When you join this fantastic homestay program you will live with a host family in beautiful France. In exchange for your own room in the family home and delicious home-cooked meals you agree to share your English language with the host family for around 15 hours per week. Each family’s language need is different, sometimes the focus is the adults of the house, and occasionally they may prefer a formal lesson, but more often your role is more casual as you help the kids with their English studies or school homework. Conversation over dinner is a great opportunity for all the family to practice and learn.
Each family is interviewed and carefully selected taking into account their genuine desire for English tuition and to welcome international visitors into their home. Our families love having guests from down under!
Upon application you will complete a detailed enrolment form which enables us to select for you the most suitable family available. Once a suitable placement has been found and you are happy with the match, you will make contact with your host family and discuss their language needs. You’ll agree a schedule so expectations are clear from both sides. Whilst TESOL qualification is unnecessary, we do ask that you research and prepare a variety of teaching methods and games in advance, and make sure you bring a dictionary and thesaurus for reference.
Generally speaking, host families can only accept a single language assistant – that said, we have managed to place the occasional couple and mother/daughter so do ask us and we’ll see what we can do. If travelling with a friend, we should be able to place you in two host families near to each other.
This program has a focus on cultural exchange and is designed for those wishing to immerse themselves and experience the French culture in depth. You must commit to a high level of interaction with your host family, this is what the host families are seeking and will also offer you the benefits of an enriched cultural exchange. Time to yourself is fully acceptable, and in working families you’ll have plenty of this Monday through Friday, but you should expect to stay actively involved in family life.
Of course, as with family homes in Australia each home is unique and individual. As a general rule French homes are quite small by Australian standards – particularly in cities where apartment-living is quite normal. In more rural areas, expect huge variety – we have host families whose properties contain vineyards, we have farmhouses in the mountains, cottages with idyllic gardens and pools for a refreshing swim, houses built long before Captain Cook came down under and of course more modern, traditional village homes.
Wherever it is you stay, your family offers full board and your own bedroom. You should expect that many families are not at home on weekdays, parents at work and children at school for example and in this case you will take care of your own lunch. Use the kitchen at home or grab something while you’re out for the day.
Aside from your room, the rest of the house is of course shared with the family, so treat it as you would treat your own home. It is possible that you have your own, private bathroom though in most cases it will be shared.
You’re welcome to use the laundry facilities in the home. Wifi and internet access varies family to family – there will always be a phone at the house so your own family can keep in touch.
Slightly smaller than New South Wales, the climate in France varies widely from its mild, drier Mediterranean south to its colder, northern fringes. In winter, the Alps and Pyrenees are thick with snow, and skiing and boarding opportunities abound. In summer, the sun shines and the glittering beaches are choccas with tourists from all over Europe and beyond. Whatever time of year you visit, expect the unexpected, and take warm clothes and a rain jacket.