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-   -   Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers (https://britishexpats.com/forum/france-76/looking-french-language-exchange-2-australian-teenagers-927775/)

Buzzy--Bee Sep 9th 2019 9:51 am

Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 
Hi, I'm looking for a French speaking family or families who would be prepared to do a private language exchange with 2 Australian teenagers.

I'm guessing this would preclude most people on here as their kids would already be bilingual, but I was wondering if anyone on here worked in a secondary school in France and might be able to put me in touch with someone who could help me.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

dmu Sep 10th 2019 7:25 am

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee (Post 12733366)
Hi, I'm looking for a French speaking family or families who would be prepared to do a private language exchange with 2 Australian teenagers.

I'm guessing this would preclude most people on here as their kids would already be bilingual, but I was wondering if anyone on here worked in a secondary school in France and might be able to put me in touch with someone who could help me.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

Hi, and welcome to the France forum!:)
To be clear, do you mean French families who would accommodate and care for the (non-EU?) pupils attending a French Secondary school? For how long? Are they minors? Are they siblings or just friends? Will they be returning to finish their education in Australia, or on a sabbatical before further education or working? Is it your idea for children of the host families to come to Australia later?
I've not heard of such private arrangements and, TBH, France being what it is, I doubt that it's possible. Already there's strict Legislation to protect minors, for example there's a lot of bureaucracy involved just to send a class of French minors on a short school trip outside of France, accompanied by responsible adults...
There's also the question of whether a State school would accept "exchange" pupils unofficially, via their distant parents and unrelated host families.
Not to mention the issue of finding trustworthy host families unofficially, and who would be legally responsible for the children while in France?
I think your best bet would be to enquire at the teenagers' present school and go through official channels. If your town is twinned with one in France, get advice from the Twinning Committee as to the existing secondary schools...
Others may come along with other ideas, but if the teenagers are under 18, the first steps should be made at their own school (if only to find out whether they'd be allowed to leave Australia for so long and for so far, on their own!)
HTH

Buzzy--Bee Sep 10th 2019 8:01 am

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 
Hi, sorry if I wasn't clear enough. I meant a host family or 2 host families who could accommodate 2 teenage girls for 3 - 4 weeks so they could be immersed in the French culture and language, and in return we would host the French girls here in Australia for a few weeks at a later date. These arrangement were very common when I was a teenager. Their current school has no contacts in France, I hadn't thought of the twin towns thing though, will investigate that, thanks.

EuroTrash Sep 10th 2019 8:38 am

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee (Post 12733712)
These arrangement were very common when I was a teenager.

Yes same here. However...
My mum was a French teacher and in fact she was in charge of running the exchange scheme between her school and its partner French school. As I recall there was a vetting process that involved her making at least two visits to the home of every pupil that applied for an exchange - a first visit for a quick chat to the family and a look at their home and assess whether it was potentially suitable as a host family, and if they passed that, a second visit at a later stage to talk in more depth to the parents, discuss their plans the French child's stay, see what sleeping arrangements would be provided, etc. I remember all this because I was learning to drive at the time and I regularly used to spend Sunday afternoons driving my mum round on these visits, great for me because I was car mad at the time. I didn't take much interest in the process beyond that but I'm pretty sure that not all of them were considered suitable.
I guess what I am saying is that there are obvious dangers in sending two teenage girls half way across the world to live for a month with a family that hasn't been thoroughly vetted, and I am wondering how you can vet a family in France from Australia? It's a sad reflection on today's society that we have to be so untrusting but there we are. To be clear I am not at all saying that I think the French are a nation of perverts, in fact I think there is less danger in France than many other European countries and my personal view is that France is a healthier place for ados than for instance the UK is. And I am absolutely not trying to put you off arranging an exchange because I went on exchange visits myself (arranged through my mum's school because mine didn't do them) and it was a fantastic experience, in fact that's probably partly where my love of France came from. But for safety's sake I think it would be preferable to go through a professional organisation that will vet the host families, arrange travel, advise on practicalities such as health insurance etc, and have a representative on hand to provide local support if needed.


dmu Sep 10th 2019 10:08 am

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee (Post 12733712)
Hi, sorry if I wasn't clear enough. I meant a host family or 2 host families who could accommodate 2 teenage girls for 3 - 4 weeks so they could be immersed in the French culture and language, and in return we would host the French girls here in Australia for a few weeks at a later date. These arrangement were very common when I was a teenager. Their current school has no contacts in France, I hadn't thought of the twin towns thing though, will investigate that, thanks.

That's a different kettle of fish! I thought you meant at least several months attending a French school!:o
On the other hand, I can't imagine any school allowing a couple of foreign teenagers into their classes for a month....
Have to agree with ET, Even a couple of decades ago, when my Anglo-French daughters were minors, I would never have allowed them to go half-way across the world on their own to strangers, even for a month, without seriously vetting the host families. As said, it was a sad reflection on Society, even in those days...
There must in fact be sites of official organisations, but the first results of a Google search (in French) concerned the arrival in France of young immigrants without accompanying adults, from North Africa and the Near East....Before approaching an official organisation, check with the French Consulate in Australia whether unaccompanied minors are entitled to Visas...
HTH


EuroTrash Sep 10th 2019 10:38 am

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 
You might get some ideas here https://devenirbilingue.com/sejours-...-linguistique/ although on a quick read through I didn't specifically see Australia mentioned

Buzzy--Bee Sep 11th 2019 2:44 am

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 
Mmmm not keen to pay a company who will just meet them off the plane. Our kids travel extensively by themselves - even internationally - and are very savvy and independent. They also don't need visas for France although they may do after Brexit!

I'll pursue other avenues - thanks for your input.

EuroTrash Sep 11th 2019 5:18 am

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 
You haven't mentioned how old they are beyond being teenagers - 13 or 18 makes a big difference. If they are 17 / 18 and used to travelling, maybe something like Workaway would be more suitable?
https://www.workaway.info/fr/hostlist/europe/fr

Buzzy--Bee Sep 11th 2019 5:38 am

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 
They're twins aged 14. The idea is for them to stay with a family or families with similar aged French kids, but from what is being said on here that seems to be not possible which is a shame as when I did French exchanges as a 14 year old I learned loads. Unfortunately French exchanges are not part of Australian school life - only trips to France, where you speak English in France for 3 weeks and get to see the Eiffel tower etc. Not quite the same!

dmu Sep 11th 2019 6:54 am

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee (Post 12734006)
They're twins aged 14. The idea is for them to stay with a family or families with similar aged French kids, but from what is being said on here that seems to be not possible which is a shame as when I did French exchanges as a 14 year old I learned loads. Unfortunately French exchanges are not part of Australian school life - only trips to France, where you speak English in France for 3 weeks and get to see the Eiffel tower etc. Not quite the same!

Hi, haven't they got French "correspondantes" through their school, whose parents might be persuaded to do an exchange?
Mind you, a young in-law went to stay a month at her German Korrespondantin's home, and her family turned out to be unliveable, so even if they 'know" their friends, they still have to tolerate their families. My own daughter discovered that one Korrespondantin wasn't as nice as she seemed, but she only had to stay a week on a school exchange, and coped. I, in turn, had to put up with her when she stayed here.....
If their French teacher, French Consulate, Town Twinning Committee... can't advise, then I can only suggest finding French girls to host first, in the hopes of your daughters returning chez elles later. Two French girls of your daughters' age will talk French together and your daughters' French will improve. I had this experience when my two daughters' respective Korrespondantinnen (different ages) came the same year - they spoke German together the whole time, which improved my and my family's German, but did nothing for their French!
HTH


petitefrancaise Sep 11th 2019 4:46 pm

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 
I've done this a couple of times albeit informally through people/colleagues we already knew. That's probably your best bet - reach out to people you know. Their child stayed with us for 2 weeks in the summer holidays and vice versa.
Australia though, that's a long expensive flight just to get to an English speaking country and won't the french child need a visa to visit you?

dmu Sep 11th 2019 5:53 pm

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise (Post 12734306)
I've done this a couple of times albeit informally through people/colleagues we already knew. That's probably your best bet - reach out to people you know. Their child stayed with us for 2 weeks in the summer holidays and vice versa.
Australia though, that's a long expensive flight just to get to an English speaking country and won't the french child need a visa to visit you?

Even if the OP finds a solution for her daughters, the "return match" has been bothering me.
https://www.australia-australie.com/...es-formalites/
This link says that a French minor must have a valid Passport and a tourist visa for Australia. If a minor is travelling alone, they need an "Autorisation de sortie du Territoire", signed by both parents.
Not wishing to discourage the OP, most French parents would send their children to the UK or Ireland, to improve their English, using their (free) ID cards which they've had since birth, rather than all that way to Australia with the added expense of buying a Passport and paying the visa. French people who generally stay within Europe never bother with Passports....

Chatter Static Sep 11th 2019 6:06 pm

Re: Looking for a French language exchange for 2 Australian teenagers
 

Originally Posted by dmu (Post 12734330)
Even if the OP finds a solution for her daughters, the "return match" has been bothering me.
https://www.australia-australie.com/...es-formalites/
This link says that a French minor must have a valid Passport and a tourist visa for Australia. If a minor is travelling alone, they need an "Autorisation de sortie du Territoire", signed by both parents.
Not wishing to discourage the OP, most French parents would send their children to the UK or Ireland, to improve their English, using their (free) ID cards which they've had since birth, rather than all that way to Australia with the added expense of buying a Passport and paying the visa. French people who generally stay within Europe never bother with Passports....

We needed to find someone with a French passport to countersign an English passport application it was a challenge the hardest part was them responding to the security letter the passport office send out after countersigning the application form. Our doctors secretary tossed it in the bin because she couldn't understand it.


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