Traveling to Learn in France
Vacation Courses Offer Opportunities for Immersion
|The Chateau of Chenonceau is one of the most spectacular in the Loire Valley. Many painting classes come to the Loire to enjoy spectacular architecture and beautiful countryside, while wine-tasting tours take advantage of the region's prized vintages.or painting, vacation courses remind you that you don't have to be a student to get more out of your visit to France.
Over recent years small cooking schools have followed in the footsteps of the larger and more expensive institutes. These small, often family-run schools welcome guests for short-term cooking classes that not only give you a unique glimpse into real-life France, but also send you home eager to impress your friends with your pain au chocolat and boeuf bourguignon.
Courses like the following cooking offer the experience of shopping at local markets:
- Ecole des Trois Ponts, 3ponts.edu, specializes in both language and cooking courses for adults in an 18th century chateau near Lyons. You can take your pick from pastry or cooking courses taught by professional chefs.
- International Kitchen, www.theinternationalkitchen.com, offers daily cooking classes in the center of Paris in the elegant apartment of Samira Hradsky near the Champs Elysees.
For the quintessential vin experience, aim for the most popular vineyard regions, including the Loire Valley and Bordeaux. Throughout these regions you will come across vineyards offering "degustation," or tasting. There are plenty of predeparture resources for both the experienced and inexperienced wine connoisseur.
What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of France than by trying your own hand at a paintbrush?
- Art workshop for all levels in a 16th century chateaux in the heart of the Loire Valley taught by professional artist Antonina Alupi. The workshops, in French, last a week, and accommodation is provided inside the chateaux.
For more cultural immersion opportunities in France see TransitionsAbroad.com's section on Cultural Travel in France, and for a database of group tours visit www.infohub.com.