I was surprised to read the mixed review below given the fantastic experience I and so many other classmates at all language levels had at the Institute this April. First, the teaching is superb. Everyone in my class participated in the classroom experience, and we were incredibly well matched in language ability. It's easier to learn in a friendly atmosphere, and ours was punctuated by our teacher's wonderful humor. I could hear frequent bursts of laughter coming from the class next door as well. You do have to make a sustained effort, and there is some homework at night because this is a serious immersion program, but it's really gratifying to see your progress (and everyone else's.) I wish I could take the language lab home with me, where you have daily practice with your group, and then time on your own to ask questions and repeat any parts you want to. Although I never needed it, I also appreciated the director's telling us on the very first day to come to him if there were any problems, and not to keep it to ourselves until the end.
I came alone, like many students, and I especially enjoyed the communal breakfasts, as well as the group lunches, where there is a teacher at every table. There are organized movie nights, restaurant evenings, a wine and cheese lecture (with food) etc., so you have plenty of opportunities to socialize and speak French with the other students, who come from many different backgrounds.
Given the substantial progress you can make in French with creative, dedicated, and supportive teachers, all the while dining with a view of lemon trees and the Mediterranean, among people who become your friends, it's no wonder that so many people are return students. The Institut is magnifique!!
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