What do you think would be the best way to start learning basic, everyday French in such little time?
I'm using a combination of Pimsleur French and an Assimil workbook to learn quickly. People hate on the Pimsleur method, but after completing Dari I and II when I was in Afghanistan, I was able to communicate to locals fairly easily (albeit with heavy grammatical errors).
I think you can also google a list of the top 1000 most commonly used French words, and use them to start an AnkiApp flashcard deck. Depening on how much time you have on your hands, you can potentially get pretty far by doing:
1. 2 Pimsleur lessons a day (30 mins a piece)
2. 2-3 Assimil lessons a day. It's a conversation based course, with an accompanying audio CD. The first fifty lessons take about 10 mins a piece.
3. Continuous flashcard practice via AnkiApp
4. Guided lessons from a qualified instructor here on italki; and language exchanges. I would probably focus your language instruction on figuring out how to say what you want. ie) How to naturally introduce yourself, explain where you're from, what you're doing, and then go over all the situations you think you'd likely find yourself in.
Hope this helps!