Homestay Immersion with Bénédicte in Belvédère, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, October 2022
This article was written by our student Robin, he wanted to share his experience with our teacher Benedicte, thank you for this nice article and these beautiful pictures!
I passed two lovely weeks with Bénédicte and her family in October 2022. I am a long-time student of French and I had had homestay immersions a number of times before. My stay in Belvédère was an absolute delight.
Bénédicte is a charming woman and she and the whole family (husband, daughter, grandsons) were extremely welcoming.
I felt at home from the moment of my arrival. Belvédère is a very picturesque village; it is about an hour by car north of Nice, but it is in the foothills of the Alps, so the countryside is quite different. Bénédicte is an enthusiastic walker and a lover of the region, its villages and its flora, and we had an expedition almost every day. She is also an excellent cook and very keen on the freshest and purest local produce – I very much enjoyed mealtimes!
Because I am quite advanced, I did not have traditional lessons learning conjugation of verbs, use of the subjunctive and so forth; instead we read together a novel by Colette which had quite complex language, and we discussed unusual sentence construction, vocabulary and idioms as they arose. I found this both enjoyable and very useful.
The only warning I would give is that Belvédère is situated on the side of a mountain and it’s quite isolated. To get anywhere you have to walk, and all the streets and paths are quite steep, so if you have mobility problems it could be a difficult place to live. The village itself is very quiet!
But on the plus side, the countryside is just magnificent, and the view from the terrace by the pool where we had coffee after lunch every day is quite breathtaking. I had a wonderful time and would strongly recommend it.
“Robin from Melbourne Australia”