Skip to main content

Alex Learns About Living with a Host Family in France

To prepare for my trip, I focused on experiencing modern French entertainment and pop culture for the past months. These are my favorite discoveries:

Music:  La Femme

Macintosh HD:Users:alexwagner:Desktop:la-femme-deux.jpgLa Femme [The Girl] is by far my favorite modern French band. Their alternative/indie music is so fun and catchy. My favorite songs are La Femme Ressort and Où Va Le Monde.

TV Show: Les Revenants

Macintosh HD:Users:alexwagner:Desktop:lesrevenants.jpgLes Revenants [The Returned] is a show I found on Netflix. The plot surrounds dead loved ones who come back to life in a small, rural French town. The show is a little disturbing, but also so addicting and well made. I can't wait until Season 2 is added to Netflix!

Book: Le Petit Prince

Macintosh HD:Users:alexwagner:Desktop:51364NhwLoL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgLe Petit Prince [The Little Prince] is a very popular children's book in France. It is about a tiny alien prince who jumps from the world, discovering new ways of life and making new friends. Although it is a children's book, it has so much depth that it is hard to forget this book after you finally put it down.

Interview

Rachel
I also conducted an interview with my friend Rachel. Although she lives in Germany, Rachel speaks fluent French, did host family programs in France, and will be attending the French University, Science Po, next year. I asked her questions about her experiences in France and what I should be expecting.
Me: What is your favorite part(s) of French culture?
Rachel: Although I attended classes in the mornings and afternoons, my host family always made it a point to have at least one meal together as a family. This was really great because it gave me the opportunity to learn more colloquial French.
Me: What about your least favorite part(s)?
Rachel: By the time I felt completely comfortable in my new environment and family, it was almost the end of my stay. It would have been nice to have another few weeks.
Me: What do you think is the main difference between American and French culture?
Rachel: Transportation! For Europeans in general, but specifically in a city like Paris, using public transportation as well as walking is much more common than in the U.S.
Me: Where are your favorite places to go in Paris?
Rachel: My go-to spot in Paris is sitting on the grassy patch at the base of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, with some good food and friends. Whether it is really early in the morning or late at night, and despite the crowds, the view is always gorgeous.
Me: What is your main advice for anyone doing a host program in France/new to living in France?
Rachel: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!!! It took me 2 host-stays to get this one down. Even if you are shy, make the effort to speak as much as possible with everyone you meet.
Overall, I am super excited for the ANDEO program I am doing. I am a bit nervous about having to speak French the whole trip, especially in the beginning when my French is not even close to fluent. I am worried about simply forming sentences when I struggle with even finding the right verb conjugation during French class. I think the parts of my immersion that I am looking forward to the most are meeting and connecting with my host family, becoming more familiar with current events in France, and of course, eating tons of food! I can't wait for June 25, when I step off of the plane and start my adventure in a completely new country.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Write a Letter to Your Host Family

The letter to your host family is one of the most important pieces of your program abroad application; it’s the host family’s first impression of you. Exchange programs take many factors into account when matching you with a host family, but ultimately it’s up to the host family to decide whether to host you or not.

Here are a few helpful tips to writing a great letter to your future host family:

Use a positive tone. “The main reason a student’s dossier is passed over by families is unintentional negativity,” explains Rebecca Gundle, Program Coordinator for ANDEO International Homestays. A student might be trying to explain her preferences, but when she devotes equal attention to describing her dislikes, she comes across as negative or picky. A family wants to know that the student they host will be adaptable and willing to try new things. Keep your tone upbeat and positive. Go deeper than the application form.Try to avoid simply reiterating what is on the form. This is a chance to ta…

Tackling the Dust Bunnies (and other surprising benefits of hosting an exchange student)

By Elizabeth Markleson, host momYou could say I'm a relaxed housekeeper. Our kitchen table is covered with piles of papers "to be dealt with later", our sink is often full of dishes, and you can be sure there is a whole family of dust bunnies living under the furniture. When my kids were little and they would see me go into my cleaning mode, they would always ask, "Who is coming to visit?" Not much changes over the years! When it comes to housework, a guest is a great motivator.

The days were ticking down before our Spanish student arrived and my to-do list was getting longer and longer. “Don’t stress too much about it,” my sister said. “Isn’t your student just supposed to blend into your family as it is? This is an exchange student, not a visiting dignitary, after all.”

True, but I am a strong believer in the power of first impressions. When my daughter went to Spain a few years ago, her host family added some really nice touches to make her feel welcome...like …

From Guest to Family- All in 48 Hours

by Judith, Immersion in France, 2016



The first 48 hours of your time abroad will probably be the most exciting of your entire stay. There is so much to discover, so much to explore, so much you don’t know about…These first two days are filled with emotions: you may be a little anxious and worry that your second language is not good enough. You may be struggling to fit in and overwhelmed by everything new you discover.
As my own day of departure for France drew near, I wondered what my upcoming trip would be like. I wanted to know what it is like to meet a complete stranger. I wanted to know what it would be like to speak French all day long. Most of all, I wanted to know what my host family would be like.I hope to be able to help you answer these questions and ease a bit of your anxiety. What is it like to meet a complete stranger?First of all, you probably won’t be meeting a complete stranger. You’ll be meeting someone you know is interested in getting to know you and your culture. You’…