Study French in Sorbonne or Institute Catholic?

May 28th, 2007, 09:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2
Study French in Sorbonne or Institute Catholic?

Which school would you recommend? It seems like Institute Catholic of Paris is really expensive compared to Sorbonne. Am interested in a language course!
colourblind is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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You might want to read the thread I started in this forum on "How to get the most out of your French language holiday". One of the things you need to consider when comparing course costs is the student/teacher ratio. For example, Alliance Francaise is relatively inexpensive compared to some schools, but the lower level courses often have lots of students in the class (eg more than 20), and so you interact less and learn a lot less. A course that costs more per hour could be a better value if there are fewer students in the class. You should also look carefully at how they present prices. One school might state 20 lessons for 200 euros, for example, while another specifies 15 lessons for 200 euros, but the first school's lessons are 45 minutes long while the second school's lessons are an hour long. Then there are things you can't figure out except through recommendations, like the quality of teaching. For that, you're right to ask for others' experiences on Fodors and elsewhere.

A final word: Don't be seduced by the "brand name" value of the Sorbonne. Every English-speaking person seems to have heard of it and things that it's the best university in France, when in fact there are many other more highly regarded institutions. Its language school does offer a more academically well-rounded programme than a number of the other language schools in Paris, but that might not be what you're looking for.

And, finally, if you're serious about learning French, Paris might not be the best place to do it. I hear a lot of students, who clearly are here to learn French, speaking English all the time outside school. You might be better off in a smaller, less touristy (and less expensive) city for part of your programme (eg Montpellier, Tours, Strasbourg, Lyon, Dijon - or even a small town), even though it will be hard to resist spending part of your time in Paris.
Kate_W is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 06:53 AM
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Oui. I applied to Aix En Provence too. University of marsielle 3
colourblind is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 299
Oh, dear, I am devastated; all that time I put in all those years ago, learning French at the Sorbonne, and now I find it's not the great place I thought it was!.
To be fair, it was a long time ago, and things change, but I think Kate is right, really - how good is your French now? A smaller class size should lead to a greater improvement in your French, give that teh course should be more intensive. More students per teacher = less individual attention = (maybe) less improvement. Also, there is, of course, less distraction in a town like Aix than in Paris.
Also, how long are you going to be there? If i's a short course, go for the one with the better pupil/teacher ratio, it will be worth it.
doonhamer is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 09:01 AM
Join Date: May 2007
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My daughter spent 5 summers going to France to become fluent in French.
She went to a number of the various language schools, but found the one that was best for her purposes was the Sorbonne.

She felt the smaller classes were better, the teachers better qualified to teach, and the other students more serious about learning a language too.
nanabee is offline  

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