There are many reviews of Coeur de France on internet forums and website (e.g., TripAdvisor.com). At the end of each week, we ask departing students to critique us. Following is just some of the recent feedback from students.
" I’ve taken language classes at some of the great universities — Harvard, Columbia, University of Vienna — but Marianne is the best teacher I’ve ever experienced. Clear, engaging, fun, very good at setting just the right level and the right pace; the whole family made amazing progress and enjoyed every day.
The apartments were charming, well cared for, comfortable; the whole staff was warm and charming; the cooking class was a blast (as well as a good French lesson). Marianne and Gerard have enlisted the entire town as assistant teachers — waiters and shopkeepers were patient and helpful as we practiced our French on them.
Gerard’s wine tasting was incredible — we live near Napa, and have done dozens of tastings and winery tours with great experts, but we’ve never had anything like his tour at Henri Bourgeois. Gerard gave us verticals, horizontals, explained things thoroughly, clearly, and with infectious enthusiasm, deep knowledge and love of wine, and such a range of wines to taste! Highest possible recommendation! We hope to come back again soon."
" My husband and I came with our three kids. We stayed for one week. We were warmly welcomed at the train station by Marienne (one of the program co-owners). The apartment was beautiful, and the kitchen was well-equipped. Sancerre is a beautiful town steeped in history with a very welcoming citizenry. It is very hilly, hence I would recommend walking shoes!
We were taught professionally and our French improved a lot within the short time frame. The 3.5hrs per day sessions (alternated between morning and afternoon sessions every other day) was adequately spiced with popular and fun games in French which made learning quite interesting – even for the attention span of my 6 year old daughter. The immersion approach that meant and encouraged French between students and teachers alike gave a good boost to our stuttering French within such a short time.
We also enjoyed the cooking class. We also had a chance to go canoeing in the Loire river which was an adventure for first timers like us."
" I arrived here last week for a 5 week stay while my daughter learns French! We are staying at the school in one of the apartments. Sancerre and the school is more than I expected! Anyone thinking about coming…book now! You wont be disappointed."
“Our two weeks at Coeur de France was truly wonderful and will always be a special memory for us. We hope that there will be a repeat performance! We would be delighted to be a reference for potential students from Australia; the experience in every way was one we would recommend. My husband asked me to pass on his special thanks for your informative and interesting wine tour/tasting and for our fabulous flight over the Loire Valley — very special! Merci beaucoup.”
“We all thoroughly enjoyed our time in Sancerre and would love to come back sometime in the future. Valerie made our lessons so enjoyable and fun, she is a wonderful person. Although the week was very intensive for James and his one to one lessons, I really feel he gained a huge amount from them. Whenever I mention to friends that I spent a week at a French language school they are all amazed and intrigued. I have already given your web details to two friends but I am sure there will be more. Don’t change anything you have the right formula.”
“The winetasting excursion/education was fantastic!”
“Merci beaucoup for the lovely stay and program! We had a very positive experience. Valerie is just so lovely. She was wonderful with my kids, and did an amazing job helping the three of us make progress all at the same time. I really appreciated her flexibility, and having a good sense of what she thought would work for us. My kids had a great time–which is really saying something, when you have them go to “school” on their vacation! Everyone at Coeur de France was amazingly friendly and helpful. I have already recommended your program to someone here in Paris looking for an “immersion” program outside of Paris.”
“It goes without saying that (husband) Chris and I enjoyed our stay at Coeur de France very much. Our teacher was wonderful and patient. I was not sure how (daughter) Devin felt about spending a vacation week studying French…she is 16 after all! It was on Sunday after we left that I really knew this was a hit for her as well. Devin made a comment that could have been taken in a lot of different ways about the week and I said something like ‘sorry if it wasn’t how you though you should spend a week off of school.’ She looked at me like I have two heads and said ‘what are you talking about, I loved Caroline (her teacher) and my class was wonderful’. So there you have it … a 16 year-old that loved spending her one week holiday studying French at Coeur de France….”
“I find that it is rare for an experience to be better than I anticipated — but Coeur de France ranks as an outstanding exception! You are doing a marvelous service to English speakers who seek to learn and improve their French. Thanks for everything!”
K.R., university professor
“A perfect environment for improving your French. Valérie’s teaching is structured, precise but informal — perfect!”
D.H., company director
“When I looked at your website, it really seemed too good to be true. I looked for one complaint and could find none. And I have none to offer — only compliments. Initially I was disappointed not to be able to stay in one of the apartments at the school building, however, having stayed in my “grenier” apartment (La Demoiselle) with its panoramic southern views and its view of the Tour des Fiefs at night and the school children by day, I cannot imagine better accommodations. If you could add some tall “pub” stools so one could sit and look out the windows, it would make La Demoiselle perfect. I also loved walking, even uphill, to class each day and taking as many different streets as I could. As for my studies, did I achieve my objectives? Yes, more than I had hoped for.”
“It was such a fantastic time. I learned so much more than I could ever have believed. We continue to speak at home and I study almost daily. I miss you all.”
“I like the pronunciation workshops with Marianne — they are very effective! I think every student should take advantage of it, they are essential.”
“The combination of situations, activities and teaching made this a very special experience.”
“All of the teachers were extremely friendly and helpful. They chatted during coffee breaks with us and generally helped encourage conversation between students, I cannot rate them highly enough. Their encouragement increased my confidence greatly. Our teacher was extremely effective and patient who also made our lessons relaxing and fun. As a teacher myself, it is not often that I can put 10/10 but she surpasses all one could expect. All staff are extremely professional, helpful and friendly. We cannot speak too highly of the school and will definitely recommend you to friends and will hopefully return (again)!”
“The school was everything I hoped it would be and more. Not only did my French improve dramatically in just a week, I had a wonderful cultural experience as well. I hope to see you again (next time around I’ll bring my wife).”
“Everyone was so friendly and patient. Coeur de France is wonderful in so many ways — from the moment you walk through the door you know you are going to experience something very special here.”
“J’ai passé des très bonnes vacances à Sancerre et je vous remercie pour un expérience memorable. En plus j’ai profité bien de cours de français – je parle maintenant français au travail. Donc, j’ai atteint mon objective de mon séjour.”
“There is a buzz about the place that was infectious — my children and I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
“Coeur de France and Sancerre? I’m in love! The teachers and locals are amazing — friendly and patient!”
“Our teacher quickly gauged my family’s levels of competence and adjusted the programme to suit us. I was surprised how much I learnt from the joint sessions with my children, but above all, how much fun was to be had!”
“The teachers make learning fun with games and outings around town. Teachers are very enthusiastic and are always willing to help!”
C.M., 12 years-old
“We absolutely adored the week at Coeur de France, and have recommended it to all our friends back here at home. Sophie gained her first school commendation in French the first day back at school, she was the only one out of 74 girls, to get A+ and a commendation in her French test. Olly got 10/10 in her French vocab test — which stunned her teacher, as she usually gets poor grades. Please tell Valérie how well the girls have done in their French lessons back here in UK since her lessons. I think we learnt as much in 1 hour as you would in 1 week at school, so 20 hours = 20 weeks worth!! Excellent value!! “
C.C., small business owner
“Overall, an absolutely brilliant experience and so much more than I imagined it would be. I now have reviewed the basics and need to return to practice, brush up and tighten my skills every year or so (I should be so lucky!). Many, many thanks to the highly skilled teachers. Carine and Marianne were really and truly fantastic. It’s not just the teaching, but the ways it’s done with expression, enthusiasm and patience. I would recommend this experience to anyone with a passion to learn and enjoy life!”
G.C., senior executive
“The entire package works — Marianne and Gérard — perfect hosts. Marianne is the best instructor I’ve ever had. The apartment was great.”
“We tried a number of other options but I wanted something that both mother and daughter could do together. None of the other schools helped my daughter though we paid dearly! Your programme is in its own class — OUTSTANDING!“
“Beth has an amazing ability to keep all 4 of us in our family (5, 12 and 2 adults) engaged. She can change up as necessary. Great dramatic and imaginative flair. We enjoyed all of the activities, especially cooking with Marianne. We appreciated the quality of instruction, beautiful setting and region, great family program, friendly people, motivated staff and owners! Very engaging.”
“Meets all it’s promises, i.e., website to reality. Much greater understanding of the language than we thought possible. Marianne’s style is both nurturing and challenging. We had an excellent week.”
“The quality of instruction is extraordinary. Valérie and Marion are absolutely first rate teachers. They were sharply focused on figuring out what I needed and it was clear every day that they had given thought over night to specific issues we should address. And on top of that, they are wonderful people who make me wish I could stay here and have them as my friends. I would also note the professionalism of the younger teachers. They were always ready to answer my questions and engage in patient conversation with me, helping and correcting in a very professional and impressive manner. As you can tell, I just love this place!”
“The pronunciation sessions were fantastic, especially the one on ‘un’ and ‘en’ which was one of the most useful and practical French lessons I have every had! “
“The entire experience exceeded my expectations. Sancerre is picturesque and the lessons were challenging yet accommodating.”
“Hilary gained so much confidence that she skipped an entire grade in French. Her teacher says her accent is quite good (thanks to you) and though now she has to work doubly hard to keep up with the other students, she’s doing very well. Coeur de France was a great investment! “
K. M., mother
“I came to Coeur de France without a word of French and I leave with a base in the language to build on. I very much appreciated Marianne’s expertise in making our family program enjoyable for both my daughter and I. Marianne is an expert teacher!”
“I chose Coeur de France because it included children — other places were only for older students. It allowed my girls to work together 1:1 with the teacher. Other programs put them in a group with strangers and at their age that wasn’t appealing. We loved it here and very much hope to return — next time with Papa!”
“It exceeded my expectation! Too bad we can’t stay another few weeks! All the teachers are fantastic.”
“The environment is warm and inviting, the outings were fun, and I learn a LOT!”
“I inquired and Gérard answered immediately, sent newsletters, etc. It had a warm, comfortable yet professional feel to the site and all correspondence. I did not know it would be possible to increase my confidence here but it has been fabulous. I had no idea it would be this well-rounded, but I now know that I have further to go than I realized.”
K.H., university professor
“The quality of the instruction, set in a village where most of the residents speak little or no English, you get many chances to practice!”
“Gérard was very knowledgeable. The “Mission Possible” was fun. Marianne is an excellent French teacher. She’s very organized, knowledgeable, focused and very professional. She explained grammar and concepts clearly and made my experience here very worthwhile. I have been studying French for 2 years. I learned more here in 1 week than I did in the last 2 years.”
“I am truly impressed with CDF. Not only from the learning-French, but also as an example of how good businesses can positively influence so many people’s lives. Creating employment, providing excellent services to the clients/students, having a tremendous influence on the local community, bringing people together and providing them with unusual experiences — and I hope creating a good profit too! My congratulations to you for your wonderful enterprise.
“Great teachers and instruction. Intimate and personal. Sancerre is pretty but very small. Free wireless internet computers in the school are a big plus. Valérie was fantastic and the accommodations were nice.”
“Good location from Paris, easy to get to without another flight. I enjoyed the excursions (walking tour, wine tasting, goat cheese farm, and château tour). It’s a very personal experience here. Great teachers, great location and a great group of people (both students and staff).”
G.K., sales manager
“As professional journalists, we’ve had the experience of language training in several countries — this was the best thus far. Carine was an excellent professor who managed very well to balance our Couple program even though we were on slightly different levels. We can’t praise her enough. She was patient, yet pushed us as far as we could go. She was terrific at incorporating our day-to-day needs of living in France with classroom training and visits in the field (auto mechanic, doctor, and dentist) as well as trips to the bakery and market. In addition to the language, she provided us with invaluable insights into living in France. The school was flexible in tailoring both programs and costs to our needs and budgets. We also liked the idea of living in a small town where we would not be hearing a lot of English all around us. The teachers are of exceptional quality; the directors very accommodating and the school set up was very student-friendly. The residents of the town are very patient with the students. Sancerre is great for language learning because you don’t hear a lot of English spoken.”
J.A & M.M., journalists
“My favourite activities were the winetasting (thanks Gérard, I’ve always been too shy to learn), the cooking class and the painting class. I enjoyed the quality and intensity of the lessons and the warmth of the staff. Beyond my hopes — you are all amazing, wonderful people. I observed you with difficult people and was so impressed. I observed you with scatterbrained me and you were so patient!”
A.K., flight attendant
“Thanks for another great week. Again, I loved my time in Sancerre with you and the school. Carine is a wonderful teacher and the class time was a great help to me in my language growth. The dinners were very enjoyable. You really have something good at Coeur de France. I’ll be back. God Bless You.”
“I had a very interesting and satisfying time at Coeur de France, and I truly think Marianne is amazing. The whole faculty was lovely.”
“I chose Coeur de France because I wanted the opportunity to have a custom made programme. Staff are very helpful and clearly communicate with each other between classes. It felt like we were being looked after as individuals rather than as people all being given a pre-set programme. A very good experience that I would recommend to others.”
“We enjoyed out rime and definitely benefited from the concentrated attention to French. The atmosphere was excellent — just the right balance of humour and quite pressure to keep moving and do better. I’m sure that the atmosphere is a great tribute to you and Marianne and to the staff you chose who all seemed good humoured and professional.”
S.F., civil servant
“A dynamic feel to the place. The aperitif together on the first day set the tone for friendly, relaxed yet hard working week. Lovely having adults and children at the school.”
“My son now says that he now knows ‘6 times more French’ than he did at the start of the week. A week well spent! Thank you all for a fascinating week.”