I’ve just spent a week “bathed in French” in the west of Switzerland. My French education before had been rather patchy despite having taken French courses in college, attended evening courses, gone on language stays to Paris, and having taken private lessons – and this was a mode of learning which I had wanted to try for a long time. This was a gift to myself because I love languages and because I wanted to improve my French, however, I didn’t have any illusions about becoming perfectly fluent within such a short time.

Raymonde tailored the week to my tastes and needs thanks to a questionnaire which I filled out prior to my stay in addition to the conversations that we had. Every morning I had lessons using different teaching methods. As a language teacher myself, I enjoyed being on the receiving end of such activities and feeling the frustrations but also experiencing the small triumphs that language learners have. My requests were taken seriously, and I was also introduced to songs and materials that I wouldn’t have found by myself.

Not only the lessons but also the excursions and meals were customised to suit my tastes and dietary wishes. Raymonde created vegetarian meals especially for me. She is a good cook with a sense for the aesthetic – the meals were tasty as well as a feast for the eye. In addition, I was accompanied on excursions that were curated for me. I even had the opportunity to try out an e-bike for the first time – C’était chouette!

Gingins and the beautiful region between Geneva and Lausanne offers a seemingly endless range of activities to enjoy. There are museums, year-round sport and outdoor activities, cultural events, cafés, and restaurants and on and on. I enjoyed my visit to the national museum in Prangins and to the castle gardens in Vullierens but also to the lakeside in Rolle.

Raymonde’s home is located in the middle of the village in a green and peaceful spot. It is decorated with attention to detail and style. My room with an en suite bathroom was comfortable and cosy. I felt very much at home there.

I’m looking forward to future stays. Thanks for everything, Raymonde.