Testimonials from LaPont French Immersion Tour

Video Testimonial from Evelyn Ann , WA

Video Testimonial from Carolyn, Qld

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As we reflect on the fabulous experiences we had in France we can appreciate how much time and effort Catherine has put into creating her VIP French Immersion Tours. “This is a comprehensive tour for those wishing to deepen their understanding of the French language read more...

and culture. The attention to detail, local knowledge and expertise of our charming tour host Catherine and delightful French Team of experts ensured that we all enjoyed the best of French cuisine by selecting exquisite Michelin restaurants located in the Burgundy countryside.

Our small group visited many significant sites not on the tourist trail.. and we were allowed ample time to discover new interesting destinations with no harried schedules. Our glamorous evening to the Opera Palais Garnier in Paris followed by delicious Crêpes Suzettes flambées au Grand Marnier Supper in an exclusive nearby restaurant was a delightful highlight of our tour. Having all our personal transfers and entire trip organized by Catherine ensured that we could relax and enjoy our private tours to amazing locations free of the usual hassles of getting lost…traffic rules..queuing. All our private drivers and educational guides were personable, knowledgeable and friendly. The handpicked cultural activities an outings were very much appreciated by all the guests.

We have many fond memories of our recent Immersion Tour and would thoroughly recommend this unique experience to those wishing to have an insider’s view of “La Belle France” with the locals not seen by the average tourists.

S and D Leadbeater -- Brisbane

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We have learnt and gained more in our time with the Lapont Immersion Tour, than we have learnt in a lifetime of studying and reading about France. Our sojourn in France was a truly once in a lifetime authentic experience which combined iconic landmarks with undiscovered places and colourful personalities. We certainly enjoyed Catherine’s expertise and introduction to the French Language and

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the great regional variations of French cuisine throughout the entire trip.

Catherine is an enchanting hostess who makes you feel so at home and makes sure everything you need is provided for you and every one we met supported and encouraged us as we practiced our French. We can’t wait to return. And we have invited our friends to join us…” Lorena and Richard Fromberg, guests of the Lapont Immersion Tours.

Lorena and Richard Fromberg

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I had attended a number of French courses here in Australia but the idea of a French immersion course really appealed to me. I believe that my French speaking level was low intermediate level when I started looking for ways to improve it.

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I saw the Lapont editorial for their Language Immersion Tours and signed up. I enjoyed being part of a small group of six of similar ages,  we all had positive outlooks and shared the same interest in the French language and culture. Our leader, Catherine Alapont is a very qualified language educator, she speaks several languages fluently and has many years of experience running language programs internationally. Catherine is an Australian-French Citizen and she was confident and familiar with France, well connected to experts local guides who enjoyed presenting new experiences to our small intimate group. Our eight days intensive Immersion Course at the Lapont French Ecole was fantastic.

The quality of the teaching was at a very high level. Our class group was small and our teachers were very experienced with international students and taught concepts very clearly.  Staying in-house with luxury accommodation at the school was a bonus because we were totally immersed in an environment of French speakers who were aware of our skill levels and did lots to assist us. An added highlight of this trip was the cuisine. The food was delicious,  prepared by our in-house Michelin chef who also conducted fun cooking lessons in French so that we could learn “hands on”.. I really give the Lapont French Immersion Program 10 out of 10.

We experienced France in a way that we could not have done on another tour. Doors seemed to open when Catherine arrived. We visited local markets, restaurants, Monet’s Gardens, chateaux, medieval villages and many wonderful interesting places. The high points of my experience were the little places she knew about that were off the beaten track, not packed with crowds of tourists. An example: the“cheese tunnel”, a derelict railway tunnel now used for cheese maturing, where our little group enjoyed a fabulous cheese and wine pairing lunch. I would never have gone there if not for Catherine. Another instance was the beautiful medieval village of St Jean-St Maurice overlooking the Loire River, no crowds. There was a real feel of history and of peacefulness with all the places we visited. Le Marais, in Paris was another place I really enjoyed. This is such a historic area that was brought to life for us on a walking tour with a young woman who actually lived in the area and had many stories to share. Such was her easy and great relationship with Catherine that she joined us on our visit to the Mogador Theatre, Paris . Catherine has lived in Paris and escorted us to see Paris by night. We enjoyed and evening with Gypsy Jazz in Montmartre and we visited a cosy-nightclub, near Place de la Concorde.  This was followed by sipping hot chocolate at a well- known café at 11pm somewhere on the Left Bank. I appreciated Catherine’s generous spirit. She concentrated on making sure we all had a good time and we really did gain value for our money. To people whose sole aim is to focus on learning the language in one language school or see the well-known tourist spots, I’d say, don’t go with Lapont immersion tours because this tour was much more than that. However if you want something a bit different, you’ll certainly get the best out of the Lapont experience because you’d love learning the language (and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do this); you’d probably be a foodie (so would appreciate the in-house chef at the Ecole and the good choice of  local cuisine) and most of all, you’d be open to new experiences, happy to relax and go with whatever comes up. I have re-booked more Lapont Tours and  Immersion Courses in France for 2015 and 2016.

Annabelle..., Cairns

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Catherine certainly made some brilliant contacts in France during her earlier career. As a result, she really is an outstanding tour organizer. We’ll always look back on this experience as one of the highlights in our lives.

We were part of the group of seven that Catherine Alapont personally escorted to France in April/May 2014.  Now back home again, we are still delighted with the program of language and culture that Catherine organised for us.

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We’d never traveled much, but when we heard about the Lapont French Immersion Program we decided to go for it. Having studied high-school French (some time ago), we perhaps overestimated our ability to speak the language. But our learning experiences just before and during this tour showed us that it’s possible to learn French at any age.

Catherine offered us useful situational French classes before we left, and our spoken French was reinforced with very small, intensive classes during our first week at the École in the Loire Valley.

There followed many opportunities to hear French spoken in conversations and the special cultural occasions Catherine had organised for us.

Looking back, it was like a wonderful dream, medieval villages, historic chateaux and fortresses.. beautiful, ancient churches. A hands-on cooking class given by three-star Michelin chef, markets, boutique wineries… A Degustation lunch with a wine-and-cheese pairing in a Private Chateau….in the Burgundy countryside

A side-trip to Cannes on the Côte d’Azur and visits to Antibes, Nice, Monte Carlo and Monaco. A live theatre evening in Paris. A walk around Montmartre, followed by dinner. A tour of the Fragonard perfume factory. A stroll around Monet’s garden. A private visit to Versailles, where Catherine had already fast-tracked our entry to avoid the queues.

The best part was that private transport was arranged for all of these experiences. No waiting for transport. No driving. All we had to do was show up, then be taken somewhere to enjoy ourselves. It was all well organised and planned.

We knew we’d be exposed to French culture, but really had no idea what was in store for us, nor how much we would enjoy it. Catherine has exceeded our expectations each day of this amazing tour…

 

Josephine & Allen...,Carindale

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I was part of Catherine Alapont’s September-October  and I had a wonderful trip ! If you are considering going I would recommend it highly, it was a fantastic experience ! the trip of a life time. It was never boring and Catherine’s itinerary was planned with a lot of attention to detail, this was evident to me.

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It was a great advantage to have a French person with a sound knowledge of the Language and French culture to get us around! I learnt a lot and I now have the confidence I needed to advance my French language speaking skills. There were interesting and enjoyable afternoon cultural outings. We also had the chance to meet all Catherine’s friends and mingle with the locals.

Once we completed our stay in total Immersion at the Lapont Ecole, we were driven down to Cannes and had a gastronomy lunch on the way in the quaint village of Moustiers-Sainte Marie.

Lots to see and do in glamorous Cannes including good shopping and eating!

We visited some of the most beautiful villages in the Côte d’Azur along the famous French Painters’ route.

On our last day in Paris, we went to an interesting historic guided walking tour around the Marais, our evening at the Opera Garnier was very special…full of surprises !

Finally, we had an amazing farewell dinner in a beautiful typical Parisian Brasserie.

I was picked up by a private car and driven to the airport to catch my flight home.

I loved every minute of the Lapont French Immersion Program and hope to join another tour again in the future !

Prudence..., Melbourne