Sojourner Tours

A boutique tour company specialized in gastronomic sojourns in France. Go beyond the typical tourist trip: immerse yourself in French culture and discover authentic places loved by the French.

START PLANNING YOUR SOJOURN: JUST CLICK HERE.

READ SOME TESTIMONIALS BY CLICKING HERE.

Book early. SPACE IS ALWAYS LIMITED.

Groups are kept to eight guests so you can visit authentic places, stay in charming boutique hotels and eat in the real restaurants where locals dine. 

  LIVE LIKE A LOCAL: LANGUAGE IMMERSION SOJOURN

(7 DAYS)

*Reserve half-a-year in advance.

2017  **PRICE before November 1, 2016: $1600 

2018 **PRICE before November 1, 2017: $1600

ENJOY THE LUXURY OF WALLET-FREE TRAVEL: Read more about the all-inclusive price.

**Traveling alone: add $855 for a private room (rates are based on double room occupancy: most rooms have one double bed).

DATES: June 11-17 2017.

(Minimum Age: 21 )

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE FULL ITINERARY 

This is your sojourn if you want to perfect your French while experiencing the typical French lifestyle, learning the local culture and history and having time to explore at your own pace.  Whether your French is at a low intermediate level or already advanced, you will have fun improving your language skills and cultural knowledge.  Each day your language-study theme is centered around an excursion to a special local spot including a castle, vineyard and outdoor market. Morning language and culture classes cover vocabulary and grammar  that you will use on the excursion.

A beautiful Mediterranean fishing village at the foot of the Pyrenees, in a region rich in history and culture, Collioure is a fascinating and fun place to learn French. You'll stay in a cottage home like a local with your fellow sojourners and teaching guides so you can practice French while enjoying family-style meals and relaxing between activities. Your cottage is centrally located so you'll be able to easily explore the village on foot or stroll along the beach during your free time.

You'll arrange your own transportation to Collioure. If you are arriving by train,  a Sojourner Tours representative will meet you at the station to help you transport your baggage to your temporary home. 

You'll have plenty of time to get into the local rhythm of life, strolling the cobble stoned streets, sitting at a cafe, shopping in boutiques, hiking, taking in a show or concert. 

SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • A TOTAL of 27.5 hours of language & culture instruction taught by Sojourner Tours owners Lisa and Francis who are both French professors at Southwestern University near Austin Texas. (DAILY CLASS BREAKDOWN: 2 hours a day of language instruction in French at the intermediate or advanced level; an optional 45 minute culture lecture in French; an optional 45 minute culture lecture in English; and, a 2 hour excursion designed to practice what you learned in class each day.)
  • Accommodation in a local cottage hosted by your guides.
  • All of the meals:  including homemade food aten family-style at your "homestay" cottage, and three restaurant meals including a meal in a Michelin Star establishment. (You may opt to skip a meal at the cottage if you want to go out on your own.)
  • An orientation.
  • A tour of the city. Your guides will point out favorite cafes, bars & restaurants as well as the cinema, theater, art museum, popular parks, and more.
  • Guided hiking, wine tasting, guided visit to castle & fort, boating

YOUR BASE

Collioure

Collioure

Your base town will be Collioure (pop. <3,000), a quaint harbor-village nestled between the vineyard covered mountains and the sea on the craggy shores of the Vermillion coast --home to the renowned author of Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian, for 50 years. The colors and charm of this area inspired some of the most famous European painters of the 1900s. Collioure's winding roads leading through pastel colored buildings, its red rooftops contrasting against the green mountains, and its stately church and castle juxtaposed against the blue sea inspired Matisse and Derain to found a new art movement that emphasized the use of strong colors: Fauvism. 

One of the two families that salt and pack anchovies traditionally.

One of the two families that salt and pack anchovies traditionally.

You may also want to discover the beautiful region surrounding the city by extending your stay to include the Best-Kept Secrets of the French-Spanish Borderland Sojourn at the beginning or end of your language immersion sojourn, which would enable you to daytrip around the area to enjoy the beautiful natural settings which inspired some of the greatest painters of the 20th century: Matisse, Dali, Picasso. You'd spend the week exploring the villages, wine tasting,  dining in gastronomic restaurants and visiting exceptional historic sites. 


YOUR TEACHER-HOST-GUIDES

Jan 2014 050.JPG

You will be staying with Lisa Gustavson (the owner, founder and CEO of Sojourner Tours who is also a part-time professor of French at Southwestern University). Lisa teaches Intermediate Grammar and Culture classes on art, food & wine in English.

Francis Mathieu

Francis Mathieu (co-owner of Sojourner Tours and tenured professor of French at Southwestern University). Francis teaches Advanced Grammar and discussion classes as well as Culture Classes on the History & Geography of the region in French. 

Bienvenu “chez-nous”! While you stay with us, we will treat you like family. We’ll prepare typical French dishes for you and dine together so we can chat in French. During your excursions, we’ll be showing you around in French so you can really get to know the village while expanding your language skills.
— Lisa & Francis

HOMESTAY-InSPIRED: LANGUAGE IMMERSION Program

SUNDAY:

Arrive in Collioure, a colorful port town

In the early 20th century,  Matisse became the leading modern artist when he set about capturing the brightly colored fisherman's boats and houses in Collioure.

DETAILS:

AFTERNOON:  Upon arrival, you can settle into your room in the centrally located cottage where you'll be staying with the other tour participants and hosted by Sojourner Tours owners Lisa & Francis. Your hosts will be there to help you settle-in. While other guests are still arriving, you can start to explore the town on your own, relax at the cottage or perhaps get a drink at the tavern frequented by scores of famous writers and passing painters.

RECEPTION & DINNER: You will meet the rest of the group to celebrate the beginning of your sojourn French-style with a typical apéritif at 6:00 pm and have a brief orientation. You will then enjoy a laid-back French dinner.

View of a residential section of Collioure.

View of a residential section of Collioure.

A church steeple near the Dominican winetasting room and the museum of art.

A church steeple near the Dominican winetasting room and the museum of art.


MONDAY:

DISCOVERING COLLIOURE

THEME:  Speaking of the City

MORNING: LANGUAGE & CULTURE CLASSES

9:00-9:50 GRAMMAR

  1.  INTERMEDIATE: Present Tense of the most common verbs etre, avoir, & -er verbs
  2. ADVANCED:Direct and Indirect Pronouns 

10:00-10:50 CONVERSATION

  1.  INTERMEDIATE: Vocabulary of the City & Present Tense of aller
  2. ADVANCED:Reading & Discussion on the City

PAUSE CAFE

11:30-12:10 OPTIONAL CULTURE LECTURE: The Artists of Catalonia (English)

12:15-1:00 OPTIONAL CULTURE LECTURE:  History and Geography of Catalonia (Part I) (French)

1:00 LUNCH

Strolling in downtown Collioure, view of the bay overlooking the castle and lighthouse-church.

Strolling in downtown Collioure, view of the bay overlooking the castle and lighthouse-church.

AFTERNOON: EXPLORATION & LANGUAGE APPLICATION 

3:00 EXCURSION Walking Tour of Collioure using today's grammar and vocabulary.

5:00 FREE TIME After your activity, you'll have enough free time to stroll around the charming historical city center, peek in some boutiques  or have a drink at a café before meeting back up with the group.  

7:00 OPTIONAL APERITIF

8:00 DINNER


TUESDAY:

WINE TASTING & COASTAL WALK

THEME:  The Coast, Sea & Vineyards

MORNING: LANGUAGE & CULTURE CLASSES

9:00-9:50 GRAMMAR

  1.  INTERMEDIATE: Present tense conjugation of -ir verbs, -re verbs 
  2. ADVANCED: Future, Conditional & Hypothetical Statements

10:00-10:50 CONVERSATION

  1.  INTERMEDIATE:  Future Proche &Vocabulary of the City 
  2. ADVANCED:Reading & Discussion

PAUSE CAFE

11:30-12:30 OPTIONAL CULTURE LECTURE: Wine-tasting Basics (English)

1:00 LUNCH

Vineyards along the coast

Vineyards along the coast

Wine maderising in the sun to become Banyuls.

Wine maderising in the sun to become Banyuls.

AFTERNOON: EXPLORATION & LANGUAGE APPLICATION 

2:00-5:00 FREE TIME You'll have enough free time to relax, study, stroll along the beach, shop, explore the village, pop in the art museum, do some wine tasting or have a drink at a café.  

5:00  EXCURSION : Option of hiking along the coast or extending your free time in Collioure and joining the group at the vineyard by taxi at 6:30.

6:30 EXCURSION: Wine-Tasting at a fine coastal Vineyard Estate. Take time to wander amidst the vines, walk on the beach, see the dynamite factory.

7:30 DINNER at the winery


WEDNESDAY:

MARKET DAY & LOCAL FOODS

THEME:  Local Food

MORNING: LANGUAGE  CLASSES, EXPLORATION & LANGUAGE APPLICATION

9:00-9:50 GRAMMAR

  1.  INTERMEDIATE:   Vouloir, Pouvoir, Devoir & Numbers 1-100
  2. ADVANCED: Subjunctive

10:00-12:00 EXCURSION: Shopping the weekly open-air market. You will start with a guided tour followed by shopping assignments so everyone procures an item for yourpicnic.

12:30 PICNIC LUNCH featuring fresh foods from the market.

Weekly Open-Air Market

Weekly Open-Air Market

Weekly Open-Air Market Stand

Weekly Open-Air Market Stand

AFTERNOON:  OPTIONAL CULTURE  & COOKING CLASSES

2:30-5:30 FREE TIME You'll have enough free time to relax, study, stroll along the beach, shop, explore the village, pop in the art museum, do some wine tasting or have a drink at a café.   

5:30 OPTIONAL CULTURE LECTURE: The Foods of Catalonia (French)

6:00 OPTIONAL COOKING CLASS (French)

7:00 APERITIF

8:00 DINNER

 

 


THURSDAY:

LOCAL HISTORY & TOUR OF THE CASTLE & FORT

THEME: History, Geography and Fine Dining

MORNING: LANGUAGE & CULTURE CLASSES

9:00-9:50 GRAMMAR

  1.  INTERMEDIATE: Imparfait & Passé Composé
  2. ADVANCED: Imparfait, Passé Composé & Plus-que-Parfait

10:00-10:50 CONVERSATION

  1.  INTERMEDIATE:  History & Vocabulary of Restaurants
  2. ADVANCED:Reading & Discussion

PAUSE CAFE

11:30-12:10 OPTIONAL CULTURE LECTURE: Fine Dining and the Appellation System (English)

12:15-1:00 OPTIONAL CULTURE LECTURE: The History and Geography of Catalonia (Part II) (French)

1:00 LUNCH

View of Collioure from Fort  St. Elme

View of Collioure from Fort  St. Elme

Fort St. Elme above Colliure

Fort St. Elme above Colliure

AFTERNOON: EXPLORATION & LANGUAGE APPLICATION 

3:00-4:00 FREE TIME

4:00 EXCURSION Tour of the local castle.

5:00 EXCURSION Hike or take the "petit train" up through the vineyards to Fort St. Elme for panoramic views of the city and a visit of the fort.

7:00 OPTIONAL APERITIF

8:00 LUXURIOUS DINNER at a Michelin Star Restaurant.

A luxurious Michelin Star meal featuring some of the best food in France

A luxurious Michelin Star meal featuring some of the best food in France


FRIDAY:

BOATING, THE LOCAL FISHING INDUSTRY & BOUTIQUES

 THEME:  Local Products

MORNING: LANGUAGE & CULTURE CLASSES

9:00-9:50 GRAMMAR

  1.  INTERMEDIATE: Imperative, Giving and Getting Directions
  2. ADVANCED: Imperative, Giving and Getting Directions

10:00-10:50 CONVERSATION

  1.  INTERMEDIATE: Vocabulary of Boutiques 
  2. ADVANCED:Reading & Discussion 

PAUSE CAFE

11:30-1:00 FREE TIME

1:00 LUNCH

AFTERNOON: EXPLORATION & LANGUAGE APPLICATION 

3:00-5:00 TREASURE HUNT You'll be given clues that will take your throughout the city collecting items and information. One clue may lead you to a tour at an anchovy packing plant, another may lead you to discover how local cookies are made...

5:30-6:30 OPTIONAL BOAT RIDE ON THE MEDITERRANEAN

7:00 OPTIONAL APERITIF

8:00 FAREWELL DINNER at a local restaurant followed by champagne and dessert at the cottage.

Collioure French Immersion

SATURDAY:

 

Collioure

DETAILS:

Breakfast at the cottage.

10:00-11:00 Oral Exam, Program Evaluation

11:30-12:00 Certificate Presentation & Reception.


Departure.


SOJOURNERS: AT HOME IN THE WORLD