Founded in 1999, Lyon Bleu International is a French language school in the heart of Lyon, a city that lies within easy reach of many European cities and close to Alpine ski resorts. Lyon Bleu offers French language courses with a choice of activities from exploring local culture to mountain climbing.
We spoke to school director Frédérique Di Tullio to find out more about Lyon Bleu’s aims, life in Lyon and how they feel about being a member of the “IALC family”.
Q: Hello Frédérique, how does it feel to be part of this exclusive group of quality language schools?
A: I’m very proud of it first of all. This is my second year in IALC and I have met so many interesting and kind people among the members and IALC team. It’s very stimulating to share experiences, and I have learnt a lot. And another important thing is that Lyon Bleu’s reputation, already well established before, grew even more since our accreditation by IALC.
Q: How has 2011 been for the school so far and how is it looking compared to last year?
A: 2011 has been better. 2010 was a year of investment and new expenses (we moved into new premises), this is a first reason. The second reason is that our turnover is 15% more this year, thanks to our new business contacts and agents.
Q: You were established in 1999. How have things changed at the school since then?
A: I started with one group, a Japanese students class, and a contract for French classes with Interpol. I was a teacher, an accountant and a cleaning lady at that time….and now, Lyon Bleu welcomes just under 900 students per year and is located in a 600m2 school in the city centre of Lyon. I work with a wonderful and dedicated team and I have a lot of new projects for Lyon Bleu.
Q: What are your main aims for Lyon Bleu?
A: My main objectives are to grow, to explore new markets and to offer new courses and services.
Q: Which countries do the majority of your students come from?
A: European countries (Germany, GB, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia), Asia (Korea, Japan), and we have also quite a lot of North and Latin American students.
Q: What are the most popular student activities?
A: Lyon is very well known for its gastronomy and its history. Guided tours of Lyon and its museums, and cooking workshops are always appreciated by our students.
Q: What are the biggest attractions and advantages for students learning French in France?
A: Culture, nice weather, food and excellent French schools.
Q: What would you say are the biggest challenges facing your school and language study in France?
A: French is not as popular and learnt as it was even 10 years ago. Our challenge is to adapt our activities and development to the constant evolution of the French market.
Q: Moving on to find out more about you, which is your favourite city in the world and why?
A: An easy answer would be Lyon. I was born in Lyon and I think it’s a wonderful place to live and/or discover. But I’m also half Italian and I lived in Modena for almost 10 years…and there is a city I visited at least 15 times and which is absolutely magic: Venice. Each time I go there, I’m always amazed by the light and the beauty of this city.
Q: Your favourite pastime?
A: Reading, when I have time, which is not easy with a business and 2 kids.
Q: Your favourite meal?
A: I told you, I’m half French/half Italian, so my favourite meal is a nice plate of homemade pasta with a sauce made with fresh tomatoes and basil and a glass of good French red wine
Q: Your dream dinner guests?
A: I would love to organise a dinner with all my favourite writers, some are dead but you said it’s a dream dinner!! The thing they have in common is humour, so you should picture a very funny dinner, with a lot of good food and good wine.
Q: Finally, what would you say are the main benefits of learning French in France?
A: In France, a student can choose among so many different cities, weathers, landscapes, sizes of schools, kinds of programmes….a student can find the most suitable school and organisation for his/her budget, time and objectives.
Contact Lyon Bleu: + 33 (0) 4 37 48 00 26
Lyon Bleu International website