The French Traveler prides itself on excellent customer service, dedication to each traveler’s needs, attention to detail and the ability to help you get the most from this cross-cultural experience. We speak fluent French and English and know France intimately. Our custom tours of France are seamless: We arrange for meals with the local hosts and introduce you to people whom you would probably not meet on your own.
We prefer to spend time only in France, savoring one city at a time and fan out from there rather than race through the European countryside to see several cities in as many days. You’ll unpack only once. We take pains to discover the local fauna and flora, seek opportunities to converse and interact with the locals, experience what the region has to offer in the way of culture, cuisine, and sights. We extend our network of friends to make the trip a highly personal one for you. Many of our travelers form friendships during their trip and often plan future travel together. We invite you to come along and become travelers, not tourists, with us.
We’ve led immersion workshops for French teachers in every major city in France since 1998, and many of our participants come back year after year to re-immerse themselves in another region of France.
We host a Paris for Women tour, an exclusive walking tour of the City of Lights geared toward women of all ages who are willing and able to discover Paris on foot. We also offer an annual Wine with Everything tour for women based in Aix-en-Provence whose focus on wine tasting, hilltop villages, and dramatic landscapes combine amusement and learning.
Valerie Sutter, Founder and Director of The French Traveler, has been chasing France her entire adult life. Falling in love with the French language in high school led to a major in French at university; from there, she proceeded to live and work in Lyon, France where she obtained a a Master’s degree from the Faculté de Lettres de Lyon while starting her teaching career there. Continuing in Brazil, she taught for many years at the Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro, and then upon her return to the US, continued teaching at private schools in New England. Her enriching experiences living in and traveling throughout France for over thirty years led naturally to founding The French Traveler in 1998, combining her love of language with her passion for cultural acquisition. A strong believer in foreign language immersion as the means of knowing and understanding another culture– and most important, one’s own–Valerie is fluent in French and Portuguese with a modest grasp of Spanish. She resides half the year in France preparing custom tours of France and the other half in Florida, where she teaches French part-time and is active in francophone groups.
The French Traveler is proud to be advised in educational matters by the following members of the Advisory Board:
- Professor Jean-Pierre Berwald, Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
- Professor Brian Thompson, Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
- Professor Joseph Reiter, Perry Professor Humanities, Phillips ExeterAcademy, Exeter, NH
- Professor Griffin Morse, Headmaster, Pinkerton Academy, Derry, NH
- Joyce Beckwith, National Secretary for the American Society of the French Academic Palms
- Elaine Uzan Leary, Former Executive Director of the American Friends of Blérancourt, NYC
- It is with great sadness that we announce the death in December 2014 of one of our board members and most ardent supportors, Professor Henri Mazille of the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Lyon, France