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“Vivez à la française à la Maison de Ste Claire”
“Apprentissage chez l’habitant”

  • La Maison de Ste 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.
  • Please visit la Maison de Ste Claire Facebook page for more videos and photos, feedback from students and freebies.
  • We have hosted schools from all over Australia and for many schools, this has become an annual tradition since la Maison de Ste Claire opened in 2000. Our special thanks goes to all the highly dedicated teachers! Merci infiniment!
  • Our programs have been successful so much so that we have hosted several school from overseas as well since 2011.
  • The pupils have greatly impressed us with their good conduct and responsibility, and we congratulate their schools for these mature youths.
  • This philosophy fits in well at Maison de Ste 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.”
  • Some of the schools we have host include: 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, Shore, Ascham, 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).
  • We have hosted a few Primary School groups (Years 6) as well.

We hope to welcome you again, see some new faces and thank you for sharing this information with your friends and colleagues. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Merci et à très bientôt!

“Through passion and excellence, we discover the hidden linguistics genius in you.”
“Speak languages: The future is at your fingertips, so shape your destiny today.”

Residential French Immersion Program for SCHOOL GROUP at la Maison de Ste Claire

“Attend this course to fine-tune all your language skills and be well prepared to ace your high school French examinations.”

  • We offer an extensive French Course from beginner to the advance level: programs such as the NSW HSC Continuers and Extension, the VCE and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, QCE and all equivalent high school program in the different Australian states.
  • Our highly qualified language consultant will tailor-make a program based on an open communication with your French teacher to best fulfil your needs, and you will be well satisfied by la Maison de Ste Claire’s programs.
  • Your French teacher will contact us directly and will be organising the French Camp for you.
  • You will be provided with the French course workbooks as well as videos and/or Interactive E-Book for revision and phonetic work (for senior students only).
  • Adult and youth groups are not hosted at the same time.

“Teachers constantly at hand to help”
“A range of accompanied activities with focus on fun in learning”

Your Teachers & Tutors

  • This program has been designed by our highly qualified team, led by Dr Gilles Berger.
  • Our language consultant, Dr Gilles Berger was awarded the highest distinction for a PhD in Applied Linguistics for his thesis on the Hybrid On-line French Program for Française Langue Etrangère (FLE) or French as a Foreign Language in October 2015 from the renowned Centre for Applied Linguistics (CLA) of the University of Franche-Comté, France.
  • Maison de Ste Claire constantly keeps abreast with the pedagogy and cutting edge technology in language learning.
  • Both Dr Gilles Berger and Zarina Berger have presented papers in linguistics and participated in various International Conferences around the world for their Professional Development.
  • Our teachers are highly experienced and also well trained in français langue étrangère (FLE) or French as a Foreign Language.
  • All educators/staff have the Working With Children Check.

Your time at la Maison de Ste Claire

  • Our highly qualified language consultant will tailor-make a program based on an open communication with your French teacher to best fulfil your needs, and you will be well satisfied by la Maison de Ste Claire’s programs.
  • This includes specific themes and all four skills of the French language learning (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing), with formal lessons and integration into focused activities to strengthen language acquisition.
  • We also offer courses for preparing for your high school certificate, the HSC or equivalent in Australia and oversea, preparing students for their final examination.
  • Individual linguistics progress is accordingly catered for so we keep our groups small to ensure personal progress to everyone.
  • You will also do exercises from past-years’ examinations. Our main aim is to develop a strong confidence in our students for an accelerated language learning in the target language.
  • Throughout your time here, the teacher/s will help, encourage and suggest ways for independent learning.

“A unique experience with guaranteed results.”
“Complete Immersion for Accelerated Language Development.” “Small but professional French language learning for everyone, at all levels”

Your Daily Routine

  • The morning starts with a delicious French or continental breakfast.
  • 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 indoor games, role play, revision, playing pétanque, swimming in the pool, French cooking, gardening, 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.
  • An hour daily writing task (corrected and discussed in class the day after) before dinner.
  • Evening activities include watching French movies (subtitled in French).

If it is a morning arrival on the first day, so you will have one session before lunch and another one from 15:00 to 17:00 hrs. The usual daily routine commences on the second day. Departure on the last day is in the afternoon, after the completion of your last morning session and lunch. In total, you will have 35 hours of formal lessons for a 7-Day Program (4 hours in the morning and 1 hour before dinner with interactive activities in French in the afternoons, daily).

Availability for 2023, 2024 & 2025

Please suggest a few options suitable for your group by returning a completed Expression of Interest Form to la Maison de Ste Claire and we will get back to you to confirm availability. Once decided, we will set the time-slot aside for you. The procedure to follow is as below:

The Procedure to Follow

  • The French teacher of your school will contact us regarding the dates of your sojourn at la Maison de Ste and return a completed Expression of Interest Form to la Maison de Ste Claire.
  • The French teacher of your school will organise the trip and airfare, and also collect the payment and return the two completed forms below.

    1. Student Information Form 2. Parental Permission Form
    Two weeks before the commencement of your program, please return the forms by email to this email address or snail mail and specify any dietary requirement and/or food allergies if applicable. Mails to be addressed to Maison de Ste. Claire, PO Box 1283, Murwillumbah NSW 2484 AUSTRALIA.

  • For comfirmation, a deposit of $280 is required.
  • Full-payment is due a month before the start of your school program for French.

  • Your class teacher will send us your flight details once purchased, so we could organise the return airport transfer in due time.
  • The closest airport to la Maison de Ste Claire is the Coolangatta Airport (OOL) on the Gold Coast, and we provide airport return transfer as organised with your school teacher.
  • Airport pick-up at OOL is at 1030 hrs (NSW time) and departure from la Maison de Ste Claire on the last day is at 1430 hrs (NSW time), so please choose the appropriate arrival and departure times when booking your flights.
  • The travel time from la Maison de Ste Claire to Coolangatta Airport is about 45 minutes.
  • Please allow 1 hour for check-in prior to your flight's scheduled departure time and also make note of Daylight Savings if travelling between the 4/10/2020 to 4/04/2021, 3/10/2021 to 3/04/2022, 2/10/2022 to 2/04/2023, 1/10/2023 to 7/04/2024, 6/10/2024 to 6/04/2025.

Other useful forms in alphabetical order are:

Please bring your Iphone or smartphone, laptop, Ipad or tablet (if you have one) for the transfer of French materials such as videos, interactive e-books for revision and/or for Flipped Class situation. These materials are also for future revision and phonetic work once you leave la Maison de Ste Claire.

Your Accommodation

As our guest, you are provided with onsite accommodation. Accommodation is mostly twin-share but could be up to four students in Fleur de Lys. Of course, boys and girls will be housed in separate sections:

  • Fleur de Lys: Quadruple Share: In Train Carriage 2 with ensuite (1 shower, 1 toilet, 1 sink and double spa bath). Direct access to main house, garden classroom and deck. 1 room - Fleur de Lys: 4 Single Beds
  • Fleur Violette: Teacher’s Room: In Train Carriage 2 with ensuite (1 shower, 1 toilet and 1 sink). Direct access to deck. 1 room - Fleur Violette: 1 King size bed or 2 singles.
  • Les Chambres Roses: Twin Share: In Train Carriage 1 with shared bathroom (2 showers, 2 toilets and 2 sinks). Direct access to main house and garden classroom. 3 rooms - Rose 1 & 2: 1 Bunk bed in each and Rose 3: 2 single beds
  • L’annexe: 1 room with access to the main house, deck and separate bathroom (1 shower, 1 toilet and 1 sink). 1 double bed and 1 to 2 single beds

We have the dormitory style accommodation for our school groups.

What does the price include?

School Fee Structure 2023❤❤❤ School Fee Structure 2024❤❤❤ School Fee Structure 2025

  • All tuition fees, workbooks for students (except textbooks), accommodation, all meals (including morning and afternoon-tea) and all activities at Maison de Ste Claire.
  • Personalised videos and ebook for revision and phonetic work, including mp3&4 files downloaded onto your laptops/IPhone/Smartphone/IPAD.
  • Extra cost: One excursion per week (minimum 7 day stay), either to Coolangatta Beach, Byron Bay or the Natural Arch Springbrook National Park.
  • Extra cost: Airport return transfer for Coolangatta Airport.

Student numbers are limited to a maximum of 14 for school groups, with a minimum of 10 students, ensuring personal attention.

It is complimentary for one teacher for a minimum of 10 students.

Payment can be made by

  • Cheque or money order in the order of Maison de Ste Claire, please, or.
  • Electronic transfer, National Australia Bank BSB 082738, Cheque A/C 946475496, Name: Maison de Ste. Claire.

Conditions of Enrolment

  • A deposit of $280 is required for confirmation.
  • Full-payment is due a month before the start of your school program for French.
  • Fees are not refundable where enrolment is cancelled by a student due to changes in work commitments or personal circumstances but can be used within 12 months of purchase. Only applicable if Maison de Ste Claire is advised at least 14 days prior to your intended arrival.

COVID-19 Regulations & Safety

COVID safety
Since Friday the 15th May 2020, we have commenced hosting students until advised otherwise.
All staff and students are to adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines set out by the NSW government while on-site. The nature of the Immersion is on-site only, and as such, does not involve mixing in large groups. We have taken some extra steps to keep our students and staff safe. These include

  • Following all government health guidelines.
  • Additional cleaning and hand sanitisers on our premises.
  • As this is a private property of 12 acres, public entry points are minimised, hence the students are naturally isolated and no public distancing required. Current access on-site is for the hosts only for this period. As usual, all food order will be made through online order.
  • For students arriving at la Maison, please carry a personal hand sanitiser to be used during the travel. Please practise regular hand washing and all the usual practise of good hygiene on a daily basis, at all times while at la Maison de Ste Claire.
  • Excursions involving busy public spaces are cancelled. If required, this activity will be limited to the more quiet and larger open spaces such as bushwalking in the World Heritage National Parks within 20 to 30 minutes drive from the immediate vicinity.
  • If you’re travelling by air, to be cautious and Covid safe, please book your flights in and out of Ballina Airport (BNK). The best flights for students flying from Sydney would be JQ 458 with arrival at BNK at 11:45 am, and JQ461, departing BNK at 17:00 hrs (please check airline website for latest information). If you’re using other airlines or travelling from another city, please arrive at the airport at approximately the same times.

  • The return transfer is as a group, with everyone arriving at the same airport at an appointed time (please see above). Otherwise, we could organise for individual transfer with a local company which costs $220 for one way, hence $440 return trip. Until further notice, la Maison will be adopting arrival at Ballina Airport due to the possible problems associated with Covid-19. Thank you for understanding. Merci!

After Maison de Ste Claire

  • Do come again!
  • Students will leave with a personalised interactive e-book or videos, downloadable onto your laptop/mobile phone/ IPad for phonetic work.
  • Please request for a short report from the teacher, as we'd be more than happy to provide this also.
  • Dr Gilles Berger is also an assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.

In the event that the Residential French Program at Maison de Ste Claire is unsuitable, we’d like to propose a French Workshop at your school. A workshop at your school will cost from $1000 per-day (9.30 am to 3.00 pm: 4 hr workshop and 3 hrs preparations) and other expenses include the travel expenses, accommodation and airfare (if applicable) and petrol. The program will be specified to your requirements. Once the deposit is paid, a program will be established together and our consultant will then send a .pdf file containing all the daily worksheets (will be emailed to you to be photocopied at your school). At the end of the workshop, you will receive an e-book to be distributed to the participants at the workshop. This e-book will contain some audio, video, summary of the work covered during the workshop for revision, including phonetic work and if relevant, a Power Point lesson for some grammar work as well. For quality control, the maximum number of participants per workshop if restricted to15 people.

After your time with us, we could further support you with our online and offline French Courses such as:

  • The Online French Course (comprehensive and interactive).
  • The weekly French Webinar for online French lessons (flipped class) to complement the learning process of above (a small group of 10 students).
  • The weekly Live_chat Private Tuition (1:1).
  • French Writing: corrected and returned.
  • The series of Interactive eBooks via the Apple platform.

La Maison de Ste Claire supports you all the way!

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 Ste Claire. Local natural spring water, and special energised water.


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



We believe in creating a multilingual World Community for World Peace and the development of spiritual growth.


is to act as a force of good throughout the world. We achieve this goal through education, ecology and ethics, and nurturing our love of humanity and nature, and celebrating the cultural and linguistics diversity of the world.


We embrace all the people of the world and belief in equality in humanity. And to have a heart that certainly beats with the pulsation of humanity.