Corinne did an interview with Judith, an English expatriate living in Australia. Already 4 stays at IFALPES with Colin, her husband. She is actually continues learning French with our online courses !
Why French in your choice of a foreign language?
I am English and I grew up in England. So during my youth I spent several holidays in France and learned French at school.
Over the years, I would have liked to do it again but I never had the time. It had been a long time since I had studied the language! I retired 8 years ago and now I’m lucky! I can concentrate on French.
I love this beautiful language and I have many French friends. I prefer to speak to them in French.
Learning a language is a great exercise for the brain.
How did you choose IFALPES in Annecy and what did you like about this environment?
We read about it on the Internet. We wanted to live like French people. We were looking for a high quality school. On the one hand we like big cities like Paris, Lyon and Nice. On the other hand, we didn’t want to stay there for more than 2 months !
My husband and I like cycling and we were looking for a mountainous region. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to go to Annecy for the first time during a stay in France. We only spent one day there. We rode around and I remember feeling comfortable. We loved this city: the lake, the presence of the mountains, the charming and bewitching old town. This city is awesome !
So, when we decided to go on a language holiday, we wanted to go back there. We contacted IFALPES and its team. And everything worked out !
We spent 4 stays in the summer: the memories of the beautiful hikes with a view of the Mont-Blanc are unforgettable ! And the little cafés and restaurants where we had a great time !
Choose 3 words to define the IFALPES school in ANNECY ?
According to my experience, I would first choose “welcoming” because the whole team is always there to help you and answer your questions.
The second is the “passion“, that of the teachers who love their job and the language, which is very important to me.
And the third word is “value for money“. It is remarkable all these activities, this quality, this ability to bring different cultures together at an attractive price. For us pensioners, this is not a problem, but for young people and students, it’s an asset !
In the current health crisis, do you think that distance learning is a good idea ?
It’s an excellent solution for continuing to study and talk. I find that online students help each other more, listen to each other more. I have attended online courses and online workshops with IFALPES, there is always a good atmosphere ! It was hard to imagine this before trying the experience but, despite the screen, you can communicate and learn in very good conditions, just like in the classroom.
And I really think I’ve made progress !
You were able to experience both teaching systems (face-to-face in Annecy, then online).
Do you prefer one?
For me, there is one key point. All education systems, however wonderful they may be, can lead to challenge. There are challenges for everyone. I am pragmatic and frankly, I prefer face-to-face teaching but it is impossible at the moment because of the international health situation. So, I’m happy to continue learning, even online. It gives me the opportunity to achieve my goal of having a more fluent language. I am very happy.
The time difference between France and Australia is 10 hours more! Is that a problem?
Yes of course, but I think we need to prepare, organise ourselves, plan more. It’s not easy but it’s possible. If we are motivated, and even if it’s late in the day, anything is better than stopping the French lessons !
Would you recommend online courses to hesitant students ?
I would advise them to take such courses at IFALPES, the teachers know how to leave room for everyone ! You will enjoy it and you won’t regret it !
Do you have plans with France and French?
Yes, but in Australia at the moment you are not allowed to leave the country.
It is doubtful that we will be able to travel in 2021. It’s likely that I will go to France in 2022. We plan to follow a course at IFALPES in Annecy. We have friends in France whom we can’t wait to see again !
The whole IFALPES team is waiting for you, dear Judith and Colin, for your fifth stay and for our great pleasure !