Discover the historic centre of Rouen aboard the new little train!
In this clip from our first podcast episode, Malika and Eleri talk about the little tourist train that runs in high season in Rouen, showing off all the famous sites on its 45 minute tour of the historic city centre.
Listen to the excerpt below and complete the related worksheet here.
Video player not loading? Visit this excerpt on our youtube channel.
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
Deciding where to study French in France is difficult – because there is so much choice!
France is a big, beautiful country which can offer almost everything you might want. There are busy Mediterranean resorts with warm seas, or Atlantic Western coasts perfect for body-boarding. There are fields filled with sunflowers in summer, or vegetables and wheat further north. France is dotted with tiny villages and country towns, and every region has at least one city with its own character, local food and culture. And lots of those offer French courses.
The best way to learn French in France is to make the most of this and become part of the community wherever you study. So how will you make the choice?
Where to study French in France: think about you
What kind of person are you? What kind of student are you? Where do you feel happy?
You might be the kind of person who will enjoy any of the top destinations to improve your French. Or you might be the kind of person who is only really happy in certain surroundings.
So start by asking yourself some questions. Be honest with yourself – this is an important decision!
- Do I like living in a big city or would I prefer somewhere quieter?
- Why do I want to study French in France? Do I want to prepare for French examinations, improve my language skills for my career, be able to study in a French university or specialist school? Or am I motivated by personal development or to experience living in a different country?
- Would I prefer to study in a small school or a large one?
- Do I want to party a lot, or do I prefer to have some quieter time as well as socialising?
- How much French culture do I want to enjoy? What type of culture do I most want to experience? Food? Museums? Historic buildings? Music, theatre and cinema?
- Do I want to be somewhere where I can walk in the countryside or visit the beach?
- Do I want to live in a residence or with a French host family?
- What’s my budget? Do I need to think about cities that offer better value for money?
- Do I want to travel around France or more widely in Europe while I’m studying?
Your answers to all of these questions will help you choose where to study French in France.
What are the top destinations in France to study French?
So, you’ve got more of an idea about what surroundings you need to study French in France and pass your French examinations! The next thing is to think about the top destinations to improve your French.
Before you do this, remember that Paris is by far the biggest city in France. Depending on how you measure the population, it has approximately 10 million residents. The next biggest is Lyon, with around 1.5 million residents. Here in Rouen, we have about 450,000 residents in the city centre, and we think we’re a perfect size for everything!
Let’s look at some of the top destinations to improve your French
Paris Think about France and you think about the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Montmartre. Paris is a city for lovers, for intellectuals, for tourists and for people in a hurry. But it may also be the toughest place in France for you to improve your French, as you’re more likely to find people who speak your own language to you. It’s also not going to be the most cost-effective option.
Everyone should visit Paris and practice their French there. But for most people who want to learn French in France, the best option might be to find a destination to improve your French where you can visit Paris without too much difficulty.
Lyon is France’s third-largest city, south of Paris and not far from the Swiss border. There are plenty of students here because of the university and it’s relaxed and friendly. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Nice is on the Mediterranean coast close to the Italian border and one of the most-visited cities in France, getting around four million tourists through the airport each year.
Marseille is the largest city on the Mediterranean coast and France’s busiest port – it’s also France’s third-largest city in area.
Montpellier is just inland of the Mediterranean in the south of France. Around a third of the population are students from the three universities and other higher education institutions.
Biarritz became famous as a spa destination and then one of Europe’s premier tourist resorts in the 19th and 20th centuries. Biarritz is on the Atlantic coast and became the first surfing resort in Europe, and is close to the border with Spain.
Toulouse is called The Pink City because of the bricks used to build many of its buildings. It is France’s fourth-biggest city, and the university has the country’s fourth-largest university campus. It is the centre of the European aerospace industry and has two UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Rouen is obviously our favourite place to study French in France – because that’s where French in Normandy, our school, is based!
Why do we think Rouen is a good place to study? Here are a few reasons:
- Perfect size (around half a million people) so it’s small and friendly with lots of French speakers to talk to
- Amazing architecture and history – there’s the Cathedral, a 14th-century clock and the castle as well as lots of museums and a colourful history
- Food! Rouen is in Normandy which has some of France’s best cheeses and regional dishes
- Great transport links to the rest of France and Europe. Rouen is just 1.5 hours from the centre of Paris
- French in Normandy – our school has years of expertise in helping students study French in France and pass French examinations.
So how will you choose where to study French?
It’s a great choice to make – but only you can make it.
There are some great French courses in France and lots of top destinations to improve your French.
Remember, that the best French courses for you might not be the best for everyone. If you want to succeed, and perhaps pass French examinations, you need to think about what kind of place will suit you best.
It’s important to consider what kind of place will be best for you, what your budget is – and what the school is like.
Do you need more help to decide where to study French?
We’re happy to help. We offer French preparation courses for DELF and DALF and TCF/TEF, or can simply help you improve your language skills.
Contact us if you’d like any more information about what we offer and how we can meet your needs, whether you want help to decide on the best place for you to study French in France, more information about your French level, or the most useful French examination for you.
Christian Gaujac, French in Normandy, recently attended the 92nd annual convention of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) held July 14-17, 2019, in Philadelphia. He has been working for more than 30 years in FLE is in now in charge of partnerships in his school. Christian was an active participant as an exhibitor in this unique gathering of over 300 French teachers from around the U.S. and from several other countries. Participants in the convention were able to learn about the history of Philadelphia and its relationship to France through lectures and presentations as well as numerous excursions. In addition, there were over 120 workshops and sessions on the teaching and learning of French and the cultures of the Francophone world.
The AATF, founded in 1927, is the largest national association of French teachers in the world
with nearly 9500 members. It is organized around 70 local chapters and governed by a national
Executive Council of 18 members. National Headquarters are located in Marion, Illinois. The
AATF publishes the French Review and the National Bulletin and holds an annual convention
which alternates between sites in Francophone countries such as Canada, France, and also in the
U.S. Its award-winning Web site [www.frenchteachers.org] contains a multitude of information
and materials of interest to French teachers at all levels. The AATF also sponsors the National
French Contest and National French Week (Nov. 4-10, 2019).
In this article, Lynne Farrugia, who is one of the owners of Schools & Agents, takes us through her experience as a student in Rouen and at French in Normandy.
She came to French in Normandy as a guest, took a course with us and stayed with one of our host families. During the day, she had time to explore our beautiful city. Here’s what she was up to during her week in Rouen.
I had the pleasure of being invited to Rouen and French in Normandy from 7th to 14thJune. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay longer due to other work commitments. The purpose of this visit was to experience the city as well as the school and the host family, as any other student would. This article as well as the pictures and posts during the week aim to help agents understand better what a student should expect from this beautiful corner in France… read more.
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.
French in Normandy is really pleased to announce a partnership with local sports club Rouen Handball.
Alexandre Briet, Responsable du développement at Rouen Handball Club signed the agreement with Malika Bezzou. “We think that by joining forces with another dynamic Rouen business we can be more effective,” said Briet. “And as the Club’s motto says – On n’avance jamais seul ! (You can’t do it all by yourself.) This sort of partnership fits perfectly with our Club philosophy.”
Malika Bezzou, French in Normandy’s Manager said ‘This sort of partnership is just great for our students and it helps to enhance our visibility here in the City of Rouen as although we are really well known all around the world, locally we do not have the same coverage. We look forward to taking our students to matches as part of our social programme, there will be opportunities for our students to learn to play handball and we can all benefit from the Hand fit sessions that the Club offers !’
School owner, Eleri Maitland commented, “I am really enthusiastic about this partnership which offers benefits for both our staff and students and adds a new dimension to our school. French in Normandy is keen to open as many doors as possible for our students to integrate French life and to have meaningful contacts with local people outside of the school. Thank you so much Rouen Handball we all look forward to this new venture.”
Ah la Normandie, l’une des régions de France les plus visitée ! Ses atouts sont nombreux : paysages variés à couper le souffle, architecture typique, histoire riche et une culture fascinante… Vous l’avez compris, c’est un incontournable lorsque l’on souhaite découvrir la France.
Rouen, sa capitale, bénéficie ainsi de nombreux avantages ! Si vous cherchez une ville française intéressante pour réaliser un séjour linguistique, laissez-moi vous donner cinq bonnes raisons de choisir Rouen comme destination !
Première raison : son emplacement géographique.
Rouen profite d’une excellente localisation géographique, située à mi-chemin entre Paris et les plus belles plages de Normandie, vous aurez la possibilité de faire de nombreuses excursions pour profiter de la capitale française ou bien de la nature normande. séjour linguistique à rouen
La Normandie est l’une des régions les plus célèbres de France et à juste titre ! Sa renommée est due à plusieurs facteurs : histoire riche, architecture propre à elle, gastronomie, foyer de l’impressionnisme, artistes célèbres…
De ce fait il y a une multitude de lieux merveilleux à découvrir en Normandie : les falaises d’Etretat, le port d’Honfleur, Giverny, Bayeux, les plages du débarquement, la cathédrale de Rouen sans oublier le célèbre Mont Saint-Michel… Vous n’aurez pas le temps de vous ennuyer !
Deuxième raison : la beauté de la ville.
Rouen est une ville marquée par l’histoire et cela se voit à travers son style architectural et ses monuments. Dans le centre-ville, vous aurez la possibilité de parcourir des rues pittoresques au style médiéval. Prenez du temps pour vous y perdre et découvrez ainsi les petits commerces de la ville, Rouen possède d’excellents bars et restaurants. La rue du « Gros Horloge » est probablement la plus belle, si vous montez en haut de cette horloge, vous aurez l’occasion d’admirer de magnifiques panoramas de la ville.
Dans bon nombre de classements, Rouen figure dans le top 10 des villes françaises les plus jolies. De nombreux peintres et photographes y viennent pour immortaliser certaines vues. Ce fut par exemple le cas du célèbre peintre Monet !
Troisième raison : un grand centre de culture !
Rouen, lieu de naissance de l’impressionnisme ! Au musée des Beaux-Arts, vous trouverez une vaste collection de peintures, la deuxième plus grande du pays ! Si vous aimez l’art, vous ne serez pas déçu.
Le célèbre peintre Pissaro aurait lui-même déclaré :“Le paysage le plus splendide qu’un peintre puisse rêver : la vue de Rouen dans le lointain, avec la Seine se déroulant calme comme une glace et des coteaux ensoleillés.”
Grâce à ses grands artistes, les musées de Normandie détiennent la seconde collection impressionniste de France ! Le Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen présente tout un ensemble d’incroyables peintures impressionnistes réalisées par les peintres les plus célèbres. Vivre à Rouen, c’est donc approcher cette sensation de rêverie ! Si vous êtes passionnés par l’impressionnisme, vous pouvez découvrir l’ensemble du patrimoine normand lors du Festival Normandie Impressionniste. Vous aurez l’occasion de faire des sorties, assister à des conférences et des lectures pour suivre les traces de Monet et autres célèbres peintres.
Quatrième raison : les activités à faire dans la région !
Non seulement Rouen est une ville qui a du charme et un certain art de vivre, mais c’est aussi un lieu idéal pour les activités sportives ! Si vous aimez les balades à vélo et les randonnées, vous passerez sans aucun doute une grande partie de votre temps sur les bords de Seine ! C’est un endroit idéal pour pratiquer ce genre d’activités ! Rouen possède également des parcs et des jardins reposants, comme le Jardin des plantes, idéal si vous avez envie de lire ou de vous reposer dans un endroit calme !
Si vous sortez de la ville, vous aurez accès à toute la nature normande ! Non loin de Rouen se trouvent le Parc Naturel des Boucles de la Seine Normande ou encore le parc animalier de Roumare ! Vous pourrez également pratiquer des loisirs comme le paintball, l’acrobranche et l’équitation ! Nul doute que vous aurez grand plaisir à découvrir tous les merveilleux panoramas normands !
De plus, sachez que Rouen est une ville très sportive ! Il y a de nombreux clubs de sport dans le centre-ville et de nombreux événement sportifs sont organisés tout au long de l’année, venez donc pratiquer votre activité favorite !
Cinquième raison : une ville idéale pour étudier !
Eh oui ! Il y a une grande université et de nombreuses écoles de formation à Rouen ! Si vous envisagez de faire des études en France, vous trouverez très probablement la formation idéale ! Il y a notamment l’INBP (Institut National de la Boulangerie et de la Pâtisserie) si vous voulez devenir un expert en pâtisseries françaises ! séjour linguistique à rouen
Rouen a de ce fait une vie étudiante active, de nombreux événements sont organisés pour faire connaissance avec d’autres personnes ! C’est également une destination Erasmus prisée, vous pourrez rencontrer des étudiants du monde entier !
Enfin, pour apprendre le français, il y a la célèbre école French in Normandy ! Décorée de nombreuses fois, c’est certainement le meilleur centre de formation pour apprendre la langue française ! L’école a une excellente réputation et offre des cours de qualité, le tout dans un endroit convivial et agréable ! Si vous souhaitez améliorer votre niveau de français, vous avez maintenant la bonne adresse ! Sachez également que French in Normandy peut vous aider à vous insérer dans un cursus universitaire français, si vous désirez poursuivre vos études à Rouen ou dans une autre ville française.
Vous avez maintenant cinq excellentes raisons pour venir faire votre séjour linguistique à Rouen ! Vous l’avez compris, c’est l’une des meilleures villes françaises pour découvrir la culture française ! Nous vous attendons avec impatience !