Part of the University of Savoie, the Institut Savoisien d’Etudes Francaises pour Étrangers (I.S.E.F.E) provides French immersion in a spectacular alpine setting. I.S.E.F.E is a university institute specialising in the teaching of French as a foreign language. It is the only school of its type in the Savoie region, teaching adults from non-Francophone countries.

The intensive French language programme admits up to 18 students per class for each trimester. From China to Colombia, the students are an internationally diverse group, with an average age of 20/25. It’s not just for university students, though; motivated individuals of all ages are welcome, whether looking to hone their language schools for work or for pleasure. A third of the students choose lodging in on of the four university residences, on a demi-pension basis at the one-site restaurant and university cafeteria, while the rest stay in shared apartments or with host families. The general French programme features 18 hours a week of instruction, and there is also a summer school, plus a specialised course with flexible hours for jeunes filles au pair. So you can study French all year-round.

To supplement the academic courses, there’s a plethora of cultural and recreational activities on offer. The school’s location—sandwiched between Geneva, and Lyon, France’s capital of gastronomy—puts the best of the Rhône-Alpes at your doorstep. There are outings to the Beaujolais vineyards, the annual Fête des Lumières in Lyon, and Christmas markets in Strasbourg, Grenoble, and Turin. ISEFE orchestrates a packed calendar of evening events including salsa soirées and concerts at the Chateau des Ducs de Savoie. For adrenaline hounds, there’s canyoning, canoeing, and, bien sûr, all kinds of skiing adventures (on- and off-piste). During the yuletide season, local families invite students to celebrate Christmas, and Chinese students often return the favor during Chinese New Year.

I.S.E.F.E is a centre of DELF, DALF, TCF and TEF—the official French language instruction programmes. The focus hère is on the acquisition of language and vocabulary in real-life situations.

The school now offers an introductory course to the French language in February/March (4 weeks) and in September (2 weeks). As this is a level A1 offering, the objectives are to learn how to communicate in everyday French, focusing on speaking and learning a basic vocabulary of simple words and expressions applicable to real-life situations. Cultural activities will also be organized during this timeframe to explore Chambéry and the surrounding area.

The administrative and teaching staff are always happy to provide more information about courses which can meet your French language learning needs and goals.

I.S.E.F.E, Chambéry, Domaine universitaire de Jacob-Bellecombette, Bâtiment 14, BP 1104, 73011 Chambéry. 04-79-75-84-14. www.isefe.univ-savoie.fr

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