Not necessarily. It mainly comes down to a different way of learning French. Both programmes offer classes in the morning (3 3/4 hours). Afterwards, with the "à la carte" programme, you leave on excursion, for an outdoor activity or a cultural visit... During the afternoon, you continue to speak French and your teacher or guide is around to help and correct you. This way, you are able to improve your day-to-day vocabulary in a pleasant, but efficient way while also experiencing the most beautiful places in the region. With the "intensive" programme you will have 2 1/4 extra hours of French in the afternoon, participating in linguistic workshops based on themes, such as: "oral expression", "grammar", "pronunciation", etc.. During these workshops, we often delve deeper into the subjects that we worked on in the morning. This course is preferable for people who learn languages better during structured classes.
Generally no. Most come on their own, with the exception of couples, friends or certain participants who met each other at an earlier course. Yearly, about one fourth of the participants to our courses already came for a course in our school previously.
On average, there are 6 to 12 different nationalities for each group of 20 to 25 people. In 2013 for instance, we had students coming from over 30 countries, of which 55 % were Europeans and 45 % were from other continents.
Our teachers are with the group from morning until evening : not only during classes but also during excursions, at the table, during evening activities... they are always around to help you as well as ensure that French is spoken all the time and in a correct way. Adults who take a course with us are very motivated people. They share with one another their interest for the French language and for the region.
Our courses are meant for people who have acquired the A1 level of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) and start at level A2. Our courses are NOT for beginners, that is people who are not able to form a simple sentence in French and who do not understand a conversation when spoken slowly .
However, if you can still express yourself in a simple manner and you are familiar with conjugations of most common verbs, we can guarantee you great progress with our complete immersion-course. In that case, we would suggest that you brush up your existing knowledge of French before the course.
On the "concept"-page of our website, we describe the three different levels that we work with (elementary - intermediate - advanced). The classes are formed according to these three levels and placement after a test which will be administered the first morning.
If you have any doubts, you can always call our school directly in order to do a test by telephone.
This scheme will give you an idea of the estimated number of hours of study to reach each level of the CERF. Be aware, the speed of progress varies from person to person and depends on lots of criteria : motivation, personal study, knowledge of other foreign languages, etc.
|Level||Can be reached through ... hours of study||Total of study hours|
|A1||80 à 100 h||80 à 100 h|
|A2||+ 100 à 120 h||180 à 200 h|
|B1||+ 150 à 180 h||350 à 400 h|
|B2||+ 200 à 250 h||600 à 650 h|
|C1||+ 250 à 300 h||850 à 900 h|
|C2||To reach thislevel, the hourly volume is variable.|
Yes, we work with French teachers who are qualified and experienced in teaching French to foreigners and who also know the region well.
Yes. In our groups, we always have a nice mixture of ages and nationalities. As an average, the ages in the group vary between 25 and 60. You can always contact our booking office, where they'll be happy to go over the list of participants and give you an idea of the different ages in your group.
We offer total immersion courses for all levels except beginners. After an initial test, groups are formed of levels (3 - 6 people per level). There will be certainly a group with an advanced level (levels B2+/C1), maybe even C1/C2 (according to the CEFR, Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). If you consider yourself to be of level C1+, we offer an interview via Skype before registration. A C1 / C2 group can be formed when, among the registrants, we have for example FLE teachers or interpreters. You can also consult the page of our site which describes the levels.
Due to the limited number of participants per group, the continuous presence of the teachers, even at meals and during meetings and debates that we organize with guest-speakers will provide ample occasion to practice French with native speakers. In addition, you’ll have access to didactical material (TV, CDs, DVDs, library, magazines, books, newspapers and magazines) that’ll enable you to continue the immersion non stop.
Yes, there are two computers in the lobby at your disposal from where you can send and receive mails. The building is equipped with Wifi, so you can also use your own laptop to connect to the web.
This is possible, indeed. When you apply for the course, please mention your specific dietary needs on the subscription form, and do not hesitate to remind us of this when you reach the school. Our chef and his team will adapt the menu (i.e. for vegetarians, diet without milk products, etc.).
Yes of course, particularly if you are not living too far away from the school. However, to maximize the benefit of the immersion programme, we would advise that you take at least lunches at the school, as the meals will be a great time to practice with the teachers and other students.
Since your course begins on Monday morning at 9 am, we would advise you to reach Marseille on Sunday before 5 p.m. We offer a group transfer on Sunday at Marseille-Marignane airport at 5.45 p.m. and at 6.15 p.m. at "Aix-TGV " railway station. If you want to take this transfer, please try to arrive at the airport before 5 p.m. in order to be able to pick up your luggage and to cater for eventual delays. The transfer fees are mentioned on the pricelist.
In addition, the day following the end of the course, we will take you back to the TGV station and airport, arriving there at around 10 am. Please arrange your return flight accordingly.
You can contact us for hotel bookings, as well as individual taxi-service or car rental.
No. Having a car is not (really) necessary, especially when you take the 'à la carte' programme. In the ‘à la carte‘ programme, each morning you will be at the course centre and in the afternoon we take care of all transportation. Moreover, mountain bikes are at your disposal at the course-centre. In addition, we offer a regular bus transfer to the neighbouring village.
However, those who choose for the 'intensive' program may find having a car handy. This way, you are free to go on short trips in the early afternoon before the classes start again.
On Saturday, we offer a day field trip with transport.
On the free Sunday, a car might come in handy as well. However, there are usually some people in the group who have a car and who are willing to take along a passenger.
The course centre itself is surrounded by very extended grounds where you can wander or cycle around, enjoy the scenery, or just sunbathe or relax. So, having a car is by no means essential.
Sorry, pets are not allowed in the course-centre.
Yes, the "Monastère de Ségriès" is in large private grounds with safe parking.
It is possible do laundry in the centre. There is a washing machine and dryer available.
Hairdryers are available in the Monastère.
The distance from Nice to our school is much longer than from Marseille airport and there is no direct public transport. For this reason, we offer transfers from Marseille airport and Aix-TGV only. However, if you come via Nice, you could either rent a car at Nice airport (2h to 2h30 drive), book a seat on a TGV to Aix-en-Provence (3hrs train journey – followed by our 1h15 regular transfer) or take the «train des Pignes » to Mézel (3 hrs train journey + 30’ individual transfer). You could contact us for advice or take a look at www.trainprovence.com or www.voyages-sncf.com