Letter from the Director

Bonjour !

An adventure and new friends await you in the South of France. The Barat Foundation Summer Study Program provides a unique opportunity for total immersion in French language, art and culture. The sun-drenched region of Provence, which has inspired artists, writers, emperors and kings throughout the centuries, will be our classroom and backyard for the summer. Our teachers are French nationals who will make you feel comfortable and at home. The warmth, hospitality, cuisine, and natural beauty of the region beckon.

French Language Study:

The Barat Foundation’s month-long summer immersion program is highly unique and offers individualized attention in French language study from beginners to fluent speakers. Our French language instructors are local French teachers specialized in teaching French as a second language.  Our teachers live on site with the students offering a “French house” experience for those who desire full language immersion. Even true beginner students will leave the program able to order at a restaurant or cafe, ask for directions, and express basic needs in French.

Community Service:
We offer a Community Service component to our program, providing up to 40 hours of community service for those students interested in teaching English to the French children in our Provence village of Rustrel. The community service program is available to students at all levels of French experience – from true beginners to fluent speakers.

Art and Culture:
In addition to French language study, we offer a wide assortment of artistic disciplines including: photography, video production, music, voice, music video production, theatre, dance, creative writing, drawing, painting, fashion, conceptual art, and of course, French cuisine. Our art professors are French nationals, accomplished artists and academics drawn from multiple artistic disciplines.  Our French chef cooks with us daily, instructing our students in the fine art of Provencal cuisine.

Excursions Throughout Provence:
We travel together with our professors and art instructors on excursions throughout the region 3 to 4 days a week, and visit the sites, cities, villages, and festivals that make Provence truly unique. Places we visit include: Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Les Baux de Provence, Arles, Nice, Gordes, LaCoste, Apt, Vaison la Romaine, La Camargue, Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, to name a few.

The program is located in the Provence village of Rustrel, known as the “Colorado of France”.  Students and staff are housed in a beautiful, fully equipped villa complete with swimming pool. Our program is well integrated into the life of the village of Rustrel and the local families and children eagerly await our return each summer. Our final art exhibition is held in the Chateau de Rustrel, and the entire village attends the “vernissage” (art opening).

 Who Can Apply:
Any student in good academic standing who has completed 8th grade through 12th grade may apply.  French language experience is helpful but not a must. Even beginning French students will make significant language progress.

Many of our students regard their experience in Provence as life changing.

Here’s what our alumni and their parents are saying about us:

“Just want to thank you for absolutely everything. We thank you for giving our daughter a life experience she will never forget; as soon as we got home, she threw herself on us and said “i cannot thank you enough for giving me such a wonderful gift; you are great! ” Emma describes her time in Provence with you as transformative.. in short, she loved every single aspect. She is already talking about next summer with you.  The experience was more than we could have ever imagined. Emma is radiant.”

“Thank you for providing one of the most memorable and magical summers that Madeleine has ever had. I think this trip was more than great. It was life changing. We never imagined that she would return to us with such inner peace, grace, poise and gratefulness that she was able to participate. Her inner light and sense of self worth, wonder and peace are so evident. She told us with such sincerity and conviction, ‘I’m stronger.’ 

“After the opportunity to live in France, I saw the world in a different way.  I saw the world as a blank canvas for me to color with my dance, my words, and my soul.  I see Provence as a pivotal point in my life.”

“The memories are AMAZING.  Really that experience has just ineffably transformed me and thus my life.  Some people think in words, some in pictures, but when I think about France I just think in FEELING and it is such a hurricane, a tidal wave, a SUPER NOVA of awe and gratitude.”

“This is a quick note to say thanks to you and to all the people involved in the program.  It was a wonderful month for DeAndre.  He was proud of his French skills and how much he improved in his drawing (which I think I forgot to mention to him as a focus of the program before he left).  He also said that you are the wisest person he’s ever met.  We loved the blog; the pictures were great and gave us a good sense of his adventures. The program was everything I hoped.”

“Provence has changed my life.”


Kindest regards and looking forward to hearing from you,

Chandri Barat
Executive Director
The Barat Foundation