Bonjour de Nantes!

June 25, 2017

The summer immersion experience has officially begun. After arriving to the Blanche de Castille campus in Nantes, students were welcomed by the creative and energetic RA’s who made sure to take care of them. Students dropped off their bags and quickly went to the cafeteria for a well deserved diner composed of cheese platters, chocolate mousse, rice with eggplant and a steak. Despite the jetlag and their overall fatigue, students met each other, took possession of their quarters and did a few activities before heading to bed.

On Monday, students woke up early and were ready to tackle the day. The morning consisted of information sessions in which they learned more about our teaching pedagogy, rules and safety. Finally, they were able to reflect on what the Language Pledge entailed and how they will successfully participate in the program. Finally, Monday evening was the time for them to take the plunge and only speak French for the duration of the program when they proudly read aloud the terms of our Language Pledge and signed it. The emotion in the air was a mix of excitement, maybe a little bit of hesitation and true courage!

Once the contracts were signed, the Academy was then bound by that collective agreement and students naturally transitioned to speaking only French. From the time they signed the Language Pledge, French was the only language that could be heard in the hallways of the dorm.

The following day, students were already waking up in French! Regardless of their level of proficiency, everyone was doing their best to stay in language. After breakfast, students gathered at our Morning Assembly space where our RA’s gave them a glimpse of the fun evening activities they had prepared for them. Once it was over, students headed to class with their teachers where they participated in activities involving collaboration and group work. Regardless of the jetlag, students were actively engaged in their learning.

After lunch, it was time to go out of campus and put to practice their language skills in the real world. The Academy was divided into 3 groups who each went to different locations: Exploring downtown, visiting the “Jardin des Plantes” - a wonderful Park with all types of plants and flowers, and visiting Trentemoult, a fisherman island off the coast of Nantes. This week, groups will rotate every afternoon so that all students get to experience these great attractions.

When we came back for diner, students were full of stories of the things they had seen, the interactions they had had and the great purchases they had made. The evening concluded with a wide scale game based on the famous French game called Fort Boyard. This popular game puts team head to head as they compete in a series of challenges and get a chance to solve the riddle of the Père Fourra - the great game master. It was a lot of fun and students truly enjoyed the competition.

They went to bed tired, full of memories and this was only the second day at the Nantes Academy. Stay tune for more updates on our incredible immersion adventure.

Bien à vous,

David Sainsily

Program Director