Teach English in a Homestay in France

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  • Overview

    It’s your time to say bienvenue to life in this incredible country! Participants spend 15 hours per week teaching the host family conversational English. The rest of the time is yours, so you’ll also have the opportunity to soak in the French way of life through full language and cultural immersion.

    This program offers:

    This is a volunteer, unpaid teaching placement designed for deep cultural immersion and exchange. This program is ideal for adults hoping to get their feet wet in teaching, teachers planning to travel during their summer break, or travelers seeking to experience full cultural immersion while teaching English abroad.

    • Volunteer tutoring position with a local host family
    • 15 hours per week tutoring your host family
    • Placements throughout the country
    • Accommodation with volunteer French host family
    • 1, 2 or 3-month placements
    • Rolling start dates twice monthly

    Listen to what our alum Lin had to say about her time in France:

  • Program Dates

    Start dates

    Start dates are available year round, usually the first and third Wednesday of every month (subject to change). However, we’re flexible, so if you are unable to start on those dates, please contact Greenheart Travel directly to see what we can do.

    Deadline to submit application

    In order to secure a host family, you should finish your application 2-3 months prior to when you want to go. For example, if you wish to be in France by Feb. 6, you should apply by Dec. 6.

    Arrival and departure from France

    All travelers must adhere to the French entry requirements for vaccinated U.S. citizens and are responsible for fulfilling the requirements of re-entry to the United States after their program ends.


    See what life in France is like through the eyes of our alumni Emily Rhodes:

  • Eligibility

    No previous teaching experience or certification is required. We are looking for participants who are open-minded and flexible, as well as meet the following requirements:

    • At least 18 years old – retirees welcome!
    • Be a native English speaker
    • Be a citizen of the EU, USA, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa or Canada
    • Have a basic level of French language abilities
    • Must be a high school graduate – college students and graduates preferred
    • Must have the ability to prepare a private tutoring lesson plan
    • Be in good mental* and physical health

    *What does it mean to be in good mental health?  

    Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful. Sending someone with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges they were previously facing. Additionally, mental health resources are different in every country. The perception of mental health conditions as well as mental health care, support, and understanding are very different in France than in the USA. In order to ensure the safety of our travelers, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all applicants.

    Therefore, we may not be able to accept those who have struggled with mental disorders within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental disorder. Each person will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

    These include, but are not limited to:

    • Mood disorders
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Eating disorders
    • Cognitive and developmental disorders

    If the traveler reports a mental disorder on their application, we may ask for a doctor’s note as part of the application. While Greenheart will work hard with our partners to place you, due to cultural norms in the host country, there is no guarantee that even with a doctor’s note, you will be placed.

    I don’t have teaching experience. How will I know what to teach my host family?

    English lessons tend to be informal and conversation-based. There is no pre-determined curriculum; however, participants should be prepared to put together a lesson plan for each tutoring session. Greenheart Travel will provide you access to a library of resources to help you develop ideas for the lessons.

    Typically families are looking for you to speak English with them over dinner or for a certain amount of time during the day.

    Usually, you will teach the children in the home but occasionally an adult will request lessons as well. The level of English will vary depending on the host family but most will be at the beginner level and will only have basic knowledge of English.

  • Costs and Inclusions

    Program Fees

    • 1 Month – $1,710
    • 2 Months – $1,890
    • 3 Months – $2,130

    Please note, all prices are listed in USD

    Packaged into the Program:

    • Host family search, screening and placement process
    • Single room accommodation with a carefully screened host family
    • Three home-cooked meals a day for the duration of the program
    • Comprehensive Medical Insurance for the duration of your program*
    • English as a second language teaching resources
    • Access to Greenheart Travel Facebook groups to connect with alumni and others on your start date ahead of your program.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program 

    Our Support and Services: 

    • Extensive pre-departure advice and support from your experienced Program Manager
    • Online webinar logistical orientation before departure.
    • Highly experienced team of in-country support staff members
    • 24-hour in-country and emergency support  for the duration of the program

    Additional Expenses You’ll Need to Cover (Estimates):

    • Criminal background required on our application (~10 USD)
    • Flight to France (~$500-$1,000 depending on the time of year)
    • Meals eaten outside of the host family home (~$50 per month)
    • Spending money for personal purchases, tourism or optional activities

    Wondering why you have to pay for a volunteer teaching program?

    Greenheart Travel is a non-profit organization, and the program fee for this volunteer teaching project covers the cost of placing you in the program. These fees also aid in providing accommodation, meals, insurance and pre-departure & in-country support to homestay teachers. Read more here.

  • Host Families

    Homestay participants live with a local host family during the program. Host families apply in a similar way to participants and Greenheart Travel will match you based on living preferences and personal interests. Host families are not compensated for hosting and host only in exchange for the English lessons. As an English teacher in a homestay, you will be warmly welcomed into a host family’s home, while having the opportunity to explore the region on your own.

    Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify as a host family, the prospective hosts must:

    • Successfully pass a criminal background check
    • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
    • Agree to and pass a home inspection

    Participants will have their own private room but may share a bathroom and living areas with the host family. Host families also provide three meals per day except when going out to restaurants. Can’t quite picture what the homes look like? Check out photos from past participants of their French homes!

    host family in france

    Greenheart Traveler, Nia, and her French host family!

  • Placements

    Participants live with a local host family during the program. You will receive your host family contact information prior to departure. A large percentage of the host families live in small towns outside of major urban areas, and they are located throughout the country. It is very important to be flexible in your placement location, as we cannot guarantee placement in a specific region or city.

    Why our past teachers love living in small towns:

    Although I’ve seen the Bordeaux sights and done the obligatory tourist activities, I’m living as a local in my small town rather than traveling as a tourist. I’m certainly never bored! Every moment of the day is a learning opportunity. The best way to learn a new culture and a foreign language is not through a tourist’s binoculars and French-English dictionary for a week, it is to live it and speak it with the locals for months.” –Tracey Ettensohn, Greenheart Travel Teach in a Homestay alum

    Check out the map below to see where other Teach in a Homestay participants have been placed!


  • Optional TEFL Course

    While no certification is required for the Teach English in a Homestay program, an education in ESL teaching methods is extremely helpful in these tutoring positions.

    Therefore, we are excited to offer a special discount on the Online TEFL Certification Course. This will allow our Homestay teachers to get formal ESL training alongside the hands on experience of tutoring their host families. Alumni of the online course receive lifetime job placement assistance, opening up great opportunities for future teaching positions around the world.

    Adding the 170-hour online course is perfect if you want:

    • To teach abroad in a school in the future
    • To save time – the 20 practicum hours required by the course are fulfilled by your homestay program
    • A flexible course designed to fit around your full schedule

    Teach English in a Homestay travelers can sign up for the TEFL course in their homestay application at a discounted fee of $1,045. Just check the “Add TEFL Certification” box when you apply!

    Read more about the course here!

  • FAQs

    Can I choose where I will be placed?

    No, you should be flexible about where you will be placed within France. We can never guarantee placements in any specific city or region and we match based on compatibility with the host family.

    If I go with my spouse/partner/significant other, will we be placed in the same home?

    No. We are not able to place more than one person with a host family. It is okay to apply with friends and family; however, you will be placed in separate homes and we cannot guarantee they will be in the same city.

    Will I be placed in a city?

    It’s possible, but it is unlikely you will be placed in a city like Paris. A majority of our families live in small to medium sized towns outside of major cities, and it is important you be open-minded to small town life.

    Once I receive my placement, can I request to change it?

    No, we do not change host families based on preferences or location. If you request to change your host family after you have been placed, you will forfeit your $300 commitment deposit.

    What if I don't like my host family? Can I request a new one?

    We do not change host families based on preferences or location. If concerns arise one you are in country, we handle them on a case-by-case basis and do our best to resolve issues amicably.

    Can I be placed with my friend?

    We are not able to place more than one person with a host family.

    Why do I have to pay to tutor?

    Greenheart Travel is a non-profit organization, and the program fee for this volunteer teaching project covers the cost of placing you in the program. The program cost also covers things like support from your program manager, the support of staff in France upon arrival, insurance, administrative costs of placement and support, etc. Program staff will be available to answer any questions before and after arrival, and you’ll have access to 24/7 support if needed while in France. Read more here.

    Can I talk with alumni or current participants from the program?

    Of course! Please join our Facebook community specifically for Homestay teachers, or check out our reviews on GoOverseas.com or GoAbroad.com!

    Will I have insurance in France?

    You will be covered by comprehensive international medical and accident insurance through Greenheart Travel as part of your program fee. This will cover you for most medical expenses you could incur, like prescriptions, ER visits, doctor visits, dental accidents, and hospitalizations. If you want to extend your coverage, we’ll provide the link to purchase additional coverage.

    I identify as LGBTQ+. How will I be supported?

    Our staff and in-country partners are also very welcoming and accepting of all gender identities. We can provide extra support if needed. 

    During the application process we are happy to provide information on the cultural norms of our destination countries and are prepared to advise you on the best programs based on your needs and interests. 

    Please read more here.

    How do I get a visa?

    Our homestay teachers enter France as tourists, on a “tourist visa.” You do not need to apply for anything ahead of time, and you will be allowed into the Schengen area for 90 days.

    Can I stay longer than my program duration to travel?

    If you are only teaching for 1 or 2 months, you’re welcome to stay longer until your 90 days is up on your tourist visa. Unfortunately, we are unable to extend the program any longer than three months, due to the 90-day restriction on the EU tourist visa.

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application HereYou will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application.

    2. Submit Basic Program Information: The first step in our application portal will be basic things like your chosen start date, etc.

    3. Submit your application fee: A $300 fee is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund this fee in full.

    4. Complete Application & Documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in the remaining application steps. In these sections, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account.

    5. Interview: Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application deposit, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    6. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    7. Commitment Payment: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment payment within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. We cannot start the host family matching process until we have this payment. Once you submit your commitment payment you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.

    7. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to France! Your remaining balance is due in full 60 days before your start date.

    Required Documents

    • Signed program Terms and Conditions (signed virtually in our portal)
    • A letter of recommendation (personal or professional)
    • “dear host family” letter introducing yourself
    • A photo album with 5-7 recent photos of you (used for your host family to get to know you)
    • A 1-minute self-intro video
    • Copy of your passport
    • Completed background check. If you are a U.S. citizen we can provide you a free, online service.

    You’re Accepted – now what?

    Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. If accepted, you will gain access to our Greenheart Travel program handbook on the portal, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program.

    Before we begin the host family screening and placement process, an additional $300 commitment payment (which goes toward your program fee also) is due. 

  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to us about the program? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

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