OVERIEW OF THE TRIP
Phrases in brackets = Themes relative to the curriculum of advance testing
* = meals at leisure; ♥ = additional cost involved
mercredi 19 juillet
Bienvenue en Aix-en-Provence! Apéritif d’accueil in our new surroundings and welcome dinner in one of Aix’s acclaimed restaurants.
jeudi 20 juillet
La ville. [l’esthétique: le patrimoine ]A later start to today’s activities to help ease the jet lag. With our private guide, we’ll learn the history of Aix-en-Provence: a thriving city of art and culture under the kings of Provence; attached to France only in the 15th century; the birthplace of both Paul Cézanne and childhood home of Emile Zola; a town extolled for its healing waters and lively arts scene; an important university hub, and France’s second highest court. Afternoon discovery of the town with our guide from the Tourist Office.
vendredi 21 juillet
La politique! [famille & communauté] France will have just elected a president and the country is awash in high political drama. What will the new program be? How does France elect a president? What are the differences with the US electoral process? There will surely be a lot to discuss today, and a invitation to meet with the mayor of the city this afternoon will enlighten us as to the goverance of towns such as Aix.
samedi 22 juillet
L’enseignement en France [famille & communauté] After spending some time this morning at the incredible marché of Aix, renowned in the region for its variety of clothing, accessories, linens, antiques, organic foods and Provencal specialties, our teacher will take us to a visit of her school, as we have the privilege to be instructed this summer by both a teacher and a directrice d’école. Our seminar this afternoon on l’éducation en France will focus on several major reforms which in the works, and we’ll touch on the thorny subject of integrating children of immigrants into mainstream classes and curriculum, comparing the French methods with those in the US. Here’s a little video of the animation on the Cours Mirabeau on market day.
dimanche 23 juillet* ♥
Journée libre! [esthétique: le patrimoine] Sleep in late and continue roaming the city on your own today, OR discover three exquisite sites north of Aix, les villages du Luberon: Gordes, Roussillon, and the Abbaye de Sénanque. Colorful lavender fields, ochre-colored hills, and picturesque homes tumbling down a hillside make for an incredibly photogenic day in the heart and soul of Provence. MEALS AT LEISURE
lundi 24 juillet
Cézanne, Zola & Pagnol : le français à travers les arts [l’esthétique: les arts du spectacle] Aix is proud to have two renowned native sons, although they were both really only appreciated a century later, and Marcel Pagnol is a Provençal celebrity and an Immortel de l’Academie Française from the nearby town of Aubagne. We’ll read selections from the literature of Provence and use samples of Cézanne’s many paintings of the Sainte-Victoire mountain as a basis to teach French. But first, we’ll start the day with an early-morning balade in the famous quarries of Bibémus, where Cézanne painted the mountain over and over.
mardi 25 juillet* ♥
[esthétique: le patrimoine] You’re free to roam Aix as you like, or come with us as we discover the city of Arles with its Roman treasures and breathtakingly preserved arènes, its charming little ruelles, its Flamenco influence, its colors so vividly portrayed by Vincent Van Gogh. In the afternoon, a stop in the incredible Baux de Provence, a craggy knoll of limestone perched on a hill capped by a ruined chateau, making for dramatic pictures and fascinating discoveries. You can duck into the Cathédrale des Images, inconturnable as a state-of-the-art center of French digital photography built into the stone walls of a cave.
MEALS AT LEISURE
mercredi 26 juillet
Les grands débats français [La quête de soi]
Politique! Le mariage pour tous ! Les immigrés! La laïcité! Le terrorisme! We’ll delve into le vif du sujet that are on the table today: be prepared for lively debates. Afternoon in Marseille, the oldest city in France first inhabited by the ancient Phoencians, a very diverse city with a culture all its own, a gorgeous new museum and a thriving new port area. You’ll be able to return to Aix at your leisure by public transport.
MEALS AT LEISURE
jeudi 27* ♥ :
La braderie d’idées: c’est à vous! This morning, spend your time cooking* or painting* with a local check and painter. The chef will take you shopping at the market, then off to to the wine chateau before cooking in his private home. The painter (choose watercolor or oils) will give you an open-air experience and you’ll be able to take your masterpiece home. This afternoon, a chance for you to share your best classroom ideas with your colleagues. Requested by our former stagiaires, this sharing activity allows for brainstorming on your newly expanded views of France and how to incorporate them into your classes, or on tried-and-true ideas for total success in class. You’ll spend an optional evening dining with a French family in their home, a rare treat for foreigners, in which case you’ll be paired off two by two.
DINER EN FAMILLE
vendredi 28 juillet* ♥
Journée libre! [esthétique: le patrimoine] Cassis, les calanques, produits du terroir : We’ll go off for an optional day à la mer in the charming port town of Cassis and take a boat ride out to the breathtaking Calanques. Watch this little video by Rondonnateur if you’re not already convinced. Lunch at your leisure, then a delightful dégustation de vin at a private vineyard which overlooks the Mediterranean, followed by a visit to a calisson factory & museum in Aix. MEALS AT LEISURE
samedi 29 juillet
Journée libre, entièrement. There’s so much to do in the area—think Avignon! Back to Marseille! St-Rémy-de-Provence! Maybe just hang around and purchase those last-minute gifts you’ve been thinking about, or go to the FNAC and load up on books and activities for your classroom. Dîner de clôture ce soir DINNER
dimanche 30 juillet
Departure is always bittersweet, and we encourage you to stay longer in France if you can. There are so many options for delightful extensions nearby: Avignon; Chateauneuf-du-Pape; Nice; St-Paul-de-Vence, St-Tropez….c’est l’embarras du choix! Special departure send-off dimanche 30 juillet♥: If you’re spending the night in Paris before your flight home, we can propose a private soirée with a French singer-songwriter on his boat, with dinner on the Seine in view of the Eiffel Tower and a serenade with a guitar….c’est magnifique! Let us know if you’re interested. Maximum 8 people.
Animation sur le Cours Mirabeau tout l’été
Abbaye de Sénanque
Les Baux de Provence:
Calanques: ses panoramas à couper le soufflé.
Le marche provençal