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My family lives in France and they suggested to me to let my son , a rising high schooler, go there so that he can study and learn French for as long as he wants, maybe 3-6 months. They even spoke with a high school administrator and he said that would be possible and easy to do as an exchange student. He would have the possibility to visit Germany as well since they live at the border.

Anyone has ever done something like that? Tips, suggestions?

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Does he speak French already? I taught in a French Lycee and there wasn't much at that time in the way if learning support. I don't know if that has changed.

 

French high schools are very different. Pupils go, take lessons and leave. There were no social events, extracurriculars or campus services.

Edited by Laura Corin
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Yes, he speaks some French,but not fluently. The reason I would like him to go is not for academics, but to learn French better and experience a different culture. I have family with kids around his age so socialisation would not be a problem. I am not sure in which class to place him though as I am afraid French classes are more advanced and he just finished Algebra.

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If he is not fluent in French, I don't think he will understand a high school maths class, will he?

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My dad spent 6 months in France with En Famille, an immersion exchange program during her junior year. She did not know any French, which was fine with them, and she was fluent when she came home. She attended school there. It was hard, but she really wanted to be fluent. She did not read or speak English except to talk on the phone to us 30 minutes once a week. Hope that helps,

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My dad spent 6 months in France with En Famille, an immersion exchange program during her junior year. She did not know any French, which was fine with them, and she was fluent when she came home. She attended school there. It was hard, but she really wanted to be fluent. She did not read or speak English except to talk on the phone to us 30 minutes once a week. Hope that helps,

Can you provide a link to the program your student did? Sounds like something I'd like to do with my younger girls. TIA!
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How about going for the whole summer and then the fall semester (he could do his math/science in English via online or self-study).  

The immersion would be great to learn the language!

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I think my concern would be transcripts. It's a great idea, I went to France for a month at age 13 myself, but the grades could be an issue.

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DO IT!!  

 

This is not for a full school year, right, just a 3-6 months?  Who cares about transcripts or grades from the French school?  There will be plenty of time to do regular coursework the rest of the year - if he picks up any subject matter too (which he probably will) - bonus!  He'll be there primarily to learn French, and to be immersed in another culture.  I'm about 90% sure the French school won't care either, unless he were going to stay in school in France.

 

I sent one of my kids for about 6 weeks to go to school with some relatives in Germany in about 5th grade. The school required exactly ZERO paperwork from me.  They just let her show up and attend classes and waved goodbye when she went.  I have a friend who visited Germany often in the summer (they often have school during what is our summer vacation), and just dumped her kids in school while they were there to learn German.  I did a gap year in Germany - I found the place on my own, but the school I attended had an ongoing program with some US schools - kids would come for half or a full school year.  Those kids (like most US high school students) did NOT speak fluent German (I did, but the school thought I must be some kind of genius because it wasn't normal).  But the German school didn't care.  It was up to the US school to figure out what (if any) credits to give.

 

So, I say DO IT!  What a fantastic opportunity!

 

ETA: Also, if you have relatives who will take him in, I seriously doubt you have any need to bother with a 'program'.  Just have them talk to the local school; I bet they will be happy to take him as long as he's there.

Edited by Matryoshka
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ETA: Also, if you have relatives who will take him in, I seriously doubt you have any need to bother with a 'program'.  Just have them talk to the local school; I bet they will be happy to take him as long as he's there.

 

The OP will probably need to go through a program in order to get a visa for her student to spend a year in France. I don't think you can simply show up as an American to live in France for longer than the visa free 90 days allowed for tourists.

My colleague sent his DD for a year to relatives in Germany to go to school. Since the girl is not a EU citizen, she formally came as an au pair.

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The OP will probably need to go through a program in order to get a visa for her student to spend a year in France. I don't think you can simply show up as an American to live in France for longer than the visa free 90 days allowed for tourists.

My colleague sent his DD for a year to relatives in Germany to go to school. Since the girl is not a EU citizen, she formally came as an au pair.

I can't remember if I needed a visa, but that was also many decades ago. I shouldn't think it would be that difficult to get a student visa.

 

Just did a quick Google. There's a visitor visa for France that allows a stay up to a year; processing takes about a month. A program is not needed.

 

ETA: It does add that you can't apply for the visa more than 3 months in advance of travel and you have to make a visit to the embassy / consulate in person with the correct application materials. It's called a Visa D.

Edited by Matryoshka
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I can't remember if I needed a visa, but that was also many decades ago. I shouldn't think it would be that difficult to get a student visa.

 

Just did a quick Google. There's a visitor visa for France that allows a stay up to a year; processing takes about a month. A program is not needed.

especially with relatives there (with an address) it will probably be fairly easy

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I can't remember if I needed a visa, but that was also many decades ago. I shouldn't think it would be that difficult to get a student visa.

 

Just did a quick Google. There's a visitor visa for France that allows a stay up to a year; processing takes about a month. A program is not needed.

 

ETA: It does add that you can't apply for the visa more than 3 months in advance of travel and you have to make a visit to the embassy / consulate in person with the correct application materials. It's called a Visa D.

 

 

High school students need proof of registration ina  French school

http://losangeles.consulfrance.org/spip.php?article802

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The OP will probably need to go through a program in order to get a visa for her student to spend a year in France. I don't think you can simply show up as an American to live in France for longer than the visa free 90 days allowed for tourists.

My colleague sent his DD for a year to relatives in Germany to go to school. Since the girl is not a EU citizen, she formally came as an au pair.

Correct. We needed visa for longer than three months. The host family had to send numerous documents.

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especially with relatives there (with an address) it will probably be fairly easy

It's not just an address. The host family needs to officially take responsibility for hosting this child. This includes sharing multiple financial and tax documents.

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It's not just an address. The host family needs to officially take responsibility for hosting this child. This includes sharing multiple financial and tax documents.

yeah the good old paper work part of anything dealing with gov't agencies

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It's not just an address. The host family needs to officially take responsibility for hosting this child. This includes sharing multiple financial and tax documents.

 

Looking it up, the person going needs to show 'means of income', which as a minor I expect could come from the parents, and a 'proof of accommodation', which it says could be even a landlady or an airbnb - I don't think the host family should have to share financial and tax documents?  At least not for the D visa.  The D visa also doesn't require enrollment in a school, since it isn't a student visa.  Of course, you could also look into a student visa and figure out which one is more straightforward, since he would in fact be in school.  Maybe France is way more uptight than Germany, but 'enrolling' dd in German school included telling them the kid would be living in the area for X time.  That was it.  It was easier to sign her up to go to school in Germany than it was to sign her up for the local high school!!  They didn't even want immunization records, nothing.

 

Anyhow, none of this seems insurmountable.  Visas require paperwork, but people get them all the time. I think I do vaguely remember getting a visa to go for the year to Germany, but I just applied for and got one.  Not a huge deal. 

 

We hosted an exchange student for a full year and didn't have to share a single piece of paperwork with anyone that I can recall.   She did have to get a visa herself to come here (including a trip to the American embassy in Berlin), but we didn't have to do anything. France of course could be different, but usually it's Americans that have an easier time staying abroad than vice versa.

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OP, are you home-schooling your son? Or does he attend school?

 

How old/what grade is your son?

 

Personally, **I** would do it and for as long as possible so 6+ months probably. With the option of letting him spend a full school year there.

 

Your son only stands to gain from the experience. With the internet, then he can find English language math support. He could take an English language textbook with him if you are THAT concerned.

 

Since you have family in France, could you ask them to send you some links to French HS level mathematics. He will miss the word problems, but you'll be able to see the concepts and skills that the class will be using.

 

There are French math resources online that he could begin studying from so that he is familiar with the terminology, learns key words and hears it in context. There is a French version of Khan Academy, and of course native French language YouTube channels.

 

I would fuss about credits later.

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Looking it up, the person going needs to show 'means of income', which as a minor I expect could come from the parents, and a 'proof of accommodation', which it says could be even a landlady or an airbnb - I don't think the host family should have to share financial and tax documents? At least not for the D visa. The D visa also doesn't require enrollment in a school, since it isn't a student visa. Of course, you could also look into a student visa and figure out which one is more straightforward, since he would in fact be in school. Maybe France is way more uptight than Germany, but 'enrolling' dd in German school included telling them the kid would be living in the area for X time. That was it. It was easier to sign her up to go to school in Germany than it was to sign her up for the local high school!! They didn't even want immunization records, nothing.

 

Anyhow, none of this seems insurmountable. Visas require paperwork, but people get them all the time. I think I do vaguely remember getting a visa to go for the year to Germany, but I just applied for and got one. Not a huge deal.

 

We hosted an exchange student for a full year and didn't have to share a single piece of paperwork with anyone that I can recall. She did have to get a visa herself to come here (including a trip to the American embassy in Berlin), but we didn't have to do anything. France of course could be different, but usually it's Americans that have an easier time staying abroad than vice versa.

Oh I agree that the paperwork is worth doing and it's an amazing experience. We have done it ourselves, and in middle school! Would do it again if my DS fulfilled his high school reqs and desired to go. I wouldn't fling a public high or even middle school experience in France on my home educated child now unless he asked to. And it is true schools there are much easier to enroll in: DS just returned from a short stint in school in Switzerland while I await (for many weeks now) to hear if a child on a US government program will be allowed to attend my local public school to which I pay not insignificant taxes to.

I just wanted to point out that it's not as easy as some are making it sound in this thread. If the child is willing, do it anyway. :)

Edited by madteaparty

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I am so glad I asked this question here! You all gave me a lot to think about and I am very grateful for that.

 

I am concerned about transcripts and everything is required todo as paperwork here and there. According to his age, he should be 8th grade,but is officially registered as a rising 9 grader in 2017-18, has completed Algebra and English I (9th grade as well ) at the public school, and wants to come home this fall, either to full homeschool or dual enrollment. He had already passed the dual enrollement test ,aswell as a good ACT score to enroll at the CC. BUT , if he enrolls this fall, he probably won't be able to take a year off, so we thought it is better to homeschool and go to CC in 2018 fall since he is still young and has time to go to cc. So I am really confused myself and am not sure what he is considered or what to put on transcripts! I will need to pay for a service to do all these things for me when it's time to do it.

 

To complicate things, he has dental braces that will be taken out in February 2018. So he won't be able to go before March probably. He wants to stay up to 5 months,  three in a public school with a friend (who also has two kids my son's age, they will also come here for exchange) and two months at my sister's house. I am not even sure where to start to ask about how he can go there legally. My friend said she had asked the principal at the school and they will give him a test to see where he places and the rest it's really easy. She said she was very excited to have "an American" in their school! She also told my friend I only need to sign a paper to give my parental control to my friend during these months, I guess this means something like guardianship.

 

Then I would like him to spend a few months with my mom and sister , without having to go to school.Not sure if that would be possible legally...That is where I need to find out more. Thank you all for answers!!!

 

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