I planned an exchange in which 20 French students and two of their teachers visited our High School and Middle School. The group spent two weeks in the area with host families, went on field trips, and attended some classes.
The schools and host families were very excited to have the French students. The American students learned a lot about French culture, and the French students and their teachers, in turn, learned a lot about American culture. The exchange was more successful than I anticipated! Several of my students subsequently decided to study abroad, and I will be leading a group of American students to complete the exchange next year.
CD- Loudoun County, VA
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with A la Carte Travel in hosting three groups of students from France to our school over the past five years! Rene Piard (owner of Fairfax-based A La Carte Travel) has been both professional and flexible in working with me to set up the home-stays. The fact that this is a local company has been very helpful, giving me face-to-face contact with organizers of my homestays and trips. Rene’s extensive experience as a teacher and home-stay organizer has been invaluable. The hosting experience has created excellent momentum for our High School’s French program in providing a real world connection to language study. I plan to continue these exchanges with French high school students as it has become one of the highlights of the French program for my classes!
In addition to hosting, I have taken four groups of my students on language immersion trips to France since 2010. My students stay in the homes of French families for 10 days of the total two-week stay in France. As you can imagine, trust in the professionalism and competence of the company organizing such a trip is paramount! I have had nothing but excellent experiences on these trips with A La Carte. Rene has also consistently kept the costs reasonable making the trips accessible to more students. He makes sure the experience is just as enjoyable for teachers as for their student travelers! This is the company I recommend to my colleagues who want to travel!
MB- Fairfax County, VA