From the Haute-Alpes and Marseille to Eymet, via Morocco and London.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with a charming French lady called Isabelle Bichard – Aucomte who is an amateur artist, French teacher and fluent English speaker.

After six years in Morocco, Isabelle and her husband, Guy, moved to London where she worked as a teacher of French as a foreign language at the Alliance Française. She then worked for 26 years at the French Lycée teaching English as a foreign language.

Smitten with the Dordogne

Whilst living away from France, the couple visited a different place in France every year for big family reunions during their long summer holidays. After a visit to Beaumont, they became smitten with the Dordogne and from then on set out to see as many places as possible in this beautiful department. Then came the decision to retire here one day.

“We loved living in London and it was wonderful for the children to be able to grow up bilingual,” says Isabelle, “but Covid changed that. I was in a classroom with 30 children and we all had masks on. Life started to became stressful so we decided it was time to make the move”, she continues.

The couple knew Eymet in the south of the Dordogne and, because of the Covid situation at the time, bought a house on the outskirts of the town after three virtual visits. They have never looked back.

Retirement to a house with more space in the French countryside has given Isabelle the opportunity to pursue her passion for art and she is now taking part in her first exhibition in the château in Eymet from 12-19 June 2023.

Applying for French nationality?

Isabelle teaches French to adults on a one-to-one or small group basis at her home. She also offers preparation courses for the obligatory Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF) administered by the French Ministry of Education for non-native French speakers wishing to apply for French nationality.

For more information, contact Isabelle Bichard – Aucomte at on Instagram