Just wanted to let members know (if they don't already) about Host in France. Run by Nadege and Anthony, it served us brilliantly last year when we hosted about ten French children (and one delightful father and daughter!) wanting to improve their English throughout the holidays. Host in France are looking to expand their base of English families living in France. After some positive national TV publicity, they have more requests than they can find families for, and I want to spread the word for them and give other families the chance to benefit from this highly lucrative and hugely rewarding experience.
Basically you send your details to Nadege and Anthony via the site, they ask a few questions to get a full idea of you and your family, then they try and match requests from French children. They offer a selection of families for each request, contact you if the French family choose you, check availability etc.
They handle everything beautifully, sensitively and efficiently - leaving the final travel organisation etc to the two families. The guests arrive with a cheque on their first day, and we never had a single problem... the system works on a perfect balance of trust, good organisation, and instinct. I cannot recommend them highly enough, they are always there for both parties, but never interfere.
Some children choose to have lessons, some don't. The lessons are charged at €20 an hour included in the cheque. Everything is clear to everyone, and whilst it obviously affects the whole family having a stranger to stay and live with you for a week (sometimes two), we found that we had been well-matched (the advantage of the detailed info. everyone gives to Host in France) and the fact that we had 'visitors' meant we did loads of fun family stuff; went out on trips, went swimming, bowling etc. and our kids loved all the activity.
If you're interested, I highly recommend getting in touch and finding out more.
I talked a bit about the whole experience in my blog the end of last summer if you fancy having a look.
Saved our bacon last year when we were financially strapped - and gave us so much more than just the financial rewards!