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Of Interest

See archived entries

Helping to learn about France and each other

Shawn Simpson, Agence ITER France Welcome Office

The offer ranges from language classes ... to joint visits ... to the region's museums ... to savoring the results of joint cooking experiments. (Click to view larger version...)
The offer ranges from language classes ... to joint visits ... to the region's museums ... to savoring the results of joint cooking experiments.
Created in 2006 in order to meet the needs of the ITER Organization's personnel and their spouses/partners, the Intercultural & Language Program offered by the Agence Iter France Welcome Office has grown from 48 registrations at its inception to 1,273 cumulated registrations in January 2012.

Having been recognized by the European Union Directorate General for Education and Culture for its innovation and quality and awarded the European Label for Languages in 2008, this program has helped its participants to learn the French language, understand French culture and most of all, feel more comfortable living in France.

Expatriates all over the world are known to experience difficulties in adjusting to their new living and working environments. This was recognized from the start and was the backbone of developing this unique learning experience. From intercultural breakfasts to workshops on learning to work with the diverse cultures of the ITER Organization; from French classes for beginners to advanced courses on writing; from international seminars on such subjects as "Meeting Expatriate Expectations" to visits to museums ... the participants have been given the opportunity to learn about France and each other.

2012 will be a year for further developments: more interns from La Sorbonne in Paris and Georgetown University in Washington D.C. will be coming to observe and work on the program, graduate students from the I.A.E. Aix-en-Provence Graduate School of Management (ranked Best French University by the Financial Times 2011) will also be sent to work with us and our "Guidelines for the Intercultural Learning of Languages" will be shared with other institutions throughout the world.

The success of this program is due to its participants. Each person contributes to the ongoing progress made in increasing the quality of the training provided. Let us wish each other a very Happy New Year!


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