You will receive information about your student residence or host family from your French language school in Montpellier roughly 3 weeks before you arrive to your French residential course in France. Now it is not like if you don’t make use of this you will experience any major problems, there will be plenty of people to talk you through things when you arrive. There are however, great advantages to be gained from utilising this information that will make the start of your French immersion course feel effortless and let you just focus on the French.
1. Introducing Yourself to your Host Family in Montpellier
Taking the time to get acquainted before your French immersion is time well invested. You know full well what the prospect of staying in someone else’s home feels like now put yourself in the opposite position…….. YOU have welcomed a complete stranger to stay in your home for a significant period of time without any prior knowledge of their personality, character or level of hygiene. You have their basic information but nothing past that; their favourite hobby could be playing heavy metal music in the early hours of the morning and their least favourite hobby could be cleaning up after themselves. So as you can imagine receiving a friendly polite email from this person would go a long way to creating a relaxed relationship. Also…. It’s probably your first French pen pal! Enjoy getting started.
2. Getting in Touch with Fellow French Students in Montpellier
If you’re staying in a residence it is often possible to get in touch with people sharing your accommodation via social media. Great for breaking the ice, getting to know people and ‘hitting the ground running’. Often there will be people who have already been at the French immersion school for several weeks and they can give you an insight into what to expect. On the other hand you can make contact with people in the same position as you so if you like you can have a companion to ‘find your feet’ with.
3. Travelling Around During your Language Stay in France
A few different types of transport are available to you during your French language stay in Montpellier. Getting on top of it is a great way to feel prepared to start your French language immersion course in France. Now if you’re close enough to walk that’s brilliant! Montpellier is often described as an open air museum with tons of gorgeous monuments, tree lined boulevards and historic architecture. Walking during your French language stay is highly recommended! However, often that won’t be feasible so you may wish to try public transport which can be more daunting particularly for those who aren’t proficient with their French yet. If you have made contact beforehand you can get tips on how the tram, bus or bike service works from your host family or other students. Host families have been known to offer bikes but this is completely up to them, however a nice friendly introductory email might make it a little more likely. Fellow students who have already experienced it from a new ‘French student’ perspective are particularly helpful here as they can give you a heads up on snagging points. Stuff that might seem clear and self-explanatory with some perseverance but stuff you don’t really want to be figuring out as the last tram that will get you to your first day on time pulls out of the tram stop.
4. Peace of Mind for your residential French language stay
This will be for the majority of you a new experience, which is great! You know it’s going to be great; you may have spoken to people who have done language immersion stays in France or read the reviews online, you’re coming to an amazing French language school to do a brilliant new thing that will enrich your life personally and professionally. New experiences, however, means the unknown and many of us feel a little on edge entering that despite how much we tell ourselves what we’re doing is amazing. Being able to lay down a bit of preparation is good for getting you up to speed. Informed preparation is great for getting you ahead of the game.