Your urge to travel is probably even greater now that you can’t go anywhere.
While confined to your home for the greater good, you can still satisfy your curiosity by armchair travelling to Normandy, one of the most popular regions in France. Discover the capital, Rouen, the infamous Normandy beaches, the monuments, the food and the museums of the region with our list of favourite virtual visits.
Delve even deeper into your French desires with an online French language course offered by none other than, French in Normandy!
On y va! Let’s go!
#1. Rouen in Motion
A glimpse into the economic and cultural capital of Normandy and home to our school French in Normandy. Rouen is a bustling, historic city of 112,000+ inhabitants, just waiting for your arrival. Roam the streets, explore the treasures of the old town and view the timbered houses with this fabulous time lapse video of Rouen
#2. Dieppe Kite Festival
The Dieppe Kite Festival was established in 1980. This is one of the largest festivals of this kind in the world and every year it gathers thousands on the Alabaster Coast of Normandy. Attendance to the Festival is free. Activities are very diverse, which ensures that everyone will find something according to his / her liking. Some of you might wander around exhibitions, some will attend various workshops or watch kites in action. And if you’re a fan of traditional music, theatre and dancing, you’ll find plenty of entertainment.
#3. D-Day Landing Beaches as never seen before from above
On June 6, 1944 Allied forces landed on Normandy’s beaches in order to launch the larges invasion and liberate the German-occupied French territory. D-Day Landing Beaches include Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach. You can get a really good (virtual) look of the D-Day beaches in this video. And once travel resumes, feel free to go there in person. You won’t regret it.
#4. Time lapse: Mont Saint Michel
Mont Saint Michel is Europe’s most unforgettable sights. It is set where Normandy and Brittany meet and its location inspired the imagination of many. This is a video that has toured Mont Saint Michel and the world. If you haven’t seen it yet or want to relive a day of high tide around the most visited site in Normandy, then check it out.
#5. Chateau de Caen
Built around 1060 by William the Conqueror, what was once the ducal castle of Caen, now is home to the Normandy Museum and Museum of Fine Arts. As of 2004 the town of Caen has gone through some major restoration which finally provided a better view of the 12th century walls, discovered a private cellar and so on.
#6. Rouen: Musée des Beaux Arts
This museum was founded by Napoleon I, back in 1801. The Museum of Fine Arts in Rouen holds some of the most prestigious French collections of paintings, sculptures, objects and drawings. It houses some of the greatest works from Perugino. Veronese, Velazquez, Poussin, Delacroix and many more. This is a place of one of the largest impressionist collection in France.
#7. The Great Eats of Normandy Food Tour
These food tours will take you into a whole new place…into the heart of Normandy. Follow a magnificent trip to Caen and Bayeux with your host and see what type of Norman delicacies can you discover. Take your pick from famous cheeses and dairy products, fresh baked goods, wine and ciders.
#8. Rouen: Notre Dame Cathedral
As the name suggests, this is not the same as the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, but it doesn’t mean that it’s less stunning. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Rouen was established in the 4th century, enlarged in 650 and unfortunately perished during the Viking raids in the 9th century. But the same Vikings and their descendants restored it and further enlarged it in 950. Over the course of history the Rouen Cathedral was severely damaged and restored several times. Some of its paintings were done by Claude Monet, a famous Impressionists. Monet created several paintings picturing the Cathedral in different weather and in different times of the day.
#9. Monet’s house & gardens
If you stop by at Monet’s house in Giverny, you can still see the Japanese bridge in his garden. Furthermore, the weeping willow, which one the subject to some of his most famous pieces, is still there. This house of one of the most famous French Impressionists was fully restored to their original condition from back in the 19th century. Even Monet’s studios are made complete with the reproductions of his most famous paintings.
#10. A weekend at Étretat, a virtual trip
Étretat is a small commune in Normandy. This charming tourist town is best know for its chalk cliffs especially those three natural arches and a formation called L’Aiguille (“Needle” in French). The cliffs have been an inspiration to many artists include Boudin, Courbet and of course…Monet.
BONUS VIRTUAL VISIT
#11. Rouen: French in Normandy
In previous articles we have taught you how to get by in France and also how to read a French menu and eat out. These are all great opportunities to have a great time in this beautiful country. However, over and above this, France and the French language are known to be both beautiful and romantic. Therefore, in preparation for the New Year, we want to get you started on your flirting in French skills. So, without further ado, here are 20 phrases to help you flirt more effectively in French:
First and foremost, the equivalent of flirting in French is Draguer.
- uis-je vous offrir à boire? or Je peux vous offrir un verre ? – Can I buy you a drink?
- Vous venez souvent ici? – Do you come here often?
- Vous êtes célibataire? Mais comment est-ce possible? – Are you single? But how is that possible?
- Tu es drôle – You’re funny
- Tu es mignon – You’re cute
- T’as des beaux yeux, tu sais? – You’ve got beautiful eyes, you know?
- T’es beau / T’es belle – You’re good looking / beautiful
- Tu es très jolie – You’re pretty (to a woman)
- Tu es très beau – You’re very handsome (to a man)
- Ou as-tu été toute ma vie? – Where have you been all my life?
- J’aimerais mieux te connaître – I would like to get to know you better
- Allons quelque part moins bruyant – Let’s go somewhere less noisy
- Je pense à toi – I’m thinking about you
- Mon chéri/Ma chérie – My darling (male / female)
And for those who really mean business, here are some more phrases you can use:
- Allons chez moi – Let’s go to my place
- Chez moi ou chez toi? – Your place or my place?
- Si je t’aide à apprendre l’anglais, est-ce que tu m’apprendras comment embrasser à la française? – If I help you learn English, will you teach me how to French kiss?
- Je t’aime – I love you: Piece of advice, wait a while before using this!
There you go! Now you can surely (and carefully) enjoy your nights out, even more. One thing is certain, whether it’s an affair with a new man or woman, or one with the French language and culture, in order to be able to live it to the full, you really need to make sure that you can communicate like a native!
We hope this information will help you during your stay in France. If before or during your stay, you decide that you want to join like-minded people, who are also interested in the French language, contact us by filling our form here. Our staff and teachers at French in Normandy will be happy to help you improve your French language skills, whilst showing you around the beautiful region of Normandy.
Over the years the education travel industry has seen various schools grow in terms of both size and popularity amongst agents and direct clients. As in any other industry, hard work should always be rewarded, and the importance of such rewards has been demonstrated through the increasing number of award ceremonies within the education sector. These events bring together like-minded people to celebrate great examples of best practices and inspiring leaders, to name but a few.
French in Normandy has been participating and also winning at these events since 2007. So, before we move on to our list or nominations and awards, we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all our business partners, students and staff members who have made French in Normandy’s success, possible.
2007: shortlisted for the Study Travel Magazine awards
2008-2012: winning Study Travel Magazine’s Best French Language School
2012: winning SUPERSTAR School at the Study Travel Magazine awards
2012: Receiving a Certificate of Excellence from Educationstars
2013-2018: winning UED Best French Language School Award
2013-2017: winning the Best French Language School at Educationstars
2016: winning at iStudy Global Awards
2016-2018: short listed for CSR Champion at the ESL awards
2017: bronze winner at the Lead 5050 Charitable effort
2018: winning at the Lead5050 Women Education Awards – Inspirational Woman of the year, our very own Eleri Maitland
2018: runner up at the Normandie Women in Business (Femmes de l’économie)
2018/2019: iStudy Teaching Excellence Award in France
To us, all of these nominations and awards are not just another trophy or a certificate that we can place on our shelves. The significance to us lies mainly in the relationships that we have built over the years. If it had not been for the people we connected with and the trust they place in us, French in Normandy, would not have been able to be where it is now. Therefore, once again, THANKS to all of you and we hope to keep building great relationships in the future!
Avoid making a mistake and integrate better into French life by following these essential rules of etiquette…
Always be polite.
This isn’t only regarding your time in France, you should be polite wherever you go, of course. While speaking with French people you must always address them with their titles. An older woman should always be addressed as madame, a younger mademoiselle, and all men should be addressed with monsieur. Always use bonjour (good day), au revoir (good bye) and merci (thank you), even when entering shops, waiting rooms, offices, elevators etc. My advice for you will be to always be polite and use formalities in every given situation.
Try speaking French.
I was told that German people don’t speak English with tourists, even if they speak the language (and trust me most of them do). But while visiting Germany, I concluded that this is not true at all. However, no one ever told me that generally French people don’t speak very much English, so when I visited France I was very surprised that the locals declined answering my questions in English. This is a big challenge for tourists, but as you will be studying French in France, I’m advising you to try and learn some of the basic phrases before studying abroad. Believe me, French people only do you a favor by not speaking English, this way you will learn French much faster!
Understand more about French behaviour in public.
If you are an American or Brit, you will immediately notice the difference in French behaviour, especially in public. In other cultures, people are noisy and direct, they don’t have problem maintaining eye contact and often speak loudly in public, while French people consider these behaviours inappropriate. In order to fit in to French society, my advice is to keep a low profile, speak calmly, be relaxed and not in a hurry to become friends with the French. Finding French friends and integrating into French society takes time, care and attention.
Follow their dinner rules.
As you will be living and studying in France and perhaps living with a host family, you will likely enjoy many traditional French meals. Remember, dinner is rarely served before 8pm. The French take great pride in what they serve as food and drink so respect needs to be shown not only to your hosts but also to the food being served! You should not start eating until after your host has started and be sure to reply “Bon appétit!” after your host has also said this. French people eat several courses during dinner, almost all of them accompanied with bread. During the meal, you should leave your bread on the table beside your plate and not on your plate. You should never eat cheese with your fingers, always use a fork and knife and don’t try to peel the “skin” off of any cheese! Keep in mind that French people consider dinner as the most important part of their day; they enjoy it a lot and may spend several hours having dinner and conversation. You should not rush or gulp your food and drink. Go slow, go hungry and enjoy! And if you’ve been invited, be sure to bring a small gift and send a thank you note.
I hope that these French etiquette rules will help make your stay in France even more pleasant and comfortable. Very soon you will share my opinion that France is one of the most beautiful and romantic countries in the world. Bon séjour! Have a nice stay!
If you’re thinking about studying French in France, join us in Rouen!
Stretched beside the Seine, Rouen is Normandy’s most beautiful city. It’s a city full with culture, history, gastronomy. This breathtaking place is home to the most famous gothic cathedral. But the cathedral is not the only reason why Rouen is so popular. It is also well-known for its prestigious former inhabitants, such as Joan of Arc, Flaubert, Monet and Corneille.
If you are one of those who are extremely lucky to have visited Rouen you already know what I’m talking about. For those who haven’t, I’m inviting you to come and enjoy it’s beauties. Furthermore, I’m inviting you to come and study French in Rouen. Besides improving your French, Rouen offers an amazing opportunities to immerse yourself in culture. Here in this blog I will list some interesting things to do while studying French in Rouen.
- Start with Cathédrale Notre-Dame. One of the largest and most impressive Gothic cathedrals in France is located in the old town’s heart. You will be amazed by its magnificent outlook which inspired a lot of famous people, among which was the painter Claude Monet. Take some time to absorb this view and let it inspire you. The inside of this gothic cathedral has its own story to tell, which I’m not going to reveal. My advice would be to visit it and see its beauties by yourself.
- Musée des Beaux-Arts. Another must see in Rouen is this art museum which is considered to be one of the most important in France. Here you can see many paintings, sculptures, and drawings that date from the 15th century to the 21st century.
- Eglise Saint-Maclou. This jewel of the Flamboyant Gothic architecture is located only a short walk from the cathedral. Dedicated to St. Malo, this church was built in the 15th century. During the World War II this building was severely damaged. Lucky for us it was fully restored. Now we can enjoy the magnificent sight of this 5 bells church.
- Eglise Jeanne d’Arc. This church is dedicated to Joan of Arc. It was build at the Place du Vieux Marché in the exact spot where she was martyred and burned at stake. The design itself looks like the flames of the stake. I urge you to put this contemporary church, which is considered to be an inspiring place for spiritual worship, on your to see list for Rouen.
- Big Clock Tower | Gros Horloge. This is another must see in Rouen. The Gothic belfry tower was built in 1389 for defensive purposes and the decorative clock dates from 1889. So take a moment and observe this magnificent piece of art and analyze the meaning of its elements.
- Place du Vieux Marché. The old market place is the vibrant centre of Rouen, where you will find the church of Joan of Arc, the place where she was burned at the stake but also a lively market and many bars, shops and restaurants where tourists and locals alike spend their time. Not to be missed!To sum up, Rouen is considered to be one of the most historic and cultural cities in France. The 6 places that I listed above are just a small portion of a very large treasure chest full with cultural and historic gems. Enter this chest and let yourself be taken back in time and history. Use every spare moment and immerse yourself in this majestic place.
UNESCO Sites in Normandy, France
Normandy has 8 UNESCO recognitions including Mont Saint Michel, Bayeux, Le Havre, the Tatou islands, Alençon lace, the Etretat cliffs, Rouen Seine Valley and regional gastronomy and many prestigious French “Art and History” label villages that are cited as being amongst the most beautiful in France. Have you visited any UNESCO sites in Normandy?
In addition to the world-renowned UNESCO sites, Normandy has so much to offer including many beautiful villages and historic beaches. Students of French in Normandy can easily access many of these must-see sights in Normandy by train. FIN also organizes many weekend activities to these places throughout the year.
29 Must-See Sights in Normandy
Champ de Bataille
Le Bec Hellouin
Bagnoles de l’Orne
Mont Saint Michel
Rouen Seine Valley
Many French “Art and History” label villages…
Haras du Pin
La Suisse Normande
Summer has arrived in Rouen and French in Normandy can propose many great sightseeing activities and events in Normandy to enjoy while you are studying French with us!
Promenade nocturne Mont St Michel www.mont-st-michel.monuments-nationaux.fr
Juillet et août Les clés de Bagnoles Les vendredis les arts de la rue www.bagnolesdelorne.com
Juin –Septembre Fresque Monumentale Mémorial de Caen www.mémorial-caen.fr
Juillet et août Les mercredi de la réserve Visites nature guidées dans le vaste parc des boucles de seine www.pnr-seine-normande.com
Juillet et août Les Nocturales Abbaye de Jumièges www.abbaye dejumieges.fr
14 juin au 23 août Bayeux Cathédrale Les Lumières de la Liberté www.bayeux-bessin-tourisme.com
Dimanche 17 août La vie à la ferme www.ouche-normandie.fr
3 au 10 août Les médiévales Château de Crèvecœur www.chateaudecrevecoeur.com
juillet Les Terraces du jeudi Tous les jeudi du mois de juillet à Rouen Les Musicales de Normandie www.lesmusicales-normandie.com
13 au 17 août Vimoutiers Son et lumière sur les 70 ans du bombardement de la ville
Fin Juillet au début août Festival autour d’un piano Château de Carrouges www.paysdalencontourisme.com
2 juillet au 39 août Lire à la Plage www.seinemaritime.fr
Aller à la mer pour UN EURO ! www.regionhautenormandie.fr
20 au 23 août Festival de la Musique ancienne Arques La Bataille www.academie-bach.fr
CAEN Visite guidée spéciale 70 ans Tous les mercredis
11 juillet au 2 Novembre Giverny Musée des Impressionnistes Exposition : Bruxelles une capitale impressionniste www.mdig.fr
22 au 28 septembre Championnat du Monde du Kayak Polo- 27 nations en compétition Thury Harcourt www.thuryharcourtcanoe2014.com Kayak Clun de Thury Harcourt http://www.kcth.fr/
Nous vous souhaitons de bonnes vacances! A bientôt à Rouen!
Notre visite au Japon et en Corée du Sud en novembre 2012