Bonjour to all you friends & parents out there! Here is an update from our SPI Biarritz Head Director, Samantha Lucas:

Monday was our first official day of classes! Students took their placement exams and got settled in their new classes. Everyone is doing an amazing job of speaking French and motivating each other to come out of their shells and enjoy our beautiful surroundings.

Philippe also took us on a tour of Biarritz to introduce everyone to their new home, and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect! We spent a lovely afternoon together learning about the history of Biarritz and finding new things to do in the city. At the end of the tour, we all had ice cream together and then students went off in groups to enjoy some free time in the afternoon. Some went to the bookstore to buy dictionaries, but most went to (you guessed it!) THE BEACH.
spi-biarritz
spi-biarritz
On Tuesday, after classes, we enjoyed a group surfing lesson in the surf capital of Europe :) La Fête de la Musique started this evening, and live music of all varieties could be heard wafting through the windows of cafes and across the cobblestone streets.
spi-surf-biarritz
Wednesday was our group excursion to the lovely & historical town of Bayonne! We toured the Cathédrale Sainte-Marie de Bayonne, the center of town, and the Pays Basque museum. Everyone is gaining confidence every day in their French abilities. For example, three of our ladies sat down in the museum lobby next to an older French gentleman and he seemed very tickled when they started talking to him. They told him where they were from and what they were doing in France, etc. It was really heartwarming to watch this interaction!
spi-biarritz-france
Today (Thursday) after class, some students went to their first cuisine course, while others went rafting. Some students elected to go to the beach. I am excited to talk to everyone tomorrow to see how the activities went! Most everyone is advancing fairly quickly from their first days in France and I’m actually quite impressed. Today I walked up the sidewalk on a scene that made my heart float — a car had pulled over and was asking something of Sophie and Charlotte, and they were answering in French! At first I thought they were giving directions to a stranger, but as I got closer, I realized it was someone’s host mom asking after the other student. The whole conversation was in French :)