Institut de Francais, Villefranche-sur-Mer

#5 of 14 in Things to do in Villefranche-sur-Mer
Educational Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Since 1910, Institut de Francais has been actively teaching the French language to students from around the world. The school has as many as 7,000 students at a time, led by 70 native French instructors. Students also learn cultural and religious aspects of France. Put Institut de Francais at the forefront of your travel plans using our Villefranche-sur-Mer day trip website.
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Institut de Francais reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
170 reviews
  • This was, hands down, one of the BEST travel, cultural, educational, immersion experiences I've ever had. •BACKGROUND: I've read a few that take shots @ the accommodations, the demanding schedule...  more »
  • Second time there and could feel innovation happening and the staff making effort to take care of all students. Great atmosphere and the food was delicious! :-) Most important part, yes... I learned....  more »
  • I, too love this school and I really need to go back! However, I can't seem to bring up their web-site. Every time I try, I am told " Erreur lors de la connexion a la base de donnees" (sorry about the lack of accents, but I have an English keyboard!...haahaa). Can anyone help. I live in the US on the West Coast (Pacific time). Maybe someone else is NOT having this problem?.......2 weeks later...different computer...different search, to find the value out there!... looks expensive, but not compared to what you get for the days spent!...
  • The Institut de Francais in Villefranche-sur-Mer, offers excellent opportunities for improving your French speaking skills through their immersion program. Dedicated students of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels can benefit, but be warned, it is work! At age 65, I took the four week beginner's (debutante I) class in 2017. I visited again for two weeks each in 2018 and 2019. I have met folks who have returned as many as a dozen times! I do not like heat or crowds, so I choose to study in January or February. The beginning classes may seem a bit pedantic at times. However, the staff is committed to helping beginners establish a firm foundation from which to develop listening and speaking skills. By my third visit, I could very much respect and appreciate the teaching staff's focus and disciplined methodology. Most important, I am seeing the results through better comprehension and better speaking skills. I do agree with other reviewers who express concern that senior professionals may find it challenging to deal with classroom rigors. However, learning French as a beginner is not something a CEO or attorney can delegate to others to do for them. You have to adjust your thinking. And, contrary to the ridiculous things you see advertised on many websites, you can not learn French (or any other language) in a few hours or a few days. The school staff evaluates you at the beginning to place you in a class that is appropriate for your skill level. I have been very pleased with the skill and experience of both the teaching staff and administrative staff. I have also been very pleased with the apartments they have arranged. With regards to meals, I have found the food to be of good quality and more than adequate quantity. The staff readily accommodates those who are vegetarian. Contrary to other "Google" comments, I have always found the meals coordinator and staff very friendly. They make an effort to learn your name, greet you, and provide good lunches. They do face a tight time schedule to accommodate classes at two different sittings, but I have never felt rushed. The primary challenge for students at lunch is that you will be expected to converse and respond to questions from an instructor in French during the meal. For those taking the four week course, you may indeed feel overwhelmed at times. The instructors understand this and inject humor into classes to help reduce the stress students may feel. The gardens and setting of the Institut are a great stress release in themselves as you enjoy one of the prettiest settings on the Mediterranean with citrus trees in the garden providing fresh oranges in February along with staff prepared marmalade. The quiet village of Villefranche offers some quaint restaurants, boulangerie, and groceries for evening meals as well as very scenic walking/jogging routes for after class mind clearing. Finally, I would add that the students you will meet can be very interesting and "worth the price of admission" to attend the Institut. Many are successful business men and women. Each of the three times I attended there were folks from organizations like the UN, International Red Cross, and a French NGO that fights hunger; people on the front lines making a difference in our world and worth knowing.

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