La Giraudiere is in the News in the USA

La Giraudiere in the news headlines in USA

This blog post is to say a big thank you to Martin Jones Westlin’s editor of La Jolla Village news which is part of the San Diego Community News Group. Marty, as we got to know him, spent his 3 week summer vacation volunteering here at La Giraudiere in southwest France.

During his stay Marty helped out with editing our Erasmus accreditation application and also the orientation guide which will help the 100’s of volunteers and interns that choose LG each year.

SDNEWS USAMarty left us just over a week ago but his work for La Giraudiere continues even now he is back in the USA. Marty is writing 3 articles about his stay and particular his stay at La Giraudiere so take some time to check Marty’s first article at La Giraudiere in the SDNEWS


“Thank you Marty we miss you at LG”

Scotland sends it’s finest volunteer

What a beautiful scottish accent – Welcome Kirsty

This Monday arrived also young lady from Scotland. Her name is Kirsty and she lives near Glasgow in Scotland.

Scottish lady Kirsty is sorting the old photos

Kirsty is sorting the old photos. A lot of memories should be well-organised.

She is a student of marketing, economics and accounting at the University in Glasgow. She came to France to improve her french language skills and to gain a better understanding of French culture.

Kirsty will help us with cleaning and she will take care of household and gardening.

Bienvenue en France, Kirsty!

New volunteers are arriving – Belinda from Canada

Belinda arrived to La Giraudiere on Monday evening and she will spend three weeks here by helping us with a lot of work.

Belinda is an ESL teacher working with the school in Saskatoon, Canada. She is keen to help us with restoration of the old house, with painting and renovating it.

Belinda from Canada is painting in the old house

What a beautiful painting posture!

She would love to practice french language to make her speech more fluent and help La Giraudiere to become a good-looking place!

Thank you Belinda and welcome to our team!

Australian couple volunteer in France

La Giraudiere is pleased to welcome Roger and Lyn, couple who lives near Melbourne in Australia. They are taking a year out (gap year round) to travel around the Europe in order to gain a new life experience and new cultural exchange.Australian volunteer repairing the shutters

La Giraudiere is now going to be their home for the next two weeks and during their volunteer stay they will be helping with all sorts of work. Roger has already started with getting the windows in shape whilst Lyn is busy in the garden and helps to prepare the old house for a music event which is planned for September.

Lyn from Australia is dusting

Dusting is such a funny activity for Lyn

During their stay at LG, they hope to make some new friends and share all of their french experiences. Roger is a former teacher, practising artisit among many things. Lyn is also a former primary school teacher who as accountancy skills and many other strings to her bow.

We wish you to spend an amazing time at LG!

Universal Music financial controler volunteers at La Giraudiere

Universal Music financial controler volunteers at La Giraudiere

Clare skinner arrived late June 2015 at La Giraudiere to volunteer her skills to the project. Clare is taking time off to tour around Europe for the summer of 2015.

La Giraudiere is to be a 6 week part of that tour, prior to LG Clare had been in France touring around the North and once her stay finishes at LG she will be heading to Nice and then Spain – wow what a tour.

Clare skills have been put to good use at LG, as an Financial controller she was not daunted at all when presented with a box of bills and receipts and asked to put in place the accounts for the project.

Clare is also helping to put together a mailing list of all those that have applied or enquired about the project here in France probably over 5000 addresses and going up as we speak.

English volunteer in France

Claire under the watchfull eye of Sidney audits the figures

French Volunteer helps La Giraudiere

Tibor Helis from South Charente chose to help out at La Giraudiere during his summer holidays. Tibor who just passed his BAC this month and now awaits his place at Bordeaux University will be active with the association at La Giraudiere. Tibor will be helping with the logisitics and of course helping volunteers and interns with their French.

French volunteer

Tibor first tea break at LG

Tibor will be a great asset during the summer as he speak English and French come a Brossacaise – Welcome aboard and thanks for your input Tibor looking forward to a great summer working with you.

Good morning France La Giraudiere is back

First Slovakian intern arrives at La Giraudiere

After a few weeks pause we are now kicking off the second part of this superb summer 2015 in France with new volunteers and interns.

Firstly some new faces at La Giraudiere and we start with Eva from Slovakia who is our Slovak intern at La Giraudiere. Eva is here to improve here French learn about event planning and schedulling accommodation etc.

During Eva’ internship she will be dealing with the incoming emails and enquiries from abroad concerning the volunteer program and the internships. During her stay they will also be an event of a musical evening at LG and Eva will be involved in the planning and the marketing.

Today is Eva’s first day and allready she has dealt with over 20 emails from all around the globe and is seen here taking her first French lesson – Bienvennue a La Giraudiere

Slovakian intern Eva works with new applications

A new intern in LG is from the heart of Europe, from Slovakia.

For further information about the internships at La Giraudiere visit Internship in France

Volunteers in Southwest France Sprint to Their Next Cultural Immersion Experience

It may not be a French marathon but, this “semi-nocturnal” ramble is just right for five La Giraudiere volunteers who are keen to dash to their next cultural immersion  experience in Southwest France.


The flyer says it all. While this is a 12km or 7.5 mile trek, unlike any other “walk” that I have ever participated in, this one comes complete with a five course meal. Or, as the flyer reads, “food over the course”. Furthermore, because this is France, there will also be plenty of vin de pays, or “country wine”, to quench our thirst, all for only 12 €.


My walking shoes are ready at the door…how about you, what are you waiting for? Come join us at La Giraudiere in the Southwest of France for your volunteer experience of a lifetime.

A bientot,

Mayra (volunteer)

Bon Voyage to a Canadian Intern in the Southwest of France

A warm thank you to Meghan Chrisie who came to the Southwest of France from Toronto Canada for an opportunity to intern at La Giraudere, experience her passion for travel, and improve her French language skills.

A Canadian Intern at La Giraudiere in Southwest France

Yea, I’m here at the wild La Giraudiere in France and they do vegetarian too!

While here, Meghan managed the application process for volunteers and interns, handled communications, including coordinating the comings and goings of new and current volunteers, and was part of the marketing team, contributing to blogging and social sharing.

As part of her internship at La Giraudiere, Maghan received one on one French lessons twice a week, which became evident as her French language skills showed improvement from week to week.

Meghan, a travel enthusiast and amenable mixer, made easy friends at La Giraudiere and mixed well with the natives during village boules and other local activities.

Thank you Maghan for your awesome participation in and contribution to the La Giraudiere internship program. We wish you a bon voyage on the next leg of your journey and continued discovery and adventure in your life.


Work and Pleasure Blur at La Giraudiere: Opportunity for Volunteers and Interns in Southwest France

Volunteering or Interning at La Giraudiere explores a variety of work activities three days of the week. Find out what you can contribute as a volunteer or what you can learn as an intern when you come and visit the Southwest of France.

Grounds, forest, and back view of La Giraudiere where volunteers and interns work at La Giraudiere in Southwest France

Grounds, forest, and back view of La Giraudiere where volunteers and interns work at La Giraudiere in Southwest France

At 2.5 hecters, or approximately 6.2 acres, The grounds at La Giraudiere is a mix of rolling topography and a small forest, grassy areas, two rockery court yards (front and back), and many lovely flowers and bushes. In addition, you will find a restored two story maison de maître, or masters house, built in the 1700 along with a 1904 addition.

While the grounds and maison are delightful, there is certainly always something to be done to further develop, beautify, maintain, and promote this non for profit cultural Immersion center, where learning, work, and adventure mingle together as easily as cultures, ages, genders, and demographics.

So, what lies on the other side of those four free days of excursions into Bordeaux, the beach, and elsewhere… that much needed balance of work at La Giraudiere, or the other 3 days of the week.

Volunteers in Southwest France landscape the grounds at La Giraudere

“Oh far out! It’s been wonderful, exhausting but fun- variety.” – Maree Johns  (Australia volunteer, left)

As I mentioned in the Working Vacation post, work and pleasure really do blur here at La Giraudiere. But what might you expect to experience during your stay? Following is a list of top ten activity options for volunteering and interning, as well as quotes from current team members.

Sebastian Costa, above in the bushes, shared this short but sweet quote about the work at La Giraudiere, “…the long breaks” followed by a smile. He is French and is learning to speak English.

Volunteers in Southwest France landscape the grounds at La Giraudiere.

“…so many things, its relaxing and fun (the work), the people are brilliant, and Paul (our host) is really good. He get’s you to make the most out of the opportunity. Out of all my volunteering experience. this has to be one of the tops, and I’ve volunteered with  gorillas and elephants !” – Michelle Cocker (Australia volunteer)

Top Ten options for volunteer work and internship at La Giraudiere, not limited to just one:

  • Landscaping/Gardening
  • Household Management: Housekeeper
  • Cooking/Meal Prep
  • Construction and Restoration
  • Marketing/Social Media/Blogging
  • Handy Work or Property Maintaince and DIY
  • Bookeeping
  • Administration/Communications
  • Event Organization
  • Education
Volunteers in Southwest France

After four days of touring, beachcoming, museuming, eating and drinking, I really enjoyed the balance of work at La G. – Mayra Pena (USA volunteer, left)

Our present marketing and communications team loves Sidney, the La Giraudere mascot, and is working out a way to blog outside with him. When asked for a quote, Maghen Christie (Canada volunteer, right) said, “Sidney was a really great team member. I think her smile says the rest.

Volunteers in Southwest France landscape the grounds at La Giraudere

“I am having so much fun at La Giraudiere that I am staying an extra week.” – Noemie D’Onofrio (USA volunteer, left)

And from Lisa Quan (USA volunteer right), a philosophical quote, “If you worry too mcuh about completion, there will never be a beginning.” Letting us know to just get started and get here. We promise there will be plenty of work as well as play for you.

Wheather you volunteer or intern, contribute to the housekeeping, marketing, gardening, restoration, or any number of other activities, the work at La Giraudiere is always varied and fun. So don’t hesitate to join us for your next working holiday, volunteer or internship  experince in France.

A bientot,

Mayra, (Volunteer)