I'm actually surprised I haven't talked about the Alliance Française (Sydney) before. Of course I know about them and have looked into their courses. I do want to do one but they are a little on the pricey side. Anyway, today I called them up about doing the DELF proficiency exam since I want to know which level I'm at.
First of all I was greeted by a woman with a strong French accent (I'm not even sure if this is a woman or a recorded message) saying, "Bonjour... Welcome to the Alliance Française..." and then asking me to hold. I hold for a short while only to be told to leave a message "...merci et au revoir." I felt like I was dealing with the embassy or consulate or something.
I called in the morning and it wasn't until 4pm that they got back to me. I wonder if this is due to the fact that they are so busy, or understaffed, or both.. I wondered if this was a sign of things to come in France..? ;)
Anyway, I had missed the cut-off date for registering for the November exams by only a few days, so now I have to wait until March. No biggie though, it gives me more time to prepare and get better at French. The lady told me that they have to send the forms off to Paris which is why the registration deadline is so strict.
Since the AF is located in the heart of the city I have passed it so many times in previous years and always looked into the window with intrigue... Never thought too much about it.. to be honest, I wasn't really that interested in the French language, culture or food until recently. But on their website they mention they've just moved into a bigger, brand new building (which looks gorgeous according to the photos on their website, and is designed by none other than Harry Seidler). I want to eventually take a class there but I don't want to take it whilst I'm at the beginner stage as I always feel that many beginners aren't that serious about foreign language learning. They think it'll be fun, then they realise how much hard work is required and drop out (this is from prior experience not speculation ;) ) I'd prefer to enrol when I'm more intermediate to be amongst more serious students.