The Many Benefits Of Learning French / Part 2

When you are 17 the world is your oyster ; you are full of dreams and physical borders don’t represent much of a barrier. If on top of that you are learning one or two foreign languages at school, then your options are indeed pretty limitless….

I met Jessica when she was 17 and studying for her final year of A levels. She came to see me for extra tuition in French, because it was important for her to attain good grades and secure a place at the university of her choice, where she hoped to go on studying French and Economy. Jessica had already been on a language exchange in the south of France and had sampled with delight the gastronomy (la tapenade, la daube provençale, la tarte aux figues, les Calissons, etc…) with her host, but also at the colourful and bustling local produce markets, where she had pretty much discovered ripe and juicy fruit, the tastiest olives, surprising goat cheeses and all sorts of freshly baked breads. 

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She had particulary appreciated the more relaxed pace of life of the south, the melodious accent of the Provençaux and the cuteness of the many ancient sun-drenched villages that surround Aix-en-Provence. Of course, she had met a few French youngsters of her age on the exchange and spent many evenings with them at the cafés of Aix, trying to put her school-French to good use. All good fun, in a totally new environment. 

Jessica liked to say that Aix –“the sunniest town in France” -was her third favourite town in the world, after London and Paris. She had visited the latter with her parents on a couple of occasions and had declared herself in love with the handsome Haussmannians buildings.

Lucky enough to experience all this before the age of 17, Jessica was now intent on studying French at uni and perhaps, one day, live and work in France for a while. It was a dream worth pursuing anyway…

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A very applied student, Jessica pocketed her A in French and was off to uni before long. After two years of French and Economy, she had the option to study for her third year in a French university and she chose Science Po. in Reims. A beautiful campus in the Champagne region, Science Po. Reims attracts students from all over the world and specialises in international relations, economy, politics, etc. 

She had a great year, with a cursus delivered both in French and in English, and even found time for a Saturday job at a local estate agency. Needless to say she learnt a lot : workplace French, uni French, making friends French, restaurant French, shopping French, etc. She came back to England with an excellent French accent of course, a much wider vocabulary and oozing with confidence. 

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Not long after her graduation, she managed to secure a job in a lovely castle near Aix-en-Provence, where she still works and lives. After achieving her dream of living and working in in her third favourite French town, I have a feeling that town number two is calling, because I recently received a little request to have a look at her CV and cover letter for a job application in Paris, in wealth management ….. With her experience and knowledge in finance, real estate and her excellent command of both English and French, I think she will be hot property there! 

The markets of Aix

The Calissons of Aix


Science Po. Reims

Isabelle Stevenson 

Owner and French tutor at Cassis French Tuition

If you would like some information on learning French with a private tutor visit my website

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LifestyleHope Marshall