What we do
Small group collaborative & educational experiences in France for everyone
We specialize in collaborative and educational adventures for students and adults. We work and travel with small groups (10 - 15), emphasizing community and interaction. Small groups allow us take excursions off the beaten path while we get to know each other and the cultural, natural and gastronomic marvels of France.
What we offer
An organized experience: we make all the arrangements for tours/excursions, lodging, restaurant and shopping outings, etc. A general itinerary is set at the beginning of the program, and updated with specifics (e.g. departure times) as we go along. There's also personal time for you to explore sites on your own, do photography, take hikes, read a novel by the pool, etc.
An educational experience: we give lectures on a variety of topics and make recommendations on optional readings. Arnaud also teaches “Survival French” during the program. We are happy to customize our curriculum - bring us your ideas.
A communal experience: As our programs emphasize food and culture, we take many meals together. For most programs, better than half of our time is spent at a “gîte” where we live communally, preparing meals together in the evening after shopping the marché.
Good value: McGee-Bergerol, as a Scot, is a bargain-minded lass, while Bergerol is a French connoisseur. We make a very good team to bring you the best of France without draining your wallet.
We are best called "program collaborators." There are no big tour buses; instead we travel via a variety of means: minivans, train, metro, etc. Each participant is responsible for his/her own luggage. We have spectacular fun with you, and share in the occasional fail due to weather, strikes, and other things uniquely French that we have little control over. For programs that involve an extended stay at a gîte, we all take turns cooking for the group, and pitch in to do light housekeeping.
More about your program collaborators
Elizabeth McGee-Bergerol is a professor of Biological Sciences at San Jose State University, specializing in ecology, evolution, and sustainability. Her research has taken her to Madagascar and France. Arnaud Bergerol was born and raised in France, earning a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées from the University of Paris I (Panthéon‐Sorbonne) in Economics and Applied Foreign Languages, and an MA in French at San Jose State University. Arnaud has taught at U.C. Santa Cruz and San Jose State University, and currently teaches French at Alliance Française Silicon Valley.