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By Allan I. - Baltimore French Teacher
Bonjour tout le monde! Are you looking to take French lessons in Baltimore, MD? That sounds amazing. I have lived in Baltimore for some time now, and I have found a lot of people looking to speak French, too!
Being a native French speaker in the U.S. is an amazing experience. I recommend to everybody to travel abroad to discover another culture and a different lifestyle. There are a lot of differences between France and the U.S, even if they are both Western societies. The differences are especially evident in daily life. Did you know that tipping is not “required” in France, or that you can’t turn right on a red light? Or that Frank Zappa, born in Baltimore, sang a song about France called “In France”?
Here are a few things that you need to know before traveling to France and that you can find in Baltimore to help you:
First of all, there are some great local organizations and groups that can really help you while taking French lessons in Baltimore.
1 : The Alliance Française de Baltimore (http://www.afbaltimore.org/)
The Alliance Française de Baltimore has a non-profit network that can help you all around the world, which is something really nice if you are travelling a lot. In Baltimore, this organization does an amazing job teaching and organizing some really cool activities, such as cheese and wine tastings or a Scrabble tournament in French. (This is actually one of the best board games to develop and increase your French vocabulary.) The center also features French movies or lectures.
2: Meetup.com (http://www.meetup.com/french-171)
Meetup.com is an excellent way to find new people looking to speak French. People host some different events, such as happy hours or book clubs. Like the Alliance Française, Meetup groups help to gather native French speakers, French-Americans and also Americans seeking to speak French. Members of Meetup groups are always welcoming and really nice.
3: Google Groups (https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!overview)
With Google Groups, you can find almost every kind of group, so why not French groups in Baltimore? They usually meet in someone’s house to share their habits, to talk about the news, and to have a good time.
I think that it is really useful to be part of those organizations if you are looking to improve your French, even while taking French lessons in Baltimore. There is no better way to learn than immersion, and if you are short on traveling to France, Belgium, Canada or Haiti, you can always go to one of these groups.
And how can you develop your French culture and knowledge without talking about French cuisine? There are some restaurants and bakeries in Baltimore that remind me of French cuisine when I miss it.
Start with Petit Louis Bistro and its confit de canard that tastes like my childhood. But, the most important part of the meal is the cheese cart after your meal. You can find some cheeses that you cannot find in a grocery store.
Crêpe Du Jour is also a really good restaurant. Crepes are a specialty of Brittany, but every French person makes crepes for la Chandeleur on February 2nd.
Voila!!! Here are some ways to participate in the French culture in Baltimore. You won’t regret learning or improving your skills in the language of love. It will be useful if you want to learn another Romance language or travel in the south of France!