I just completed the Living and Learning in Provence: Independent Stay and Study. I had previously twice taken The Living and Learning in Paris trip. Positive Aspects: The residential hotel was the best of the three residential hotels I have stayed in during Living and Learning trips. I was in the advanced French class and the teacher was excellent. You are not going to learn a lot of French in six weeks, but the teacher packed in as much as could be done into the time period. My classmates, four very intelligent women, were a big stimulus to learning. There was a lot of homework. Our mother hen was quite competent and conscientious. Negative Aspects: The weather was horrible. It rained most days and the rain was usually a cold driving rain. We were told that that was a common occurrence during the fall and winter, due to the Mistral, a wind which blows down the Rhone river valley from the north. The hotel was a 20 or 30 minute walk from the hotel. Bring your umbrellas. Aix en Provence is a small city with limited tourist attractions. In Paris I was never without wonderful things to see and do. The Paris metro is the best in the world. You can go anywhere with ease. Our midterm weekend trip was to Nice. Nice was certainly an improvement over Aix en Provence, but it was only a few degrees warmer. As veteran Road Scholars are well aware, meals provided by Road Scholar are usually second rate. There are, of course, several exceptions. When I was in Greece, then in Russia with Road Scholar, the meals were first rate. I believe that this is due to the exchange rate between these two countries and the U.S. Two of the meals provided in Nice by Road Scholar were big disappointments. Here we were in one of the world's greatest seafood cities, and they were feeding us bad beef at both meals. For the one night we had on our own, I asked the hotel concierge if there was a good seafood restaurant within walking distance. There was and it was fine.