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Letters extracts

Student Comments

Some unsolicited comments from former students

25 October 2017

“It’s excellent!
I learnt so much over a short period of time. I really like the atmosphere of the school and the fact that the emphasis is on spoken French and on the interaction between students and teachers. The level of the class was homogeneous. I loved my teachers! All of them. They have a great sense of humour. Some are true actors, like Julien for instance. When he explains things, it illustrates and conveys so well the French way of life and you understand so much better! All the activities are well organised. Practice sessions are useful, particularly on those aspects of everyday situations. However, listening to the TV newscasts in the morning was very difficult for me; it did go over my head but I understand that one has to get used to it..The food was amazing. I am glad that I had that chance to be immersed in the French language and culture and be able to speak French all the time. I am very pleased with my results and progress.
I studied French in school but never felt at ease with spoken French. Now I do. “

Maria VON WREDE, Marketing Executive, GB

24 October 2017

“It was excellent for me!
Our class was varied in ages and individual aptitudes but our teacher, Peggy, handled it with much patience and skill! I like the way the program is conducted. It’s a very good mix of both culture and language. I found the other students utterly interesting. It’s very important for my job that I can attend such a course. I studied French a long time ago. Coming here was a very good opportunity to regain my French and build up my weakened confidence. It was a unique experience for me to be able to leave my job for 4 weeks and concentrate totally on French. Actually, there is no such program in the US and I am going to recommend it to the Foundation as I think, really, this is a very good school! We have just opened a new branch in Nigeria in West Africa, the French speaking part and many persons in my organizations will need to learn to speak French.”

Michael GALWAY, Deputy Director, Polio Program,
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada

21 September 2017

Great Experience !

“I attended the Institut de Français for three 4-week sessions this past year, with the goal of being able to apply for a job that requires a working knowledge of French. I started in “beginners” and by the last session was in the “advanced” class. While I still have a lot to learn, I am so impressed by how effective the teaching method was at the school. It is an oral method, but if visual learners (myself included) can just accept the method and go with the program, they will definitely see results… Every time I changed teachers, I was disappointed because I thought there was no way my next teacher would be as good as the prior. But every teacher was consistently excellent, dedicated, and professional. I really can’t say enough about how impressed I was with the instruction…
…I highly recommend this school to anyone who wants or needs to learn French! “

Joanna BALZA, Nurse, Doctors Without Borders, USA

15 September 2017

“A MUST DO if you want to learn FRENCH!!

One of the best experiences of my life. I spent 2 months at the Institut de Français and I can’t say enough good things about it … The teaching method used is unique as the class is phonetic/oral, created in a way to teach French quickly and efficiently… they’ve done this for years and if you trust the method, it works ! I had no previous experience in French and started as Débutants 1.  I advanced to Intermediate 2 by the second month. I left there easily able to hold a conversation, and structure sentences and questions, grammatically correct in French ….I had the pleasure of being exposed to many of the teachers, but most notably Sylvie, Frédéric and Julien. All phenomenal. ..”

Ariane SIGALOW, Executive Assistant-
Finance, New York, USA

16 June 2017

“Best decision ever !

It was intense, demanding, sometimes difficult but also fun and so productive.
After studying for several years a language that I love and still not been able to have
a basic conversation, it was pretty frustrating.
Four weeks at the Institut de Francais in Villefranche, that’s what I needed.
I never thought that in only four weeks I could get so much confidence in speaking and understanding when listening to the news.
The location of the school, the facilities, the daily program of classes, the beauty of Villefranche are in itself an inspiration and a motivation.
To Stephen, my patient, persistent and so knowledgeable teacher, Julian, Bruno, Frédéric, whose sense of humor made every Séances Pratiques and easy invitation to learn, Natalie, our Cheff and her incredible staff that spoiled us with those delicious breakfast, lunch and tea delights, to Anne and all the staff at the Institut, you will always have my gratitude for all you do to make our experience, an unforgettable one.”

Sara PRINC, Retired Bookeeper manager, Australia

21 May 2017

“I recently completed a 4-week course in intensive conversational French at the Institut, and cannot speak highly enough of the dedication and professionalism of the staff. As a teacher of French myself in Australia, I found much to challenge me in refining my usage of French and in getting a useful refresher on French current affairs through the morning news briefings conducted by the inimitable Julien…
…The insistence on speaking French at all times on the premises helped to overcome any sense of pretension in speaking French, at whatever level, and made the communication real. This was continued in the dicussion-lunch sessions where teachers facilitated table conversation with energy and good humour… My particular thanks go to my teacher, Stéphan, whose energy, wisdom and profound linguistic knowledge continues to inspire me, some weeks out from the course.
Thank you, Institut!”

Chris SIMPSON, French Teacher, Adelaide, Australia

3 February 2017

“It was marvellous ! Bruno is the best teacher I have ever worked with. A lot of talent, always in a good mood. That helps a lot.
The group (in class) was magnificent !We spent a lot of time together, which proves the school’s effectiveness.
The school provides all the tools ; 4 weeks is ideal. Practice sessions covered social phrases, shopping, telephone conversations : very useful. Slang : very useful.
The food was absolutely perfect. At the same time, well suited to a school, generous portions, nicely presented and always fresh.
My apartment was super !”

Patricia McKENZIE, Broadcasting Company Director, GB

1 November 2016

After studying 2 months at the Institut de Français I have no doubt that this experience was one of the best investments of my life. Firstly, the school is fantastic – from the location and facilities up to the meals provided, everything was just great and very well organized. The teachers are outstanding and always ready to help all the students. The immersion approach really works and the sensation of improving your French skills in such a short period is AMAZING. I stayed in a private lodging booked through the Institute, the place was perfect: comfortable, very clean, good internet, great view. I will definitely return to the Institute and the super lovely Institute´s team.”

Denis MIOLI, Hotel Manager (AccorHotels), Brazil

“… You have, in my opinion,one of the GREAT French language schools in the entire world ! Not only are you and your colleagues doing outstanding work, professionally, but also, through your warm personalities you are contributing immensely to better human relations between people from all around the world… “

William B. PAUL, Lawyer, Atlanta, USA

“…You should be congratulated on the high standard of your professors. I also enjoyed the very efficient way your French language school is operated. There was not a minute wasted, although there was no feeling of undue haste…”

Parnell THOMAS, American Express, New York City, USA

“…During a period of four weeks you helped me to improve my oral expression from “débutant 1 to intermediate/advanced level”.This fully satisfied my expectations… As a former Associate Professor at the University of Oslo, I want to point out the extraordinary performance of my teacher using your comprehensive method…”

Dr Martin TROLLDALEN, Norwegian Church Aid, Oslo, NORWAY

“… I would like to say again how much we have appreciated the perfect quality of the Institut’s teaching. The teachers’ devotion created a relaxed atmosphere which largely contributed to our progress and success.

I have become an unquestioning enthusiast of the Institut and will recommend it wholeheartedly…” (translated from the French)

Harry KNEY-TAL, Israeli Ambassador to E.U., Brussels, BELGIUM

“… I would like to point out that the work and the atmosphere at the Institut de Français are exemplary and should be recommended. As a pedagogue myself , I am in a position to judge the methods and ways of teaching. I feel that the activities of the Institut should serve as a model for an institution in adult training.”

Prof E.J. KORHERR, Rector of the Academy of Vienna, to French Ambassador in Vienna.

“…Your French language school is incredible in its results. My French teacher of one year in New York was very impressed when I returned from one month at your school. It is because of the remarkable results that I greatly wish to return to your Institut…”

Astrid Dawne JONES, Housewife, New York City, USA

“…The Institut de Français’ methodology and intensive French course structures were very well prepared. The teachers were very skilled at making the classes constructive and enjoyable… I suggest you keep using the Institut for UNICEF officers who need to improve their French…”

Per-Olov LENNATSSON, Evaluation report to UNICEF, New York, USA

“I undertook the 4 week French course in June this year (2015) and I wanted to take the opportunity to relay my thanks to the school and ALL the teachers who made my time with you so enjoyable. I had a truly wonderful time and think I spent one of the happiest months of my life in Villefranche and learning at the institute…I think the method used was superior to anything else I have experienced…”

Dr Philip Thompson, medical consultant, UK

“…I hereby would like to express my deep appreciation for your French language course… All facilities were excellent : the high standard of all the teaching activities, the superb meals, the most interesting excursions and the accommodation provided… This was a memorable experience…”

(translated from the French)


“The Institut is very, very good. I very much liked the debates , the opportunity to use all possible sentences and expressions. My teacher was wonderful. The program and the methods are superb. As an Intermediate 4 student, I could see the progress of every student, even that of the Beginners. Our tutor-teacher was unbelievable ! Hard but a nice guy.” (translated from the French)

Edward McCauley, Vice-President (Research), University of Calgary, Canada

“…The school is of a very high standard, especially the professionalism of the teachers : all of them without exception. It’s very impressive.
I appreciated the program’s intensiveness and scope, placing the focus on the spontaneity of oral expression : the most difficult thing to teach !
My teacher was great and gave me excellent, parallel training in diplomatic language.”

Paul LEHMANN, Australian Ambassador to African countries

“…My thanks for making my month at your French language school most enjoyable. Your lessons combined with your wit and good humor made it so much more fun to learn and helped to ease the stress I felt at first…”

Sylvia S. PACHECO, World Bank, Washington D.C., USA

“…I went to a special French language school where wonderful teachers and students gather… The image of the school I have is the smiles of the people there. The teachers always point out our mistakes but when they do so, they try to make the students relax with their gestures and smiles.”

Hironori SUGIMOTO, Student in hotel management, Osaka, JAPAN

“… You have inspired me to learn this language well. As a teacher I cannot say enough about your abilities,and I believe I have seen the best teaching methods these last 4 weeks than in my life…”

Vernon MARTINS, Mining Engineer, Kenor ASA, NORWAY

“…I offer my evaluation of this French language school. 1) the instructors were outstanding… In addition to being skilled and dedicated, they are such intelligent, informed, expressive people. 2) the building, furnishings, dining service, and instructional equipment, are excellent. 3) the housing provided deserves compliments.”

Robert S. DAVIDON, Dept. of Psychology, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, USA

“… As for my teacher, I have a handful of diplomas and I was once a vice-president of the City University of New York and I tell you : her teaching is unequaled. … So my friends, thank you for your time and always all your humour. … There are wonderful moments (in life), beyond expectations. Such a moment was my time at the Institut de Français.”

Robert Huber, former chief speechwriter to Mayor Guliani, New York

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Villefranche-sur-Mer 16 °C
November 21, 2017