Valérie has been working at Ecole des Trois Ponts since 1997. She is the office manager since 2015 and head teacher. In her spare time, she also enjoys swimming, travelling, and studying ancient civilizations. She's also a course coordinator and responsible for public relations. She holds a Master of Applied Foreign Languages in Besanon. Valérie speaks English and Spanish as well.
Geneviève has been with Trois Ponts France since 2005 and is a full-time teacher at Ecole des Trois Ponts. She also teaches adults preparing for administrative competition contests. When she's not teaching, she enjoys volleyball, travelling, and diverse readings. Geneviève holds master of teaching in French linguistics and Techniques also a master of language sciences in Lyon. She also speaks German and English.
Before joining Trois Ponts France as a French teacher, Marie-Christine taught in various establishments. Her hobbies include literature, travel, music, and animals. Marie-Christine holds a master of applied foreign languages in Clermont-Ferrand. She also speaks English and Spanish.
Coming to Ecole des Trois Ponts was a huge opportunity because the professors are phenomenal. They are very encouraging throughout the entire program, and they constantly speak to you in French...so that you can progress at every moment. Every class was super educational, as they apply phonetics and grammar to develop your conversational skills. My professor was Valérie, and she is exceptional...as they all are. I also had Ambre in my first week, and she is awesome too. All the professors will help you and are happy to do so. Everyone is so positive, and the entire school projects good energy. The students this school attracts are amazing as well. Towards the end of my second week at this school, I became so much better at speaking, which was a huge progression from where I started...because I didn't come with an elaborate French background. But I completely surprised myself when I was able to hold conversations by the last days of my second week. I could understand and speak a bit. If I stayed longer, I would have been able to keep growing. I really really enjoyed my time here, which was two weeks. The school is beautiful, and the little town is beautiful too...and peaceful. Everything was so clean, and my room was incredibly comfortable...which I really appreciated. I look forward to coming again...and then again and again! And I miss the experience already...and all the people!
Connie Simps United States
If you have been thinking about learning French, or improving your level of French comprehension and conversation, I strongly suggest that you consider Ecole des Trois Ponts. I just returned from two weeks at the school (June 19 - July 2, 2016) and it was fantastic. Before coming here, I had been studying French one hour a week for the past three years. The only problem was that I did not have anyone with whom I could speak outside of class and my conversational skills were lacking. I started to lose confidence in my ever being able to converse in French. I started toying with the idea of signing up for an immersion program in France. I had a few criteria in mind. I wanted a school with a smaller class size, located in a smaller town (Paris would be too distracting for me!), and I was hoping to find a residential school. I had no knowledge of any programs so I started "Googling" things like "French immersion," "small classes", "residential". Fortunately, one of my searches brought up the page of Ecole des Trois Ponts. I devoured the page and came back to it often, comparing it to other programs that I looked into. I was nervous about signing up online and going to France. I had never been to France, or to Europe, for that matter. Signing up online was effortless, however, and Valerie, the Director and Proprietor of the school, immediately responded. I signed up for a two week session. I was finally going to France and hopefully would be able to improve my grammar and conversational abilities. After the initial elation subsided, I got nervous. What have I done! How was I going to do all this by myself? I can hardly carry on a conversation in French, I don't know anything about getting around in France, would it be difficult getting to the school? I decided that if I didn't go now I probably would never go. I had signed up for a two week session at the school. One week of general French lessons in the morning and the "cours de cuisine" in the afternoon. I figured that it would be better for me to ease my way into the language. My second week I signed up for intensive French. Three hours of class in the morning and then a three hour one-on-one session in the afternoon. As the time neared for my departure, France (the Paris area) experienced flooding, the transportation sector went on strike, the Euro cup started playing at various venues across France, and worries of terrorism increased. I left with trepidation. My fears were unfounded, however. I arrived safely in Paris, the train from Charles de Gaulle airport was not in service because of the strike, but I was able to catch a bus into the city to where I was staying. I stayed in Paris for five days before taking the TGV to Lyon for three days and then heading to Roanne and the Ecole des Trois Ponts. If you, like me, have never been to France and taken the trains (The TGV or the local trains) you can buy your tickets online and have them sent to you. I used Rick Steve's web site to purchase my tickets and they arrived two days later at my house in Pennsylvania (I have to say that Rick Steve's travel books on Paris and France contain a lot of practical "how to" information which I found to be helpful). The TGV from Paris whizzes you right to Lyon and then at the station in Lyon it's a simple matter to transfer to a train to Roanne. By the way, if you liked Paris, you'll love Lyon, a very beautiful city. Valerie had provided numbers for a taxi cab once I arrived in Roanne at the station to take to the school. I got lucky. Upon my arrival, a cab was there picking up another student and I was able to share a ride with her. The cab ride cost about 10 EUR total. The campus of the school is a short cab ride from Roanne (about a 20-30 minute walk). The school's campus consists of the Villa Beaulieu and two residential wings. I signed up for a private room. The room was very nice, with a private bathroom. The campus is very pretty. A practical point, laundry service is available for a small charge. Just leave your items with Val, the very nice lady who takes care of the rooms, so don't over pack. I found the school to be exactly what I was looking for. You reside at the school, take all your meals there (with the exception of Saturday evening), and you have opportunities to explore not only Roanne, but villages in the area. Wednesday afternoons are free until dinner time and I would encourage you to sign up for one of the excursions offered by the school to see beautiful historic villages nearby. The point of my visit the classes, did not disappoint. I appreciated the small class size, three of us in my class (12 of us were there my first week and you are placed based on a short oral exam with Valerie. I found my placement to be accurate.). All conversation is in French in the classroom, meals, and at the school. If you are at the school for longer than a week you will have a different instructor the following week so that your ears can attune themselves to a different person speaking the language. I am really glad that I selected the Ecole des Trois Ponts. It helped to build my confidence in my conversational abilities and the entire approach was nonthreatening and relaxed. The instructors are very friendly and experienced and help you on areas in which you need improvement. They are all native speakers. I found the town of Roanne to be the perfect setting. Though not a tourist town, it has several interesting sites to explore and the centre-ville has many shops and restaurants. The plus is that not being a big tourist town, you really get the opportunity to practice your conversational skills when you go out. I found everyone to be friendly and helpful. I plan to return next year for a two week intensive course. Maybe I'll see you there?!