The school is housed in a luxurious Provençal villa, set on the hillside of the lovely port of Villefranche-sur-Mer, overlooking the Mediterranean’s most beautiful bay, 2 miles from Nice and only a short drive to Cannes and Monte-Carlo.
Villefranche is a picturesque port town located just outside Nice. Set in one of the most beautiful bays of the Riviera, it is popular with sailing enthusiasts, artists and tourists. Around a quaint “old quarter”, can be found a 15th-century citadel, a chapel decorated by Jean Cocteau, an Oceanographic Institute, the Sailing and Motornautic Club and many delightful little restaurants. Villefranche offers vacationers beauty, charm and historical sights that make it truly one of the outstanding spots on the French Riviera.
In order to be balanced, a very intensive French language course such as this must have its relaxed moments, providing further enrichment for the students.
This is why the school organizes various social and cultural activities outside the strict scope of the course.
There is an introductory social evening (with dancing) at the school on the first Friday of the session. There are evening outings with teachers to the theater, the opera, a restaurant, etc. Discussion-excursions with a teacher are organized, depending on the season, to such renowned villages as Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the Maeght Foundation, and Grasse: the perfume and flower center of France, the Picasso Museum in Antibes, the Chagall Museum in Nice, the Villefranche Chapel decorated by Jean Cocteau, etc.
All these activities, enjoyed in a group, are enriched by exchanges between students of varied nationalities, ages, and professions. In general, many cultural activities are available in Nice, Cannes, Monte-Carlo including the famous Nice Carnival in February, lectures with the debate in Nice by famous literary, art and political figures, classical and avant-garde plays by the Théâtre de Nice company. Villefranche is so close to Nice (2 miles) that many students go there every night for the evening meal and entertainment.
Windsurfing, sailing, hiking, tennis, sunbathing, rollerblading, and skiing (Alps ski resorts are 30 miles from Nice) are some of the pleasures available on the French Riviera which can be enjoyed at leisure during weekends. The school helps plan these weekend activities.
At this French language school, casual, but proper, wear is customary since the weather on the French Riviera is very pleasant during the day, all-year round. Woolens, however, are recommended for the evening when the temperature goes down, and it can get cool, even in the summer months. Rain occurs, but for short periods, generally from November to March.
All Institut de Français teachers are rigorously selected to ensure the highest possible teaching standard, which is the Institut’s hallmark. They all hold various university degrees in foreign languages and linguistics. They are all native, accentless French speakers and speak fluent English; some also speak German, Spanish, Japanese or Chinese. They have been specially trained in the teaching of French to adults by audio-visual methods, have many years of experience in this field and are being continually monitored by the Institut’s teaching supervisor.