France – a dream that became a reality !

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Students come in large numbers to Alliance Française de Chandigarh to get a glimpse of France and to learn – as they call it – the language of love, French! It is a cherished dream for students of all levels, whether a beginner at A1 or a proficient speaker at C1, to immerse themselves in French culture. Indeed, France is a dream destination for many and the students of AF Chandigarh are no different. Seeing their keen interest, the organisation decided to conduct a séjour linguistique i.e. a linguistic trip to France which enabled around 20 students to experience a perfect mix of tourism and education.

To give wings to their dream, Sylvain Choin (Director, AF Chandigarh) opted for CAVILAM Alliance Française Vichy where they were hosted from September 16 to October 1. A month of arrangements, queries, meetings and paperwork finally gave way to D Day when the group embarked on the trip. Given the fact that it was the first international trip for 18 out of the 20 participants, the unbound joy was to be expected. After a warm reception by a representative from CAVILAM at the Paris airport, the students could barely contain their excitement. Some of them even refused to sleep on the bus from Paris to Vichy just so they could take in the beautiful landscape.

Students from AF Chandigarh during the séjour linguistique in France

Students from AF Chandigarh during the séjour linguistique in France

Thanks to the gracious welcome by the representative and the host families at CAVILAM, there was no trace of jetlag or the Monday blues as the group kickstarted their immersion. An orientation test followed by 11 days of intensive French classes with reputable professors and international students, excursions and cultural outings dedicated to macaroons, wine and cheese tasting, hiking to the summit of a volcano – the group did it all! Being at the crossroads of Vichy, Clermont-Ferrand and Lyon, they explored, shopped and laughed together. The highlight was the soirée dansante during the course of which they made everyone shake a leg to Bollywood tunes! The French host families used to wait for them for dinner where the teaching and learning process continued with thought provoking discussions and a real exchange of cultures. Many students now refer to their host families as their “French family”. The last day at CAVILAM was a day of mixed emotions – the students flaunted their traditional attire, collected their certificates, invited their new friends to India and thanked the entire team of CAVILAM for being an amazing host! It was an emotional farewell as they bid adieu to CAVILAM with a heavy heart. Emotions overflowed when the host families came to drop them off at the station at Vichy where they took the train back to Paris.

The group at Montmartre

The group at Montmartre

There is something infectious about the air of Paris and even the students could not help but be joyous! From Notre Dame, Sacré-Coeur, Montmartre, Louvre, the Eiffel Tower to a beautiful walk down the Champs-Elysées – the students explored every nook and cranny they could find. The group ended the two-week long trip on a high note with a boat ride on the Seine. Watching the Eiffel Tower sparkling softly at night with a glass of warm wine was like something out of a fairytale! With this trip organised by AF Chandigarh in collaboration with AF CAVILAM Vichy, the students came back with an experience of a lifetime, changed for good as they have become more punctual and responsible. Their dreams came true, memories were made and all our efforts were well paid!

Neha Bansal,

Teacher, AF Chandigarh

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...