Canadian Volunteer on Sabbatical in France

Edmond came to us from Canada where he had decided to take a years sabbical from his adminstrative job. He was looking for a volunteering role in France where he could immerse himself in the French countryside and live like a local! Although he was not sure what to offer as a volunteer during his three week stay he tackled the garden, some outside jobs, and worked in the office

Edmond lunching with group at Bardenac

During his stay at La Giraudiere Edmond visited many of the local villages and historical sites as well as sampling many of the excellent cuisines and local wines. Day trips to local events and towns are arranged frequently during stays at La Giraudiere.

Edmond with group in the main square at La Rochelle

Like to know more about Canadians volunteering in France at La Giraudière? Check out a previous post on our blog!

Or maybe you are interested in volunteering in France at La Giraudière? Then visit our website at Volunteer in France.

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Vive la France: Saint-Émilion

Is a truth universally acknowledged that every person that arrives à la France needs visiting Saint-Émilion. Situated in Nouvelle-Aquitaine department, this UNESCO’s awarded city it’s the perfect place for living your best life and to witness one of the best landscapes in the region.

Saint-Émilion’s vineyards

Although the distance between Brossac and Saint-Émilion may seem a bit heavy at first sight. Nevertheless, bear in mind that this city is one of the indispensable ones in your to-do list. The way of life of the people and the culture of the site are directly related to viticulture: starting with the magnificent vineyards, continuing with the unique architecture and finishing with the preciousness of its locals.

Rester, c’est exister, mais voyager, c’est vivre.

Are you thinking about spending one day in Saint-Émilion? Here are some tips not to miss anything!

First things first, if you are looking to visit one of the châteaux and enjoy the best wines in France, try to book in advance online or via phone. There are multiple options but bear in mind that for most of them you might need a car or a bike. On the other hand, there is also the opportunity of walking on sunshine. It’s all up to you!

Our volunteers, Laura and Charlotte, visiting Saint-Émilion

Sometimes less can mean more. Apart from the fact of visiting the vineyards, we cannot forget the historical center. For instance, you cannot miss l’Eglise monolithe, la Tour du Roy, le Cloître des Cordeliers or les Lavoirs.

Last but not least, don’t forget your starter pack: sun cream, water and comfortable clothes and shoes. When we travel, we often forget the essentials. Plus, a good camera never hurts!

If you are interested in joining the Erasmus group of volunteers at La Giraudière, you can read more about the Erasmus project at Erasmus Project in France.

Or maybe you are more interested in Saint-Émilion? Then visit a previous post on our blog!

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Live Music Brossac Lake

This summer starting on Thursday the 18th July there will be live music at Brossac lake and it starts at 21.00 h

You can find more information on Brossac Facebook and you can abbout past music nights on our volunteers blog

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Volunteering Plunges Australian into Brossac Culture

Volunteering in France takes place at La Giraudière in Brossac. Shirley Lehmann took the opportunity to experience life as a local in the French countryside. During three weeks she worked as an international volunteer. Erasmus volunteers join international volunteers to provide a cultural exchange. People of varying ages, nationalities and life experiences unite. For Shirley, a retired Australian educator, La Giraudière was a perfect fit.

Shirley (middle back row) and volunteers in Saintes.

Shirley had a chance to be outdoors weeding, raking, and sweeping. In addition, she took on many household management jobs. Weekly, Shirley improved her French and took turns cooking for the group. She often enjoyed visiting in the area and further afield during her off time. She found  the mix of physical work, chances to explore the village and the group camaraderie was quite pleasant.

Shirley rated the excursions and the French lessons 10 out of 10! She took trips to beautiful Bordeaux and Saintes with the group. She and another volunteer explored Aubeterre. Shirley shopped in different  towns, walked around the Blue Lagoon and ate dinner at local restaurants. These all added to her enjoyment. Individualized French lessons allowed Shirley to proceed at her own pace. She feels the experience of volunteering at La Giraudière met all her expectations.

Shirley at the Blue Lagoon

What would Shirley say to others interested in volunteering? If you are looking to stay in France in a rural environment, work with others and improve your French, La Giraudière is the place to come. She stated, “In a nutshell, it’s what YOU make of all these opportunities.

Like to know more about cultural exchange in France at La Giraudière? Read more about this in a previous blog post.
Or you are interested in volunteering in France at La Giraudière? Then visit our website at Volunteer in France.


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Alliance Française prize winner Volunteers in France

Peter a full-time researcher at Harvard University decided to be volunteering at La Giraudiere after winning his Alliance Française prize in the USA.

A day out for the whole group at Saintes. Peter is on the right.

The first volunteer to arrive at La Giraudière this year, Peter Chindavong, came to us from the French Cultural Center of Boston on behalf of the Rebecca and Jean-Paul Valette Alliance Française Prize. For three weeks his contributions included mowing, trimming, disassembling bed frames, sanding and painting, and repairing bicycles. Furthermore, he cooked cottage pie for ten volunteers and interns. It also happened to be Peter’s 26th birthday–which he celebrated at a Western theme fete. Peter currently works as a biomedical researcher. In the fall, he will be teaching English in Laos.

Peter american volunteer

He found our volunteering program whilst searching the web for projects that offered French and the chance of meeting new people and making some new international contacts.. Stephen is not the first Alliance Française participant to choose La Giraudiere read more at Alliance Française at La Giraudiere.

The first volunteer to arrive at La Giraudière this year, Peter Chindavong, came to us from the French Cultural Center of Boston on behalf of the Rebecca and Jean-Paul Valette Alliance Française Prize.

Peter is not the first Alliance Française participant to arrive at La Giraudiere, read how Shiao-Ping from Brisbane Alliance Francaise Volunteer

Peter Alliance Francaise prize winner
Mowing the backyard.

Peter celebrated his 26th birthday at a Western themed fete in Brossac.

Brossac community members at the Western themed fete.

On his arrival at La Giraudiere, Peter states in his evaluation form that he wasn’t quite sure what to expect but he soon settled in at La Giraudiere. Peter suggests that the Orientation Guide be sent to volunteers, before their arrival. “This is happening now.”

Alliance Francaise winner from USA
Peter sampling the candy floss.

Peter worked in the garden and in building maintenance. He gained practical handy-worker skills; ones that he can make use of in the future.
Highlights for Peter were interacting with the small and welcoming Brossac community and cycling within rural southwest France.
He participated in group excursions to Angouleme and Saintes. Individual ones included Bordeaux, Grotte Font-de-Gaume and Balade Lac Bleu.
Peter suggests the compilation of a list of current and on-going projects at La Giraudiere. “This will be carried out.”

Peter currently works as a biomedical researcher. In the fall, he will be teaching English in Laos. “Thank you Peter for choosing La Giraudiere and for completing the evaluation form on your departure. Good luck in Laos from us all!”

Like to know more about How to Learn French in France at La Giraudière?Read more about this at Learn French in France.
Or maybe you are interested in volunteering in France at La Giraudière?Then visit our website at Volunteer in France.

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