WHO ARE THE FRENCH STUDENTS?
The French teenagers who come to the U.S. during the summer are between 12 and 18 years old. They have all studied English, though their language skills will vary. Some of our students may have visited other parts of the U.S., but for many this will be their first trip to this country.
Students are selected to go abroad on the basis of maturity, adaptability and sensitivity to other cultures. They must also be in good health and are fully covered by our comprehensive insurance plan.
WHAT DO THE HOST FAMILIES PROVIDE?
Host families provide room & board, as well as transportation to/from the airport. Families also contribute greatly to the success of the student’s stay in the U.S.
In order to make this cultural experience enriching for both the French students and the host families, we ask that families:
HOW ARE STUDENTS MATCHED WITH FAMILIES?
Each French student is placed in a home with a host brother or sister of approximately the same age and interests. References will be checked for each host family to assure the French parents that their son or daughter has been placed in a suitable home.
The VIE coordinator may also conduct meetings and telephone interviews with the famlies to make the best match possible. Additional factors such as pets, allergies, etc. will be considered in the matching decision.
WHAT PREPARATION AND ASSISTANCE DOES VIE OFFER?
Each host family will receive a Host Family Handbook and will have the opportunity to attend an orientation meeting before the French student arrives.
The French students will also be prepared before the trip with an orientation meeting in France and materials that cover common cultural differences.
A French chaperon will accompany the students from France and will be available during the stay to help as needed.
Your VIE Coordinator will also be available at all times to help ensure a wonderful experience for all involved. From arrival to departure, VIE staff will answer any questions or assist with any problems that may arise during the program.
SHOULD WE BECOME A HOST FAMILY?
Hosting a French student requires an open mind and heart, patience and commitment. Each year, hundreds of families open their homes to young French people in the VIE Host Program. There are many reasons to become a host family. Many families have a desire to learn more about French culture. Some wish to give a young person the opportunity to experience life in the United States.
Whatever the reason may be, your family will enjoy the rewards of sharing your lives and culture with a French student. Opening your home for two or three weeks can be just the beginning of a friendship that will last a lifetime!