High School in France

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  • Overview

    Bienvenue en France!

    Studying abroad with Greenheart Travel’s high school program in France will give you a chance to live and study in one of the world’s most creatively charged countries. Immerse yourself in a culture that inspired Monet to paint, Bridgette Bardot to act and Edith Piaf to sing, and learn to speak French like a local during your semester or academic year abroad. As an exchange student in France, you will soak in the French way of life through full language and cultural immersion, allowing you to gain a new perspective during your academic adventure abroad.

    Program at a Glance:

    • Host family accommodation provides a full language & culture immersion experience
    • Must have 2 years of French language experience
    • You can choose between 1 or 2-months, trimester, semester or academic year length programs
    • Straightforward online application process
    • Start dates available in spring or fall

    Get a glimpse into what is life in France living with a host family:

  • Costs and Inclusions

    • 1 Month: $8,130
    • 2 Month: $9,010
    • Academic Trimester: $9,830
    • Academic Semester: $12,710
    • Academic Year: $14,650

     Program Fee Includes:

    • Roundtrip international airfare from designated gateway airport to France
    • Host family accommodations and 2-3 meals per day
    • Language and Culture program (4 days)
    • Local arrival orientation with area representative
    • Medical/Accident insurance
    • Support and counseling services from in-country staff
    • 24-hour emergency support
    • Pre-departure Orientation and Preparation
      • Cultural Pre-departure Orientation (via Skype)
      • General Pre-departure Orientation (in-person or via Skype)
    • Personal assistance from a Greenheart Travel program manager
    • Letter of Recommendation upon request and successful completion of the program
  • Academic Info

    What to know about attending a French high school:

    • There are 3 trimesters (3 month grading periods) per school year, starting in September.
    • Most French state schools are now operating on a four day week with Wednesday remaining free and school on Saturdays, but it depends on the lycée.
    • Students can go to school on Wednesday and/or Saturday depending on the policies of the particular school.
    • A school day in France generally begins at 8:00 am, at noon there is a 1 1⁄2 to 2-hour lunch break, and the day ends at 5:00 or 6:00 pm. (The actual start and finish times will vary according to each local school.)

    There are three grade levels in the French high school or lycée:

    • Classe de Seconde (10th grade, 15-16 y. old) 

      Students choose courses from the following curriculum: French, History/Geography, Foreign Language, Math**, Physics/Chemistry, Earth Science, Physical Education, Social Studies, Latin, Greek, Art, Economics, Computer Science, Biology
    • Classe de Première (11th grade, 16-17 y. old)
      In this level, students must specialize in one of the following general sections, or “tracks”: Humanities, Social Studies/Economics, or Sciences. Other required subjects such as math, history, and geography, and languages may also be required within each track.
    • Classe de Terminale (12th grade, 17-18 y. old)
      In this level, students are focused on taking the rigorous French college entrance exam, the baccalaureate. Therefore, they spend a lot of time studying their subjects of specialization (Literature, Economics or Sciences). Courses are focused on the material that will be tested on the baccalaureat. A student who has passed the baccalaureate exam is generally considered to have the equivalent education of an American university sophomore.

    Before You Go Abroad

    You should meet with your US high school before you leave and share the general curriculum guidelines of your host country with your guidance counselor and/or teachers. Please consult with them about the credits they will potentially grant you for the classes you take while abroad.

    Because the curriculum will vary by country, it is important that you arrange the required classes required for your graduation, such as U.S. History, before or after your time abroad. There are no guarantees that you can take certain classes at your host school.

    Greenheart Travel will be able to provide information about the general curriculum for your age level in your host country; however, in most cases you will not be able to sign up for specific courses until AFTER you have arrived in your host country.

    Access your High School Curriculum Guidelines for France here!

    Once You’re Abroad

    Upon arrival in France, you will attend our Language & Culture Week in Paris. You will take French classes, visit cultural sites and discover a bit more of the French culture. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to ease yourself into your time in France

    Please keep in mind that the grading system in other countries is different than the US. Most host schools will not grant grades or transcripts as it is too difficult to evaluate your work due to the language barrier. If your host school is able to award you grades, they won’t be an exact match to what you would get in the US.

  • Program Dates

    Fall 2019 Dates

    Applications are now closed. Please apply for a 2020 start date.

    • Short Term Option (1-2 months): Start in August, apply by June 26
    • Trimester: Late August 2019 – Mid-November 2019
    • Semester: Late August 2019 – Late January 2020
    • Academic Year: Late August 2019 – Late June 2020

    Exact dates will be provided closer to your start date!

    Spring 2020 Dates

    Final Deadline to Apply: September 15th, 2019

    Apply Early and Save! $300 off Trimester and $500 off Semester/Year Early Application Discount for Spring 2020 Programs: Apply by May 30, 2019

    • Short Term (1-2 months): Start in January
    • Trimester: Mid January 2020 – Mid April 2020
    • Semester: Mid January 2020 – Late June 2020

    Exact dates will be provided closer to your start date!

    Fall 2020 Dates

    Apply Early and Save! $300 off Trimester and $500 off Semester/Year Early Application Discount for Fall 2020 Programs: Apply by December 6, 2019

    Final Deadline to Apply: March 15th, 2020

    • Short Term Option (1-2 months): Start in August
    • Trimester: Late August 2020 – Mid-November 2020
    • Semester: Late August 2020 – Late January 2021
    • Academic Year: Late August 2020 – Late June 2021

    Exact dates will be provided closer to your start date!

    Can’t commit to going during the school year? Check out our 2-4 week summer option in France here.

  • Eligibility

    In researching a study abroad program, you have already shown you are a leader and open-minded in your academic pursuits. These are just a few of the traits that our exchange students possess. You’re motivated to immerse yourself in another culture and flexible enough to live outside your comfort zone. You should also:

    • Be between 15 and 18 years of age
    • Be from the United States or Canada
    • Possess a high school cumulative GPA of at least 2.75/4.0
    • Be in great mental* and physical health
    • Have a genuine interest in becoming a part of your host family and community
    • Have at least 2 years of French language instruction

    Interested in gaining French fluency before you go? Check out our Teen Summer Language Camp in Paris!

    *What does it mean to be in good mental health?

    Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to the most well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of High School Abroad candidates.

  • Host Families

    The best way to learn about a new culture and language is to be fully immersed in it which is why all Greenheart Travel high school abroad students live with local host families. All of our host families are volunteers and will treat you as a member of their family. By being a part of your family’s daily life, you will learn to live and speak like a local.

    Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In fact, many of our current host families have hosted students in the past, showing what an impactful experience it was.

    In order to qualify as a host family, the prospective hosts must:

    • Successfully pass a criminal background check
    • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
    • Agree to and pass a home inspection

    We will connect you with your host family prior to your arrival in your host country. By e-mailing and speaking with them before arriving, it will help break the ice when you finally meet in person. It will also show that you are as excited to live with them as they are to host you!

    ost families have many reasons why they want to welcome you! Our host families are volunteers, meaning they don’t receive compensation for housing and feeding students during their program. Many host families love the experience of cultural exchange – they learn just as much about your country as you do theirs. Many are also former exchange students and want to return the favor, or they have children who have gone or will go to study in the U.S. Having an exchange student exposes their children to new languages and cultures.

    Ian and his host family in France enjoying a meal and wine together.

    Greenheart Traveler, Ian, and his host family in France.

    Placement FAQs

    Can I choose where I will be placed with my host family?
    No. You can choose your destination country, but you must be flexible about where you are placed within that country. We make it a priority to place students with host families that closely match your interests and personality. For this reason we work first to find a suitable family rather than a destination preference. We can never guarantee placements in any specific city or region, and we match based on compatibility with the host family. 

    I know a family in my program country that would like to host me. Is this possible?

    This is possible as long as we have a support network in the family’s host community and there is an available nearby host school.

    Will I be placed in a city?

    No. It is very unlikely you will be placed in a city. A majority of our families live in small to medium sized towns outside of major cities, and it is important you be open-minded to small town life.

    Will I have a host sibling my age?

    There is no guarantee that you will have a host sibling your age. Your host family may have young children, teenage children, or grown children who no longer live at home. Regardless of the age of your host siblings, they’ll be excited to welcome into the family!

    What if I don’t like my host family? Can I request a new one?

    No. We do not change host families based on preferences or location. However, if issues arise once you are on the program, we will handle them on a case-by-case basis and may make changes if necessary.

  • For Parents

    The decision to send your teenager abroad can be difficult and there are a lot of questions to consider. We understand your concerns and the Greenheart Travel staff is there for you every step of the way! For us, it is important that parents be involved in the decision from day one.

    We want to make the process of studying abroad as fun and painless as possible for you and your child, while also ensuring that it is a successful and life-changing adventure! 

    Below are some of the common questions we get from parents as they consider our study abroad program:

    What does it mean to be in good mental health?

    Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all high school abroad applicants.

    Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Depression
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • Debilitating anxiety
    • Eating disorders

    If the student’s mental health issue has been managed (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.

    What kind of assistance will my child receive while abroad?

    There is a strong network of people working together to ensure your child’s time abroad is successful. This includes the Greenheart Travel program manager in the U.S., the natural parents, the local coordinator abroad in country, the host school, and the host family. Immediate assistance will be provided by the local coordinator and/or host family according to a robust chain of communication, explained prior to departure.

    Do you offer any scholarships, financial aid, or special discounts?

    Yes. Every year we offer various scholarships for select high school program destinations. There are two Early Bird Deadline discounts offered each year as well. See our Program Dates for more information. If you have hosted a student for Greenheart Exchange, you are also eligible for a Greenheart Host Family discount.

    My child’s school requires service learning in order to graduate. How will they do that abroad?

    Greenheart Travel is proud to offer the Greenheart Club for all of our students. The Greenheart Club challenges our participants to pursue a deeper level of immersion through volunteerism. As a member of the Greenheart Club, your child will receive guidance in strategizing creative ways to give back to their community, have access to tools for tracking their impact and receive incentives for their efforts as a global leader. This is a great chance for your child to get to know the local community outside of the classroom while they study abroad.

    Can friends study abroad together?

    Our programs are based on a full, cultural immersion experience so friends are not allowed to study abroad together in the same host town. Don’t worry though; making friends in the new host country will happen quickly!

    Can my child come home to visit or can we visit them while abroad?

    No. Visits are not allowed during the high school program. If your family wishes to visit, you should plan to meet your child after your program is completed. In this instance, Greenheart Travel’s National office and international partner office should be informed of your family’s plans.

    Does my child need to be fluent in another language?

    No. One of the main goals of studying abroad is to become fluent in another language while living overseas. The host family and school will not expect your child to be fluent when they first arrive and will help them improve their language skills. As long as your child tries their best, they’ll pick up the language sooner than you might think!

    Can my child take the SATs while abroad?

    You child will not be able to take the SAT’s while abroad.  We highly recommend taking the SAT’s prior to or after the program.

    My child has already graduated, are they still eligible?

    On a case by case basis, we can accept graduated students for Argentina, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

    Can we speak to current high school students or alumni?

    Yes! Check out our blog or your child can join our exclusive teen  programs Facebook group to talk to current and past students.

  • Application Process

    Application Process

    Committing to studying abroad can feel daunting, but we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible! Below are the various steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a high school abroad program.

    1. Start Your Application Here: Greenheart Travel Application. Once the initial form is complete, you will be connected to a High School Abroad program manager who will speak with you and a parent to go over the details of the program.

    2. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): After you complete Part 1 of your application, you and one parent will be asked to read through and sign our Terms and Conditions which outline the requirements and policies of the program.

    3. Submit your deposit (Approximately 5 minutes): Next, you will submit your $1,000 non-refundable deposit which reserves your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.

    4. Skype Interview (Approximately 30-45 Minutes): After submitting your deposit, you will schedule an interview with Allison.  During this interview, Allison will ask you questions about living with a host family, adjusting to new situations and homesickness, among other things. She will also explain the overview of the next few months and what you can expect. This is done via Skype, and at least one parent should also be in attendance. If you do not have Skype, please download it before the interview.

    5. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): This part of the application process will help us get to know you and assess the best match for your host family abroad. You will need to provide detailed information about yourself, why you want to study abroad, and what you hope to gain from your experience. You can do this prior to the Skype interview should you wish.

    5. Second Parent to Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 5 minutes): Your other parent will be asked to read through and sign our Terms and Conditions which outline the requirements and policies of the program.

    6. Submitting Your Documents: You will also be required to submit documents (outlined below). You can be collecting the documents during the application process, but all documents will be due 14 days after you submit your deposit.

    Once you’ve completed all the steps, Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 weeks about your acceptance. Then, you’ll get more information about preparation, visas, and placement.

    Required Documents

    In addition to completing an application, you will also be required to submit documents. You can be collecting the documents during the application process, but all documents will be due 14 days after you submit your deposit.

    The following documents will be required for all destinations:

    • Two Letter of Recommendation – at least one in French (from a teacher, coach or guidance counselor) – does not need to be sealed, should be scanned and uploaded to the document portal
    • Transcripts from the last 3 years (unofficial transcripts accepted)
    • Student Dear Family Letter
    • Parent Questionnaire & Letter
    • Photo Album (5-7 photos of you on a Word document with captions in English and French)
    • Medical Form (including immunizations)
    • Copy of your passport
    • 60-90 second self-introduction video in French sent via YouTube link
    • Secondary rules & expectations document signed by both parents and students

    Payments

    For payments, a $1,000 non-refundable deposit will be due with your submitted application. This is a deposit, not an application fee, and will be deducted from your overall program cost. If your application is submitted after the deadline, the deposit will be $2,000.

    Once you are accepted onto the program, a $5,000 commitment deposit will be due within 7 days of acceptance.  Remaining balance is due on June 1st for fall departures and November 1st for spring departures.

    You’ve Been Accepted, Now What?

    Start getting ready for your adventure! Your program manager will be in regular communication with you to make sure that you are on track in your preparations to go abroad.

    • Upon acceptance, you will receive a student handbook (parents – you get one, too!) and access to the Greenheart Travel Atlas, as well as the Greenheart Club.
    • You will receive your host family and school placement roughly 2-3 month after acceptance.
    • After receiving your host family and school placement, you will receive further instructions on applying for you student visa (if applicable for your program length)
    • We will also schedule an online pre-orientation with other Greenheart students a few weeks before your departure!
  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to one of the program coordinators? Set up a time to have a phone call below.


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