In the “learn French in” series, Vacances Actives Linguistiques takes you to the most mythical and legendary French city: Paris! The City of Light fascinates and impresses, and represents for us the ideal destination to accelerate your learning of French!
As passionate as they are, excellent French as a Foreign Language teachers and guides await you impatiently to help you explore the French capital and practice the language of Molière.
Paris is multiple: for a language travel, which Paris makes you dream? Amélie’s Paris, on the Montmartre hill? Emily’s Paris, near the Eiffel Tower and Tuileries? Or the Paris of Arsène Lupin, mysterious and unusual?
Organizing a language stay to Paris: where to start?
As with any trip to a capital or metropolis of the world, there are choices to be made, a (frustrating!) selection of activities and outings that depend on your affinities and your desires. You can count on the VAL agency and its FFL guides to offer you visits, outings and experiences that will satisfy and surprise you!
To begin with, we offer you a sample program for a language study holiday in Paris in 6 steps …
The unmissable stopover: The Eiffel Tower
The very symbol of the French capital, an iconic monument, the Eiffel Tower is one of the essentials of any trip to Paris. It will take patience and courage for those who want to climb it on foot: 674 steps to reach the 2nd floor (the steps of the upper floors are closed to the public).
After a studious morning in French lesson, nothing beats a good “step” session on the brown-yellow structure of the Iron Lady, to appreciate a panorama embracing the whole city.
The essential stopover: The Louvre
Like Paris, a historic palimpsest, the Louvre Museum is a unique concentration of art and cultures from around the world and from all eras. A source of wonder, from Egyptian mummies to the Crown Jewels, from Venus de Milo to the Mona Lisa, choices will have to be made! But any itinerary for a traveller to Paris passes through the Glass Pyramid and the rooms of the Louvre, so mysterious and rich in history. Our FLE guides, without playing Belphegor, will lead you in front of the most beautiful works of painting, sculpture, etc. in a passionate speech that will make you want to come back to it, day and night!
The symbolic stopover: the Sorbonne and the Latin Quarter
It is impossible for any foreign student learning the French language and culture, to miss the rendezvous with the Old Lady: La Sorbonne. Its name resonates around the world as a synonym of spirit, knowledge but also revolution. So why not organize a French course in the sanctum of knowledge and research in Paris? Located in the heart of the Latin Quarter, founded eight centuries ago, the Sorbonne is a symbolic place for universities and the world of research, which students and learners will enjoy discovering.
The memorable stopover: Père Lachaise
While waiting for the beautiful Notre-Dame to heal from her burns, the Père Lachaise cemetery is one of those memorable visits that make our students and foreign travellers talk a lot. There is nothing gloomy about visiting this historic cemetery: students and learners from all over the world discover a moving and timeless world, where they recognize the headstones of celebrities and great names in the history of arts and culture, from Molière to Oscar Wilde, from Edith Piaf to Jim Morrison. As in a treasure hunt in the middle of tributes, the visit to Père Lachaise is the opportunity for an enriching walk, in a place which, in the end, does not call for silence.
The rejuvenating stopover: The Buttes Chaumont Park
During your language study holiday in Paris, you will have the opportunity to discover a greener side of the capital: Paris has many parks and gardens, botanical, historical, unusual, offering real breaths of fresh air in the urban tumult. After a good visit in French to the Musée d’Orsay or the Center Pompidou for example, why not go to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont to get some fresh air and recharge your batteries! This English-style garden was designed at the end of the 19th century, imitating mountain landscapes: curious, right? Cliffs and waterfalls, rocks and caves, alpine hills and belvederes make up this unique site. The perfect place to have a picnic, have a chat and practice your French among Parisians!
The festive stopover: The quays of the Seine
In Paris, barges, guinguettes and terraces take over the quays of the Seine (especially on sunny days …). people have a drink, dance and try to solve the world’s problems at the water’s edge! It’s time for French as Foreign Language travellers and learners to mingle with the many Parisian students and to chat in French in a festive context!
The unusual stopover: cruises on the canal and perfume workshop…
For your language study holiday in Paris, some nice surprises await you… Imagine going down the Canal Saint Martin for a cruise to discover Old Paris and reach the Bastille. Or dive into the heart of the oldest district of the French capital, the Marais, and appreciate its medieval houses, saved from destruction by André Malraux in 1960. Or you can opt for the favorite experience of the VAL agency : to launch you in a perfume composition workshop, at a famous perfumer’s, with your group of FFL (FLE) learners. This is the perfect opportunity to bring back a precious souvenir in your luggage …
Paris: excursions outside the walls
The Paris area offers a number of solutions for getting away from the capital! For a long cultural stay in Paris (at least one week so as not to miss anything in the capital above all!), Our FLE students and learners can follow in the footsteps of the Kings of France for a day at the Châteaux of the Loire. Or daydream in front of the gilding and mirrors of the Palace of Versailles.
Curious and lovers of champagne : direction Reims, to discover its cathedral and taste the famous beverage with fine bubbles in the cellars. Fancy sea air? Day trip by the sea to the beaches of Honfleur and Trouville…
There is something for all tastes and all desires, Paris and its region never bore !!
Learn French with your mouth full: taste Parisian cuisine
Whether you are staying with a French host family or in a student residence, you will be entitled to a butter croissant for a good start of the day!
The Parisian cuisine is hard to describe for there is gastronomic diversity in the capital, as it has been enriched by foreign influences. To put it simply, we invite travellers to sit down at a brasserie table, and to discover restorative cuisine, homemade from fresh produce and a good baguette! Chefs used to shop at Les Halles, this “Ventre de Paris (Stomach or inside of Paris)” which served as the background for a novel by Emile Zola.
Today the Halles have disappeared, but traditional restaurants like the famous Brasserie Chartier, the oldest in Paris, still serve this tasty cuisine! Our gourmet guides will meet you there to work on your culinary vocabulary and taste all kinds of specialties: gratinée des Halles, boeuf miroton, navarin and purée musard on the menu! And so many pastries to make your mouth water: L’Opéra, Paris-Brest, L’Amandine or the Bourdaloue tart, and the pretty macaroon that will go well with a coffee on the terrace … `
Learn French Style: Fashion Show in the Fashion Capital
It’s hard to resist an hour of shopping in Paris between two French lessons… Printemps, Les Galeries Lafayette, or the shop windows of Avenue Montaigne near the Champs Elysées, temple of haute couture and Fashion Week, lead the visitors to lust! A language stay in Paris involves a fitting session in the fashion capital and why not an unusual visit to the Fashion Museum (magnificent Galliera Palace) or to the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. Our guides will take you to rue Cambon, in front of Gabrielle Chanel’s historic store. There is only one step to take to imitate the style of Inès de la Fressange, to put on the little black dress dear to Chanel, or to imagine oneself parading for Jean-Paul Gaultier…!
From the Panthéon to the Moulin Rouge, from Saint Germain to the Champs Elysées, from Montparnasse to recovering Notre Dame, from the catacombs to the Vuitton Foundation, Paris is full of cultural and artistic riches to make learning French a real pleasure and fulfillment. Paname remains our favorite destination to organize a crazy language study journey that will delight our students and learners of French.
So what will YOUR Paris be?