If ever I had had a first date that went as well as my first day of class at my new language school did today, I would be typing this as a married woman.
First, the way they do stuff. They will do ANYTHING to get you into a class that's suitable for your schedule and your French level (they also teach English and two other languages--I think Spanish and Arabic maybe?) Also, new students are welcome to drop in every Monday. Your tenure will be one or three months, but it seems easy to extend it. You can enroll for whichever days are easiest for you. Classes are held daily, but each day stands alone, so you don't have the impression you're missing anything. You know what else that means? There's NO HOMEWORK.
In my situation they actually were awesome enough to bump me up another level, meaning for the first time in my nine plus years of studying French, I know what it's like to find something CHALLENGING. They put me into the highest level, C2, and I find I can keep up with the other kids just fine. In fact, I'm a little ahead of a few of them. I think I would test as C1 or even B2 on a bad day. For the first time, the worksheet had questions I couldn't answer. I was delighted to leave them blank and wait for the professor to fill us in. I learned more today than I'd learned in the past... well, in any given week of my entire French education. We learned modern, useful terminology. We discussed climate change and now I know that "effet de serre" means greenhouse effect. I know that "couche" means layer as well as a hundred other things, which came in handy a few hours later when I heard people on the news reference "une couche de neige" (a layer of snow). I learned three uses for "planter": to plant something, to stand someone up/leave them in a lurch, or (in the case of a computer) to stop working. I used it in the second sense this evening as I told the mom about escourting one of the kids home from school. I learned that "allumé" not only means on, but it also means "crazy" if you're referring to a person. It goes on.
The best part? Is the professor. He's so hip he has difficulty seeing over his pelvis. He's so cool you could keep a side of meat inside him for months. He was funny and warm and so smart and easy to listen to. He engaged everyone, he didn't judge the late kids, he harumphed around the room fussing over the heater, he made great jokes, and I literally sat through the whole class with a smile on my face.
The best thing? Is that there are only seven people in my class.
In short, if you are in Paris for any reason, especially as an au pair, I HIGHLY recommend Campus Langues
I have been to Institut Parisien and, despite my being enrolled there and paying full price, they refused to put me into a class that worked with my au pair schedule and I was forced to be thirty minutes late every day. Even when I started to enroll for a second semester they refused to guarantee me a place in the later class. Plus, even though I was supposed to be in a higher level course I felt that the class was obnoxiously uneven and I was often frustrated and found myself doodling while the professor explained basic concepts to other students. I considered moving to France Langue, which most au pairs seem to love, but when I arrived the trimester had already begun and there was no more room for me in one of the classes, so they shrugged and said sorry.
When I wandered in Campus Langues a month after the "trimester" had begun, they went out of their way to make sure I could enroll there.
Class with them is every day of the week (except Wednesday when I have to stay home with the kids) and I don't even mind losing my free time while the kids are at school. I don't mind at all. I'm excited to go back and to finally, FINALLY learn one of the few subjects that makes me happy.