Jan 24 - April 1, 2022
Chateau le Mont Epinguet

Normandy, France

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Explore your creativity and make connections with artists from around the world.

The Berridge Creative Semester is a unique opportunity to live in a creative community led by professional artists and based in a 18th century chateau in Normandy, France. The program offers a blend of expert-led excursions, cultural experiences, personal development workshops and hands-on classes in all artistic disciplines including Filmmaking, Writing, Studio Art, Photography, Theatre and Music. Immerse yourself in French history and culture while developing your creativity, and discovering opportunities for personal growth.  The program is taught entirely in English with optional French language learning.

Dates and Details


Winter 2022:

Jan 24th - April 3rd, 2022

All interests welcome including Theatre, Film, Visual Art, Writing, Music and Photography.


$14,500 USD

Inclusive of: all room, board, airport transfers and excursions

Not included: airfare to Paris, Charles de Gaulle. Meals on Paris week, some meals on excursion days. 


Open to any students between the ages of  18 - 22 of all levels of experience.  Requires an online application and interview.


A range of scholarships are available for this program.

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Cultural Engagement, Creative Expression, Compassionate Leadership and Contemplative Living are the foundations of our program. These foundations are designed to help you engage more fully with the culture and people of France and facilitate a meaningful and fun experience during your time abroad.  A range of creative workshops, hands-on experiences and expert-led excursions are designed to enhance your experience of Normandy and inform your creative process. 

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Time to “just be” is highly valued at Berridge both as a part of the creative process and as a skill for life.  Workshops are offered in yoga, mindfulness and meditation and the chateau invites you into a more "unplugged" lifestyle where connection, collaboration and community are the centre of life.


Creative Expression is at the heart of our program and offers a platform to discover your unique voice, cultivate confidence and expand your sense of self. We nurture all creative disciplines at all levels through hands-on classes and personal mentoring with professional artists. 


Cultural Engagement is more than just seeing, it involves learning by engaging with the landscape, history and people of the Normandy region through hands-on doing. Trips and excursions offer opportunities to build skills, develop leadership qualities and expand your world view.


Compassionate Leadership blends team building, deep listening and role-play exercises delivered through workshop modules and student-led activities. Learn how to be a more empathetic leader by honing your listening skills, cultivating patience and fostering positivity in a team environment.

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Live in a creative community and learn from professional actors, directors, filmmakers, musicians, writers and artists.


Creative Semester nurtures interests in Acting, Music, Film, Writing, Studio Art and Photography through hands-on teaching, studio time and mentoring with professional artists. Focus on an art you love, try something completely new or a combination of both. You’ll move projects from concept to completion and have time and space to develop ideas, get feedback and collaborate with peers. We welcome all levels of experience from complete beginner to the "creatively curious" to those looking to pursue creative careers.

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Our faculty bring with them decades of experience as industry professionals.

Live in a creative community with working artists and benefit from their experience and wisdom. You'll be assigned a personal mentor to help you develop your projects, build skills and reflect on your artistic practice. Our faculty are more than just teachers, they are passionate artists, nurturing mentors and enthusiastic collaborators. Read more about our faculty or meet us at an Info Session.

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Creative Semester is hosted at Chateau le Mont Epinguet in the heart of Normandy, France.

Built in 1751 by Count Mondesir, the chateau is the highest landmark on the Normandy Cotentin Peninsula. It has housed a nephew of the Pope, a French Admiral and served as German command in WWII. In 1991, it was bought by the Berridge Family. We have exclusive use of the whole property, a live-in chef who prepares home-cooked meals and fresh bread delivered daily from our bakery.  Learn more about the château

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Some of the places you will go include:

  • Mont St Michel, s 900-year-old monetary on a tidal island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 

  • D-Day Landing sites with a WWII historian including the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach 

  • Bricquebec, a local village with a 14th century castle ruin and weekly, bustling French market

  • Cherbourg, a port city surrounded by a Napoleonic  fort and penultimate stop of the HMS Titanic

  • The story of the Norman conquest including Caen, Bayeux Cathedral, the Bayeux tapestry 

  • Saint Vaast La Hougue, a beautiful fishing village, beaches and great fresh seafood

  • Tatihou, an abandoned penal colony now a bird sanctuary accessed by amphibious vehicle

  • Château des Ravalet, an 16th century chateau with a dark history surrounded by world-famous gardens

  • The Nez de Jobourg, coastal cliffs rising 128 metres out of the sea and the best coastal hiking in Europe

  • Coutances and Château Fort de Pirou, an 11th century castle boasting far reaching views from the parapets

  • Granville, a costal town and home to the Musee Christian Dior


Some of the things you will do include:

  • A three-day Narrative Storytelling workshop to develop your writing and listening skills

  • Build creative skills with professional artists including Filmmaking, Studio Art, Writing, Music and Acting

  • Learn French Cooking and Gastronomy from our in-house chef

  • Learn to live the Norman way with good food, nature and time for reflection at the center of life

  • Work at a 16th century windmill learning how to mill flour and bake bread in an ancient wood-fired oven

  • Advance or jumpstart French language skills with weekly classes and immersion experiences

  • Plan and execute an authentic French meal including shopping at a traditional, outdoor French market

  • Join the French Film Club and learn about the icons of French Cinema

  • Have time and space to work on artistic projects for portfolio use and personal growth

  • Work in student teams to run our residence, organize activities and contribute to student life

  • Learn meditation, mindfulness, yoga and other stress-reduction techniques

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Your time in France culminates in a week-long arts focused trip to Paris.


See Paris through the artists lens and explore all that this great city has to offer. Our week in Paris will include all of the must-see sites and insiders tours of the Louvre and Musee D'Orsay. We'll explore some hidden gems including Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, where many of the greatest artists of France are buried and spend an afternoon writing or sketching at Les Deux Magots, the legendary café that has hosted artists for generations. We’ll visit the Comédie-Française, birthplace of the French theatre, and some famous Paris film sites that provided the writing inspiration for films such as Amelie and Ratatouille.

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This program is for anyone interested in French culture and exploring the arts while living in community.  We welcome participants interested in enjoying some "right brained travel" before college through to dedicated artists who want to pursue creative careers. In addition to the arts, the program encompasses a wide range of subject interests including History, Architecture, Literature, Art History and Politics.  We work with each student individually to craft their gap time with us into an enriching, meaningful and rejuvenating experience. 

Consider this program if you would like to:

  • live in a beautiful part of rural France and have an insiders experience of French life

  • access more creativity and develop right-brain thinking

  • complete a portfolio or develop new creative skills such as Filmmaking, Painting and Drawing or Music Composition, Acting, Writing and Theatremaking

  • build practical life skills in a supportive environment

  • advance or jumpstart your French language skills


Do I need to speak French?

Our program is taught entirely in English with optional French language learning

What if I have a lot of French?

Great! You'll have plenty of immersion opportunities and advanced French language classes if you wish

Do I need to have experience in my art?

We mentor artists at all levels from complete beginners to advanced

Do I have to choose just one art?

You can focus on one discipline or explore a few disciplines. Workshops will be available for you to sample and try new things.

What is a typical day like?

The program varies in pace according to what we are doing that day or week. For example, excursion days will be quite busy while artistic days may be a slower pace. Film shoots might be a long day and a Sunday might be a whole day free.