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Conversation Coach in France

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    5

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Conversation Coach for 2 months in France

I was a conversation coach for a family in Toulouse, France. Beautiful weather there. From the stages of application filling all the way to being in France, Interexchange did a wonderful job guiding me throughout the process and answering my questions. I was also assured I had a proper in-country supervisor who would be my safety net if there had been any problems. My family went above and beyond my expectations. They were kind, helpful, and invited me to come along with them on vacations and nights out. That made me feel very comfortable. The kids were good, too. They were middle school age and were easy to work with. Due to their tight schedules, I only taught them for about an hour each day with conversation in english throughout the house. Interexchange provided me with many resources available to set up english lessons. It does take some thought to organize and develop a teaching structure, but I got the hang of it in about a week. I drastically improved my french as well. It's very important to be proactive in signing up for french classes and going out to meet new people anyway you can. This will make or break your experience. I was very lucky to have made various friends by putting myself out there and this led to me having the greatest experience of my life. 10/10! Highly recommend this program to anyone interested, just make sure to do your research on where you're going and be prepared.

  • InterExchange responded to this review May 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Thanks Nik - so great to hear that you found the InterExchange support to be worthwhile. Always nice to hear about a great host family experience. And congrats on making such huge strides in your French proficiency! ~James (InterExchange)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Incredibly Enriching Experience

I recently returned from 3 months as a conversation coach through InterExchange's Teach English in France program. It was really a great experience. Basically, InterExchange acts as a facilitator by working with an agency in France to match you with a suitable host family. You are not paying for them to regulate your relationship with the host family and they cannot ensure that you will enjoy the experience as that is mostly up to you. However, you are paying them to match you up with a host family and guide you through the process. They also provide support along the way should you have any problems. For me, the staff members were very helpful at each step and I would definitely recommend InterExchange to anyone interested in travel, teaching, or cultural exchange. This program provides an amazing opportunity. Just make sure you read all the details in advance, ask a lot of questions, and understand fully what you are getting into. There are definitely ups and downs but the personal enrichment you receive along the way is absolutely worth it.

  • InterExchange responded to this review May 26, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    Thanks Jacob, for these valuable thoughts. Your advice to ask lots of questions is crucial in the matching process, and ensuring a successful program. There are indeed challenges involved in traveling and living in an unfamiliar place with a new family, and I'm glad you embraced them! ~James (InterExchange)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Most Impactful Experience of my Life!

InterExchange was life changing for me. I knew I wanted to travel before I headed off to college (I'm 18), but I needed a little help getting me out the door. InterExchange provided modest pricing and stellar customer service. They were eager to answer all of my questions, sometimes in as little as 15 minutes via email! In addition, they were informative and friendly over the phone, making me feel completely safe and comfortable. They provided excellent tips and tricks for navigating a foreign country alone.
The host family I was paired with was magical. Two parents, a 16 years old and an 11 year old. The parents were fluent in English, and the children were always willing and eager to learn. I stayed with this family in Paris for 3 months. I was fairly nervous about teaching English, as I had never done so before. However, InterExchange seemed to read my mind, sending me an informative booklet to answer all of my questions and help me plan my lessons.
I cannot possibly recommend this program enough! Because of this adventure, I have become self reliant and confident in myself. This was such a growing experience for me, I highly encourage each and every one of you to consider applying. I think that traveling is a must, and I can think of no better program to help you get out the door!

  • InterExchange responded to this review May 26, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    So nice to hear your positive feedback on the experience! Seems you and your hosts were able to get so much from the program and we're grateful to have been a part of making it happen. Thanks for the great review! ~James (InterExchange)

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    5

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    5

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    6

Conversation Coach in France

I've had a wonderful time living with my host family in a small city south of Lyon. They are incredible hosts and I'm so thankful that I've had this opportunity to live here. I've had plenty of good food and spare time to relax, while learning so much about the country and the culture!

  • InterExchange responded to this review May 26, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    Good food and relaxation mixed with the invaluable tutoring you were able to provide seems like a great balance to me! Glad you enjoyed the experience and thanks for your comments. ~James (InterExchange)

Overall Rating

2/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    2

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    2

  • Community Impact

    4

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    4

Hope you enjoy spending all your time with the family!

For those of you considering live-in situations, let me tell you that staying with a family means that they will begrudge you any life outside of their home. I was an unpaid volunteer and they treated me like I was abusing their generosity. I planned activities with the kids, spent more than my required hours, and put up with both verbal and physical abuse from their kids as well as the psychological abuse from the cold, sneering parents. I resigned early, upset that I had paid $800 for the program and another $1100 for my plane ticket. The only reason I give it any credit is that the coordinators were prompt and helpful when I needed to contact them.

  • InterExchange responded to this review December 22, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    Thank you for your comments about your experience. We sincerely regret any instance where a participant feels pressure to spend time with their host family. To be sure, this program is built around relationships, of which each are unique. Quality time with host families (outside of the formal tutoring) is very much appreciated and expected but under no circumstances do we expect that a participant would be made to feel pressure in this regard. I did note that you felt your coordinators were prompt and helpful, which I would highlight, since in the rare instance that a participant does experience some concern with their hosts, we are committed to resolving the matter directly.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation