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Insider tips for beautiful Bordeaux

BordeauxAt the crossroads of the Atlantic Ocean and the Garonne River, Bordeaux is a charming port city situated in the south west of France. Capital of the Aquitaine region, “La Perle d’Aquitaine” (The Pearl of Aquitaine) is the ninth largest city of France with a population of 240,000 inhabitants.

The founding of Bordeaux dates back to the fifth century B.C, when some vineyards already started to spring up! Burdigala, as it used to be called, experienced a significant development thanks to its port, whilst some of the the ancient city constructions and remains are still visible today. Don’t be surprised if Bordeaux seems to have a certain “English flair” – the city was actually ruled by the English for a long time!

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Toulouse – Welcome to the pink city!

All year round, Toulouse has an excellent, temperate climate: winters are mild, summers are hot and autumns are sunny – that’s why it is an ideal location to learn French!

Whether you are into history, shopping, science and technology, sports or all of the above, the pink city (La ville rose) has wonderful surprises waiting for you and there is always something fun or different to do.

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Things to do in Brest

Brest_Coast

Brest is the perfect location to have a short break in France. Come and have a complete change of scenery, fill your lungs with fresh, Atlantic Ocean air and enjoy amazing landscapes off the west coast of France.

If you like fish and seafood, Brest is a place for you! Thanks to its coastal location, there are a lot of seafood restaurants where you can savour a delicious seafood platter with crabs, langoustines, oysters and typical French steamed mussels! If you prefer to observe fish than eat them, you can go to the Océanopolis. A lot of tourists and marine-life lovers come from all over the world in order to visit it! It is not just an aquarium: there are three pavilions dedicated to the polar, tropical and temperate marine ecosystems, you will have a complete immersion in an underwater universe to discover the flora and fauna of oceans, and have the opportunity to see some really interesting exhibitions about marine biodiversity. You can even touch some species if you want to!

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DELF/DALF exam preparation courses

Formally recognised by all French-speaking universities and many international organisations, the DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française) and the DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française) are diplomas issued by the French Ministry of Education .

Based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, the DELF/DALF have 6 levels.

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French and Sports in Chamonix!

The French commune of Chamonix sits higher than the tallest mountain in England, yet the gargantuan French-Swiss Alps tower over it still, making it a fantastic base from which to go skiing or boarding in the winter and enjoy biking, climbing and many other outdoor sports in the summer.

I visited Chamonix in the winter and could not recommend it enough! If I could go back every year I would. Very close to the town centre, within easy reach by public transport are several different resorts and slopes that cater from the complete beginner (me!) to much more advanced winter sports specialists.

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Experiencing French life in Rouen

Rouen, the capital of Normandy, is most notable for being the place where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake! However, the city has so much more to offer than medieval history.

In 2013, Rouen will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Armada and is expecting millions of visitors to come and admire the 50 ships sailing from all over the world. People will have the amazing opportunity to get onboard several of these ships and have a tour around them. The festivities will also include fireworks as well as free concerts of French and international artists such as Mika!

Whether you are into sports, history or shopping, Rouen certainly has something in store for you! The city has two shopping centres, one on each side of the river Seine. In the South, you will find the Centre Commercial Saint-Sever which hosts most of the high-street brands whereas in the North, Les Docks 76 offers less common shops and boutiques.

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Annecy – perfect your French and hit the ski slopes!

Annecy is a hidden gem for Skiers / snowboarders, located just an hour’s drive of more than 10 major ski resorts. Why not combine your French course in Annecy with weekend excursions to the slopes and a spot of après ski!

Annecy is only an hour away from The Three Valleys (Les Trois Vallées) the largest ski domain in the Alps with 600km of prepared and maintained pistes. The slopes connect the ski resorts of Courchevel, Meribel, La Tania, Val Thorens and Les Menuires. I myself have spent a ski season in The Three Valleys and can vouch for it being one of the best locations that I have ever snowboarded!

If you want to ski closer to Annecy, why not visit the ski resort “La Clusaz” , just 30 minutes drive away . If you like, you can follow your morning French classes with half a day’s skiing in the afternoon , as it is so close!

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Beautiful Lyon

After considering both Lyon and Paris, I chose to study in Lyon. This was because I was planning to spend several months in France, and I wanted to be in a big city, but I felt that in Lyon I would have more opportunity to speak French and experience real French culture than in Paris.

What I discovered was that Lyon has so much more to offer than this! Beautiful Lyon lies on three rivers. The masculine Rhône and the feminine Saône divide the city into distinct districts.

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Dolphins in Antibes!

A year and half ago I started to study French back in Slovakia and I found it very complicated. The most difficult language I have ever learned!!!

Luckily everything changed here in Antibes. I would never have imagined that the language could be taught in such an interesting way. In 2 months I have learned more than during 1 year back at home.

During my stay I met a lot of nice people from all over the word and we visited lot of interesting places. My most amazing experience was our visit to Marineland (the big aquatic park next to Antibes). The killer whales show was really surprising. I was impressed at how high these beautiful giant can jump. In spite of their name “killer whale” they are really friendly and affectionate. They kissed each other under the water – it was so cute.

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Antibes – Let’s go to the circus!

I’m Carmen and I come from Spain. I’ve just spent 6 weeks in a French school in Antibes. In short, everything was great!

However, I was particularly impressed, touched and delighted by one special evening I spent with my friends in Nice. We were really lucky to see the Arlette Gruss Circus show!

This is the one of the best circuses in France and it goes on tour every year, performing all over the country. It has taken a year to prepare their new show and it was performed for just one week in Nice (only 20 km from Antibes).

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