Retired teacher seeks families to host French students this summer
by Nikki Wiley
April 20, 2014 04:00 AM | 2646 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former Lassiter teacher Linda Farmer sits at her dining room table in Marietta with applications from French foreign exchange students. Farmer is coordinator for the program that brings the students to the area and is looking for 25 host families. <br>Staff/Jeff Stanton
Former Lassiter teacher Linda Farmer sits at her dining room table in Marietta with applications from French foreign exchange students. Farmer is coordinator for the program that brings the students to the area and is looking for 25 host families.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
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MARIETTA — Cobb families can get a taste of European life by volunteering to host French exchange students this summer.

Linda Farmer, a retired Lassiter High School teacher, is looking for about 25 families in the Atlanta area to host the students, who range in age from 14 to 19, from July 8 to July 28. All students have studied English.

“They want to see what American life is like,” Farmer said. “They see so many television shows and movies.”

There is no formal exchange of French and American students, she said, but many host families become inspired to travel to France and learn just as much about French culture from their student as the student learns in America.

“So, many of the Americans, either the teens or the whole family, will visit the French family in an informal way,” Farmer said.

Host families are compensated for room and board at the end of the program, Farmer said, and all students come with ample spending money for expenses outside of the home.

Excursions take the students on sightseeing trips once a week while they are in the area.

Families begin communicating before the students arrive, Farmer said, to make sure both the American and French families are comfortable with the assignment. Host families are also given a profile of the student they will host, including family photos, hobbies and a letter written to their American family.

No French language skills are needed to become a host family. Empty nesters and retired couples are welcome to host students, but Farmer said families with children are desired.

“It really gives the American family an international dimension to their lives,” Farmer said. “They now have a son or daughter in France.”

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If you are interested in hosting a French exchange student from July 8 to July 28, contact Linda Farmer at lgfarmer@aol.com or (770) 973-2452.

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