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1ST WEEK BACK AT SCHOOL | Student Blog

This week we invite Alan, a mature student from England, to tell us a bit about his first week at French in Normandy as part of a series on our student blog.


I wouldn’t have said I was your archetypal student, but then according to Eleri Maitland the Director and owner of French in Normandy there is no such thing as an archetypal student. I am not surprised to hear her say this, as Eleri is not your archetypal French School Teacher! For a start off, the owner of the best French language school in France is not French! She is very proudly, une Femme Galloise vivant en France. (‘a Welsh woman living in France’ for those uninitiated amongst you. Look at me speaking French already!) Eleri started the school some 25 years ago and with her excellent team have landed the top prizes in their industry. I am lucky enough to be enrolled for 15 hours of French language tuition a week in their cool and slightly chic school in the Sotteville region of Rouen. Home of such notables as Jeanne D ‘Arc and Guillaume Le Conquerant. As an Englishman in Rouen (Is that the name of a Sting track?) I should feel at home, after all we were ruled and spoke Norman French in England for 200 years. Richard the Lionheart (Coeur de Lion, as in the Camembert Cheese brand) was also the Duke of Normandy, and its true I do feel very much at home.

Right from the beginning when I had my assessment test with the friendly Vanessa I was made to feel at home. I was a little nervous I must admit, after all I am a 57-year-old returning to school to study French, the last time I was in a classroom was 42 years ago!

First of all, Vanessa sat me down with a cup of coffee and asked me to tell her a little about myself, in French of course – both the question and my answer! Now here is the thing; the key point; the point of no return, the tingling moment that you have to ‘man-up’ to when you enrol in a French language school in France – you have to get over your nerves, forget about maybe sounding a bit silly and actually talk. Even if you only know the word for Hello (Bonjour) that is enough. You just have to get over that one little hurdle.

Fortunately for me I knew and somehow remembered a few words and promptly murdered the French language with what was probably the worst grammar and worst accent poor Vanessa and the rest of France has had to endure since God was a boy! She was polite, smiles a lot and gently helped me stagger through a few sentences about where I was from, what I did for a living and such like. Then when she could bear the terrible French anymore (not that she gave anything away) I was led to the ‘ Technologie‘ room, that is to say a room full of laptops and screens, where I was asked to answer as best I could about 30 multiple choice French questions. Some of them I couldn’t even say out loud to myself, some I kind of recognised a few words and pretty well all of them I didn’t understand a single word and, so I guessed. Amazingly I scored 42%. I was obviously a language natural, a linguistic god in the making.

Not quite, it turned out after my week end break on the first proper day of school I was in class B1. I think that means Beginner 1. C’est la Vie, what did I expect? Well I did not expect Victor! He is Le Professuer. Now in England Professor conjures up images of a bald bespectacled slightly serious old man in a cap and gown, not some wacky, football loving, video game playing family man with a rather cute line in Gold lame pencil cases. From the off, we were in good hands as he digressed almost immediately from the prescribed curriculum into some hilarious expedition into the habits, loves and life of a fellow student all the way from Sainata in Japan, whose passion in life turned out to be world-wide wrestling, or as the French say La Lutte. The Japanese sounding, part English part French explanation to our puzzled French Professeur had him and us in stitches. I do not remember my French lessons at school being this much fun.

The rest of the morning flew by and at one o’clock Victor called time for lunch, that is one habit the French do extremely well and should never ever be allowed to alter. President Macron do you hear me? The French lunch-break should be sacrosanct in law.

What made this first day so weird was not so much Victor’s très bizarre humour and methods but the fact that by the end of that first morning, somehow, he had achieved the impossible feat of squeezing more knowledge of the French language into my old and small brain that in four years at my old comprehensive school. The fact that not once, in a class room full of international students ranging from ages 18 to 58 did I feel unwelcome, out of place, stupid or embarrassed. It bodes well for the rest of the week. I’ll let you know.

Alan


 

3 reasons why you should do it | My Internship at French in Normandy


“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.

Témoignage de Yui TAKEUCHI | French in Normandy Review

Témoignage et conseils de Yui TAKEUCHI, qui vient d’obtenir brillamment son DALF C1 après seulement 9 mois d’apprentissage du français à French in Normandy !

FIN : Depuis combien de temps est-ce que vous étudiez le français et pour quelle raison  ?

J’ai étudié le français pendant 9 mois au total. C’était important pour moi, parce que la langue française est utilisée dans les organisations internationales où j’aimerais travailler dans le futur. J’ai trouvé ça passionnant. De plus, je voulais l’apprendre pour être plus compétente et faire la différence dans notre monde actuel où la plupart des gens savent déjà parler l’anglais en plus de leur langue maternelle.

FIN : Vous avez commencé dans notre école… à partir de zéro ! Qu’est-ce qui aura été le plus difficile dans votre apprentissage du français ?

Évidemment, étant japonaise, la prononciation a été une difficulté, et ma connaissances de l’anglais me gêne encore lorsque je veux prononcer les mots qui sont similaires au français. Mais, au début de mon apprentissage, le problème a été plutôt le manque de vocabulaire.

FIN :  Au terme de ces neuf mois, quelle sera le meilleur souvenir que vous remporterez avec vous de votre séjour à French in Normandy ?

J’étais ravie quand je pouvais communiquer sans problème avec les Français, et les amis du monde entier que je me suis faite à l’ecole sont aussi un de mes meilleurs souvenirs.

FIN : Si vous deviez donner un conseil à quelqu’un qui débute le français et qui vient apprendre ici à Rouen, qu’il soit japonais ou pas, qu’est-ce que vous lui diriez  ?

J’aimerais lui dire qu’il faut être extrêmement attentif et sensible aux mots et expressions qu’il ne connait pas dans les phrases qu’il découvre. Il est aussi important d’essayer d’exploiter dans ses productions tout ce qu’on apprend au jour, en classe et hors la classe pour, pour enrichir ses variations lexicales. Ensuite, il est important d’établir sa propre méthode de travail et de ne pas rester passif à attendre que les profs vous disent quelque chose. Pour ma part, j’ai systématiquement noté toutes les expressions que je ne connaissais pas et que les profs utilisaient, même les mots les expressions familières, pour pouvoir profiter au maximum de chaque instant de la classe. Parce que, finalement, ce ne sont ni les profs, ni les familles d’accueil, ni même les amis qui vous font apprendre le français, c’est toujours par soi-même qu’on progresse, en déterminant ses propres objectifs d’apprentissage étape par étape.

Enseigner les langues différemment ?

Cet été, French in Normandy a animé, en partenariat avec l’Université Laval au Québec, la première formation de formateurs en France en Approche Neurolinguistique. 

Cette méthodologie d’enseignement des langues étrangères, basée sur les avancées de ces vingt dernières années en neurosciences cognitives, se fonde sur la distinction des processus qui sont spécifiques à l’acquisition d’habiletés linguistiques, d’une part, et à l’apprentissage des savoirs langagiers, de l’autre.

Le stage certifiant qui vient d’avoir lieu a ainsi livré aux enseignants en formation l’ensemble des connaissances théoriques fondamentales nécessaires à l’expérimentation pratique, au sein de classes réelles, de la série des stratégies constitutives de l’ANL. Par la visée constante du développement del’aisance et de la précision lors de la formation à l’oral, à la lecture et à l’écriture, il s’agit d’optimiser le temps des classes en les inscrivant dans une perspective pédagogique de la littératie qui soit spécifique à l’apprentissage des langues étrangères.

Cette méthodologie, dont les résultats ont été évalués en Amérique du Nord et en Asie, vient de s’adjoindre l’enthousiasme d’enseignants de France, d’Allemagne, d’Italie, de Suisse et du Monténégro ayant suivi la première session de notre stage (écoutez leurs témoignages en ligne). Les prochaines sessions de formation auront lieu du 6 au 10 novembre 2017 à Rouen (France) et du 16 au 20 décembre 2017 à Québec (Canada).

Rejoignez-nous !

Olivier Massé / Steve Mercier, formateurs ANL

How to choose the best French language school in France

So you’ve decided to study French in France. By now you’ve probably researched the destination, school size, course content and which cultural activities are offered by various French language schools in France. If you’re really serious about your language studies abroad, then considering these 5 factors will really help you to choose the best French language school and ensure you have a valuable study abroad experience.

1. School accreditation

We listed this as first because we believe that your language study abroad experience will highly be determined by the quality of the school you choose to attend and its accreditation. By accreditation, we mean the quality guarantee that covers the teacher’s qualifications, curriculum, the school’s facilities, the school’s business practice & policies and as well as accommodation and other student services. You will find that there are many national and international accreditations and quality assurance schemes in different countries.  Accreditation organizations generally have the same goal – to ensure that their members have high quality standards for their programs and services. That’s why they audit their member schools regularly. For example, French in Normandy is accredited by Qualité FLE, a government recognized certification that is awarded in accordance with a framework based on the following five aspects:

  • Teaching and training courses
  • Teachers
  • Hosting and support
  • Premises, safety and equipment
  • Management

French in Normandy has earned full awards in all 5 categories, making it a highly qualified French language school. The International Association of Language Centres is a global network of accredited independent language schools of which French in Normandy is a longstanding member.

2. Student Reviews

Nowadays you can easily find reviews online for just about anything, from best restaurants to hair salons, hotels and even language schools! There are various websites that provide French language school reviews by former students and French in Normandy is proud to have hundreds of top reviews as well as have been voted Best French Language School in France by our students on the Education Stars website. You can also always check out Facebook reviews for more opinions too!

3. Curriculum and levels of instruction

As you know, some schools teach only from textbooks while others don’t use textbooks at all. Accredited language schools such as French in Normandy have a well-balanced curriculum in line with internationally recognized standards and which covers all aspects of learning a language: listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar and pronunciation. When choosing a French language school, be sure that you will be tested at the start of your course, throughout your programme and again at the end of your stay so that you can measure your language learning progress from start to finish.

4. Class size

Both the size of the school and class is important, but the size of the class is probably the more important factor when choosing a language school abroad. The most common class size is 15 students but at French in Normandy, the maximum class size is 12, ensuring you have optimal attention and personal instruction from your teacher. The ideal class size is 10 – 12 students, perfect for active participation and comfort, especially if you’re a beginner.

5. Awards

What many people don’t know is that there are numerous industry awards which are given annually to the top schools worldwide in the language learning industry. For example, French in Normandy is the proud 5-time winner of the Star French Language School award, given by Study Travel Magazine and voted by partners and colleagues from around the world. French in Normandy is also the winner of the UED Award in the Best FrenchLanguage School category from UED in Turkey, The Association of International Education Counselors. These awards recognized our accomplishments in French language instruction but also reflect our outstanding relationships with agent partners around the world who are happy to recommend French in Normandy to their clients as the best French language school in France.

 


If you are thinking about studying French in France, get a free quote on your language course at French in Normandy!


 

25 Years of French in Normandy

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…

 

 

French Etiquette to Enrich Your Stay

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!

Изучать французский в Нормандии? Почему бы и нет!

stage a FINВсем привет!

Меня зовут Соня, мне 25 лет, я из России. В настоящее время я прохожу стажировку в школе французского языка «French in Normandy» в качестве ассистента по маркетингу. Сегодня я расскажу вам о своих впечатлениях о славном городе Руане и о работе в школе – возможно, тем из вас, кто планирует поездку во Францию, чтобы изучать язык (путешествовать / получать образование / работать / «просто в отпуск» – нужное подчеркнуть), но еще не определился с направлением, эта небольшая статья поможет сделать правильный выбор.

Итак, почему именно Руан? И почему именно «French in Normandy»?

Обо всем по порядку.

Как так получилось, что я прохожу стажировку именно здесь?

Стажировка – завершающая часть моей учебы в магистратуре Университета Западной Бретани в Бресте по специальности «Прикладные иностранные языки – Менеджмент международных мультиязычных проектов» (почему Франция и почему Бретань – это уже другая история и тема для отдельной статьи).

Rouen streetСфера международного образования всегда привлекала меня возможно именно потому, что сочетает в себе сразу несколько интересных для меня направлений деятельности – туризм, образование, работа с иностранными языками. Поэтому я решила, что стажировка в языковой школе была бы для меня идеальным вариантом.

Школу «French in Normandy» я нашла с помощью каталога языковых центров агентства Campus France. Из множества языковых школ, куда я отправила свое резюме, именно от «French in Normandy» я получила первый же ответ, причем в очень короткие сроки – менее, чем через сутки (что для Франции достаточно необычно). Кроме того, важными доводами «за» для меня стали исключительно положительные отзывы студентов в интернете (я не нашла ни одного негативного или даже нейтрального отзыва!), красивый и информативный мультиязычный веб-сайт, наличие страниц в нескольких социальных сетях. Все это, как мне кажется, говорит о том, что школа по-настоящему заботиться как о своей репутации, так и о потенциальных клиентах и сотрудниках, и идет в ногу со временем. Именно благодаря сочетанию всех этих факторов и привлекательной для меня сферы деятельности я и решила остановить свой выбор на «French in Normandy» и была очень рада получить положительный ответ на мой запрос о возможности стажировки.

Ах да… Был и еще один аргумент «за». Руан и Нормандия.

Почему Руан?

В первый раз я побывала в Нормандии и Руане осенью прошлого года, еще не подозревая, что здесь мне предстоит провести 4,5 месяца своей жизни. Мое первое впечатление от города – совершенно потрясающий готический собор Нотр-Дам де Руан. И это неудивительно: собор настолько высокий, что его шпили почти что теряются в облаках, а при ближайшем рассмотрении дух захватывает от кружевной архитектуры со множеством деталей (позже я узнала, что такой стиль называется «пламенеющая готика»). Я прохожу мимо собора минимум раз в неделю и каждый раз, как бы пафосно это не звучало, совершенно искренне восхищаюсь его великолепием.

Исторический центр города поражает сочетанием величественной готической архитектуры и сказочной средневековости с ее пряничными каркасными домиками и брусчатой мостовой. Пожалуй, нет смысла перечислять все достопримечательности Руана – их описание Вы и так найдете в многочисленных путеводителях и на веб-сайтах. Скажу только, что это город, по-настоящему пропитанный историей – город Жанны д’Арк, Густава Флобера, Пьера Корнеля и Клода Монэ (кстати в Музее изобразительных искусств Руана находится второе после знаменитого парижского Музея Орсэ крупнейшее собрание полотен импрессионистов).Dieppe chateau

В целом, Руан отличается достаточно активной культурной жизнью – здесь постоянно проходят различные фестивали, выставки, концерты… Думаю, что этот город вполне может быть интересен людям самого разного возраста. С одной стороны, он достаточно безопасный и спокойный, с другой стороны Руан – город студентов, так как здесь находится сразу несколько крупных учебных заведений: Университет Руана, бизнес-школа, школа инженеров и др. Много иностранных студентов приезжает по программе «Эразмус» и по другим программам обмена, а также просто изучать французский язык. Думаю, молодежи придется по вкусу и обилие дискотек и баров. Кстати, в одном из них, «La Taverne de Thor», еженедельно проходят встречи «Language Exchange» – отличный способ познакомиться с новыми людьми и попрактиковаться во французском, английском и других иностранных языках.

И, конечно, вопрос, который волнует многих (особенно девочек): как там у вас с шоппингом? Спешу вас успокоить, девочки (и мальчики) – шоппинг в Руане на любой вкус: от люксовых брендов до блошиных рынков, от антикварных лавок до известных марок масс-маркета (да-да, и H&M, и Zara, и Promod, и кто там еще – все на месте). Лично меня очень радует обилие маленьких несетевых магазинчиков местных дизайнеров в центре города – цены, конечно, не то, чтобы низкие, но и не заоблачные, к тому же можно найти по-настоящему красивые и необычные вещи, да и просто рассматривать витрины очень интересно.

В Руане Вы найдете кафе и рестораны на любой вкус, ведь Нормандия по праву славится своей кухней и высоким качеством продуктов питания. Основные нормандские специалитеты – это, конечно, сыры: Камамбер, Нойшатель, Пон-Л’Эвек… – а также вкуснейшие молочности (сметана, масло), аппетитные яблочные пироги, свежайшие морепродукты, местные алкогольные напитки – сидр и кальвадос. Кстати, если хотите почувствовать себя настоящим французом – покупайте продукты не в супермаркете, а в небольших частных магазинах-лавочках (по крайней мере, хлеб – точно в булочной!) или на воскресных рынках в центре города, где продавец и производитель – чаще всего одно лицо. Что касается кухонь народов мира, то здесь разнообразие заведений общепита также огромно – я почти уверена, что Вы найдете кафе или ресторан с кухней Вашей страны (я, например, нашла русский ресторан с самой настоящей русской едой!).

Можно сказать, что Руан обладает всеми преимуществами большого города, при этом перемещения не занимают много времени: все основные достопримечательности и развлечения находятся либо в шаговой доступности, либо в нескольких минутах езды на автобусе или метро, – а цены значительно ниже столичных. Думаю, что последнее будет особенно важно для студентов, планирующих поездку во Францию на достаточно длительный срок.

SonyaНе секрет, однако, что для многих Франция в первую очередь ассоциируется именно с Парижем. Важным преимуществом Руана является тот факт, что до столицы можно легко добраться примерно за час-полтора – прямым скоростным поездом или автобусом. Кроме того, из Руана удобно путешествовать в другие страны: он расположен на приблизительно одинаковом расстоянии от Брюсселя и Лондона, а из аэропорта города Бове, который находится на полпути между Парижем и Руаном, летает множество лоукостеров по всей Европе.

Ну и конечно же Руан – идеальная отправная точка для путешествий по Нормандии – одному из красивейших и живописнейших регионов Франции. Не буду перечислять все места, которые стоит посетить – их действительно очень много. Вот лишь несколько, по моему мнению, наиболее заслуживающих внимания:

  • Мон-Сен-Мишель – настоящее архитектурное и природное чудо;
  • Онфлёр – один из самых красивых городков Нормандии;
  • Кан – город Вильгельма Завоевателя с великолепным замком;
  • Этрета – местечко, знаменитое открыточными видами скал, обрывающихся в океан, которые запечатлел на своих полотнах Клод Моне;
  • Живерни – дом-музей Клода Моне и живописные сады.

Думаю, что если Вы едете во Францию, чтобы изучать французский, и перед Вами стоит непростая задача выбора правильной языковой школы, то Руан и Нормандия будут важным аргументом в пользу школы «French in Normandy». Однако понятно, что если Ваша цель – в первую очередь все же учеба, то нужны и другие причины. Итак…

Почему «French in Normandy»?

На сайте школы и в брошюрах Вы можете найти множество аргументов в пользу того, почему стоит выбрать именно «French in Normandy». Поэтому, возможно, здесь я не напишу ничего нового. Однако сегодня, проведя в школе 4 месяца в качестве стажера, каждый день видя жизнь школы «изнутри», общаясь с коллегами, я с уверенностью могу сказать, что «French in Normandy» – это, в первую очередь, действительно высокое качество обучения французскому и коллектив преподавателей – настоящих профессионалов и фанатов своего дела.

Для обучения языку в школе используется прогрессивная коммуникативная методика, направленная на то, чтобы побудить студентов в первую очередь использовать язык для устного общения – говорить, говорить и еще раз говорить… На это направлены и многочисленные внеклассные мероприятия (экскурсии, походы на концерты, в кафе…), и клубы по интересам, проводимые после занятий, которые, кстати, бесплатны для студентов (киноклуб, клуб любителей чтения, театральный клуб и др.), и поощряемое школой проживание во французской семье. Да и просто для повседневного общения во «French in Normandy» используется только французский (лишь в крайних случаях сотрудники переходят на английский, чтобы объяснить студентам с начальным уровнем языка какие-либо важные организационные моменты).FIN exterior sky

Высокое качество преподавания французского в школе подтверждается тем фактом, что «French in Normandy» аккредитована французским правительством (что, кстати, значительно упрощает процесс получения визы для студентов). Кроме того, школа – обладатель многочисленных наград в своем секторе. В течение 5 лет «French in Normandy» признавалась лучшей языковой школой журналом «Study Travel Magazine» (единственный журнал, составляющий рейтинг языковых школ), а также несколько раз – сайтом   Education stars.com (аналог Tripadvisor в сфере образовательного туризма) – по мнению студентов.

Могу сказать также, что теплая семейная атмосфера и индивидуальный подход к каждому студенту – не просто слова из рекламных буклетов. Все это становится возможным во многом благодаря небольшому размеру групп (не более 10 человек в классе), и тому, что все преподаватели и сотрудники школы хорошо знакомы с основами психологии и делают все возможное, чтобы студенты чувствовали себя комфортно в школе и за ее пределами. Ведь без хорошего настроения и позитивного настроя невозможно полноценное общение, а, значит, и прогресс в изучении языка.

Думаю, что среди важных преимуществ школы также можно назвать следующие:

  • Продолжительность каждого урока – 60 минут (а не 45, как в некоторых других школах);
  • Занятия стартуют каждый понедельник для всех уровней и всех типов программ;
  • В школе можно подготовиться к сдаче международных экзаменов DELF/DALF и к поступлению во французский вуз;
  • «French in Normandy» предлагает широкий спектр вариантов проживания: семья, студенческая резиденция, отель, хостел…;
  • Для всех студентов в первый день занятий проводится ориентационный тур по Руану;
  • Школа закрыта лишь 2 недели в году на рождественские каникулы, а в дни государственных праздников занятия не пропадают – они переносятся на последующие дни той же недели;
  • Для Вас может быть организован трансфер из аэропорта или с вокзала Парижа;
  • Школа располагает небольшой библиотекой с книгами, фильмами и комиксами на французском языке, с выбором которых поможет наш замечательный библиотекарь Хулия.

Что можно сказать в заключение? Пожалуй, только одно.

Добро пожаловать в Руан!

И добро пожаловать в школу «French in Normandy» !

Internship in France: Why Rouen?

My name is Sonya, I am 25 years old and I am from Russia. At the moment, I am doing an internship in France at «French in Normandy» as Marketing Assistant. Today I will tell you about my impressions of life in Rouen and of my work experience at the school. I really hope it will be useful for those of you who are planning a trip to France to learn the French language (to travel / to get a higher education / to work / just on holiday – underline as appropriate), but haven’t chosen the destination yet.

So, why choose Rouen? And why «French in Normandy»?

First things first…

internship in france

 

How did I come to do my internship here?

The internship is the final stage of my studies for a Master’s degree in France (I am studying foreign languages applied to international project management at the University of Western Brittany in Brest). The sphere of international education has always attracted me because it combines several activity areas really that really interest me – tourism, education and working with foreign languages. That is why I decided that an internship at a language school would be perfect for me.

SonyaI learnt about «French in Normandy» from the language centres catalogue of Campus France. I sent my CV to several language schools, and it was «French in Normandy» that I got the first reply from within a very short time (which was a pleasant surprise as it is not very typical of France). Besides, there were some other important “pros”: only positive students’ opinions on the Internet (I didn’t find a single negative or even neutral reference!), an elegant and informative multilingual website, and pages on several popular social networking services. I believe that all these show that the school really cares both about its reputation, its potential clients and employees and keeps up with the times. And it is actually due to the combination of all these factors and challenging and exciting work that I was really happy to receive an internship offer from «French in Normandy».

And yes… There was one more argument for – Rouen and Normandy.

Why Rouen?

For the first time, I visited Normandy and Rouen in the autumn of last year having no idea that very soon I would come back for 4.5 months. My first impression of the city was that of the gothic cathedral Notre-Dame de Rouen which is absolutely amazing. And it is no wonder: the cathedral is so high that its spires are almost lost in the clouds, and if you come closer, its lacy architecture with numerous details simply takes your breath away (later I learnt that this style is called “Flamboyant”). I pass by the cathedral at least once a week and every time I can’t help but admire its magnificence (no matter how pompous it sounds).

The historical centre of the city strikes by the combination of splendid gothic and fairytale medieval
architecture with its wooden-frame houses and stone-block pavements. I think it’s no use listing all the sights of Rouen – you can find their description in many travel guides and on many websites. I will only say that it is a city filled with history – the city of Joan of Arc, Gustave Flaubert, Pierre Corneille and Claude Monet (by the way, the Museum of Fine Arts of Rouen possesses the second largest collection of impressionists after that of the famous Musée d’Orsay in Paris).Rouen street

In general, the cultural life of Rouen is very dynamic – there are always some events going on: various festivals, exhibitions, concerts… I think that the city can be interesting for people of different ages. On the one hand, it is quite safe and calm, on the other – Rouen is the city of students as it hosts several educational institutions: the University of Rouen, a business school, an engineering school, and some others. A lot of foreign students come within Erasmus and other exchange programmes, or just to learn French. I think that the variety of discos and bars will also appeal to young people. By the way, at one of the bars, «La Taverne de Thor», there are weekly “language exchange meetings” that are a wonderful way to meet new people and to practice French, English or other foreign languages.

And of course, a question of great concern (especially for girls): what about shopping? Don’t worry – the shopping in Rouen suits every taste and budget: there is everything from luxury brands to flea markets, and from antique shops to well-known mass market stores. As for me, I really appreciate the abundance of local designers’ small shops in the city centre – the prices are not that low, of course, but not sky-high either, and in addition you can find some really lovely and unusual stuff.

Rouen viewIn Rouen you will find a great variety of cafés and restaurants that will meet your every need, since Normandy is justly famous for its cuisine and the high quality of food products. The most famous Norman specialities are, of course, various cheeses: Camambert, Neuchatel, Pont-l’Évêque… – and also delicious dairy products (cream, butter), appetizing apple pies, the freshest seafood, and local spirits – cider and Calvados. By the way, if you want to feel like a real Frenchman, buy products not in supermarkets, but in small private shops (“boulangerie”, “épicerie”, “boucherie”, etc., at least bread – in a boulangerie for sure!) or at the Sunday markets in the city centre where the seller and the producer are usually one and the same person. As for national cuisines, the choice is also huge – I am almost sure that you will find a café or a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of your country (I found a Russian restaurant with real Russian food!).

As you can see, Rouen has all the advantages of a big city. But at the same time, everything is very close: all the major sights and entertainments are either within walking distance or several minutes’ trip by bus or by underground. Besides, the prices are much lower than in the capital. I think that the latter is especially important for students planning to stay in France for quite a long time.

It is no secret, however, that most people associate France first of all with Paris. An important advantage of Rouen is that you can easily get to the capital in 1-1.5 hours – there are direct high-speed trains and buses to Paris. Moreover, it is convenient to travel from Rouen to other countries: it is situated almost at the same distance from Brussels and London, and there is a great number of low-cost airlines flying from the airport of Beauvais which is half-way between Rouen and Paris.

Finally, Rouen is a perfect departure point for journeys all over Normandy – one of the most beautiful and picturesque regions of France. I won’t mention all the places worth visiting – they are really too many. Here are just some of them that, in my opinion, deserve special attention:

  • Le Mont-Saint-Michel – a real architectural and natural miracle;
  • Honfleur – one of the most beautiful little towns in Normandy;
  • Caen – the city of William the Conqueror with a wonderful castle;
  • Etretat – a small town famous for its beautiful “postcard” views of sea cliffs that Claude Monet embodied on his paintings;
  • Giverny – the memorial house of Claude Monet and picturesque gardens.

I think that if you are going to France to study French and you are facing a difficult task of finding the right Mont-Saint-Michellanguage school, Rouen and Normandy will be an important argument for choosing “French in Normandy”. However, it is obvious that for those whose first priority is studies just a wonderful geographical location is not enough – some other reasons are necessary. So…

Internship in France: Why «French in Normandy»?

You can find a lot of information about the school’s numerous advantages on its website and in its brochures. That is why I will probably say nothing new here. But today, having spent 4 months at school as an intern, seeing its everyday life “from the inside”, talking to my colleagues, I can say with confidence that “French in Normandy” – is first of all a really excellent quality of teaching the French language and a highly professional and enthusiastic teachers’ team.

The school uses an innovative communicative teaching approach aimed at inciting students to use the language primarily for oral communication – to speak, to speak and to speak again… Numerous after-class activities and clubs that are free for students (cinema club, theatre club, reading club, etc.), as well as the accommodation in a French family recommended by the school, are also intended to reach this objective. At “French in Normandy”, French is used as the language of day-to-day communication with the students of all levels (only as an exception, the school’s employees can sometimes switch to English or some other language to explain some important administrative issues).

Dieppe chateauThe high quality of teaching the French language at school is confirmed by the fact that “French in Normandy” is accredited by the French government (which also facilitates the process of getting the French visa for those students who need it). Moreover, the school is the winner of numerous prizes in its sector. For 5 years on end, “French in Normandy” was acclaimed Best French Language School by “Study Travel Magazine” (the only periodical making and publishing the ratings of language schools), and several times – by the website Education Stars.com (the equivalent of Tripadvisor in the sphere of educational tourism) – according to students’ opinions.

I can also say that the warm family atmosphere and individual approach to every student are not just words from advertising booklets. All these are to a great extent made possible thanks to a small group size (not more than 10 students per group) and also to the fact that all the school’s teachers and employees have good knowledge of the basics of psychology and do their best to make the students feel comfortable both at school and outside – as it is obvious that without cheerful mind and positive thinking good communication, and therefore progress in language learning, is impossible.

In my opinion, the most important advantages of the school are the following:

  • The duration of each lesson is 60 minutes (not 45 like a lot of schools offer);
  • Classes start every Monday for all the levels and all the types of programmes;
  • The school offers preparation courses for internationally recognized DELF/DALF exams;
  • «French in Normandy» offers a wide range of accommodation options, including home stay, student residence, hotels, youth hostel, etc.;
  • The school organizes an orientation tour of Rouen for all new students on the first day of their classes;
  • «French in Normandy» is open all the year round except for the 2 weeks of Christmas holidays, and lessons are never lost on public holidays – they are made up during the remaining days of the same week;
  • You can benefit from the airport transfer service offered by the school;
  • Reading and watching movies in French can help you to make a rapid progress in the study of the language. The school disposes of a small, but really nice library with books, magazines and DVDs.

What can I say in conclusion? I suppose only one thing.

Welcome to Rouen!

And welcome to «French in Normandy»!

Honfleur Caen Etretat Caen port Mont-St-Michel street