If you are serious about improving your French and you’d like to do it in a fun, friendly, authentically-French atmosphere, then Ecole des Trois Ponts is for you! I made my first trip to Ecole des Trois Ponts in 1997 with my mother and three friends for two weeks of French immersion. The school was located in an old Chateau outside Roanne at that time, not far from its present location. I returned for another two weeks in 2001 with my niece Betsy, and again in 2010, 2011 and 2012—but now to the new location at Villa Beaulieu in Riorges. My 2011 visit was especially enjoyable, as my granddaughter Carol, a second-year university-level French student, accompanied me. We had a fabulous time together—and her speaking ability improved dramatically in just two weeks. But, in fact, every one of my five experiences at the Ecole has been extremely rewarding, not only because I’ve been able to maintain and steadily improve my skills in French but also due to the many wonderful people I’ve met. The instructors have all been remarkable, and I can’t say enough about the leadership team of René, Valérie and Geneviève. Classes are very small, at most four or five students, sometimes only two or three, all of whom are at the same level of proficiency. I remember fondly people from each of the five sessions I attended, people who came from all corners of the world, all united in a common love of France, French language, food and culture. At various times I’ve studied with Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Brits, Germans, Indians, Japanese, Norwegians, Sri Lankans, Spaniards, Irish, fellow Americans and more—what a pleasure it has been to get acquainted and study with each and every one of them! On one occasion, the school was full at the time I wanted to attend, so I accepted the possibility of a roommate—a delightful woman from Ireland. It worked out perfectly. Meals are served at a gracious communal table and offer a wonderful opportunity for using one’s French skills in a relaxed setting. Chef Anthony is highly skilled, and every meal is a delicious adventure in fine French cuisine. I practice a vegan diet, and Anthony conscientiously made sure there was always an acceptable alternative for me. Housekeeper Nadia will keep your room in tip-top condition, and will even take care of your laundry upon request for a small fee. I will definitely be back—and perhaps we’ll find ourselves in a class together!
Rooms are rather modest, but quiet, sparkling clean and comfortable. All are en suite.
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