Becoming an English Language Host in France
As the demand for English lessons grows in France, the trend for English language students of all ages is to seek an immersion experience in a native English-speaking household for a week or two. Most of the demand for younger guests is at Easter and throughout the summer, but adult guests may travel throughout the year.
English-Language Immersions: What is Expected of the Host?
To become a host and benefit from this expanding market you need to be able to offer the guest a bedroom of their own with a table and chair and wardrobe for their belongings. It is usual to offer Wi-Fi access, and if you are able to provide it, a bathroom of their own would increase the pay expected, and increase your chances of being selected as a host by guests.
Most students will arrive in their own car or younger guests may be dropped off by their parents. However, on occasion, some students will need to be collected from the railway station or the airport. Fees for this service may be included in the remuneration or paid as an extra.
The guests are usually happy to join in your family activities, but also expect visits to local attractions, for example, local beaches or your local lake or river. Any entrance fees or hire fees for such excursions are always treated as an extra and paid for by the guest.
The terms for all guests is full-board, but this does not need to break the bank. Most French people are happy for a breakfast of cereals with bread and jam accompanied by tea or coffee. Lunch at home is probably a light affair with a nice soup, or perhaps a stuffed pancake, or boiled eggs, an omelette or similar served with a light salad. Supper is more likely to be a full meal. But meals do not have to be extravagant. It is best to ascertain with adult guests if they would require wine with a meal and charge that as an extra, unless they prefer to bring their own.
It is important that the guest is never left alone, so that they feel included at all times. If you are a single person household it is still feasible to offer immersion experiences for the French, and if you can include visits from local English friends, it can provide a better language experience for your guest.
Many guests would welcome extras that you can easily provide. Cooking experiences are popular with all ages and give opportunities for descriptive language development for your guest. This does not need to be lessons as such, but perhaps, cooking an English dish together.
Legal Requirements to Host English-Language Students
To become an English host to young guests it is essential to obtain a police clearance certificate from the Casier judiciaire national. This can be obtained online free of charge and applicants will get a reply the same day via email if it is approved. As a foreign national, the application will require copies of your passport and Carte de Sejour. Another requirement is to make sure that you have specific home insurance. This is readily added to your normal policy by your insurance company for a small additional cost.
Where to Find Hosting Opportunities
Many companies actively seek hosts throughout the year. They look for compassionate understanding individuals with strong interpersonal skills and a creative flair. The host company typically asks for references and usually comes to inspect the accommodation and interview the family. They will also be on-hand to support you throughout your guest’s stay.
Companies may offer the chance to host either family groups or individuals. Some companies will include your details in a brochure so that the clients can choose the best offer to suit their needs. Other companies simply contact hosts with offers of specific guests. Not all guests will necessarily be from France. Payment depends on the individual contract, but you can expect to receive between 420€ and 600€ weekly per guest before extras.
Ready to become an English-Language Host?
There are a variety of hosting opportunities available, but the following companies are good places to start:
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