Study French on the breathtaking island of Réunion, part of the Mascarene archipelago, which is located in the Indian Ocean to the east of the island of Madagascar, also including the islands of Mauritius and Rodriguez. Réunion has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site for its both beautiful and unique tropical landscapes.
Réunion, is a well kept secret and tropical paradise. It is one of the 18 departments of France, forming one of its overseas departments. The island has an interesting history of being claimed by numerous navigators and governments throughout the 17th and 18th centuries before the arrival of the French Revolution and its declaration as a French territory.
A good way to explore the island is to rent a car, given that the public transport is not well connected throughout the entire island. The not to be missed destinations include Saint Denis, the capital of Réunion, with its temples, picturesque buildings and wide streets of colonial mansion; the tourist area of Saint-Gilles, the home of the most popular beaches: Boucan Canot and Roches-Noires. On the west of the island is the town of St. Paul, with its large famous market where hundreds of people from all over the island come together to sell their products and handicrafts, a popular destination for tourists. Towards the coast, the beautiful beaches are ideal for relaxing under the palm trees, but not all of them are ideal for swimming or water sports, given the favorable environment for sharks. If you would like to take part in water sports, the Hermitage beach is well recommended, with its shores protected by a coral reef. There are also over 1,000 kilometers of hiking trails including circuits which pass by volcanoes. The most popular are the Salazie, Cilaos, Mafate and a visit to Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active volcanoes in the world today.
The delicious island cuisine is characterized for its spiced, aromatic dishes, including the cari poulet: a turmeric chicken curry, the rougail saucisse, made out of sausage, tomato, ginger and pepper, which is a popular dish among the locals. For those who have a sweet tooth, the most popular dish is a gateau de patates douces at vanille, a cake made of yams and vanilla. The vanilla produced on Réunion is considered the most exquisite vanilla in the world. The most popular drink of choice here is rum, often drunk as rhum arrangé, a drink mixed with fruits and spices.
Studying French in Réunion has many advantages. Despite the fact that many island locals speak Réunion Creole, (a language derived of French, Hindu, Portuguese and Malagasy) the official language of the island is French, which is here considered to be more conservative and classic than the French of Europe. This gives you the great opportunity to communicate problem free with other French speakers, making Réunion the ideal destination to learn French.