Richard
Community Tutor
Cheap France language immersion in the summer...

Hi,

I am very lucky to have 4 or 5 weeks free this summer (July / August) for holiday time. I would really like to use this as a chance to develop my French. I would like to go to a Francophone country and dedicate this time to intensive immersion learning.

Unfortunately, I don't have much money for this. I would like to keep daily expenses very cheap, and there is no way I can afford to pay a language school. I would be looking to pay for flights, some cheap accommodation, and then to learn by myself.

I can speak basic French, about A2 level. I watch lots of French TV, films, podcasts, etc. So my listening skills are much better than my speaking. I hardly ever speak any French - only to myself in the shower! I hope that a month language immersion would help me to rapidly increase my French skills.I would like to be B2 by the end of the year.

Ideally, I would like to go to Quebec but I think the flights might be too expensive. Fortunately, I live close to Manchester airport and there are plenty of cheap flights to France.

I would love to hear from people who have organised their own immersion holiday. Maybe you have some advice for where to go, how to do things on a budget, best way to learn...


Some things about me:

- I don't like busy cities. I would prefer to avoid places like Paris

- I am not  interested in partying and nightlife

- I would like to avoid very hot weather

- I like to visit historical sites, museums, galleries, villages, 

May 9, 2018 12:51 PM
Comments · 4

Hi,

If you really want to immerse yourself in a country's language I recommend finding a job in a country speaking your target language. I have done this last summer, and it was great ! I worked in Scotland at a hotel, room and board were deduced from my salary. I have tried to find similar ads and I found this:

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/work/shortterm/france.shtml

You can find job offers in which you are paid/receive lodging in exchange for teaching English. In your free time, you can explore or you can save money for one month and travel during the other month. I have no idea what level of profiency you need, but I guess that for physica labor and teaching English, you don't need much. If you want to travel within France, I should warn you that right now there are strikes at the SNCF (trains) and Air France (flights). It should stop during summer.

You can also use Airbnb (stay with locals, and it's cheaper than a hotel's room !)

If you don't like hot weather, avoid the South of France and mountains.

I recommend visiting "Le Mont Saint Michel", it's a not-quite island in Normandie (North of France). It has a nice, old village and a there is an abbey on it. However it must be quite busy in the summer.

https://www.ot-montsaintmichel.com/en/visite-mont-saint-michel.htm

We have somthing curious in France ! try typing "Dune du Pilat" =)

To meet new people and save money, you can carpool with Blablacar

https://www.blablacar.fr/

There must be apps for this as well.

Most of the time, Ryanair offers cheap flights. There are two airports you can reach from Manchester, Bézier and Carcassone (South of France.

Hope this helps, have a nice trip ! =)

May 9, 2018
You're welcome, feel free to ask for more when you decide on where to go.
May 10, 2018

Thank you, Julie. That is some helpful advice.



May 10, 2018
That reminds me of the classic Simpsons episode where Bart went to France as an exchange student.

From the Wikipedia article:

In France, Bart arrives at "Château Maison", which is actually a dilapidated farmhouse on a run-down vineyard. He is greeted by two unscrupulous, abusive winemakers, César and his nephew Ugolin, who proceed to treat him like a slave. Bart is starved while being made to carry buckets of water, collect and crush grapes, sleep on the floor, and test wine contaminated with antifreeze.


Note: I believe the usual spelling of the French name is actually “Hugolin” — apparently the winemakers in the episode were not formally educated.
May 9, 2018
Richard
Language Skills
English, French, Russian
Learning Language
French, Russian