Corinne Crespi of Sweet Home Grenoble tells us how the association can help newly arriving expats to discover the region and practise their French.
Grenoble Life: Who and what is Sweet Home Grenoble?
Corinne Crespi: Sweet Home Grenoble is a friendly international association which help non-French people overcome the language barrier and make new friends. We promote exchanges between expats who would like to explore the region and improve their French, and French people who want to help newcomers settle into French life while practising their English.
GL: When was it set up and why?
Corinne: Sweet Home Grenoble was created seven years ago. I took over the reins of the association as the new president last year after three years of expatriation in Japan. Over there, I fully realized the difficulty of feeling at home in an entirely new country!
Sweet Home Grenoble makes your life easier as soon as you arrive, encouraging encounters between expats and French people. Frienships can develop, information can be exchanged. Expats get a chance to speak French, and French people to speak English.
GL: Tell us about some of the activities you organise?
Corinne: The group meets once a week for French-English language exchanges in small groups in a café in downtown Grenoble (regardless of your level in French!!).
Monthly, we organize outings or activities in the Grenoble area:
- Cultural outings: visiting cities (Romans, Lyon, Chambéry…) and châteaux…
- Traditional crafts: stain glass making, glass blowing …
- Outdoor activities: discovering of the marvels of surrounding mountains. Hiking or snow-shoeing in the Belledone, Chartreuse and Vercors. Visiting a huskies kennel.
- Others activities: trying local products, cooking classes …
All our activities are in French and English. They take place either over a half day or a whole day, within school hours.
GL: What sort of people come to you?
Corinne: Sweet Home Grenoble is a small association dedicated to expatriate families (for instance the wives feeling alone while the husbands are at work and children at school), to French-speaking people (expats returning from abroad, for example) wishing to practice their English and nurture friendships within an international community.
GL: How can people find out more about Sweet Home Grenoble?
Corinne: Please see our website www.sweethomegrenoble.com our contact us by email at: