Interview: Nathalie Marguerite of ‘Cosmopoli’French’
Name: Nathalie Marguerite
Place of birth: Argenteuil, suburb of Paris
Business name: Cosmopoli’French
Role: Founder and Director of Cosmopoli’French
Address: 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Telephone number: 0424 284 586
Nathalie, can you please describe your business and your speciality for us?
Cosmopoli’French is an exciting new concept language school designed in a unique and innovative way to help Francophiles improve their French communication skills through cultural immersion rather than a traditional academic framework. From films, food and dining, through to French television, music, art, fashion and styling and meeting with French native speakers, students are exposed to the complete cultural experience… all whilst learning grammar!
The workshop ‘Say it with food’ is very popular among students as it is the opportunity to discover French dining venues in Melbourne. It is also provides an opportunity to interact with French speakers while enjoying sumptuous French food. Some students describe this workshop as being a break from the classroom, offering an authentic immersion experience proving that there are no boundaries to learning.
Who are your customers?
Cosmopli’French members are diverse in age, social and cultural background, ranging from students and business owners to professionals and retirees.The Melbourne francophile community is extremely diverse. Our activities are tailored to meet even the most discerning francophile’s expectations.
Why did you start your business in Melbourne – and how long ago?
In my experience and research, Francophiles and those who are learning French generally want to go beyond learning tables of conjugation and the somewhat artificial approach of ‘High School French’. Learning about the cultural codes and the environment in which French people live is just as important as learning ‘passé composé’, ‘imperatif’ or ‘le futur’ in order to genuinely understand and appreciate the full art of communication. And most importantly, it makes learning a thoroughly enjoyable experience. After only three months since first opening in July, the approach developed at Cosmopoli’French has received exceptional feedback.
How is business in Melbourne?
Starting a business in Melbourne has been a challenging but rewarding experience. I am a young entrepreneur and I had no idea where to start. I have been amazingly well advised by The Small Business Information Centre and I am quickly learning along the way. Melbournians are generally open to new ideas and willing to give new experiences ago – it is an incredibly positive environment to express creativity.
How would you improve business here?
Starting a business is a very challenging experience; these challenges are even greater having come from overseas. Being able to refer to successful foreign entrepreneurs willing to share their experience or to be able to address all types of questions regarding the specificities of the Australian market would be so beneficial for newcomers with an entrepreneurial spirit.
How do you see Melbourne in five years?
Melbourne is a very inclusive city that embraces diversity and I envisage this will continue to define Melbourne over time. All the signs point towards the cultural richness of this city developing further as Melbournians yearn for new experiences that stretch the mind, imagination and senses.
What’s the most exciting thing currently happening in Melbourne?
Spring is in the air, people have a skip in their step as footy finals draw to a close, Spring Racing Carnival is just around the corner and people are emerging from winter hibernation getting involved in the myriad exciting activities and festivities that Melbourne has to offer. I absolutely love this time of the year.
Only a local would know…
Melbourne is the only city in the world that has five international standard sporting facilities on the fringe of its central business district. Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Docklands Stadium, and Olympic Park in Melbourne Park.
Favourites (Melbourne and Paris)
Place to eat:
Melbourne: The French Brasserie
Paris: La Gare
Place to drink:
Place to shop:
Melbourne: Galerie Montmarte to buy French vintage advertising posters
Paris: Le Marais
Place to play:
Melbourne: Rooftop Cinema
Paris: Les Buttes Chaumont
Melbourne: The Great Ocean Road
Thank you Nathalie for taking the time to speak to us at Ma Vie Française™. We’ve enjoyed getting to know more about you and your product.