la vie en famille


The unique experience of living with a French family gives your students an insider’s look at French culture and the French way of life . 

LA VIE EN FAMILLE places only one American student with each family to encourage communication in French and provide each student with a unique personal experience.  

LA VIE EN FAMILLE Host Families have a child of comparable age to the student traveler in their home to help facilitate their integration into the family and to provide an entrée into an adolescent social milieu. This experience is much different than practicing in a classroom, it’s “real” life! 

Additionally, students receive their LA VIE EN FAMILLE match well before the date of travel, so students and families can exchange letters, texts and meet each other virtually if interested. VIE has found that the matched students are often having fun with each other before they ever meet in person and this makes everything easier. 

LA VIE EN FAMILLE stays typically begin on a weekend in order to allow the whole family and students to get acquainted. If the stay cannot begin on a weekend, all stays include a full weekend in the family. 

VIE understands that your students may feel nervous about staying with an unfamiliar family. And it is not unusual since they are being asked to communicate in French and immerse themselves in a different culture.  

In the many LA VIE EN FAMILLE placements VIE has made annually for more than 40 years, host family and student changes are very rare. Our program of recruiting and vetting Host Families that are interested in sharing their home and their culture with American students whose interests may align with peer students means that the families chosen to host students are the most reliable, generous, and personable.   

VIE sets up every LA VIE EN FAMILLE to succeed. Each student has the contact information not only for the local LA VIE EN FAMILLE Organizer in France, but for their organizing teacher who will be lodged nearby. 

Organizing teachers check in with their students during their LA VIE EN FAMILLE stay. If a student is not comfortable with their family, our bilingual professional staff in France is available 24/7 to support both the organizing teacher and the student.  


Live with a French family in their home 
Live as a member of the family
Welcoming, vetted family  
Paired with a French peer approximate age
Volunteer family motivated by interest in
sharing their lives and French culture 
Families and students matched by interests
Included in teenage activities with French siblings and family activities 
Attend school in France with French students 
Fully immersed in French language in a communal setting 
Create lifelong friendships 
Establish intimate familiarity with the French
way of life 


Boarded in a home or apartment 
Treated as a boarder 
May feel unconnected to family life 
Not required to have children in the home 
Often paid to host 
Little or no matching by interest 
Hosts provide room and board only 
Hosts may not be affiliated with a school or have school-age children 
May not have frequent opportunity to speak French
May not establish relationship with host 
Spend time on the sidelines of French life