Camper's Testimonies 

Arriving in Châtel France, I had no idea what to expect. I’d been to plenty of camps before but they’d all been normal English-speaking summer camps.

Still, I was excited to be in a place where I could speak French, and I was so happy feeling my French was progressing throughout my 3 weeks spent in beautiful Châtel.

There is really no substitute for complete and total immersion when learning a new language. With VSF I did parapente (paragliding), a new and thrilling activity that I would not have been able to experience in the US. Also I went on a biking trip, went swimming and shopping, and lounged around breath taking cascades, all while studying and speaking French!

Thank you to everyone at VSF, thank you to my camp Director and all the camp counsellors for helping me create new memories, friendships, and most importantly, a knowledge of French and France that will last a lifetime

 CLAIRE D. 14 years old - New Jersey USA


Hey! My name is Stephanie and I am from Kenya. I attended VSF program with 2 of my friends. This was our first trip to France and my first French camp! I have to say, it was such a great experience, I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE.

The best part was having the chance to paraglide for the first time. The view of Châtel from up there is in one word AMAZING!

The activities of the day were enjoyable and helped me meet new friends, socialize with others. I also improved in speaking and understanding French, though at first it wasn’t easy.

The food was finger licking and the personnel who served us were kind and caring. The variety of food always made me look forward to the next meal.

The guys and girls at camp were friendly, funny, interesting and fun to be around. They never let anyone feel out of place and we always had things to talk about. The counsellors were very friendly, we treated them with a lot of respect so they also let us enjoy some privileges and make some decisions on our own. They were also understanding and so we could talk to them about almost anything.

This was a life-changing experience because I overcame some of my fears, e.g-paragliding!

It would be great to have this opportunity again, I’ll certainly encourage my other friends to sign up for this camp. Even us foreigners, we felt very at home with everybody around.

A Big thank you to Valerie and the rest of her team for giving me this lovely opportunity. The organization is great and very careful in planning all the events!!!

 STEPHANIE R. /16 years old – NAIROBI - KENYA


My name is Sophia, I am 16 years old from Kenya.

This was my first VSF camp and my first time in France. I was extremely nervous when I chose to come here because I thought making friends would be hard especially because of the language barrier, but it wasn’t so bad. The French children were really understanding. They spoke slowly to give me time to understand and translated what I couldn’t understand so I learned fast.

I made a lot friends so parting was really hard and emotional. A lot of tears were shed but contacts were exchanged with promises to keep in touch!

The camp directors and counsellors were amazing, they were really more like older brothers and sisters, getting along with them was easy.

The village we stayed in was beautiful, the people friendly. If I could I would have loved to stay longer but all good things must come to an end.

During this trip I learned a lot about the French culture, the language, the history and the people. I learned a lot from my everyday conversations with my friends and camp directors. I also picked up several sayings and expressions that normally aren’t taught in school.

I think living with people who speak the French language is really the best way to learn and understand that language. I am sure if I had stayed longer I would have become fluent in the language.

The camp activities were great, paragliding was amazing and I learned many new games and activities. The food was fantastic! I especially loved the bread.

All in all it was a lovely experience and I would do it over and over again if I could!

 SOPHIA W./ 16 years old – NAIROBI – KENYA


I landed in Paris, unsure, afraid and excited at the same time, but putting on a brave face because I didn’t want anyone to know I was nervous. Here we were 3 Kenyans in France simply because we had heard about a camp and decided “why not try it?”

We found our way through the airport to meet our welcome team who was waiting for us. A few hours later we were on a train on oour way to camp. From the time I entered the train I knew that it would be a blast, the directors were fun, friendly, always smiling and the French children were all so amazing, welcoming, and just wonderful!

At first understanding and speaking French was a challenge! Truly writing a language and speaking it is totally different!
But after a few days with some help here and there I began to understand and hey it wasn’t so bad after all! This is because I learned to ask them to speak slowly and pronounce clearly et voilà we were able to communicate!

Each day we would play different games, some I never played before and of course ALL in French! But they were all very fun!

Of course my favourite activity was paragliding, it was amazing! An unforgettable experience!

All in all the trip was great, not only did I get a chance to improve my French, but I also made friends from all over the world, I learned about other cultures, tasted new dishes, in a beautiful country, France! I also learned new activities!

Indeed it was a perfect package deal and I am SO glad I did it!

 PAULYNE W. / 16 years old – NAIROBI – KENYA


This was my first trip to France and my French was very limited so I was quite nervous at first.

The best experience I had was communicating with the friends I made while attending this camp, and I made so many.

These friends were like no other. Every kid I met was very nice and polite. They were all so nice to me and I respected them as they did me. It was hard for me to say good bye…

I loved all of the activities, biking, camping, parapente, the parties, hanging out with friends,

Thanks to Jimmy, Paulyne, Mathieu, Victor, Romain, Mathis, Amandine, Antoine, Delaire, Alicia, and thanks to all the animateurs (counsellors). I will miss you guys a lot. Thanks for being such great friends and thank you for showing me a one of a kind experience I will never forget!

 GRANT M. /15 years old – JACKSON CITY – USA


This was my first summer sleep away camp! and it gave me the best memories of my life! I thought that maybe it would not be fun, but I had so much fun that I forgot all the things I worried about, for example the language. When I came to this camp I did not understand at all when people spoke ot me but after several weeks I naturally understood French and I felt more comfortable speaking, I also learned how to be close to people. The activities were fun and the counselors really nice. The French culture is very interesting! The countryside of France is so different from Paris....Next year I want to come back again. The food was great! Everyone was so nice, I miss them already.  I think VSF is a great organization, GREAT VACATION! I want to come back next year!!!

  Juri I., Age 12, (China) Summer 2010

On the Subject of Us

VSF gives children from around the world a real chance to practice their language skills by living in total immersion with French children of their own age in a real French Summer Camp!

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