February 12 , 2022
My time with Julie was one of the best weeks of my life. French is hard, but I’m convinced that Julie has designed a program with the very best circumstances to learn. Studying French with Julie was very different from formal classes I’ve taken in the past – it was practical, real, and actually useful. I feel much more confident in my speaking and listening abilities thanks to her. The lessons were fun, very hands on and interactive. I especially loved learning with the different games she has. Julie is a joy to be around, and a joy to learn from. Her teaching style instantly put me at ease. Her playful, funny demeanor helped me feel comfortable making mistakes and not take myself too seriously. I believe I have seriously up-leveled my French with her and expanded my horizons.
The apartment is lovely. The photos on her site are beautiful but they don’t do it justice – it’s even better in person. First of all, it’s huge! The ceilings are so tall with beautiful detailed molding on the walls. The floors are beautiful, classic provencal red tile. It was perfectly clean, beautifully decorated, and met our every need. It’s clear that Julie has put a lot of thought and care into creating a space to help her students feel comfortable, relaxed, and inspired during their stay.
I can’t say enough about the food. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten better in my life! Every meal with Julie was divine. Not only is she a great cook, she has great taste and knows what is good. It was so fun to try new things with her and experience real Provençal eating. It’s also really nice to not have to think about what you’re going to eat for breakfast and lunch, she takes care of it so you can focus on learning.
During the immersion she takes you out on excursions. She went to great lengths to pack them with learning experiences and fun! I loved that she really enjoys the experience with you instead of feeling like a tour guide and a tour group. She has fun with you which makes it all the more fun!
Although the lessons, the space, the food, and the adventures were amazing, getting to spend time with Julie is the best part of the week. She is simply a delight to be around. She is charming, smart, hilarious, and has great energy. Her excitement and passion for language, food, and the region of Provence is contagious. You can tell Julie genuinely loves what she does. I’m really going to miss her but I’m positive I’ll be back again and again in the years to come.
Don’t hesitate. I’m so glad I didn’t. It was an unforgettable experience and I can’t wait to do it again.
Riley, San Francisco, CA, USA
January 22 , 2022
In January, 2022, I arrived with my wife in Avignon for my immersion course with Julie. I’d had some courses at the Alliance Française and had studied intensively on my own. I felt comfortable with the grammar and had acquired a reasonable vocabulary, but couldn’t express myself freely nor did I feel my pronunciation was up to par. It’s also probably fair to say that I’m generally somewhat reserved and diffident.
I came to Julie with high expectations and even higher hopes and can honestly say that she succeeded in every category. Yes, the apartment is great, the meals superb, Avignon is lovely, but Julie makes it truly special. She’s an intelligent, experienced, interested and patient teacher with a stellar personality. She quickly and pleasantly had me learning and advancing from the very start. She has a variety of means to enjoyably draw one out of oneself and stretch the limits of one’s talents in French. She pointed out subtleties of French pronunciation that go beyond the liaison and dropping of ‘e’s that really gave me confidence that I could one day sound truly ‘French’.
Finally, upon arriving in Paris before our flight home, we spent the evening with our dear friends, Patricia and Didier. After dinner Patricia took my wife aside to say how impressed she was with my progress in French. She could not believe my ability to express myself and the depth and breadth of our conversation. Needless to say this made me and my wife very happy. And I know that Julie was instrumental in making this possible.
Chris & Rosalind, Malaga, Spain
December 11, 2021
I spent a week with Julie in December 2021. I can say honestly that the whole experience was far better than I could have imagined.
As a beginner, my French skills were very limited, which made me a little nervous, as my week with Julie drew closer. The minute we met at the train station; those fears quickly vanished. Julie has the type of welcoming personality that, as soon as you meet her, you felt as if you had known her for a long time.
The lessons we had were focused on filling in the many gaps in my learning (and there were many!!) Throughout my entire stay, Julie was extremely patient and very encouraging. She used a few different approaches during our sessions, and it helped my understanding of the language structure. She identified my issues and then found a way to help me understand and progress. I left with a clear sense of direction on how to continue my studies at home, along with all of the notes she took during our class time. Julie’s apartment, inside the walls of old Avignon, is awesome!
The 17th-century building is the perfect setting for her classes. Everything the city has to offer is easily walkable. All of the locals that I interacted with in Avignon were very friendly and helpful. I am sure anyone would feel comfortable & safe walking anywhere in the city. Julie has an infectious passion for everything Provençal and will give you many tips for things to see and to experience while in Avignon and the surrounding area.
The breakfast & lunches provided by Julie were always phenomenal! She is an excellent cook! She takes the time to prepare almost everything herself. She will appear every morning with a freshly baked loaf of bread from a local boulangerie, or a few amazing pastries! I follow a plant-based diet and Julie went out of her way to make every delicious meal for me, very special. The meals times were always a fun time with great conversations.
As you read through these reviews, you will see (as I did) they all begin to sound very similar. There is a very good reason for this…. Julie is absolutely the best! And I am confident that your time with her, in Avignon, will be very productive for your language skills. You will also leave with many wonderful memories of an amazing village and a very kind, warm & gifted French Professor.
Jim, Worton, MD, USA
November 27, 2021
I have been studying French for many years and have attended many immersion courses all over France and Belgium. Some of these courses have been good; others terrible. Julie’s was the best. And, bonus, after two weeks I felt sufficiently confident in my French to talk the ear off every French person within reach. All understood what I was saying and not once did any of the French speakers resort to English. The apartment Julie has rented for her students is large, stunningly decorated, and located within the “old town” fortifications of Avignon. Julie herself is beyond personable, knowledgeable, and patient. The lessons are demanding and the results evident. If you want to improve your French; if you want to gain the confidence to use your French in an everyday setting; if you want to leave school French behind and enter the world of everyday French speakers; then, this is the place to come. Bon courage!
Ronald, Santa Fe, NM, USA
October 30, 2021
This program was superb! Julie is an excellent teacher. Every day we learned and practiced grammar while at the same time learning commonly used phrases and words. She was a perfect host and exposed us to French/Provençal cooking. After my class I went to Montpellier and practiced what I learned. Everyone said my French was very good and they understood everything I said. I thank Julie for this. My confidence improved with each story I told in class. Avignon is a beautiful city ! Highly recommend this class. Debbie
This was my first immersion program, and Julie made it a delightful experience! I feel much more confident with my French after spending a week with Julie. She taught 3 of us friends in her beautiful Avignon apartment, and she did an excellent job of managing to make learning fun and relevant for us, with games and conversations and story telling. Julie is the best cook, and her meals were delicious! And our excursions to Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Villeneuve-les-Avignon were great excuses to see more of the area and to continue practicing our French. I highly recommend Julie as an immersion teacher. Lisa
Debbie, Lisa & Collette, Baltimore, MD, USA
October 23, 2021
My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed our time spent with Julie. Julie is a delightful young woman with a mature world view.. She endured our struggles with the French language with patience and humor. While I still find it difficult to form a complete sentence in French, I felt Julie's tips and methods were very helpful - I would love to be able to spend a month with her to improve my communication skills! Julie's 17th century apartment is gorgeous and conveniently located. She prepared 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches for us - she is a wonderful cook and served unusual dishes like duck breast, blanquette de veau, escargot etc. When my sister expressed a desire for "French Onion Soup" Julie prepared a delicious one for our next day's lunch. She brought unique cheeses, pastries, fresh fruits, mushrooms, etc from Les Halles. Every lunch was served with a delicious, specially chosen wine, and followed by dessert! We rarely had the need to eat any dinner after such sumptuous lunches! Our afternoon excursions were really fun, and gave us an opportunity to practice French in the real world. (mostly with Julie in the car and on our walk to Pont du Gard. The folks at the winery and wine cellar preferred to converse in English.) While a month with Julie is probably not in the cards for me, I do hope to spend another week with her next year. Highly recommend!
Debbie & Marcy, Brevart, NC, USA
September 18, 2021
I had the most amazing one-week French immersion with Julie at Avignon in early September. I took almost one-year online classes with Julie before I came to Avignon for this much anticipated immersion experience. When Julie welcomed me at the train station, I felt instant connection with her.
Julie was an excellent teacher, cook and cultural guide. She was very good in determining what I needed to focus to get the most out of the short one-week learning experience. By the end of the week, I felt that I have improved and built much confidence in speaking French, and knowing clearly what I should focus in my future French learning journey. In addition, Julie wowed me with the meals she prepared, and I enjoyed every one of her dishes.
It was a treat to stay at her spacious, charming and historic apartment located in the center of Avignon, which was very convenient to walk to many restaurants and attractions in town. Julie also offered me excellent recommendations on restaurants and activities that I might enjoy on my own. Most importantly, I had so much fun going with her to shop fresh produce at the market, visit an old medieval village, learning language and culture even without realizing it. It was awesome to go to a piano recital with her in an old castle, and it was pretty cool.
Julie worked very hard to make my one-week stay with her so memorable. I have already decided to come back again next year for another week of immersion with Julie.
Mali, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
August 21, 2021
I write this as I am finishing a one week French language immersion with Julie. I am not ready to leave tomorrow because this has been such a wonderful experience.
I had the opportunity to converse one-on-one with Julie everyday while she focused on areas to improve and answered all of my questions about the French life and language. It was the perfect mix of personal and professional. I also had the opportunity to explore and fall in love with a new city. Avignon has so much to offer and all of Julie's recommendations for dinner (and more importantly gelato!) were perfect.
Over the past week, I not only improved my French, which was the main goal, but I made a new friend and found a new place to visit again. I look forward to the next time and highly recommend Julie's French language immersion to anyone that wants to improve their French.
Sara, Houston, Texas, USA
August 14, 2021
My wife (who is not learning French) and I (who speak French at roughly the B1 level) spent the first two weeks of August 2021 at Le Français Chez Julie. It was a wonderful experience! Julie performs three principal roles for her clients, and she is outstanding in each of them: French instructor, cook, and local guide.
FRENCH INATRUCTOR. Every weekday morning from 9:30 until 12:30, Julie and I worked on improving my ability to speak French and to hear French with understanding. The focus was on French as it is spoken in the streets today, which entailed a lot of work on contractions, liaisons, and omitting the “ne” from negations. Her pedagogical methods included:
• Me extemporaneously relating stories from my life and discussing them with Julie.
• Playing games that entailed me speaking extemporaneously at some length; for example, drawing from a deck a card on which was written a situation and a list of words to be incorporated in a story about the situation.
• Listening to French popular songs, repeating the lyrics with proper pronunciation, and discussing the lyrics and the artists with Julie.
• As homework, watching one- or two-minute YouTube clips from a recent French movie and doing a dictation of the dialogue. The next morning, Julie and I would watch the clip together and I would repeat the dialogue, trying my best to mimic the actors. We enjoyed discussing the plot and the performances.
• Julie also engaged me in conventional drills on conjugation, gender/number agreement, etc.
COOK. Julie prepares breakfast and lunch every weekday and picnics for outings. She is an excellent cook who enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of French cuisine with her clients. She avoids processed foods, preferring fresh products from the market in town, her garden, and a neighbor’s small farm. She introduced my wife and me to so many great French cheeses, mmm! They were so good!
LOCAL GUIDE. Julie took us on two or three afternoon or evening outings each week. Some were in town (a tour of one of the grand old houses, a visit to a private garden, afternoon tea at a Michelin restaurant), others were in the surrounding countryside (river canoeing and an outstanding piano recital in a medieval chateau, preceded by a picnic).
The apartment that Julie provides for her clients is located in the center of town, which made it very convenient for my wife to walk to interesting destinations while Julie and I were engaged in our lessons.
One perhaps obvious thing that I would point out about being accompanied by a non-French speaking/learning spouse or partner is that the overall experience may be less immersive than it otherwise would be if, as I did, you encourage Julie to switch to primarily English during meals and outings when your partner is present.
To summarize, I give Le Français Chez Julie, my enthusiastic positive recommendation, without reservation. In fact, I will be following my own advice by returning to Avignon in April 2022 to study again with Julie.
Thomas & Dotsy, Arlington, Virginia, USA
June 5, 2021
I just spent a week of French immersion with Julie Gaudin.
All I can say is that “SHE IS THE BEST”.
Here is what I loved about my experience.
Julie is so easy to get along with.
Julie is remarkably good at what she does: understanding the needs of her student and then structuring her lessons in a manner that optimizes the end result.
Julie is an excellent host. The apartment has historical equity. The meals that she prepares are out of this world. Mon Dieu!
She is so knowledgeable about the area that you need not to do any research. She has it all.
I give her an A++
Harris, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
May 15, 2021
I have been to several language schools in France, but the groups there were usually too large and not adapted to my language level. Of course I learned a lot but it was far too little grammar and how to speak French.
A week of intensive language studies with Julie is the best choice I have ever made, when it comes to language courses in French. She was able to listen and decide what weaknesses I had and with the help of various games and problems I got drilled into what I needed to learn.
Julie is a social and nice person. I liked and had fun during the lessons with her. When it ended, she always found a way forward.
Food and accommodation were included in the course cost and my wife and I lived in a spacious nice three-room apartment. During the XVII century this apartment belonged to Nicolas Mignard, court painter to Louis XIV and also a friend of Molière, who performed some of his plays in the courtyard of this house from 1655 to 1657.
Good French food was served prepared by Julie, who is an excellent cook. She was careful to find out what food I could not stand or could not eat. At the lunch table we could sit for a long time and talk, which was a good language lesson.
The excursions were very interesting, because Julie has knowledge and is a good narrator.
One day was a whole day trip with lessons, food and mountain hiking in Provance. One day we went to the halls and she showed me ingredients and taught them what they are called in French.
So I really want to encourage you to get in touch with Julie.
My name is Siv. I’m from Sweden and I was a companion to my husband Lennart on his trip to France.
As I consider myself quite good in speaking French I didn’t take any language lessons.
So if you want to study French and your companionship won’t, but want to follow you to France, I can recommend you to be in contact with Julie.
I had a marvellous time in the beautiful apartment, where I lived with my husband and where we had our breakfast and lunch with Julie.
When my husband had his lessons I was on my own discovering Avignon, which I found was a nice city.
I have also been to France many times, but this week was absolutely the best one up until now without exaggerating.
So if you only had a covid-19 test negativ certificate you can easily go to France.
Siv & Lennart, Rökå, Sweden
Sept 5, 2020
I’ve done a number of immersions in France, and my week in Avignon with Julie was number one. It was a superb week, time very well spent, working on improving my French, but it was oh, so incredibly enjoyable. Julie is generous with her time and instruction and genuine in her desire to help you improve in a short period. I liked her system of taking notes for you, so you can concentrate on listening and thinking. She’s multilingual, so that probably helps her understand the language learning process, and thus her explanations are clear and concise. I appreciated and benefited from the amount of time she gives you to try to express yourself. And, she’s not afraid to point out repeated mistakes.
By the end of the week, you won’t be making them. She’s immediately attune to strengths and weakness in French as well as your personal interests. She surprised me, a design lover, with a terrific excursion: a tour of a magnificent private residence. Through extended conversations, a few drills, some games, and a couple of homework sheets, I benefited tremendously from my immersion with her and look forward to a repeat.
Julie also wants you to enjoy Avignon. From the moment I arrived at the train station, she was ready to share the city, its history, and culture. Breakfasts and lunches together, which she prepared on site, always included something to present the regional cuisine as well as other specialties of France. Her beautiful, spacious apartment in the center of the city is your private home for the week. Imagine studying in a grand, richly detailed apartment in a historic building dating back centuries.
How could you not want to be more proficient in French?
Jacqueline, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
March 7, 2020
In early March, 2020, I spent a wonderful week in Avignon with Julie Gaudin for intensive French language learning. My wife was along for the ride but not learning French. It all started when Julie met us at the train station and we walked the short distance to the apartment. Each day, Julie made us a very nice breakfast (and a lunch) after which we dove right in to the daily French lessons. I was an intermediate learner and the thing I liked the best was that I had A LOT of opportunity to just practice talking, which is what I wanted and needed. But Julie also did some guided learning as well. This was at the beginning of our time in France so it was perfect for getting my confidence up. Our two outings with Julie were really nice and gave us some great memories. She drove us to Chateau de Villeneuve les Avignon and on another day, Pont du Gard. And on the way back from the Chateau, she dropped us at the Musée Calvet, which was very nice. We also did an afternoon trip to nearby Nimes by ourselves, which was really good. And of course we had plenty of time to visit the sights in Avignon, of which there are many. The apartment was very nice, quiet, and secure. If you are wanting a really unique French learning experience, in a great city, with a really nice person, I encourage you to contact Julie.
Jan 8, 2020
I am an “advanced beginner” French speaker, having returned to it 50 years after my last studies in high school. My immersion experience with Julie was excellent.
Julie is an energetic and challenging teacher. She immediately detected what kind of learner I am, and adapted her teaching accordingly. The lessons were full of new material, difficult but not overwhelming. While it remained a struggle for me to converse comfortably in French, we had many interesting conversations on a range of topics and I learned a lot about contemporary France.
Julie’s apartment is charming and comfortable, with a historic feel. The location is great, and my husband and I easily visited all parts of Avignon on foot after morning lessons were over.
Ellen & John, West Linn, OR, USA
Dec 7, 2019
I had a wonderful week in Avignon with Julie in early December 2019.
She is a delightful young lady and an outstanding teacher and I was made very welcome.
I am not young, but she was patient and understanding, extremely good company and a good cook.
My French has improved enormously and I have gained confidence in speaking.
I couldn’t recommend a course with Julie more highly. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Bridget, Kent, England
July 11, 2020
After many years of not speaking French, I decided that I wanted to start learning again. I had always been afraid of speaking the language, but found it so beautiful. My aim was/is to slowly start again, to build up confidence. I came across Julie's website and liked the idea of not having a typical classroom setting and having a comfortable solution that would let me combine a week of vacation with a learning experience. I had been to Avignon once before, but only for one day and found the city and region beautiful. Am truly happy that I made the choice to visit Julie in Avignon. Julie is a delightful & very thoughtful host. I felt very comfortable with her from the very first minute onwards. This gave me the confidence to overcome my fear of speaking and that was the key for me to be able to open up to the language again. She assessed my skills very quickly and tailored my week to meet my goals whilst giving me a glimpse into the French way of life. Our excursions to the covered market of Les Halles and to Châteauneuf-du-Pape topped off the experience. The apartment is located in the center of Avignon, just steps away from all of the city's wonders that I was able to encounter during my free time. Our joint excursions to the covered market of Les Halles and to Châteauneuf-du-Pape were very enjoyable. I truly recommend Julie's French Immersion Class. It was a wonderful experience! Julie, thank you very much for showing me the beauty of the French language & culture. It is a week I fondly remember. Hope to be able to come back soon!
Claudia, Haegendoef, SWITZERLAND
Nov 16, 2019
I just spent an extremely enjoyable and profitable week with Julie. We only spoke French throughout my stay so this enabled Julie to hear and correct the countless little mistakes I still make after so many years.
I’m afraid I will continue to make some of them, but certainly not all since Julie greatly heightened my awareness of some of my “favorite” errors. And she wrote them all down so I can always refresh my memory of our work together! Altogether I would say she pushed me out of my comfort zone, especially with her little games! Beware when she gets out those boxes!
She also gave me many links with exercises as well as tips for good French TV series and films, with enough material on a USB stick to keep me occupied all winter. In short, I received so many “takeaways” that I feel the week didn’t really end when it was over.
One morning we went to Uzès, a delightful village I had never visited. The market was very busy, but the little streets where we walked were quiet with only a few other tourists. It was perfect!!
Jane, Munich, Germany
Nov 2, 2019
I stayed with Julie for a week at the end of October.
Julie is a really good teacher, she used different tools to keep the learning fun. I was not ready for immersion type of learning but Julie was very patient with me even though she had to repeat same thing over and over again.
Meal time was always fun. Julie is a very good cook, we enjoyed all her cooked meals and conversation.
We also enjoyed our stay at Julie’s apartment. It’s very spacious and perfectly situated in the middle of the town, walking distance to everywhere. We really loved Avignon, beautiful city.
I would very much like to go back and stayed with Julie when my conversational French is better.
Wenling & Denise, Shoreline, WA, USA
Oct 26, 2019
My week with Julie was amazing. I am a serious comparison shopper and have tried all kinds of classes/tutors/immersion programs, and this was by far the best experience.
First of all, you can’t go wrong by being in the charming Avignon, with the history, the wine, the sunshine, and a direct TGV from Paris Charles de Gaule.
The lessons: Julie tailored to my level of French quickly. We made a plan for each day at the beginning of the week, according to my goal, and everyday was different. We had natural conversations, and some times, used games to work on specific skills.
As we spoke, Julie took notes for me (yes SHE’s the one taking notes), so my mistakes/quirks were properly and thoroughly noted. This was a new thing in my French learning experience and it saved so much time, so I can focus on learning. By day two, I was forgetting English.
Julie planned an outing to a winery and an outing to a local farmers market. She also showed me around the city, pointing me to the local places not typically for tourists, like yoga studios and cat cafe. :)
When it was not the ”official” class time, Julie continued to correct me, and gave me tips. Since we spent breakfast and lunch together everyday, the lessons are actually 5 hours long.
Not only is Julie an amazing teacher, she’s also a wonderful cook. I thoroughly enjoyed her home-made yogurt, jam, tomato sauce – the list goes on.
Shelley, Portland, OR, USA
Oct 19, 2019
Julie was a wonderful host and excellent french teacher.
I’m closer to beginner and my spouse is closer to intermediate. She was very patient and flexible to our differing needs.
She gave us her whole apartment to ourselves which is conveniently located in the middle of old Avignon. It’s a bright, airy space with high ceilings and a fully equipped kitchen.
Julie took us on some fabulous outings to some medieval villages and to Chateau Neuf de Pape for a very memorable wine tasting in an ancient cellar. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
Julie is also a gourmet cook and made us many delightful meals with foods from the local area. Every morning we would have chocolate croissants, coffee, her homemade yogurt, and fruit. She was also very accommodating to our dietary requests.
She is an extremely warm and engaging personality and we immediately felt at home with her. We stayed for two weeks and were glad we did as our language skills improved and she was so enjoyable to be around.
This experience prepared us for the rest of our month long vacation in France. We couldn’t have made a better choice.
Phil & Christine, Sydney, BC, Canada
Sept 21, 2019
We cannot recommend Julie too highly!
We spent a week with her in September 2019. Our goals were to improve our French, and to have fun. We succeeded in both goals.
Julie is a terrific teacher. She is patient, clear, organised, and encouraging.
Our days started with breakfast, prepared by Julie. The mornings were taken up with our lessons – the three hours flew by. She emphasises fluency in French as it is spoken today. She gently corrects pronounciation. And she is keen for her pupils to expand their vocabulary.
After lunch – prepared by Julie – we were free to explore Avignon. On one afternoon she took us to Arles, and on another afternoon we visited some heritage buildings in Avignon which are normally closed to the public but which were open during the annual Heritage Days which co-incided with our stay in Avignon.
Julie’s apartment is delightful and is located within the medieval centre of Avignon, close to shops, restaurants, museums, and the famous Palace of the Popes.
Avignon is a charming city – the perfect location for a week of study, and full of history, art and fine architecture. And it is close to Aix-en-Provence, Marseille and the vineyards of the Southern Rhône.
We enjoyed our experience with Julie so much that we plan to return for a further intensive course in the summer of 2020.
John & Yvonne, Dublin, Ireland
July 6, 2019
My husband Richard and I spent 6 days in Avignon with Julie to study and improve our French. We loved working with Julie and spending time with her in Avignon and on special excursions. Her apartment in Avignon is lovely and is located right in the heart of the action in Avignon. Although we had very warm temperatures the when we visited June 30 - July 6, 2019, with the apartment’s large windows open at night, the sleeping temperature were fine.
Julie is very organized in how she presents the French lessons, and she easily assessed the material we needed to study. After wonderful breakfasts which included fabulous French croissants, eggs, fresh fruit, yogurt and coffee or tea, we spent 1 ½ to 2 hours on the French lessons. We felt that she did an excellent job of helping us with the verbs, from present regular to irregular conjugations to the passé compose and the imparfait. We had work books to do homework in and then went over these lessons together. She was very helpful with pronunciation and there were times we played some games which required us to use our new found skills in French. She always had us progress at our own pace and comfort level.
We enjoyed shopping with her for lunch or dinner foods in the shops near her apartment. She introduced us to the Bio (organic) foods in the local farmers’ market. She was good at being willing to accommodate our wishes to travel some during the day, and we would have French lessons sometimes in the late afternoon before dinner. We always spent a total of 3 hours on our French lessons.
We took two special excursions with her during our week. The first one was to one of the wineries in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region. We had a private wine tasting which was great and drove around the area to see some of the other sights. Our second excursion was to canoe on the Gard River to go under the spectacular Roman aqueduct the Pont du Gard. We enjoyed the canoeing and had a wonderful sighting of a beaver as well as cooling breezes and temperatures. On a small island in the river with a picturesque view of the Pont du Gard, we had a picnic dinner with wine that Julie prepared and packed for us. Then as it was getting dark, we paddled under the Pont du Gard and noticed people gathered up in a viewing area near the Pont du Gard. Then we were surprised by a sound and light show on the Pont!
It was truly a once in a lifetime experience! Julie was always a wonderful hostess and especially a very dedicated teacher. She was always engaging and enthusiastic! I was excited because she made me feel that I could really learn to speak French with a little more work on my part. It was encouraging for both Richard and me, and we have decided to continue our French lessons in St. Louis.
Richard & Louise, Saint Louis, MO, USA
June 21, 2019
I stayed with Julie for 10 days of immersion French in June this year. I am in my sixties and learning another language, doesn't come easily to me. Her patient encouragement enabled us to have full conversations, which she would follow up with a grammar lesson to cover my main areas of weakness. I found her to be good company and we had many laughs. By the way, she is also a very good cook, and I hope to return before too long, and move to the next level of conversational French.
John, Lagos, Portugal
June 8, 2019
My two-week class with Julie was a complete success, in fact, it way surpassed my expectations.
Julie is an intelligent, responsible, enthusiastic, and friendly teacher. Within a couple of days, she discovered my learning deficiency and difficulties.
Then for the rest of two weeks, she put in her utmost effort to derive special techniques that helped to overcome these difficulties one by one. In the meantime, these techniques improved my fluency in speaking and continued to help me after I returned home.
Julie employed various teaching methods that brought fun to learning French.
Julie went out off her way to prepare delicious breakfast and lunch that satisfied my strict diet – gluten free, dairy free, and soy free. She attended to my sensitivity to pesticides and made sure all food she served or I bought were pesticide free. I was very touched because I know it was not easy to do.
In our exploration of the region, there was always full of excitement and new discovery. I was too early for the lavender, but Julie tried her best for me to see the beautiful fields of poppy and genet, and the interesting medieval towns.
My two-week adventure with Julie was not only in learning the French language but also in discovering French culture and history. It was truly an immersion class.
Josephine, Rockville, Maryland, USA
May 18, 2019
Julie is a star! N’hésite pas!
We are a family of four taking a year off from life in Canada. For part of this year, we decided to dedicate ourselves to learning/improving our French. We stumbled over French Today and decided on Julie because of the location, the fact that she could accommodate a family, and because she had no cat (my husband is very allergic). We are so glad we did!
Julie is a wonderful teacher, conversationalist, and host. She understood our levels (the kids beginners, parents intermediate) and challenged us while not making it too hard. She played games with the kids, did grammar exercises with the adults. We were the first family she had ever hosted and she did it perfectly. We left being much better at French than when we arrived.
(I should also note that the apartment was perfect for us and Avignon was lovely, which just made things better.)
Linda, Niobe, Vita & Iris, Edmonton, Canada
May 11, 2019
Avignon was our third séjour linguistique in the last five years. Each has been remarkably pleasant in its own way. And each of our profs has been helpful, thoughtful, and knowledgeable. But there was something special about Julie Gaudin and Avignon.
First, Avignon is a charming city that benefits from a “taille humaine” and, second, Julie is a charming prof with an infectious eagerness and the energy of youth.
Debbie and I had been to Avignon for 48 hours about two years ago prior to touring Provence on a group bicycle trip. We therefore knew some of the city’s charms. Our plan was to study with Julie for a week and then tour the city and the region on our own for ten days. This worked out well.
Julie sent us a questionnaire in advance of our arrival asking us about dietary issues and requests, activities of interest (she supplied a list of suggestions and excursions), and language skill goals. She followed through on that exercise.
An adept cook, Julie whipped up some of my favorite French dishes including sweet breads (ris de veau). She took Debbie to a Pilates class. And, one of our favorite excursions included a kayak trip under the Pont du Gard.
Debbie and I are at two different language skill levels and Julie adjusted accordingly. She also served as a graciously effective umpire when our competitive juices were flowing. Her classes were efficient and fun. She has a pleasant way of drawing people out into challenging conversations.
Finally, her accommodations were excellent. They are spacious, appealing, and well located in town.
Debbie and I are already plotting a return trip.
Debbie & Sam, Stonington, Maine, USA
May 4, 2019
I am an intermediate level French speaker and I highly recommend an immersion week in Avignon with Julie!
A friend and I scheduled our week with Julie to enjoy an adventure in France while improving our knowledge of French and French culture.
Avignon is a lovely, walkable city, and Julie was a marvellous tour guide.
On our first day, she shared maps with us, installed us in her lovely apartment, and gave us a walking tour of Avignon Center.
Her language and teaching skills are superb.
She quickly assessed my chronic grammar mistakes, my pronunciation errors, and my overall abilities.
Then, she systematically dedicated each lesson to correcting my abilities in each of my weakest areas.
She uses games, conversation, small videos, handouts, clear notes and homework to keep the lessons interesting and motivating.
One of my French language goals is to pass the B2 DELF exam.
Julie gave me specific areas to study to help me prepare for the test.
I am weakest in oral comprehension, and she gave me specific tips on how to be a better listener.
Julie is a skilled cook. She loves to share aspects of French culture and cuisine with her students.
Meals (including homemade jam and yogurt, and many fresh foods from the local market) were a delight.
Our excursions out into the Provence countryside were a highlight of our week.
(I wished I could have done more!)
The biggest surprise for me was Julie’s warmth and compassion.
She is a young, well-traveled polyglot, with all the enthusiasms and energy of youth, coupled with maturity and wisdom beyond her years.
Julie was unfailingly patient with all the logistics of our trip, answering questions in advance, helping us with train reservations, and ensuring that we had a safe journey.
I recommend her immersion course without reservation.
Maureen, WA, USA
April 20, 2019
This was a fabulous vacation for us! One of our best! Julie was just a delight! So easy to communicate with and a great sense of humor.
We spent two wonderful weeks with her in Avignon and would absolutely return for another! She made our learning fun and interesting and always engaged us in cultural activities.
We believe we came away with a better understanding of French conversation and an improvement in our ability to converse.
If you are interested in improving or just beginning to learn the French language, we definitely recommend this program. Julie will assess your knowledge of the language and develop a plan from there.
The location is great (no car needed) and Julie makes it fun and enjoying going to cafes, playing games and storytelling.
She’s amazing! So happy we found her!!
Eileen & Clement, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
March 23, 2019
Julie is a fabulous host, teacher, and cook. I visited Avignon in March with my 17 year old son.
Julie’s apartment is spacious and comfortable for multiple guests as well as conveniently located – everything is within walking distance, lots to see and do, plenty of shopping. The breakfasts and lunches were delicious, especially the crepes.
For excursions, we took a hike with Julie and her dog, Acho, outside of Avignon and on our return to the city we stopped for a photo op and Julie took this postcard photo of us with the the Pont d’Avignon and Popes Palace in the background.
The other excursion was a tour of Avignon and we made some fun videos in French while out and about with dialogue Julie helped us create during lessons.
My son learned to make crepes, a great skill to know!
Everything was wonderful, a truly great experience!
Wendy & Josh, Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK
Mars 9, 2019
My wife and i got to Avignon not really sure what to expect but Julie exceeded our expectations. First off, she is a really great teacher: patient, firm without being pushy and above all, she has a very strong desire to impart as much as she can.
Secondly, she is a truly amazing host. Kind, considerate and wanting to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
We had a whole flat to ourselves and quickly felt like one of the locals. Julie was always a phone call or text message away.
The excursions we went on with her were really great adventures that i wouldn’t trade for anything. I don’t think that either of us will forget Julie any time soon.
We had a truly amazing time and look forward to visiting again soon.
I wholeheartedly recommend her as a host and a teacher with a difference.
Rogba & Bia, Lagos, Nigeria
March 2, 2019
I would like to give whole-hearted, glowing review of our week-long stay with Julie in Avignon.
My partner and I were at slightly different levels with our French and she did a wonderful job accommodating both of our needs during lessons and conversations so that we each felt like we were appropriately challenged and supported.
The food was wonderful, the apartment so charming, comfortable and well-located. We still miss our morning walks through the village.
Most of all, Julie connected with us as a real friend and went above and beyond to plan outings during our stay that really made our week-long immersion the experience of a lifetime.
More than just language lessons, we felt we had a real taste of life in France, and Julie made all that possible!
Mary & Tim, Burlington, VT, USA
Feb 9, 2019
I immensely enjoyed my stay – albeit short.
Julie was quick to discern my weaknesses and shifted the lessons and learning activities as required. Initially, she was correcting my mistakes as I spoke, then I began self-correcting, and by the end of the week – I was making much less mistakes. Very happy with the progress I made in just one week.
Julie was very pleasant, friendly, and accommodating but firm during lessons. She used a variety of activities and materials that I found really engaging. We played a number of games and had a lot of conversations/discussions on topics that interested me. There was a good selection of DVDs available for me to watch in the salon. We did 2 excursions : wine tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Papes and a visit to town centre of Uzès and its Wednesday market. We also spent one evening out – we went to this beautiful alternative cinema and had dinner in its restaurant afterwards. I enjoyed all of them greatly.
The apartment is huge and very comfortable. The salon and master bedroom are in somewhat neoclassical style whereas the 2 bathrooms and kitchen are modern. Great combination !
Avignon is such a charming and historical city. The apartment is bang in the centre of everything – it’s a few steps away from the high street. It has everything that you might need : shops, boutiques, cafés, restaurants, boulangeries, patisseries, grocery stores, pharmacy, cinemas, museums and so on. It’s also only a short walk away from Place d’Horloge and Palais des Papes. The neigbouring towns have a lot to offer, as well.
There was so much to see and do, so little time. I was sad to leave. Overall, the whole experience exceeded my expectations.
Many thanks and kind regards,
Marlene, London, England
Jan 26, 2019
In January 2019, I spent a magical week with lovely Julie Gaudin at her Avignon home, working on my elementary French through the immersion program with FrenchToday. As an American senior (age 75) moving permanently to Provence from California, I was in need of a rapid introduction to the French language and a plan for how I should proceed. Julie was able to adapt her teaching plan to my odd circumstance--I had almost zero conversational and comprehension skills but a beginning level of reading and writing. Julie was a kind, caring, and compassionate teacher who tailored her instruction to my odd background and provided a place where I could work quietly in the afternoon and evening, in a scholarly manner, on my assignments.
I lived alone in historic Avignon behind the ramparts, in Julie's quiet, beautiful, well situated apartment. She prepared delightful French meals for me and provided cultural enrichment. The respite of being alone, immersed in one intent, was unlike anything I have ever done before. The experience provided much more than was promised or that I had imagined. Someday I plan to return for another week with Julie, hoping that she will be proud of my progress, which she helped redirect so astutely. I enthusiastically recommend Julie Gaudin for an outstanding immersion experience. Michele
Michele, Vinsobres, France
Jan 19, 2019
My 16 year old son and I have just spent an amazing week learning French with Julie. We are so glad we did this.
Julie met us at Avignon Train station and the French began!
We enjoyed great typical French food for both breakfast and lunch. Julie is a great cook and we made a delicious chocolate cake together (I’ve bought myself a copy of her chocolate cookbook!) which at times was hilarious but it came together!
Julie’s apartment is beautiful. It’s in a building, 100s of years old (very impressive for Australians) right in the middle of the walled town. It’s just a walk to the monuments and shops are just at the end of the lane so it couldn’t be easier without a car.
There were just so many opportunities to practise and learn French. We’d spend the day with Julie and then watch French TV series at night and perhaps a spot of homework to reinforce our learning. My son and I have similar standards of French however we both have quite different areas to work on, which Julie was able to hone in and patiently target the gaps in our knowledge. Julie also kept it interesting for a 16year old boy… Julie is now an expert in cricket! (Sorry Julie!)
She took us to explore some small villages in Provence, which was such a treat, as it was our first time in that area. We also went on a bike ride on the other side of the river one afternoon, which was good to explore a bit of the surrounding area and see the city from another angle.
Overall we had a great time with Julie. I would not hesitate to recommend Julie and the French immersion experience. We are very grateful to her for this experience.
Jenny & Tom, Sydney, Australia
Dec 8, 2018
My stay in Avignon with Julie was fabulous. While I was happy and excited to have the opportunity to do a French immersion, I was also quite nervous about it since I hadn’t studied or practiced any French since my high school and college days almost 40 years ago!
But Julie put me at ease right away. She is very good at listening and making observations and then helping me to correct my mistakes and shortcomings with the language. She’s an excellent teacher, great company, and she makes learning fun. :)
Julie is very flexible and you can decide how much you want to do regarding homework. My main purpose for being there was to improve my language skills so I worked hard and feel I made some great progress.The apartment is very pretty, spacious and comfortable. It’s in the heart of town and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring Avignon – so much fascinating history!
Our excursions were lovely, including a pretty hike and visiting the beautiful little hillside town of Lacoste.
Louise Forte, Washington DC, USA
Nov 25, 2018
Tive o imenso privilégio de ser aluna da simpática e acolhedora Julie durante o peíodo que ela morou no Brasil.
Seu método de ensino é abrangente visto que a gramática, a cultura francesa e a conversação estão harmonicamente bem distribuidos.
Ela demonstra grande interesse pelo aprendizado de seus alunos orienta com sabedoria sobre um determinado assunto até que este esteja totalmente absorvido.
Quando soube que ela estava à frente deste curso de imersão em Avignon e de sua programaçao, nao hesitei em me inscrever imediatamente pois sabia pela experiência anterior que seria um marco no meu aprendizado da lingua francesa.
E estava certa pois o curso superou as minhas expectativas.
O apartamento que pertenceu a Molière quando jovem e que agora ela hospeda seus alunos é amplo aconchegante e confortável e bem localizado.
Amei tudo: o programa de ensino/aprimoramento que é dirigido a cada aluno dentro do seu nivel de conhecimento, a hospedagem como já frisei no paragrafo anterior, e a alimentação rica, variada , saudável e apetitosa como toda comida francesa.
E o mais importante praticamos o francês incessantemente – este era o meu objetivo – a partir da primeira refeição até o fim do dia ou das visitas aos monumentos em Avignon ou cidades mais atraentes da Região.
Julie sou grata pelos bons momentos que passamos juntas.
Indico este curso aos que amam a França e a língua francesa.
Graça, Fortaleza, Brasil
Oct 26, 2018
I’ve just spent a week with Julie in her beautiful apartment in the centre of Avignon. It could not be more central to all the shops, and main tourist attractions. The apartment itself is in an 18th century building in a quiet side street and it’s beautifully decorated. The bedroom is very large and comfortable with an ensuite bathroom.
I signed up for this immersion course because I wanted a week where I spoke no English and from the moment I met Julie we spoke only in French. Julie is highly motivated and very enthusiastic and I felt I really improved with my grammar and fluency. Julie picked up on a lot of my little mistakes and kept correcting me so by the end of the week, many of those mistakes were no longer an issue.
We started our day at 9am with breakfast and then we were working until lunchtime. Just before lunch on my first day, we walked outside the walls of the medieval town, pass the famous bridge and to a farm which sold fresh vegetables and cheese. Julie bought much of the food here that we would eat throughout the week.
Another day we visited the towns of Gordes and Roussillon – a beautiful town set amongst red cliffs and ochre quarries.
During our excursions, we spoke French non-stop and Julie was full of information about the area. Most days we had lunch together or dinner and Julie is a very good cook!
In our discussions and activities Julie included many of my interests. We discussed global politics, economics, different education systems and I joined Julie at her weekly pilates class as I love pilates and do regular classes.
The afternoons which I had free, I ventured around the beautiful city of Avignon.
I felt right at home at Julie’s place and I highly recommend a week with Julie.
Stephanie, Chamonix, France
Oct 12, 2018
My husband and I had a wonderful week in Avignon with Julie in October. She was the perfect host and cooked tasty local dishes for us each day.
I wanted to refresh my French and she provided high-quality lessons perfectly tailored to my level. We also had in-depth discussions on a wide range of topics which stretched my French and added interest to the lessons.
2 excursions were highlights: attending a reading of L’Étranger by Camus and a visit to an art exhibition held in an ancient nunnery/monastery.
Julie’s flat is amazing. Molière himself lived there and it is quite palatial. Avignon itself is also a lovely town with much of historic significance.
My husband took himself off each day cycling around the region.
Julie catered to both our needs and we ended our stay with an evening on a boat listening to a couple of jazz singers and eating nibbles and sipping on wine.
Joanne & Craig, Westleigh, NSW, Australia
Sept 22, 2018
I have just returned form my second immersion with Julie. Last year she was near Carpentras, this year her apartment is in and central to the beautiful walled city of Avignon. The apartment, which you have to yourself, is within easy walking distance of many historical and cultural places.
I have been to many places in France but Provence is the most beautiful. Our trips to Villeneuve and neighbouring villages was brilliant, they are so beautiful. Walk to the top pf Avignon and witness the view, especially over Villeneuve, also look back to Avignon from Villeneuve, remarkable. Uzes was particularly good.
The centre of this is of course Julie herself. Not only is she a good teacher, but a girl of so many different talents, so is the ideal holiday companion. The conversation never stopped and we had many laughs.
What I can tell you is, she speaks to her dog in Portuguese and knowing Julie it probably replies to her in – Portuguese!!
Don’t miss an opportunity to immerse with this young lady who has achieved so much in a young life.
June 9, 2018
TLDR; We cannot say enough nice things about Julie, and our week in Avignon. It was such a great experience and the highlight of our trip. Julie was an incredible host and teacher. We highly recommend her immersion program. We realize that the price can be a little bit shocking, but keep in mind that that price includes a place to stay in central Avignon, private French lessons catered to your needs, 2 meals a day, 2 excursion days and an in-depth culture experience that you can’t get elsewhere.
After our stay, we would 100% recommend Julie’s immersion program to others.
Our week with Julie was the highlight of our month-long trip through France. Julie was so kind, welcoming and a great teacher. My wife and I both took French in school, and we had visited France several times on previous vacations. For this trip, we were looking for an experience that would be more in depth than just brief interactions with the locals. We had talked about taking a week-long class in Lyon at one of the French language schools, but then we found French Today’s immersion program. This seemed to be exactly what we were looking for; private French lessons with a local who could show us around, teach us more about the French culture and get to know someone more intimately than the quick “bonjour, au revoir” interactions we were used to having.
Julie was an incredibly welcoming and gracious host. We were immediately comfortable with her, and she made us feel at home in her apartment. She was completely flexible and worked entirely around our schedule. At the end of the day, she left us the apartment to ourselves. We would have been perfectly comfortable having her stay in the apartment too, but we actually found that it was a welcomed relief to have some mental rest after our intensive French lessons. Julie was also a fun cook. She made cooking look easy as she prepared tasty meals for us. The portions were always very generous and we were very well fed. She also gave us tons of advice for things to do and places to eat. We were heading to Lyon after our trip and Julie even gave us great recommendations for our visit there!
Julie was a great French teacher for us. With only a week, it was ideal that she was able to assess our French proficiency and cater our lessons to our needs. She was well equipped with lessons and exercises. She also had fun games that kept us entertained and engaged. We especially found the games to be a great break from the intensive lessons. Julie also catered our lessons to our interests. One of the most impressive parts of our lessons was that Julie was able to condense information that took us 5 years to learn at school into concise and clear rules and reference sheets. Being able to take these reference sheets back with us has allowed us to continue our studying after our stay.
Julie was a great guide for showing us around Avignon and the region. She took us on brief tours of the city to get us oriented, and gave us recommendations on things like restaurants and ice cream shops. Getting to ride in her car for two excursion days was a perfect way to get to see the beautiful Provence and Languedoc regions. We went to two small towns, saw lavender and poppy fields and visited Pont du Guard. She also helped us rent bikes and took us on a small bike tour to the other side of the bridge for a peaceful ride with great views of Avignon (note that the automated bike rental process was not easy, and we never would have figured it out without Julie). We were fortunate enough to get to go to a theater performance with Julie and meet some of her friends. She was so kind to think of us and to extend and invitation to us.
Bring a notebook for yourself to keep everything you learn in one place. We also recommend having an extra notebook for Julie to use as she writes vocabulary words and grammar rules throughout your lessons. If you forget to bring a notebook (like we did), we ended up buying some small ones at Carrefour in Avignon. Come ready to learn and study in your downtime. You will be amazed at what you can learn in just one week!
Christopher and Chrystale, New York, USA
June 2, 2018
Julie is an extremely friendly person and went out of her way to make us feel welcome and comfortable.
Julie worked out on our first evening just where we were in our French development, and by Monday morning was stretching us from that point with clear lessons reinforced with enjoyable activities. She was also sensitive to what was too difficult for us, and so kept us in an excellent learning zone.
We loved the way Julie wrote down vocabulary and grammatical points as they came up during instruction time, used them as teaching points, and left the notes for us to go over, and then tested our memories as we started the next session. We really valued her continual correcting of our errors, and appreciation of us showing our learning in the way we spoke.
The excursions in Avignon and beyond were really enjoyable, gave us ample opportunity to talk French as we discovered some of the special sights of this part of the country.
We both greatly appreciated the huge effort Julie made to help us develop our French, and we feel we gained as a result.
Of course we loved Julie’s home in Avignon, and were very comfortable, as well as very well fed, in her Hôtel Particulier.
Yvonne & John, Adelaide, Australia
May 19, 2018
I wish to express to you my deepest thanks in alerting me and my wife to Julie Gaudin.
The accommodations were excellent and the location was perfect.
She was both a fabulous hostess and a terrific French teacher.
I have already recommended her to all of my friends.
Bob & Pat, Los Angeles, CA, USA
April 28, 2018
A minha avaliação geral da semana que passei com Julie em Avignon foi excelente, tanto do ponto de vista de aprendizado da língua quanto de interação pessoal. Considerando o lado do aprendizado, logo na primeira tarde, Julie aproveitou dos momentos de passeio juntas para me deixar bem à vontade para falar o que fosse possível em francês sem constrangimentos, podendo avaliar o nível do meu francês e identificar quais os principais erros, falhas e pontos a serem trabalhados durante a semana. A cada manhã ela chegava com atividades organizadas para abordar esses pontos, estruturando a aula para abordar as questões de gramática, mas utilizando vários recursos como jogos, vídeos, perguntas e exercícios variados para sedimentar o aprendizado sem que fosse repetitivo. Em todos os momentos foi trabalhado ao mesmo tempo o vocabulário, e ela incentivava e parabenizava cada novo avanço. Ela é muito atenta e perspicaz como professora, e identifica a maneira do aluno aprender e seus interesses rapidamente. Para quem fala português ainda há um bônus. Como ela é bem fluente em português consegue identificar o motivo pelo qual cometemos certos erros, facilitando a explicação e correção.
Quanto à recepção, atendimento e hospedagem, não poderia ser melhor. Já logo após a inscrição me mandou um questionário sobre meu nível de francês, preferências alimentares, interesses, etc para estar preparada para me receber. Todo dia chegava com um croissant fresquinho para o café da manhã, e estava sempre preocupada com o que eu pudesse gostar. preparava o almoço com carinho e foram ótimas refeições, sempre deixou frutas, café, chá, à disposição e realmente fez tudo para que eu me sentisse em casa. O apartamento é espaçoso, iluminado e silencioso, muito confortável, com banheiro moderno e cozinha bem funcional. Muito bem localizado também. Além dos passeios mais distantes com Julie, que foram ótimos, é bem fácil passear pela cidade, ir a museus e bistrôs, tudo é perto, inclusive dois mercados, o que é bem prático. O turismo em Avignon é sem dúvida um dos pontos fortes também, além da cidade ser linda, encantadora e de um tamanho ótimo pra se andar a pé, nos arredores há muito o que fazer para os mais diversos interesses, seja arte, vinho, gastronomia, natureza ou história.
Tenho certeza que avancei bastante no meu francês, e tenho vontade de continuar estudando. O aprendizado nessa semana valeu por mais do que um ano estudando em um curso regular de línguas. A imersão realmente acelera muito o processo, mas tenho certeza que o diferencial para o sucesso dessa experiência foi a personalidade de Julie, sua didática, gosto por ensinar, conhecimento da língua e da região, simpatia e disposição. Recomendo muito, sem hesitação!
Heloïse Merolli, Campo Largo, Brasil
March 31, 2018
Having just finished 2 weeks with Julie Gaudin, this short report is a way of both thanking her for both her professional and personal capacities and also a tribute to the wonderful city of Avignon.
First, her teaching. I am a 74 year old Australian at B2 level, occasionally C1, but with some ingrained bad A1 type habits which take a lot of undoing. Six months ago, when I made my booking with Julie, I told her that I was worried that my level might be too low for comfort, to which she made the perfect response “There is no such thing as a bad level for me”. Much encouraged, I discovered during my stay that she has two qualities, (in addition to her quick intelligence and comprehensive knowledge) not always present in teachers. One is infinite patience. The other quality, more rare still, is the ability to see into the student’s mind and understand not just what one is thinking but why one is thinking a certain way. The consequence is that one not only learns but also learns how to learn, a gift that will keep on giving long after the course has finished. She works really, really hard.
Academically therefore, the course was a complete success, hard work for me also but so painless that I was always asking for extra homework. No higher praise is possible! My grammatical skills and fluency have improved dramatically, motivating me to keep up the progress in the months ahead.
Julie’s diligence extends to the social side of a visit. Her apartment, in a historical area intra mures, is magnificent with 20 foot ceilings and molded panelled walls. Completely quiet and comfortable.
I was not only well fed by Julie but also entertained to a much greater extent than was required by the “contract”. Our many pleasurable excursions together, ranging from a bicycle ride in the surrounding countryside to trips to the Camargue, Aigues-Mortes, Arles, Fontaine de Vaucluse, Isle de la Sorgue and Villeneuve were all enhanced by Julie’s warm and enthusiastic personality and broad knowledge.
This local knowledge, by the way, is supplemented by her international experience, broad beyond her 27 years, which provides both additional points of contact with the student and also many talking points.
Finally there is of course the grand city itself, endlessly fascinating.
My advice – to myself – is “come again”. To others – if you are serious about improving your French and having a great time, don’t hesitate to visit Julie in Avignon.
Tony, Sydney, Australia
March 3, 2018
Julie is one of best teacher I ever come across ! She is quick to assess my areas of weakness and designed my daily lessons to tackle those weakness. She is very resourceful and uses games, written and listening exercises, worksheets to help me better understand French grammar. She is also extremely encouraging when I made small improvement and this really helped built my confidence in learning French. I looked forward to the daily French lessons with Julie. We covered a lot during the lessons. As the lessons were tailored to my needs, I learnt a lot. Time flew by very quickly as I was making progress and having fun learning too! Everyday, we did a lot of repetitive exercises to help me remember new vocabulary and French grammar. Julie is a good cook too! She uses a lot of fresh local ingredients to prepare our meals. Very delicious home made French cuisine!
Outings with Julie was great fun and we laughed a lot ! We visited Avignon and explored the open market in Carpentras together. The outings also gave me a great opportunity to practice my French conversation skill with Julie! Thank you Julie for an amazing week. I have learnt a lot in just one week . I wish I could have stayed longer.
March 10, 2018
I do not want to write this review. Why? Because if it’s time to write this review, then it means it’s time to say goodbye to one of the most incredible people whom I have met.
Wow! Where do I begin?
When I first met Julie over Skype I thought she was very nice and professional. Now that I have lived with her for a week, I know she is a very intelligent, dedicated, talented and quite an interesting person.
I did not know what to expect in terms of “lessons.” I enjoy taking all type of classes and i love to learn but I tend to be very creative and it’s hard for me to sit in one place for a long time. I don’t know if Julie sensed my need to mix-it-up or not but she seemed fine with starting our lessons at the large kitchen table in a more formal format and then migrating to the sofas for a more casual dialogue and deeper discussion.
In terms of understanding my French speaking level, Julie quickly assessed my strengths (vocabulary and my willingness to talk a lot and talk about anything) and my weaknesses (use of proper tenses and prepositions). She prepared customized worksheets to address my weaknesses. And she seamlessly and deliberately wove my new learning into daily conversations, pointing out my proper use and/or improper use of new knowledge. This was a very helpful because there is a very big difference between static lessons and worksheets vs real life conversation and situations which require real world application.
Perhaps this is a stereotype but Americans presume the French have frequent deep conversations about life, politics…subjects necessitating sitting face to face and digging deep into one’s soul. After all, if we also believe the French daily spend hours sitting in cafes, what else could they be doing all of that time? (Lol) Americans also have the notion that overall the French are more reserved and private than we are, and possibly not so interested in making small talk with strangers. I happen to be very extroverted (measuring 99% on an extroversion/introversion scale!). Julie told me she is very outgoing and we quickly engaged in very interesting conversations our first night together; topics such as world peace, different education systems, life, love, raising children, parent/child relationships and more. Although, Julie is only 27 years old, she is wise beyond her years and I immediately felt very comfortable to talk to her and share personal stories. Sometimes I shared stories about my past to help me practice using various French past tenses. And inevitably past tense conversational lessons turned into deep long dialogues.
When Americans dream of spending time in the south of France we think of fields of lavender and sunflowers, biking around little villages, browsing outdoor markets, tasting wine and exploring historical sites transporting us back a few centuries. Julie’s lifestyle and excursions did not disappoint! Julie had spoken about and was eager for me to see the lavender fields near her home. I assume she knows American’s love to see this. Unfortunately, the lavender fields were not in full bloom, however the aroma was enough to fill my all of my senses. (I’m not sure who was more disappointed seeing the freshly cut lavender fields…me or Julie.).
The village of Carpentras is very charming and has much to offer. Being Jewish, I was happy to discover Carpentras is home to France’s oldest synagogue and enjoyed learning about its rich history. And Carpentras’ Friday market did not disappoint. We tasted wine in Chateau du Pape and it seems Julie has developed a lovely rapport with the gentleman operating one of the wineries which made for lively discussion not about wine! When I asked if it was possible to visit an additional winery while in the area, it was not a problem at all.
Another excursion included canoeing on la Sorgue and then exploring L’isle sur la Sorgue. Wow. What a perfect day. The weather was perfect. The canoeing was invigorating and the scenery was like paddling through a fairy tale. Walking around L’isle sur la Sorgue was picture-perfect and quintessential France. The sites and sounds and smells were exactly as I had hoped.
And I will not forget Avignon. It is very difficult if not impossible to find a city or village in the USA untouched by modern hands. While walking on the cobblestoned streets in Avignon, I felt as if I was travelling in another time. And of course sitting for a few hours at a cafe drinking cappuccino and learning French was priceless. Les Halles was an unbelievable feast for my eyes and stomach. And walking on the Pont St. Bénézet was incredible. The real treat was when Julie suggested we rent bikes and go across a bridge to an island where i had seen the fields of sunflowers while driving from Carpentras to Avignon. Biking along the Rhône, passing by people picnicking and observing the Pont St. Bénézet from its incomplete side was beautiful. Most importantly, we were able to walk into the sunflower field and take some beautiful keepsake photos.
Julie is a fantastic host and cook. She made regional dishes most Americans feel are difficult to make but she prepared each dish ease and everything tasted delicious. Additionally, she made sure I was never hungry and when i tried to help clean up she preferred I relax and enjoy my stay. Of course l’apéro is now my favorite “meal” and I look forward to embracing this tradition when I get home.
I could go on and on about the food. After all, I was in France. I don’t know if I have the writing skills of a restaurant critic to convey how delicious everything was. But I can share some of my favorite foods Julie prepared. She made the following dishes from scratch: ratatouille, cold zucchini soup, Provençal chicken, chocolate mousse, salads, simple but delicious eggs, fish, potatoes and even homemade dips and spreads for our daily l’apero. Who knew bread, cheese, olives and specialty spreads could pass for a meal in itself? Julie even garnished her dishes with mint and basil she grows on a charming window sill next to her cooking area. What a nice touch!
I could go on and on about Julie, her French program and more. Writing this review has been cathartic for me especially since I feel I made a dear friend last week but I am not sure if or when I will see her again.