Interview with Loïc Gastou, our "dad to the over 50's"

Cia provence

Let’s get to know Loic, our ‘dad to the over 50s’ and this very special programme.

You recently led the group of students on the 50+ programme. Could you tell us a bit more about this programme?

The programme is open to adults over 50. Over the course of a fortnight, they alternate French lessons with excursions around the Côte d’Azur. I try to help them learn about our culture and discover Provence. It’s a genuine immersion. The over 50s are a little like my children.

What sets this programme apart from the other French lessons offered by the school?

With the over 50s, a true group dynamic develops. It’s really lovely to see people of different nationalities and of a certain age having fun together. And, as I’ve already said, the over 50s are like my children... So I love it when they refer to me as ‘dad’.

What’s your favourite CIA memory?

My favourite memory is also associated with this programme. It was two or three years ago, when we had an American student, Ruth, a lady who was more than 85 years old and passionate about travel!

You’re also a French teacher at the CIA. What path has your career taken?

I’ve worked at the school since summer 2008. I started out as a supervisor. I then became Lead Supervisor at one of the campuses, then Campus Director. My studies meant that I was able to shift my focus to teaching, and for the last few years, I have also been a teacher. I have remained loyal to the CIA throughout this time. Indeed, I even met my wife here!

Why do you think our students choose Antibes as the place where they come to learn French?

I think students come here for several reasons. As I see it, the main two are the weather and our scenery, beaches and mountains. The Côte d’Azur is renowned for its sunshine and pleasant temperatures. In winter, you can even ski then, at the end of the day, enjoy an aperitif by the sea! And don’t forget the celebrities... There’s always a chance you might run into someone famous! I’m serious – in Antibes, I’ve personally seen Rihanna, Beyoncé and Jay-Z!!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Human contact and cultural exchange are both extremely important to me. They allow you to be open to the world and to other people.

Adult classes at the Centre International d'Antibes

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