DON'T LET YOUR PROGRESS PLATEAUTake ownership of your growth and achieve real results with us.

La Maison de Ste Claire offers a complete concept for accelerated eco-language learning and cultural understanding, enables mastery of the French language through total immersion.

Eco-language learning develops strong motivation for higher proficiency in a convivial, environmentally friendly atmosphere.

Simply put, Maison de Ste Claire is education by experience - using French in your daily activities, just as the French do.

Designed to be interactive with small teacher to student ratio.

La Maison de Sainte Claire is a Cultural and Linguistics Immersion Centre for French Learning, situated in Upper Crystal Creek, northern New South Wales. Here, the students revel in a relaxed and wholesome setting, in a convivial, family atmosphere. Student numbers are limited to a maximum of 14 for school groups, ensuring total personal attention. It is complimentary for one teacher for a minimum of 10 students.

We also offer Professional Development for Teachers of French. We only do this once every 2 years, or as requested by a school or at the introduction of a new curriculum.


Fully-residential French School Camps

La Maison de Sainte Claire is a Cultural and Linguistics Immersion Centre for French Learning, situated in Upper Crystal Creek, northern New South Wales. Here, the students revel in a relaxed and wholesome setting, in a convivial, family atmosphere. Student numbers are limited to a maximum of 14 for school groups, ensuring total personal attention. It is complimentary for one teacher for a minimum of 10 students.

La Maison de Sainte Claire has hosted pupils from Queensland (Toowoomba Grammar School, All Saints Anglican, St Ursula's, Cannon Hill Anglican, Somerville House, Glennie School, Christian Outreach College etc), New South Wales (Sydney Grammar School, Ascham, Shore, Meriden School, Penrith Anglican College, Blue Mountain Grammar and Mt St Joseph, etc) and Victoria (St Margaret’s School, Mather Christi College, Bialik College and Our Lady of Mercy College, etc). Our programs have been successful so much so that the marketing resources are now extended to reach other prestigious schools in Australia and New Zealand. The pupils have greatly impressed us with their good conduct and responsibility, and we congratulate their schools for these mature young Australians. This philosophy fits in well at la Maison de Sainte Claire, where “Our vision is to act as a force for good throughout the world. We achieve this goal through Education, Ecology and Ethics, and sharing our love for the Australian natural environment and celebrating the cultural and linguistic diversity of the world.

Courses here are from beginners to advance, and are designed to fulfil the linguistics requirements of the group, based on an open communication with the French teacher of your school. This includes specific themes and all four language skills, with formal lessons and integration into focused activities to strengthen language acquisition. We also offer courses for preparing for the HSC or equivalent in Australia, preparing students for their final examination. Not only will we provide the course workbooks, but you will also go home with a personalised e-Book for phonetic work (for senior students only). Adult and youth groups are never hosted at the same time unless in a group of families and friends.

The morning starts with a delicious French or continental breakfast at 0815 hrs. This is followed by an intensive four-hour French lesson, with a morning-tea break. Lunches and dinners are mainly two to three-course meals, with provincial cuisines from throughout France. The type of food is of course, seasonal and we cater for specific dietary requirement whenever applicable. Afternoon activities varies, which could include gardening, planting rainforest trees, role play, revision, lab work, playing pétanque, swimming in the pool, French cooking, bush walking, watching French Musicals or simply relaxing in this beautiful environment. We encourage our students to converse in French throughout the day, in a very relaxed atmosphere. Daily written task is required for an hour prior to dinner and evening activities include watching French movies (subtitled in French), indoor games, Bal Musette or listening to french music and musicals.

The closest airport to la Maison de Sainte Claire is the Coolangatta Airport (OOL) on the Gold Coast, and we do provide airport return transfer. Airport pick-up at Coolangatta and departure from la Maison de Sainte Claire is as organised by your teacher or organiser of the sojourn at la Maison de Sainte Claire. The travel time from here to Coolangatta Airport is about 45 minutes. Please allow one hour for check-in prior to your flight's scheduled departure time.

To confirm the booking for your school, please send a deposit of $280, student information and parental permission forms (please complete the Student Information Form and the Parental Permission Form and return by email or snail mail. Please specify any dietary requirement and/or food allergies. Once we have received your deposit Gilles will prepare a program for your comments. Full-payment is to be made a month before the program commences.

If you require further information on the French programs you are interested in or any general enquiry, please contact la Maison de Sainte Claire on 0411 13 64 18 or email info@maisondestclaire.com, and please provide your postal address should you like to have la Maison de Sainte Claire's brochures and/or promotional DVD. A très bientôt!

Please click here for a sample program


Professional Development for Teachers

La Maison de Sainte Claire offers programs for professional development (PD) for teachers who may have had a formal and/or informal training in French, have been concentrating in teaching another subject for a certain period of time and now requiring re-training to be better equipped as a LOTE teacher for French, specifically for the Beginners/Intermediate classes. Specialised or a-la-carte programs are also catered for in an effective and professional manner, covering all matters that could highly assist the French teachers attending our PDs once they are back in the classrooms.

Professional Development for Teachers of French 2008SampleDownload
Professional Development for Teachers of French 2011SampleDownload
Professional Development for Teachers of French 2013Neuilly sa mère!Download
Prescribed IssuesDownload
La ToléranceDownload
Les banlieuesDownload

PDs can be organised at La Maison de Sainte Claire in a fully-residential program or at your premises (organised by your association or school).

La Maison de Sainte Claire is a Cultural and Linguistics Immersion Centre for French Learning, situated in Upper Crystal Creek, northern New South Wales. Here, the students revel in a relaxed and wholesome setting, in a convivial, family atmosphere. Our Youth French Immersion Program is run during the school holidays in Australia for the Australian students and at any time of the year for overseas students. This is a program that requires no accompanying teacher or parent, students from various schools from all over Australia have lessons together and we make direct contact with the parents (cf. class teacher).

Enrolments are for students who are currently studying French at school, either for the beginners, continuers and/or the extension programs, or equivalent, for all the curriculum requirement at your school. This program is run by our program coordinator and teacher, Gilles Berger for the beginners, intermediate and advance (for example the NSW HSC Continuers and Extension or the IB Program) French Programs. Teacher/s are highly experienced French native teachers and also well-trained in Française Langue Etrangère (FLE) or French as a Foreign Language. Our programs will be covering all language skills and students will be doing the past-years examination in the mornings and evenings (written work) as well. Attend this course to fine-tune all your language skills and get prepared for your high school French final examination. For NSW HSC, we are already preparing our Extension students for Neuilly ca mere! now.

Each students will be tested on the 4 skills to be placed in the appropriate program. Individual linguistics progress are accordingly catered for as this is our main purpose for accepting small groups to ensure ample attention to each and everyone. Students will also leave with a personalised e-book (with mp3&4 files) downloadable onto your laptop for phonetic work, and throughout their time here, the teacher/s will help, encourage and suggest ways for independant learning for later on. If you do require a short report from the teacher, we'd be more than happy to provide this also. To be able to run these programs, we require a minimum of 6 students and a max of 10 (and a discount of 5% if you organise for a group of 8 pax) to attend our programs. To confirm your booking, please send a deposit of $150 (payment details below), student information and parental permission forms, and please book early to ensure a spot in this timeslot. Full-payment is to be made a month before the program commences.

The procedure to follow is below:

  • To confirm your booking, please enrol now by clicking the BOOKING button below and send a deposit of $150.
  • Please complete the Student Information Form and the Parental Permission Form and return by email or snail mail. Please specify any dietary requirement and/or food allergies.
  • For your oral assessment, please send an mp3 file with a recording of the question with your answer to each question (Download the questions here). Please do so in an impromptu manner as to allow a truthful assessment so we could better prepare materials for your positive development.
  • For your writing assessment, please send a 200 word essay on "Mes dernier vacances" for everyone and for the French Extension students, please also send a second essay with the topic of “Le bonheur, qu’est-ce que ca veut dire pour toi?” (either in .pdf, word or pages documents).
  • Full payment is to be made on the first day of the month of your arrival at la Maison de Sainte Claire. Please request an invoice/receipt if required.
  • Please send us your flight details once purchased.

The morning starts with a delicious French or continental breakfast; "les tartines" or toast and /or a melange of "les baguettes", hot croissants, "petit pain aux chocolat", fresh breads, Brioche or Gugelhulf (traditional sweet bread for Sunday breakfast in Alsace) with la Maison de Sainte Claire organic home-made conserves, organic cereal, yoghurt and fresh fruit. This is followed by an intensive four-hour French lesson, with a morning-tea break. Lunches and dinners are mainly two to three-course meals, with provincial cuisines from throughout France. The type of food is of course, seasonal. Afternoon activities varies, which could include gardening, planting rainforest trees, role play, revision, lab work, playing pétanque, swimming in the pool, French cooking, bush walking, watching French Musicals or simply relaxing in this beautiful environment. We encourage our students to converse in French throughout the day, in a very relaxed atmosphere. Evening activities include watching French movies (subtitled in French), indoor games or listening to french music.


Availability for 2018 & 2019

December 2018 Availability
Sun 9 to Sat 15 Dec 7-Day Program Yr 12 1 group
IB/NSW/HSC/ACT/VCE/QLD/WA/SA
FULL
Sun 16 to Sat 22 Dec 7-Day Program Yrs 11/12 IB/NSW/HSC/ACT/VCE/QLD/WA/SA 2 spaces

January 2019 Availability
Mon 21 to Sun 27 Jan 7-Day Program Yrs 9/10 Group 1
IB/NSW/HSC/ACT/VCE/QLD/WA/SA
2 spaces
Mon 21 to Sun 27 Jan 7-Day Program Yrs 11/12 Group 2
IB/NSW/HSC/ACT/VCE/QLD/WA/SA
2 spaces

April 2019 Availability
Sat 13 to Fri 19 Apr 7-Day Program Yrs 9/10 Group 1
IB/NSW/HSC/ACT/VCE/QLD/WA/SA
2 spaces
Sat 13 to Fri 19 Apr 7-Day Program Yrs 11/12 Group 2
IB/NSW/HSC/ACT/VCE/QLD/WA/SA
4 spaces
Mon 22 to 28 Apr 7-Day Program Yrs 11/12 IB/NSW/HSC/ACT/VCE/QLD/WA/SA NEW: 5 spaces

June & July 2019 Availability
Sun 23 to 30 Jun 7-Day Program Yrs 11/12 IB/NSW/HSC/ACT/VCE/QLD/WA/SA NEW:
Mon 1 to 7 Jul 7-Day Program Yrs OPEN IB/NSW/HSC/ACT/VCE/QLD/WA/SA NEW: FULL
Mon 8 to 14 Jul 7-Day Program Yrs OPEN IB/NSW/HSC/ACT/VCE/QLD/WA/SA NEW

The closest airport to la Maison de Sainte Claire is the Coolangatta Airport (OOL) on the Gold Coast (on QLD time), and we do provide airport return transfer (complimentary). Airport pick-up at Coolangatta is at 1030 hr (NSW time) and departure from la Maison de Sainte Claire on the last day is at 1430 hr (NSW time), so please choose the appropriate arrival and departure times when booking your flights, and be aware of daylight savings if applicable as Coolangatta Airport on the Gold Coast is within the QLD time. The travel time from la Maison de Sainte Claire to Coolangatta Airport is about 45 minutes. Please allow 1 hour for check-in prior to your flight's scheduled departure time. Should you require any further information, please feel free to contact us by email or ring (02) 6679 1016. Thank you for your support which we greatly appreciate, and we look forward to welcoming you at la Maison de Sainte Claire. A très bientôt!

Adults courses are aimed to reinforce what students have already learnt and also to improve their proficiency in French following the DELF curriculum and Gilles's task-based approach. Adults enjoy the confort of their own rooms surrounded by a lovely garden and in summer the pool is never too far... Breakfast starts at 8.15 am and lessons start at 9.00 am until 1 pm. In the afternoon students have some free time for a lovely walk in the valley or a cooking lesson with Sylvia. They also practise their speaking skills with Gilles and Zarina at all times. Every night adult students indulge themselves in a lovely gastronomic dinner as Zarina is a super chef....At the end of their course students leave La Maison de Ste Claire with a comprehensive e-book; thus being able to revise everything they have learnt during their stay, once back home ...

La Maison de Sainte Claire is a Cultural and Linguistics Immersion Centre for French Learning, situated in Upper Crystal Creek, northern New South Wales. Here, the students revel in a relaxed and wholesome setting, in a convivial, family atmosphere. Student numbers per course is small (maximum of 6 adults), ensuring total personal attention for each and everyone.

Courses here are from beginners to advance. Our highly qualified language consultant will tailor-make a program based on an open communication with you to best fulfil your needs. Whether your interest in French is recreational, professional or somewhere in between, you will be well satisfied by Maison de Ste. Claire’s programs. Not only will you be provided with the course workbook, but you will also go home with a personalised interactive e-book for phonetic work. For your personal progress after leaving Maison de St Claire, we can provide private lessons via the internet for an hour per week for a period of 10 weeks. During this time, French movies (subtitled in French) are provided once per week for your "educational" recreation. Adult and youth groups are never hosted at the same time unless in a group of families and friends.

The morning starts with a delicious French or continental breakfast; of "les tartines" or "les baguettes", hot croissants, "petit pain aux chocolat", fresh breads, Brioche or Gugelhulf (traditional sweet bread for Sunday breakfast in Alsace) with la Maison de Sainte Claire organic home-made conserves, organic cereal, yoghurt and fresh fruit. This is followed by an intensive four-hour French lesson, with a morning-tea break. Lunches and dinners are mainly two to three-course meals, with provincial cuisines from throughout France. The type of food is of course, seasonal. Afternoon activities varies, which could include gardening, planting rainforest trees, role play, revision, lab work, playing pétanque, swimming in the pool, French cooking, bush walking, watching French Musicals or simply relaxing in this beautiful environment. We encourage our students to converse in French throughout the day, in a very relaxed atmosphere. Evening activities include watching French movies (subtitled in French), indoor games or listening to french music.

We do require a minimum of four students for a group or the one-to-one tuition price is applicable (at $450 per day).

The procedure to follow is below:

  • To confirm your booking, please enrol now by clicking the BOOKING button below and send a deposit of $150.
  • Please complete the Student information form and return by email or snail mail. Please specify any dietary requirement and/or food allergies.
  • For your oral assessment, please send an mp3 file with a recording of the question with your answer to each question (Download the questions here). Please do so in an impromptu manner as to allow a truthful assessment so we could better prepare materials for your positive development.
  • For your writing assessment, please send a 200 word essay on "Mes dernier vacances" for everyone and for the advance students, please also send a second essay with the topic of “Le bonheur, qu’est-ce que ca veut dire pour toi?” (either in .pdf, word or pages documents).
  • Full payment is to be made on the first day of the month of your arrival at la Maison de Sainte Claire. Please request an invoice/receipt if required.
  • Please send us your flight details once purchased.

Availability for 2019

Beginner
Travel to France
Availability
Fri 03 to Mon 06/05/2019 Level A1: 4 day program 5 rooms available
(Chambres Rose 1- 3, Violette & Fleur de Lys)
Beginner
Mon 18 to Sun 24/03/2019 Level A1/A2: 5 - 7 day program 5 rooms available
(Chambres Rose 1- 3, Violette & Fleur de Lys)
Mon 09 to Sun 15/09/2019 Level A1/A2: 7 day program 5 rooms available
(Chambres Rose 1- 3, Violette & Fleur de Lys)
Intermediate
Mon 25 to Sun 31/03/2019 Level B1/B2: 5 - 7 day program 5 rooms available
(Chambres Rose 1- 3, Violette & Fleur de Lys)
Mon 16 to Sun 22/09/2019 Level A2/B1: 7 day program 5 rooms available
(Chambres Rose 1- 3, Violette & Fleur de Lys)
Advance
Mon 01 to Fri 05/04/2019
or Mon 01 to Sun 07/04/2019
Level B2/C1: 5 - 7 day program 5 rooms available
(Chambres Rose 1- 3, Violette & Fleur de Lys)

The closest airport to la Maison de Sainte Claire is the Coolangatta Airport (OOL) on the Gold Coast, and we do provide airport return transfer. Airport pick-up at Coolangatta is at 1030 hr (NSW time) and departure from la Maison de Sainte Claire on the last day is at 1430 hr (NSW time), so please choose the appropriate arrival and departure times when booking your flights, and be aware of daylight savings if applicable as Coolangatta Airport on the Gold Coast is within the QLD time. The travel time from Maison de St Claire to Coolangatta Airport is about 45 minutes, therefore, please allow 1 hour for check-in prior to your flight's scheduled departure time.

If you require any further information of the French program you are interested in (brochures, promo DVD etc), either ring (02) 6679 1016 or email info@maisondestclaire.com, with your postal address. Thank you for your support which we greatly appreciate, and we look forward to welcoming you at la Maison de Sainte Claire. A très bientôt!

References and Comments from Teachers & Students

Feedback from a Student: Xander



Somerville House

In August this year, a group of ten year 12 French students from Somerville House, spent a wonderful weekend at the Maison de Ste. Claire, at Upper Crystal Creek, near Murwillumbah. They dined à la française, watched French films sub-titled in French, read interesting texts on their set themes, Social Issues, discussed topical issues, sang French songs from TV5, played pétanque, gathered raspberries and cooked a super raspberry flan – and ate magnificently!

They were completely immersed in the French language and culture. Meals were French-style and students were encouraged to speak French at all times. Gilles Berger is a magnificent teacher – he encourages students to be adventurous with their speaking but is not afraid to correct mistakes so that students feel that they are improving. There were a variety of tasks so that students were never bored. All ten students returned home completely satisfied with their weekend and felt that their four skills (listening, speaking, writing and reading) had very much improved.

The Maison de Ste. Claire experience does not stop when the students finally leave this beautiful gîte. Gilles and his wife, Zarina, are constantly there to provide additional resources once teachers are back at the coalface.

I can heartily recommend such an experience for students. In fact, I will be returning in 2003, confident that a new group of year 12’s will revel in such a stimulating intellectual environment, balanced with the picturesque sylvan setting of Crystal Creek.

Denise Doyle
Somerville House
PO Box 357
South Brisbane

Feedback from a Student: Jack



All Saints Anglican School

I had heard about Gilles’ exciting new concept of an immersion French experience, set in pleasant surroundings, from a teaching colleague and decided to trial a group of Year 10 students for 4 days at La Maison de Ste-Claire. I can honestly say that it was a most worthwhile trip on all accounts. Gilles talked at length with me beforehand, to tailor-make a programme that fitted our students. Activities were very varied from horse riding to bush walking, watching pre-selected French programmes from the satellite link to French T.V. to having cookery lessons - and, of course, all in French!

Students also took part in interactive language lessons every day as part of the activities. During this time they built strategies to help them gain maximum benefit from our intensive stay for future language lessons. I know the students benefitted enormously from this type of unique exposure to the language. Whilst there, we ate like kings! The French cuisine was superb, as was the accommodation, even the meals we prepared as part of a French cookery lesson! Students were continually involved, using their language skills in a meaningful and productive way. What better way is there to learn a language than to apply it to situations students can relate to? We definitely will be returning to La Maison de Sainte-Claire, and with groups of different ages and needs.

If you cannot get to France, this is the next best!

Barry Hills.
Head of French
All Saints Anglican School
Gold Coast.

You'll Love Our French Adventure ParadiseA unique family home, set atop a hill, surrounded by subtropical rainforest, with spectacular views over the valley, the Border Ranges, the World Heritage-listed Numinbah Nature Reserve and glimpses of Mount Warning behind the majestic white gum trees. Fresh organic food, produced and cooked daily at Maison de St Claire. Local natural spring water, and special energised water.

WILDERNESS
FRESH ORGANIC FOOD
HEALTHY CUISINE
ACCOMMODATION

Maison de Ste. Claire21 Kazungula Place, Upper Crystal Creek NSW 2484 Australia
The closest airport is the Coolangatta Airport (OOL) on the Gold Coast