France is without a doubt a beautiful country, a major tourist destination and studying French in France is one of those amazing and unforgettable experiences. Naturally as with everything new in life, studying in France won’t go without some serious planning and possibly minor hiccups. Luckily, we are here to share with you some insight on what sort of things you can prepare and look forward to and some challenges you may come across when you decide to study in France.
Arrange your accommodation asap
Since France is a major destination not just for university students from all over the world, but also for those that want to study short-term French courses and of course tourists, finding good and affordable accommodation can be a big headache. When you decide that you want to study French in Normandy, we recommend that you start searching for a place to live right away. Even if the start of your course is months away. The best deals get sold out really fast and you need to be one of them.
Alternatively, you can ask our staff at French in Normandy for assistance regarding accommodation. You can choose between staying with a host family, at a residence or hotels/gites. We personally recommend host families because then you will have someone to practice with, outside the classroom.
Prepare for paperwork
Even though French are well known for their cuisine, perfumes and a lot of other good things, you may be confronted with shameless bureaucracy and too much paperwork. This is without a doubt frustrating, especially if you need something urgently done. We recommend that you always be prepared, have extra copies of documents (ie birth certificate, passport, proof of vaccination) just in case you need them. Furthermore, you can always contact our staff at the school via phone, email, social media or our website in case you have questions.
Soak up the local culture
France is a beautiful country, and when you decide to study French in Rouen, you’ll get the chance to appreciate the rich French history and culture every single day. There are great museums and sites that you can visit in Rouen so make good use of your spare time. Grab some of your classmates and visit a few of them. Immerse yourself in French culture, develop a new perspective, use the language in new ways and learn new plenty of new things.
Open a local bank account
If you plan on staying in Normandy for a long time we highly recommend that you open a local bank account as soon as possible. Actually, this should be one of the first things you do when you arrive in Rouen. Stacking up foreign transaction fees, paying ATM withdrawal costs is something you can avoid. That said, you can’t just walk into a local bank and open an account. Opening a bank account will require you to schedule an appointment and prepare numerous documents. So set this up ahead of time in order to avoid long waits.
Plan weekend excursions
Aside from learning one of the most spoken languages in the world, studying French in Normandy comes with other perks and benefits too. One of them is being able to explore the region of Normandy. Prepare yourself to visit Mont St Michel, Monet’s Gardens, the D-Day beaches and the Alabaster Coast. French people love public holidays so you’ll have plenty of chances to scope out other places outside of Rouen.
Go easy on yourself
Learning any new language, especially if it’s very different from your native language, is a process that can take some time. You might experience frustration or shyness because you may not be able to speak or understand the language, but that will pass as you progress with your French course. Remember, being fluent in another language requires both time and practice. Aside from your lessons, you’ll have every day, there are also various other activities at our French school in France that you can choose from and where you can get additional French conversation practice.
Studying in French, whether that is a General French course, cooking course or DELF DALF exam preparation, your experience at French in Normandy will be one you will never forget. Aside from learning from skilled and qualified native French speakers, you will also experience French culture (language, history, cuisine, customs etc.) first hand and make friends not just with locals but with students from other parts of the world, who came to France for the same reason as you – to study French and experience the French language in a different way.
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
French in Normandy will be pleased to meet potential students at the Campus France workshops in Beijing, Dalian and Nanjin, China on April 13th, 14th and 21st, 2019.
Be sure to register on the Campus France Education Fair website in order to upload your CV or to ask for appointments.
DELF: Diplôme d’études en langue française – (Diploma in French language studies)
DALF: Diplôme approfondi de langue française – (Advanced Diploma in French language studies)
The DELF and DALF exams assess the communicative skills of a candidate in real situations using authentic documents and they evaluate functional knowledge of communication. These exams are issued by the French Ministry of Education and as such, are recognised everywhere in the world.
FIN and DELF/DALF preparation:
French in Normandy is very proud of our exam success rates over the years. In 2017 we had a 97% success rate. Our DELF and DALF preparation course follows the exam requirements and has been devised in response to student demand:
Our morning classes focus on Grammar, Reading and Writing, Listening and Speaking to ensure that students have the basic language skills required for each level of the exam, following the same structure as our Semi-Intensive course. This is integral to being successfully prepared for the exams.
In the afternoons the course is dedicated solely to exam tutorials, each one focusing on specific DELF/DALF papers. Students have a course books for extra work and our teachers also give all the necessary supplementary materials. The course also contains practice sessions for all students throughout the course, with personalised correction and feedback. These tutorials and the practice runs are all included in the course fee covering the oral and written comprehension and production parts of the exam(s). The oral production is done face-to-face to reproduce the exam situation. Several of our French in Normandy teachers are qualified and experienced DELF/DALF examiners and their experience, combined with the tutorials and exam practice means students will be confident and well prepared for the exam at the end of the course.
More on DELF/DALF Qualifications:
- In the DELF preparation course, you will study all four language skills, (reading, writing listening and speaking).
- The course includes a final mock examination so that you know what to expect on the day and take the examination fully prepared.
- If your level in French already corresponds to approximately 400 hours of French tuition or more, you can sit for a special assessment test to have access to DELF Stage 2 without sitting for the 4 units of DELF Stage 1.
- Holders of DELF Stage 2 have a general knowledge of French civilization and can analyse a text and present it both orally and in writing.
- At French In Normandy you can prepare for DELF and choose the length of your course. You can also take the examination in Rouen.
- Our preparation courses favour rapid progression as you are in groups with a maximum number of 10 students.
- The DALF preparation course is divided into 4 units; This diploma corresponds to an extensive knowledge of the French language. Its holder is able to master college level of expression – summary, document synthesis, essay, and oral presentation – in chosen fields of specialization: humanities and social sciences, economics, law, mathematics or life sciences.
- At French In Normandy you can prepare the and DALF and choose the length of your course and you can take the examination in Rouen.
- Our DALF preparation courses favour rapid progression as you are in groups with a maximum number of 12 students
- You will study all four language skills, (reading, writing listening and speaking) and our friendly and experienced staff will ensure that you reach your goal as quickly as possible.
- The DALF preparation course includes a final mock examination so that you know what to expect on the day and take the examination fully prepared.
For more information on prices and booking, or if you have any questions you can visit our website and contact us: https://www.frenchinnormandy.com/prices/
Having a huge variety of places where to eat is great. However, it can also be confusing as the options are vast and can be very different from one another. Therefore, to help make your stay in Rouen a little bit easier, we have singled out 6 restaurants in Rouen which are usually popular amongst students:
- Café Dessiné: Found in the historic centre and within the famous rue Damiette, the Café Dessiné is a café and tea room where a large collection of comics is available for viewing free of charge. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, you will definitely find something delicious to have for breakfast, brunch or even a late lunch or early dinner.
- Le Mont Saint-Michel: A traditional creperie which will surely give you a taste of the French cuisine. Various types of pancakes are available in this restaurant and you can visit it from Monday to Saturday. Make sure you check the opening hours before you go.
- L’Oritano: Whether you’re an Italian who is visiting France and wants a taste of home or coming from any other country and would like some typical Italian food, this restaurant may be the right spot in Rouen. All the dishes are homemade, even the mozzarella and the menu changes regularly. Students can either go for lunch or in the evening to taste the antipasti during Aperitivo time.
- Nachos Mexican Grill: More from the international cuisine that one can find in Rouen, this restaurant offers a large choice of fajitas, tacos and salad. All food is freshly made right in front of the customer as this aspect is very important to the restaurant owners. Here you can have healthy meals at reasonable prices and the restaurant is open every day from late morning till the evening.
- The Novick’s Stadium: The Novick’s Stadium is a concept sports bar that gives guests the possibility to experience sports from all around the world. This place is also the spot that brings together players and supporters of sports in Rouen. This restaurant is modern and hip, and it is a great spot to meet people, watch sports and relax.
- La Fabrik: Directly on the quay near the Seine, this restaurant offers quality meat as well as other dishes and tapas. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and you can go for lunch or dinner all week, whereas Sundays it is open for brunch.
If you are looking for other types of restaurants or even different cuisines, here at French in Normandy, we are always happy to give you suggestions on our personal favourites. So, contact us or speak to one of our staff members when you arrive at the school, and we’ll be happy to give you directions to get to the restaurants mentioned above, as well.
“Opportunity never knocks twice”
By Christina Mitzali
One of the greatest experiences of my life has come to an end. Many memories flood my mind while I was packing my stuff to travel back in Greece and so here I am writing this article, even if I don’t usually write, for an experience worth sharing. Once I read on a wall : ”Opportunity never knocks twice”. Well there are many reasons I am glad I didn’t let this opportunity go and to sum up here are the three reasons one shouldn’t loose such opportunity.
The vastness, the beauty of Normandy
Normandy is a very impressive region. In my opinion there is none who wouldn’t feel impressed by its huge green fields, the sea and the history that is written on this land. And of course I have to admit that I never saw so many cows before in my life, well that’s how all this variety of cheese is explained. If you are a cheese lover you should definitely spend some months in Normandy, trust me you won’t regret it! Another thing that you should see at least once in your life is the traditional houses of the region , with their beautiful gardens and their exceptional architecture that makes you feel like you are participating in an ”Astérix et Obélix” movie. You wil find many of this houses in your way to
Etretat, I am sure you wouldn’t miss such an incredible landscape. It has been a while since I visited the ”Falaise d’Etretat” but this image always remains in my mind, proving the majesty of mother nature. But that is not the only proof. There is no doubt that mother nature has been generous to Normandy, that was my thought when I saw Mont Saint-Michel a tidal island included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, because of its history and its natural beauty combined with the exceptional architecture people created to reach the peak of the beauty of the island. One more thing I wouldn’t forget to include in this section is ”Les plages du débarquement” the beaches of Normandy where the D-Day Landing happened on 6th June 1944. And the best thing is that all these destinations are easy approachable from Rouen! Thank you French in Normandy for your perfect location.
In French in Normandy you feel well
“En Normandie il fait froid mais les gens sont chaleureux” this is what locals say and to sum up it means “a cold region but with warm people” . Well you can’t be sure about this until you meet the people in French in Normandy. Each of them will stay in my heart and I hope while reading this they will know how much I have appreciated their hospitality and their kindness. The things they taught me and the motivation they gave me to discover my strengths and develop my skills. The best thing about the team of French in Normandy is that everyone’s opinion matters, even if you are an intern, an administrative employee,an accountant, a teacher or a manager. Sharing is caring so don’t be afraid to share your ideas with the team! What you will love also there is the intercultural environment. In my case I am glad that i met people from all around the world and together we practiced our French while we were learning for each others culture. Last but not least, French in Normandy is Erasmus+ friendly. I have to admit that making an internship in lovely France with lovely people and having in the same time the help of Erasmus+ is like a dream. This internship will be well recognized in my diploma and will give me a strong advantage in the job market.
Because in France… La vie est belle!
Who hasn’t imagine a to spend a day in the city of lights? Who hasn’t wish to speak the language of love?
Who doesn’t dream to taste the real French cuisine?
These and even more I had the chance to experience during my internship and certainly are some of the best experiences of my life. After these experiences I have no choice but to agree with Audrey Hepburn who supported that Paris is always a good idea. Well the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées are always a good idea. But there are more things to do in Paris. For Disney lovers let’s not forget that the one and only Disneyland in Europe is located in Paris. On the other hand if you are not so interested in Disney but you still love attraction parks you, you shouldn’t skip visiting “Parc Astérix”. This article wouldn’t be complete without festivals. Voilà, France loves festivals and I have to say thank you France for giving me the opportunity to enjoy your festivals. And of course, thank you France for giving to world the French cuisine, however I will not say anything about the cuisine and I will just invite you in France to take a real taste…
Contact us if you’re interested in taking an internship in France.
Since French in Normandy began 25 years ago we have had the pleasure of welcoming students from countless countries around the world. Students from all walks of life, with all different motivations have shared our passion for French language learning and teaching. A student’s success is our success and this shows in our exceptional exam pass rates and our growing network of alumni and agent partners worldwide.
Since FIN started in 1992, with no students and a dog, we have gone from strength to strength; each year striving to provide better education and service to our students.
Some of our highlights include:
Malika joining us in 1997. Our well-known and much loved operations manager who knows all the ins and outs of the school, always ready to assist in all areas with a smile.
Receiving the Qualité FLE label in 2007 for the first time, a confirmation of our exceptional teachers, curriculum, facilities and services.
Joining the beloved IALC family in 2007.
Winning Study Travel Magazine’s Best French Language School in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012! Voted by our valued partners, these awards have motivated to continue building and maintaining our important agent relationships and ensuring the total satisfaction of their clients.
In 2013 Melanie Raymond joined FIN, bringing her enthusiasm and experience to French in Normandy and taking special care of our partner’s needs.
Hosting the 2015 IALC workshop and showing off our beautiful city, Rouen.
Receiving the Qualité FLE label for third time with another three stars accreditation in 2016.
2013 – 2016. Incredible acknowledgement from our students by the way of voting us the Best Language School in France with Educations Stars for 4 consecutive years!
Recognition and support from our valued agents in Turkey, voted Best French Language School by UED from 2013 – 2016.
Through all this, we would like to thank all our host families, our partners in Normandy and abroad, and all our students past present and future for being part of the French in Normandy story.
Take a look back on French in Normandy in the gallery below…
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.