried and it turned out to be the worst so far.

    1. Catastrophic Transfer from the Aix-en-Provence TGV station to the school
    The Sunday before the school I was scheduled to take a train from Geneva to Lyon where I would make my connection for Aix-en-Provence. Unfortunately, my train from Geneva to Lyon was delayed by more than one hour which meant that I missed my connecting train in Lyon and was rebooked on a later one. This meant that I would miss the shuttle service organized by the school at a one-way price of EUR 40 that I had already paid for in advance. I called the principle of the school from the station in Lyon once I knew when I would arrive in Aix-en-Provence. The way she responded at first was re-assuring. She said that there was another student that was also affected by the delayed train between Geneva and Lyon. She then went on proposing a “solution” to our transportation problem (the school is about 1.5 hours away from the Aix-en-Provence TGV station). She told us to wait 1.5 hours at the station in order to take a bus for about one hour which would drop us off in a town where her husband would then pick us up for the rest of journey (another 45 minutes). Given that both of us weren’t very keen on waiting 1.5 hours at the station, I asked her for an alternative. Her “alternative” was even more outrageous. She said that could take a taxi instead of the bus for the first leg of our journey to the monastery for a whopping EUR 150. Needless to say that we didn’t want to spend another EUR 150 just for transportation to the school which meant that we opted for the bus. At around 8 pm when we had finally figured out how to get to the school, we wanted to grab some food at the station. The problem: The only restaurant at the station which is located outside of the city closed at 8 pm which meant that the only “food” available was candy you could buy from vending machines. We eventually took the bus and made it to the school at around 11 pm. Needless to say that we were frustrated and starving when we got there. A delayed train is neither the school’s nor my fault. However, if you have two of your clients stuck at the station with no food options whatsoever, you better come up with a more accommodating solution than making them wait there for 1.5 hours before continuing their odyssey to the school.

    2. Speedy Meals that were missing one crucial component
    I like to enjoy my meals even when I am not on vacation but especially when I am on vacation. Unfortunately, this was not possible at the school. The courses during lunch and dinner were served very quickly. There was never really enough time to enjoy the delicious meals and to have conversations with the other students and teachers around the table at the same. It always felt like they wanted to get the lunch or dinner service over with as quickly as possible which is very unfortunate, especially when you are on vacation in France.
    The second major drawback in regards to meals was the fact that a cheese platter was served only one time during all of meals at the monastery. This really bothered me given that France is the country when it comes to cheese. All other schools I have been to offered a traditional French cheese platter during all lunches and dinners. Obviously this was done to bring down costs and to maximize the school’s profits. Very disappointing given the school’s rather expensive prices.


    It is unfortunate that I cannot recommend Crea-Langues. The concept itself is great, the teachers do a good job but the management, namely Annemarie and Dhruv Bhandari-Desmet, are incapable of satisfying their clients. A few days into our one week stay, they asked us for our opinion in writing. I submitted my points of criticism but never heard back. When you ask your customers for their opinion and you receive negative feedback you better do something about it. Unfortunately, Annemarie and Dhruv did not even try to rectify the points of criticism I had brought to their attention. Very unfortunate. When paying for lodging at departure, it was me who brought up the issue with the transfer to the school for which I had paid EUR 40 for. I ended up paying EUR 5 instead of the full EUR 40 for this service that was never really rendered but let me tell you that Annemarie’s husband Dhruv was not at all apologetic. It was rather the contrary, he was trying to make me feel bad about having brought up this complaint again. In my opinion a truly unacceptable behavior.
  • I can't disagree more with Marcus K. I believe that this is a grossly inaccurate description of the school, and should be considered as suspect. I have been to this school for three different courses: 2004, 2008 and 2010. I have sent 4 different friends and family members there and they have all had similarly incredible experiences. The instruction is superb, the food absolutely delicious and the accommodation out of this world. Annemarie and Dhruv are extremely kind and give individual attention to every student, doing their utmost to accommodate personal requests. Having been to several immersion programs (in French and Spanish), I can assure you this is leagues above the rest. I am planning to return in 2012.
  • My friends recommended me to try the french language school France Langue (http://www.france-langue.com), that I did few months ago. I came back at home 3 weeks ago and I still very nostalgic.. This school is very good, the teachers very professionals, I did a lot a good memories and meet amazing peoples there!
    Personnaly, I was in France Langue, Nice but they are also in Paris, Bordeaux and Biarritz, I think it's change of french language school that are mostly in Paris ! They were very well located!:)

    I totally loved it, and recommend it now to you ^^ !
  • Hi! I just came back from Montpellier, in the south of France. The city is just fantastic!! I spent 4 weeks in a French language school: Accent Franc

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion