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Learn French as a Second Language May Strengthen College Applications

From September to June: 2-week to 10-month stays, full immersion in a French-speaking environment. This program has been designed for foreign students who want to practice French during their academic school year and experience life in a boarding school.

Students have intensive French classes in the morning, and are invited to attend curriculum classes in the afternoon (maths, sciences, history, arts). Long term students can sit the DELF exam and validate a full study year at Chantemerle. The program is very popular during the ski season between January and March.

This French immersion program has been designed for non French-speaking students (local expats, foreign students, study abroad students) who want to practice French during their academic school year or the summer and experience life in a boarding school.

During the school year, permission is usually granted from the student’s main school, as time abroad and additional foreign languages are highly esteemed by universities, and add value to a student’s application.

Competitive colleges are clearly signaling that a demonstrated proficiency in a second language would strengthen an application. Life in college and after college is becoming increasingly globalized, so strength in a second language carries a lot of weight with admissions counselors.

In the US, Stanford would like to see three or more years, and Harvard urges applicants to take four years. In Switzerland, both the University of Lausanne and the EPFL consider that a B2 level in French (C1 level recommended) is required in order to follow Bachelor’s programs taught at EPFL.

Students can enroll for short and long stays (2 weeks minimum) between September and June. The program is very popular during the ski season (January to April). Students are assigned to their appropiate level and courses are adapted to their age and interest.

Surrounded by French-speaking students of the same age as well as French-speaking teachers, the student in immersion can rapidly progress in French while continuing with his/her academic studies. Students in the French immersion program for at least 3 months are encouraged to present the DELF examination.

The DELF diploma is a set of internationally recognised certificates for French language skills. Starting age 8, each of the seven levels sets a minimum standard of French knowledge and skills, allowing them to be used as a benchmark in a number of situations. Those students with the DELF diploma are exempt from language entrance exams at French and Swiss Universities.

Students enrolled in this program will be invited to participate in Chantemerle’s rich program of afterclass activities and excursions and can benefit from this opportunity to make new friends, learn about different cultures and make memorable experiences.

G.Patrick Gruhn

Tim Daum