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Posted: 14 June 2023

Why Choose the South of France for Your Next French School Trip?

Our languages team recently returned from a visit to the South of France, where they visited our brand new language school in the beautiful city of Sète. Here’s why they think the South of France could be the perfect choice for your next French school trip.

It’s a small, safe town with plenty to do

The great thing about Sète is that it’s a small town with a big character. Sometimes called the ‘Little Venice of Languedoc’, the centre is crisscrossed by canals including the famous Canal du Midi and the Canal du Rhône, which both terminate here.

The centre is fairly small and easy to explore on foot and for anything a little further out there is a cheap and reliable bus service that is very easy to use.

Having said it’s a small town, Sète does boast a grand total of 9 beaches, as it’s perched on the eastern side of the Étang de Thau, a saltwater lagoon, and the Mediterranean Sea. The lido that stretches out between the two is very popular in the summer.

And the old fishing quarter of La Pointe Courte is well worth a visit too. Here, you’ll find fishing nets drying on the docks, colourful façades and tiny little alleyways.

It’s magical at any time of year

There’s always something happening in Sète and the cultural calendar here is much more than you would typically expect from a city of this size.

In March, the Oursinade is a huge celebration of Sète’s incredible seafood, especially sea urchins – oursins in French.

Every two years, around Easter, the Escale à Sète celebrates Mediterranean maritime traditions and sees a host of beautiful ships descend on the city and its port.

And in June there is a fantastic street art festival called K-Live, which inspired the opening of the MACO (Musée à Ciel Ouvert).

There are many music and poetry festivals throughout the summer months and, perhaps the most famous spectacle in Sète takes place in August, during the Saint-Louis Festival. At this time of year, the city turns its attention to the canals, where water jousting takes place!

And if you travel in October, you’ll see fishermen gather on either side of the canal in La Pointe Courte, waiting for the sea bream that make their way from the sea to the saltwater lagoon at this time of year.

Your students will have lots of opportunities to speak with locals

When we visited the Sète recently, we were blown away by how friendly everyone was. The locals were really welcoming and keen to tell us about their hometown and its unique history and traditions.

This is important because you want your students to have as much opportunity as possible to practice their French skills with friendly locals who will help them to build their confidence. This is what you can look forward to in Sète and the South of France in general.

Your students will love the relaxed atmosphere

The city has the lovely, relaxed atmosphere you would expect of a town in the South of France. Life is led at a different pace here and people have time to stop and have a chat with each other, enjoy a delicious meal or take a stroll along the canals or the beach.

This relaxed atmosphere will help your students feel at ease and will allow them to throw themselves into the experience of being totally immersed in the French language and culture!

There’s plenty of unique culture to explore

Of course, France as a country has a very strong national cultural identity and it’s important to say that your students will, of course, have plenty of opportunity to experience this in the South of France.

But this is also the heart of the Occitanie and Occitan culture is strong here too. This offers the perfect opportunity for your students to explore the history and diversity of France.

And then Sète too has many traditions that are unique to the city. For example, there is no way that you will leave Sète without having heard about water jousting. Yes, we’d never heard of it either, but it’s an incredible spectacle that takes place every summer on the canals in the city centre!

The city is also known for its street art. Every year there is a street art festival called K-LIVE that celebrates this – and this festival led to the creation of the MACO, which is an open-air museum that showcases some of the best works!

Plus, we can guarantee you will not leave Sète without hearing the names Paul Valery and Georges Brassens. A poet and singer, respectively, these two are the city’s most famous sons and a source of real pride for the locals!

And you can even enjoy some water sports!

Watersports are practised on both sides of the isthmus - in the relatively wave-free lagoon and in the more lively Mediterranean.

Our partner language school in the South of France actually has a partnership with a water sports supplier who can provide a whole afternoon of an activity of your choice, including stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking or catamaraning!

The language school specialises in school groups

Our partner language school in the South of France only offers lessons for closed groups, such as school groups. This allows them to really tailor the package to suit your specific learning objectives and requirements.

You’ll be able to discuss the content of French lessons with the teacher in advance, to ensure that your students cover everything you want them to in the time available.

And you can choose between lessons in the city centre or at a campus right on the beach!

You can choose between host family or on-site residence accommodation

We would highly recommend host family accommodation as the best option for completing the total immersion experience. The host families are all very carefully selected and well-known to the school. They also have clean police records.

Hosts will show students the way to the school on their first day and will also make sure that they have a map and their contact details, just in case they do manage to get lost (although this is fairly unlikely as Sète is a small city). They will also encourage students to practice speaking French with them on a daily basis, particularly over the evening meal.

If you prefer not to stay with host families, there are other accommodation options available, one of which being the on-site residence at the beach campus. A short bus ride from the centre, the beach campus is literally right on the beach and has everything you could possibly need for a school group, from well-equipped classrooms to a huge dining hall. There’s a hall that would be great for an end of trip disco and even an outside theatre area!

Ready to start planning your French school trip to the South of France?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any further information or to request your tailor-made quote.

 

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