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Language Camp in France

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  • Overview

    Always dreamed of learning French while exploring iconic cities like Bordeaux? Now is your chance to experience the culture of France while perfecting your language skills with fellow students from around the world.

    Greenheart Travel offers summer programs at this location 

    • Arcachon (near Bordeaux)
    • Saint-Malo (in Brittany)
  • Eligibility

    • Must be between 14 – 17 years old
    • Must have completed at least one year of French language instruction
    • Be in good mental** and physical health
    • Have a genuine interest in learning French and immersing yourself in the culture

    *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, specifically within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition. Each student will be addressed on a case by case basis and ultimately it is Greenheart Travel’s in-country partner who holds the right to accept or decline a student based on their individual policy.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • Eating disorders
    • Chronic debilitating migraines
    • Bipolar Disorder

    All students who currently experience one or more of these conditions will be required to submit an addendum to the terms and conditions as well as a letter of support from their current mental health specialist. If the student’s mental health issue has been managed (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will still require a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.  We encourage you to discuss your specific situation with us directly before securing these documents.

  • Saint-Malo Sail+French Program

    In the northwest region of France, straight west of Paris, is the town of Saint-Malo! There, Greenheart hosts a summer French language camp that offers not only classes in the language but also in sailing! If you’re a lover of the ocean then this program is ideal for you.

    Being a popular destination for vacations, there is a booming sailing industry and we want to give you the chance to learn about it with a hands on experience! Your days will consist of morning classes, afternoon sailing lessons, excursions and time to spend in the evening with your host family.

    You can choose lengths of stay between 2-4 weeks.

    2 week program: After the morning classes, students will have 4 sailing lessons a week. Daily transport is arranged to the sailing spot. Sailing lessons are adapted accordingly to each level and any equipment needed is provided. Participants learn alongside seasoned sailors that provide maximum security during lessons. Participants also take part in a weekly excursion with the international group.

    3 week program: The first 2 weeks students will participate in weekly sailing lessons in the afternoon. The last week of the program, students will be enrolled in the activity program and participate in daily cultural activities and excursions around Saint-Malo!

    4 week program: The first 2 weeks students will participate in weekly sailing lessons in the afternoon. The last 2 weeks, students will be enrolled in the cultural activity program and participate in daily activities and excursions around Saint-Malo!

    Please note: Participants are not allowed to go out at night outside the host family home unless accompanied.

     

    What are past participants saying about the program?

    My summer in France was the most memorable summer of all time! Greenheart Travel offered the best experience. The excursions, the morning classes and the overall experience was amazing. The day would start off in the morning with breakfast, then off to class! Class consisted of a small group of international French learners. Afterwards, we would have our daily excursion then the evening with friends or the host family. Overall, great experience! Thank you!” – Ivan Galvan, Summer Language Camp Alumn with Greenheart Travel

  • Arcachon Surf + French Program

    A lesser known area of France, Arcachon is no less special than Paris! This coastal city is located about a 1-hour drive from Bordeaux in a beautiful region of the country. If you’re an ocean lover, this is the spot for you! It is a popular vacation destination for French tourists and is home to some incredible nearby sites. Your days will consist of morning classes, afternoon surf lessons, excursions and time to spend in the evening with your host family.

    You can choose lengths of stay between 2-4 weeks.

    2 week program: After the morning classes, students will have 4 surf lessons a week. Daily transport is arranged to the surf spot. Surf lessons are adapted accordingly to each level and quality wetsuits and surfboards are lent by the school. The board will be chosen from a wide variety of surfboards including foam boards which are the safest and the most fun to learn with. Participants also take part in a weekly excursion with the international group.

    3 week program: The first 2 weeks students will participate in weekly surf lessons in the afternoon. The last week of the program, students will be enrolled in the activity program and participate in daily activities and excursions around Arcachon and Bordeaux!

    4 week program: The first 2 weeks students will participate in weekly surf lessons in the afternoon. The last 2 weeks, students will be enrolled in the activity program and participate in daily activities and excursions around Arcachon and Bordeaux!

    Please note: Participants are not allowed to go out at night outside the host family home unless accompanied.

     

    What are past participants saying about the program?

    My summer in France was the most memorable summer of all time! Greenheart Travel offered the best experience. The excursions, the morning classes and the overall experience was amazing. The day would start off in the morning with breakfast, then off to class! Class consisted of a small group of international French learners. Afterwards, we would have our daily excursion then the evening with friends or the host family. Overall, great experience! Thank you!” – Ivan Galvan, Summer Language Camp Alumn with Greenheart Travel

  • Classes & School Info

    There are 3 different levels — Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced. The levels are sub divided up into two sub levels depending on your linguistic skills. You will be given an admissions test on your first day to evaluate your skills and place you in the proper level.

    French Courses

    • 15 morning classes a week (3 classes per day for 50 minutes each)
    • Classes are taught by native French teachers who specialize in teaching French as a foreign language
    • You should take a French/English dictionary, notebook and pencil for class but your school will provide all books and workbooks.
    • Teachers use dynamic, interactive educational methods that integrate the use of magazines, cds, discussions on current affairs, surveys, and presentations
    • Students receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course

    Arcachon School Location and Classrooms:

    arcachon-school-collage-greenheart-travel-2

  • Program Dates

    Summer 2024 dates

    Arcachon 

    • June 30, 2024 (2-4 weeks) [Fully Enrolled]
    • July 14, 2024 (2-4 weeks)
    • July 21, 2024 (2 weeks)
    • July 28, 2024 (2-3 weeks)

    Saint-Malo

    • June 30,2024 (2-4 weeks)
    • July 14, 2024 (2-4 weeks)
    • July 21, 2024 (2 weeks)
    • July 28, 2024 (2-4 weeks)
    • August 4, 2024 (2 weeks)
    • August 11, 2024 (2 weeks)

     

    Why our alumni loved the program:

    The two weeks abroad in Arcachon were incredible and I had a blast completely immersing myself in a different language and culture. I feel like I changed so much from my time in France. It’s such a rewarding feeling– taking the skills we learn in textbooks and utilizing them in the real world. I’m currently in the process of applying for colleges, and I am considering studying abroad in college because of my amazing experiences I had in France this summer.” – Autumn Lee, 2016 Summer Camp France alum

  • Arrival & Departure Times

    All students fly on their own to France. A representative from the language school will pick them up and take them to their host family.

    Arcachon:

    • Arrive at Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) on Sunday (before Monday classes start) between 12:00pm and 6:00pm
    • Depart from Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) on Saturday at the end of their program between 9:00am and 2:00pm

    Saint-Malo:

    • Arrive at Rennes Bretagne Airport (RNS) on Sunday (before Monday classes start) between 9:00am and 6:00pm
    • Depart from Rennes Bretagne Airport (RNS) on Saturday at the end of their program between 9:00am and 6:00pm

    Arriving or departing outside these designated windows will incur additional fees for private transportation.

  • Costs & Inclusions

    2024 Program Cost:

    French + Surf in Arcachon Program Cost:

    • 2 Weeks: $3,090
    • 3 Weeks: $3,810
    • 4 Weeks: $3,990

    French + Sailing in Saint-Malo Program Cost:

    • 2 Weeks: $3,090
    • 3 Weeks: $3,630
    • 4 Weeks: $3,990

    Please note: all prices are listed in USD.

    What’s Included:

    • Accommodation for the entire program
    • 3 meals a day*
    • 15 hours of language classes per week
    • Fully chaperoned daily cultural activities & excursions
    • Arrival orientation and language level placement test
    • Airport pickup and drop off from designated airport
    • Medical and accident insurance
    • 24-hour emergency assistance from local staff and long-distance staff
    • Online pre-departure orientation with Greenheart Travel
    • The Greenheart Travel Atlas, an interactive guide to your cross-cultural experience
    • Access to the Greenheart Club, an online community for Greenheart alumni to find resources, log volunteer hours, and apply for alumni grants and scholarships

    *If a student has a dietary restriction, there is an extra charge of $25USD/week that is added to the program cost total.

    Our Support and Services: 

    • Extensive pre-departure advice and support from your US-based program manager! We will be with you from your first inquiry, all the way through preparing to leave and your arrival in France.
    • Support services from in-country staff upon arrival to France.
    • Online pre-departure cultural and logistical orientation before you leave.
    • 24-hour in-country and emergency support for the duration of the program, including 24-hour emergency phone numbers to reach a program manager at any time.

    What’s Not Included:

    • Flights to/from France
    • Spending money for souvenirs or snacks while in France

    Payment Details

    • $300 Application Fee due by the program deadline to formally apply
    • $300 Commitment Payment due after acceptance within 14 days to save your spot on a certain start date
    • Remaining balance is due 8 weeks before departure to France

    Worried about the program fee?

    Our goal is to help make travel accessible to everyone and we are here to help when you are deciding if this experience is financially do-able. Each year we offer scholarships for high school study abroad students! We also have a guide to fundraising your program fee, and many high school students fundraise in their hometown ahead of their program.

    We also offer discounts for applying early (plus there are many other benefits to applying early!) for each start date and for US families that have hosted an exchange student with Greenheart Exchange.

    Please inquire here if you have questions about the program fee, scholarships, or fundraising for your program.

  • Host Families

    For both Arcachon and Saint-Malo, all students live with carefully selected local host families near the school – approximately 20 minutes walking distance to the school or public transportation. Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. 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

    Usually, two students will share a room and there can be up to 3 students with one host family depending on the size of the family’s home. They will only share rooms with students of the same sex and will be closely supervised by their hosts.

    What have past participants said about their host families?

    “I was fortunate enough to live with a wonderful host mom who is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. In the morning she would always ask if I slept well, wanted to know about my day when we came back from school, she drove my host brother and I to get ice cream and to watch the sunset (which was my favorite memory from this trip). I am still in contact with her and email her regularly.” – Autumn Lee, Summer Camp France alum

  • FAQs

    How much supervision is there?

    Students are supervised and chaperoned at all times during school and the organized activities.

    Permission to go out at night depends on location: Participants aged
    from 15 and + are allowed to go out in the evening
    until 21:00, those under the age of 15 are not
    allowed to go out.

    Should my child fly using an unaccompanied minor service?

    Greenheart Travel does not recommend this service because the “additional” services advertised by the airlines are already provided to all travelers and are not worth the money invested by you the traveler. At any time, a student can ask an airline professional for help finding their gate or for connecting flight information, and paying for this add-on UM service is not necessary. We have sent hundreds of semester abroad students internationally, for whom we book their flights, and we never use unaccompanied minor services. If you would like the peace of mind a UM service provides, Greenheart Travel offers more self-empowering alternatives (such as reviewing airport maps, mapping connections, etc) that we believe teach teenagers relevant life skills about traveling independently. Please refer to our webinar about navigating international airports.

    How many other students will there be and where are they from?

    A majority of our students are American between 14-17 years old. However, there are students participating from around the world, so your child will have a cross-cultural setting both in the classroom and out. While the number of students does vary by start date, we like to keep small classes with no more than 15 students.

    Will my child be required to speak French outside of the classroom?

    Language practice and immersion are the main priority of this program. While we do not require the students to sign a contract stating they will only speak in the local language, it is highly encouraged that they use their language skills when talking to friends, partaking in the daily excursions and at night in the residence hall or host family home. Program staff and chaperones primarily communicate and answer questions in the local language to encourage this immersion culture.

    How will this program improve my child’s French skills?

    In a traditional classroom, students may learn language skills; however, they are not forced to practice these skills in real world situations. Through language immersion, your child will both learn the practical language skills in a classroom while also being forced to use them with local, native speakers during the excursions and/or host family experience. Studies show that 4 weeks of a full language immersion experience can be equivalent to a yearlong college language course because of the intensity of use.

    Can high school credit be earned?

    Greenheart Travel cannot award high school credit. Please talk to your school about earning credit for your child’s time abroad. Refer to this blog post for tips on transferring credit.

    What if my child has an allergy/specific dietary requirement?

    We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed with us to see if we can arrange to have your needs met.

    Do students need vaccines/shots?

    Greenheart Travel strongly recommends that all program participants be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before arriving to their destination country. If you will not be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the start of your program, please contact a Program Manager to confirm that your destination country will accept non-vaccinated participants.

    What happens if my child gets sick while abroad?

    They will be covered by mandatory health insurance. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 2 weeks prior to their departure, as well as supplementary materials in your child’s comprehensive program handbook.

    Can friends apply together?

    Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends and groups. If both your child and their friend go together, each of them will receive a discount! However, keep in mind your primary purpose of attending this program is to immerse themselves in the language and culture – so make sure your child and their friend commit to speaking French! (Need tips? Check out our language learning tips webinar!)

    Do you accept groups?

    Absolutely! If you are an educator who would like to organize a group trip, please inquire here to speak about dates, pricing, and special requests.

    After I complete my program, how can I continue studying French?

    A great next step is doing our High School Abroad France program! You’ll go to a local French high school for a trimester, semester, or academic year.

    Are flights included?

    Flights are not included in the program fee. Students are responsible for booking their round-trip airfare to France. We will collect your itinerary to organize your arrival and airport pickup.

    Can I speak to current students or alumni?

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

    We also have a list of mentors (teens and parents) that are past participants open to chatting about their experience with potential new participants. Please inquire here if you want to be put in touch with a mentor.

  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    Greenheart Travel has been sending teens to France for many years, and there are advantages of applying for this program through us:

    • 33 years of experience with cultural exchange programs.
    • Friendly, responsive, and professional support from a program manager.
    • Connect with alumni and others on the program via our Greenheart Travel only Facebook forums, before you even leave!
    • We try and make our program fees as inclusive as we can. We include things like medical insurance so you don’t run into any hidden fees down the line.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program. The Greenheart Travel Atlas is a cultural training interactive guidebook alongside five videos where you will find three main topics covered: Personal/Professional Development, Cultural Understanding, & Environmental Awareness.
    • Hands-on support and personal attention every step of the way
    • 24/7 emergency phone number to reach a staff member at any time
    • Pre-departure “Culture Shock and Adjustment” Webinar before you leave
    • Discounts for future Greenheart Travel programs
    • We are a non-profit, mission-based organization
    • Continued support throughout your time abroad

    We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel students and alumni!

    Greenheart Global Impact Grants (GIGs)

    Greenheart GIG Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country after they return home. A GIG is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.

    Greenheart Alumni Program

    We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!

    Junior Greenheart Global Leaders Conference

    Each May Greenheart offers full-ride scholarships to around 10 teen alumni to attend our annual conference in Chicago. You can see more about what Jr. GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.

  • Application Process

    Committing to a language camp program can feel a bit daunting, but we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible. Below are the steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a Greenheart Travel program.

    1. Ensure Your Eligibility: The eligibility requirements, such as age or language proficiency, may be required for certain destinations.

    2. Start Your Application HereYou will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application. You’ll be able to save your progress along the way.

    3. Sign the Terms & Conditions: After you complete the first part of your application, you (and your parent(s) if you’re under 18) will be asked to read through and sign our Terms and Conditions which outline the requirements and policies of the program.

    4. Submit your application fee: You will need to submit your $300 application fee at this point in the process. This is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.

    5. In-Depth QuestionnaireThis is the most in-depth part of the application process as it helps us get to know you better. You will need to provide detailed information about yourself, why you want to go abroad, and what you hope to gain from your experience. You will also need to upload your passport.

    6. Acceptance: Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 1-2 weeks to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.

    You’re Accepted – now what?

    Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. At this point you will be required to submit a second $300 commitment payment that also goes towards the total amount (it’s not extra). This is your commitment to your start date and once we receive it is when details will start to be booked on your behalf.

    You’ll then be able to download the program handbook from the portal, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule an online pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have. You can expect to receive your host family placement 1-2 weeks prior to your start date.

  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions and want to chat with a program advisor? Set up a time here:


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