Do I need to have professional teaching experience or a TEFL certificate to apply?
You don’t need to have professional teaching experience, teaching certification, or a degree in education to apply. If you choose the School Teaching Assistant Program, we require you to show that you have experience working with children and are able to informally plan activities to engage your host children.
If you’re interested in earning a TEFL certificate, International TEFL Academy offers an internationally recognized online TEFL course. Mention InterExchange and get $50 off tuition!
Do I need to have child care-related experience to apply?
We like to see that you've had some experience working with children. This can include babysitting, tutoring, coaching, student/assistant teaching, classroom teaching, being a camp counselor or volunteering with kids. If you have additional child care related certificates or educational degrees, please be sure to highlight this in your application.
Do I need to know French?
No. You don’t need to know French, nor will you be required to take French classes abroad (although you’re welcome to if you want, of course!) Usually, at least one member of your host family will speak conversational English.
Do my references need to be sent directly to your organization?
You’re welcome to collect your own references and upload them directly to your online InterExchange account. However, if your referrer would prefer to email them directly to us, please have them scan and send the form to our general email at email@example.com.
How far in advance can I submit my application?
Aim to submit your application about 3-4 months before you’d like to start and refer to any specific deadlines posted. You’re welcome to submit your application early if you'd like, which will give us more time to find the most suitable match for you.
What are host families like?
Our international partner screens all of our host families for safety and ensures they understand the program. Just as our applicants here in the U.S. must, all families submit applications and references, have an interview, and pay a program fee.
The makeup of our French host families varies, but they're well known for being welcoming and excited about cultural exchange. Most of our families are middle class and have children in either elementary or middle school.
Where are placements?
Most placements are in the outskirts of Paris and the South of France.
Can I be placed with or close to a friend?
If you've made any special requests to be placed close to a friend, would like to be in a particular region, or have any host family/children preferences, we’ll take them into consideration but can’t guarantee we’ll be able to honor all requests. We don’t allow multiple placements in one host family home.
When can I participate and for how long?
You can participate in the Home Tutor Program any time of year and for as short as four weeks and as long as 12 weeks. Let us know your desired length, and we’ll look for a host family open to that time! The highest demand for tutors occurs in September, October, January, and February, however, we have placements year-round.
Schools in France are closed during the summer, so start dates are in the fall and spring only and last between four and 12 weeks, depending on the specific start date.
Will I be able to connect with other English Teachers in France?
Absolutely! We'll connect you with other participants throughout the country at the time of your program and invite you to a Facebook group specifically for our InterExchange participants in France. Our in-country partner will also help you connect.
Will I have options to choose from during the matching process?
You'll definitely have the option to ask for other families if you feel the one(s) we've presented aren’t a good fit. Let us know and we'll be happy to continue looking for another family until you feel like we've found the right one! It's important to us that you feel comfortable with your host family match, and we'll do all we can to make sure that happens.
If I decide not to match with a presented family, am I eligible for a refund?
Please see the stipulations of our refund policy.
Is there Internet access in every household?
The majority of our families, even those in rural areas have access to the Internet in their homes. The basics like electricity, water, and heat go without saying. In a rural area, it may be more difficult to access public transportation to get into town, but you’ll always have the option to discuss with your host family how they get around and stay social in a non-urban environment.
What if issues arise with my host family after I am abroad?
If any issues arise, you’ll want to contact our international partner immediately so they can mediate the situation. If things really are not working out, we’ll do our best to move you to another family in a timely manner.
Do I need a visa?
Nope! U.S. citizens don’t need visas to enter the Schengen area (which includes France) and are permitted to stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. You’ll simply enter France with your valid U.S. passport.
Can I earn money while on the program?
This is a voluntary position and it's not possible to work on the side.
Why do I have to pay for a volunteer teaching program?
InterExchange is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, which aims to keep program costs low for participants. That being said, program fees make it possible for us to promote our programs, pay staff to review applications and provide support, cover costs of international partner agencies, and reinvest in the InterExchange Foundation so we can support even more aspiring global citizens. If you have any questions about the fee for your program please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.