** Two English Mums with 28 years experience living in France! **
Accommodation searches short, medium & long term
Help with house purchases (we are not an estate agent, therefore totally without bias)
Help with Utilities - English speaking contacts for all requirements (Banking, Insurance....)
English TV installation - Telephone & internet installations
Holiday Home / Gite Management (15 years experience in the UK Travel Industry)
Making friends - Helping with schools, creches, nannies, shopping, home-making...
We charge an hourly rate or part thereof
Our overall aim? To get you independent as quickly and painlessly as possible
Telling you how it is, no rose-tinted spectacles here.

FAQ schools!

Question:
I'm so glad to find you -- perhaps you can help me!
I'm a French teacher at a boarding school in the States, and I'm lucky enough to have been awarded a sabbatical for the next academic year, 2013-2014 -- so I'm definitely thinking ahead. But based on how little I've been able to understand of any sites I've consulted so far, it's probably a good thing to start early. I've chosen Montpellier because it is a vibrant city, but a small one, and it is Mediterranean and will provide a nice contrepoids to our very rural, fairly chilly existence.

So my sabbatical plan/dream is to come with my husband and 7 year old son (he'll be 8 then) and to spend about 9 months in Montpellier. My son speaks no French, and he's not a genius, but he is pretty verbal and he speaks Swedish as well as English. I would like to put him in a French school (public, if possible, because my teacher's salary is modest) with a good reputation and especially a program for French as a Second Language. I do not particularly want to put him in an American or International School, if I can help it, not because they aren't good, but because they are more expensive AND because I think it would be less effective at getting my son immersed and speaking as soon as possible.

At the same time, my sabbatical proposal was to study Arabic language and culture in France. I figure that my French and knowledge of French culture will be boosted immensely just by being re-immersed for a year, and as a language teacher, I want to learn a new language from scratch, observe the French language teaching methods to compare it to my own, etc. But when I look at websites, I can barely make heads or tails of them, and my French is supposedly fluent!

I am keen to find a good place for my son, a good place for me, and for them not to be an hour apart. Ideally, we'd live close to centre ville, again, for the urban experience.

Do you have any suggestions? I'd be so grateful!

Answer:
Thank you for your email.
Well I think your son will be old enough to try and get into the international class (was he born in 2004?) in a French non fee paying school (Sibellius Poittier, Rue de la Jalade 34070) located in the north of the city.

This is a new program that opened up last year, I know parents whose children go there and they are pleased with the program.
The bulk of the school day is in French but the pupils do an extra two hours in English, the class is made up of 1/3 bilingual children, 1/3 French speakers and lastly 1/3 English speakers so your son would be in a good environment to feel comfortable.

The time frame for applying for the next school year (2013-2014) is in April/May. Unlike most schools, for this class you don't need to live in the area where the school is. You can contact the head of the school:

Violaine Gazaix <violaine.gazaix@ac-montpellier.fr>

Les familles intéressées peuvent me contacter par mail. Chaque cas étant spécifique, je serai mieux à même de les conseiller. En général, la procédure est la suivante:

1) dossiers de candidature à télécharger sur le site de l'Inspection académique en mars, et à renvoyer par la poste renseigné et acompagné de toutes les pièces demandées
2) sélection des candidats et convocation des enfants avec leurs familles courant mai (les dates peuvent varier selon les contraintes des uns et des autres mais nous tenons à rencontrer les familles, dans la mesure du possible)
3) décisions d'admission communiquées aux familles et liste communiquée à la Mairie à partir du mois de juin
4) inscription administrative individuelle en Mairie, ne peut pas se faire par téléphone mais les parents peuvent se faire représenter par un tiers, muni du livret de famille entre autres documents
5) inscription pédagogique individuelle à l'école, auprès de la Directrice, avant la rentrée de septembre ou à la date d'arrivée de l'enfant à Montpellier (admission possible en cours d'année pour les élèves venant de l'étranger)

Cordialement,
Violaine GAZAIX


We can also help you with finding a flat to live as we specialise in furnished rentals in Montpellier, generally you want to be looking as early as Feb for a place for the year and book in advance.
We are used to people not coming before to visit, so we do give a warts and all on each flat we propose and advice on the area etc.

No comments: