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Guadalupe France - Anyone been to French Immersion there?

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Sep 24th, 2009, 08:18 AM
  #1
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Guadalupe France - Anyone been to French Immersion there?

Good day,
My husband and I are thinking of going to St. Anne Guadalupe to go to French Immersion School next winter. (We have done this twice on mainland France - first time fabulous and second time not so much.) So we are looking to do more research this time.
So any information anyone might have on either visiting Guadalupe OR the French Immersion School at St. Anne, we'd be very grateful.

Thanks kindly,
Lea from Calgary
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Sep 24th, 2009, 01:56 PM
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Never done the language immersion thing, but one thing I know about Guadeloupe is that you DEFINITELY need some knowledge of French to really enjoy a vacation there (or really like pointing a lot to make your point). Unless it has changed much in the past couple of years, no one speaks English (not a complaint, just an observation). That said, the times we have vacationed there have been fabulous. Mainland France pours a ton of money into the FWI (remember, they are a state, not just a territory), and it shows. Great roads, great supermarkets (with everything including great wines and cheeses flown in from the French mainland daily), incredible scuba diving (Jacques Cousteau set up his diving preserve there on the west coast), and a beautiful assortment of out islands for day tripping (Les Saintes are spectacular). Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Sep 26th, 2009, 08:15 AM
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Thanks kindly for the info! Actually my husband and I are considered to be 'independent' speakers of French by "L'alliance française" and so are delighted to go someplace where people don't respond in English when we speak French. Good practice!
Lea
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Sep 27th, 2009, 11:18 AM
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Have fun! Never stayed in St Anne, but I remember it as having a terrific beach and a lot of really cool looking beach bars. Sounds like a perfect base.
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Jan 24th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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Hi Lea, I am looking for a French Immersion School & am thinking about going to St. Anne Guadeloupe.I would be interested in any information or comments that you have, also your previous experiences in mainland France.Many Thanks, Roger.
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Feb 25th, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Hi Roger,
French Immersion in France. Through University of British Columbia we went to Boreaux and the BLS (Bordeaux Language School) and homestayed in 2006. It was an experience of a lifetime. The teachers were good, the fellow students delightful (very accepting of the 'older folk' - other students were in their 20s), the facility was fine, the afternoon excursions several times a week were terrific (this was an extra fee). There was a weekend all day excursion included, but we took a pass - just too pooped and hung around Bordeaux for the weekend. Our hosts were a dream - an absolutely delightful couple. She was a fabulous chef - every evening dining al fresco with aperatifs, wine, 'truc normand!' She was a retired principal of "une ecole maternelle" and provided us help with our homework each evening. There were 2 other students also in residence. In addition to the couple, their small grandson (who I wanted to bring home!) was in residence as was his mother. Needless to say there was some scheduling required for the single bathroom. Our bedroom was beautiful and spacious.

Because this was through UBC there was an onsite UBC professor who was herself originally from Bordeaux with us the first week. She made sure all was going well and provided afternoon activities for us and the one other UBC student as well.

Lyon in 2007 was not successful in terms of homestay. The school did not take the same rigour in arranging placement. Our intended hostess was a retired lady with, I believe, emotional health problems. We arrived to find that we were expected to stay in her tiny bedroom which felt like it was in the kitchen (translucent door which opened directly into the kitchen). The room was full of her stuff. Indeed the whole place was full of 'stuff.' She had 6 cats. We couldn't close the bedroom door - all night the cats came through the window across the bed and out the door - one of them oozing from a bite. My husband is 6'4" and the bed was too short with a foot board. She would not have wine in the house. The cooking was not to our taste - the first evening a pizza which was very oily; breakfast the next day was wonderbread. She was sleeping on the couch in the living room. Her home was in a banlieu of Lyon which was not within walking distance of much of anything at all.

The first morning we explained that we could not stay, the poor woman was in tears. (getting to this involved a long walk in the rain late the previous night with me in tears and us trying to figure out what we were going to do!!) As she kept looking for options, I finally said in desperation , my cultural background prohibited me from taking my host's bedroom and my back problems wouldn't allow us to use the sofa bed. We said it was not her fault, rather a 'misunderstanding.' She came with us to the school the first day - understandably worried about what we might say. As it was evident that she really needed the income, we told her on the way to school that we would not be looking for the homestay costs to be refunded. She burst into tears and hurled herself into my arms.

At the school, in front of her, the director said," is she the problem?" She hurled herself into my arms (again) and proclaimed 'no we are 'tres sympa', we have exchanged gifts!" In any event we stayed in a marvelous hotel for 2 weeks. The school did not offer any refund nor follow up with us in any way about this problem.

The teachers we had were fine and again the students were delightful. There were no afternoon excursions. We were not told in advance that our 10 days of classes were actually 8 because there are 2 stat holidays in May. We were provided 1 short afternoon session in compensation for losing out on 8 hours of instruction.

The school never followed up on our problem regarding the home stay and there was no apology.

This experience has led us to be more careful about immersion. Homestay, in my view, is the way to go - but the placement has to be done carefully.

In the end we did not go to Guadalupe. When my husband enquired, we were given 2 options for possible homestay without any questions about who we were or what we might need/look for in a homestay.

Lengthy answer, Roger, (my autobiography would be called 'you really didn't want that much of an explanation did you'!!)

Lea
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Nov 21st, 2011, 06:39 PM
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Lea, I too am very intererested in a French immersion course in the French Caribbean or South America. I would love it if you could let me know if you found a program and how successful your experience was.

Thank you,

Dee from Calgary
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Dec 2nd, 2013, 08:27 AM
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I think it is better to learn French in France.
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