Learn French Travel Talk

An American’s Guide To French Culture



Back in the day, my high school choir went on a trip to France. To keep the students from wreaking complete havoc, our conductor would constantly repeat the same saying: “Don’t be a dumb American.” At first, I wasn’t sure what he meant. But then, as our trip began, I realized that the French have negative preconceptions about people from the United States. Many seemed to think that we were a bunch of ignorant, fried Oreo-eating, Honey Boo Boo-watching idiots. Thankfully, our choir conductor made us conscious of our behavior, and helped our group prove that Americans are not all rude, culturally insensitive stereotypes.

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Student Spotlights

Student Spotlights: Meet Holly Mitchell

Meet Holly Mitchell—one of our amazing French students with a shining, stage-worthy smile. And that comes as no surprise, as she was an NYU Tisch star and was on the path to become an actress. Check out her story that brought her from rural central Florida to the fast pace of NYC life—and how Fluent City has played a key role along the way.

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Teacher Talks

Teacher Talks: Meet Abigail Nanquil


She’s a yoga-practicing world traveler who also happens to be one of our fave Japanese teachers. Meet Abigail Nanquil, who’s lived in Japan for over a year, experiencing the beauty, grace, and quirkiness of the country. She’s a total rockstar teacher in the classroom, but when she’s not there, you can probably expect that she’s studying another language or doing some serious globetrotting.

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Teacher Talks

Teacher Talks: Meet Poliana Coelho

Learn Portuguese in NYC with Poliana

All photographs by Evie Cheung

Meet Poliana Coelho, a master of multiple languages who has lived on three continents. She’s a snowboarder, a salsa dancer, and pretty much a total badass. Having had a multitude of teaching and life experiences, she truly treasures fostering connections and building community. Poliana is one of our most amazing Portuguese teachers here at Fluent City and we were super excited to sit down with her and find out more.

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Travel Talk

8 Reasons to Move Abroad—Anyone Can Do It


Moving to a foreign country is something I never thought I’d do…until I did it. I thought studying abroad for a few weeks in Italy was a long time; how was I going to last for months? I worked a job in Florence, Italy for about six months a few years ago and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

While I wasn’t fully immersed (my roommates/co-workers were American and our customers – students – were American), living in an Italian apartment in the heart of Florence was a whirlwind of an adventure. If you are considering taking the plunge and moving across the world, I urge you to do it. That experience led me to work other jobs around the world in Europe and Asia to help fund my travels.

Here are a few of many reasons to move to another country, be it for a few months, a year, or indefinitely!

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Teacher Talks

Teacher Talks: Meet Michael Negron

Learn Spanish in NYC with Michael Negron

From Puerto Rico to Orlando to NYC, Michael Negron has left his inspirational and indelible mark on everyone he’s ever met. He’s a multilingual prodigy with many talents, many friends, and an incredibly contagious smile. He’s one of Fluent City’s favorite Spanish Essentials teachers, and after talking with him—we completely understand why!

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Travel Talk

Forget Bordeaux — Here are France’s Best Wine Regions.

alsace wine

We want @vishnevskayairina’s wine rack

Winepocalypse. We’re pretty sure that’s the scariest “pocalypse” that could ever occur on this earth. It’s even worse than an apocalypse—because really what is the point of a planet without wine? But sadly enough, that seems to be what’s happening in some of France’s most famous winemaking regions.  Burgundy and Bordeaux two of the most well-known wine areas throughout the world, are going to be struggling to hit production levels this year.

And who can we thank for this impending doom, wait, we mean wine shortage? Global warming of course. While the Earth’s climate changes and weather becomes more unpredictable than Britney circa 2007, it’s our job to find wines from areas that aren’t being affected by climate change. And lucky for us wine enthusiasts, France is ridden with other fantastic winemaking regions that aren’t going anywhere any time soon! So may your glass be filled with the best grape juice around for years to come.

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Arts and Culture

“More is More” — Could Maximalism be Interior Design’s Latest Movement?


More is more, and better! Proven by @kellywearstler

Sleek stone lines, white walls, understated gray and tan furniture. Almost every Pinterest board and Instagram feed seems to be filled with the latest interior design trend. People just can’t seem to get enough of the barren aesthetic that is minimalism.

“Less is more”, something we’ve all heard here and there, was more of a lifestyle for Minimalist influencers Buckminster Fuller and Dieter Rams. These artists drew their inspiration from a post-World War II artistic movement that integrated Japanese Zen culture among other artistic influences. The general idea of minimalism is to forgo clutter in order to live a less material, more convenient and peaceful life. Enthusiasts of minimalism praise the skill and restraint required to decorate a room or home using only a few pieces of furniture and art.

But where’s the fun in that? That muted vibe might be nice in a museum, but this is your home. It’s not a Zen temple, but a sanctuary for loud music, self-expression and spilled wine. That’s why those disillusioned with minimalism are turning to its twisted sister: maximalism.

Maximalism, a reaction to minimalism, is an aesthetic of “excess and redundancy.” The motto: “more is more.”

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Featured Travel Talk

Why the Tour de France 2016 is a BFD


cliff riding

Beautiful shot of the race by @letourdefrance

Et ils sont partis! And they’re off! The Tour de France begins this weekend buuut what does that mean? Lance Armstrong…France…bikes? Anyone got anything else? Didn’t think so. The Tour de France is one of the most intense, grueling, impressive, and some may say insane, sporting events to occur in this world. Yet almost no one in America knows, or cares about any details of this race. In reality, the Tour de France is more entertaining than the World Series, equal parts scandal and suspense—but above all, one of the best portrayals of cyclists extraordinary feats of humanity. Here’s your guide to why this race is a BFD—and how you can be the smartest conversation starter during the 103rd Tour de France.

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Bucket List Things to Do in NYC Travel Talk

Unique (and Last Minute!) Weekend Getaways from NYC for July 4th

downtown portland

this could not only be @cbporcii91’s view but yours too!

“4th of July is just around the corner…” *cue the scramble to plan your last minute getaway from New York trip*. Stressing about where to go celebrate America’s birthday this year? Well, it’s not too late to plan your weekend getaway from NYC and make sure you’re not the only New Yorker left in the city.  Whether you’re looking for rustic charm, a city bursting with things to do, or a relaxing beach vacation we’ve found the best places to visit. Check out these five unique destinations that will be sure to fill your stomach with good food and camera roll with gorgeous pictures.

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