Haru Ohkawa, who came straight from Tokyo, followed French courses at IS Aix-en-Provence institute for eight months. This young father didn’t speak a word of French when he arrived in the country a year and a half ago. After ten months of learning in Besançon, Haru attended various courses at IS Aix-en-Provence which enabled him to make considerable progress. Indeed, the young Japanese has now reached the advanced level C1.
Ready for his next professional missions in the field of international trade, Haru looks back on his experience with us!
How did you get to know IS Aix-en-Provence?
When I was studying in Besançon, I told myself that I wanted to continue learning the language in the South of France. I very quickly thought that Aix-en-Provence would be the best city to learn French because there is a lot of sunshine and the city is close to Marseille, and also near a big airport and a train station. I did some research on the internet and I found two schools including IS Aix-en-Provence which offered courses in small groups of maximum 10 students and this was a very important criteria for me. When I sent an email for more information, I got a very quick and cordial answer. I immediately had a good impression and the conditions seemed ideal for learning French.
What did you think of IS Aix-en-Provence? And the city?
I really loved it! My first lessons at IS Aix-en-Provence were very interesting and fun. I introduced Japanese culture to the other students in the group and they were very interested. The other students also talked about their cultures and there was a real exchange! I also took private lessons and every day I felt that I was making progress. The quality of the teaching is very high. And the city is great, it’s a city of art and culture and there’s a lot of sunshine. My first name means “sun” in Japanese just like my son’s name Yoh. So of course I love the sun! Besides, the situation is ideal. We are close to big cities like Cannes, Nice, Montepellier and we are right next to the beach and the mountains. I sometimes went to the beach of Cassis after my classes, it was very pleasant!
Did you learn French for your job then?
Yes, my company sent me to France for a year and a half to get the best preparation before my future missions in Paris or French-speaking Africa. I take my work to heart and it is very important for me to support development in Africa. So it was very important for me to learn French. At the beginning, it was really difficult for me because Japanese is very different from French, especially in terms of pronunciation and grammar, but my teachers Nathalie and Sonia are very professional and very efficient. I learned a lot with them. In a few days, I will take the DALF C1 exam and I am sure I will pass!
Would you like to come back?
I will come back for holidays with my wife and my son when he is older, for sure! I will recommend IS Aix-en-Provence to my colleagues as well and I recommend it to everyone. I would also like to see my teachers and the members of the administration who are all very nice. It is a very effective school for learning French and has been able to adapt to my professional needs.