Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions not covered here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you have submitted your initial application you will be invited to our Participants Forum to connect with past, present, and future interns.
WHAT ABOUT COVID-19?
Because of the visa given by the French government, students are currently able to go abroad for this program. France currently has most of their schools open for in-person education, and we are continuing to place students while working closely with our partner schools to ensure they are taking every precaution to keep our participants safe.
In which region of France will I be placed?
We have partner schools in many areas of France varying from urban, suburban, and rural. We will work diligently to find the best fit for you and our partner schools. Check out our Where in the world? page to see more.
What will my daily schedule be like?
Some of that depends on your placement. You will work approximately 20-30 hours per week. Interns work in high schools, middle schools, and some may spend some time in upper elementary classes as well. Much of your time will be assisting the English department in preparing lessons, leading conversation groups, and after-school tutoring sessions both individually and in small groups. Interns generally work from Monday mid-morning until Friday mid-morning.
Several schools ask that you stay in the 'internat' (a residence hall) during the week and live in a local host family on the weekend and during school vacations. During your time in the 'dorms', you will have the opportunity to eat meals with students to practice their English and likely have other administrative duties.
Will I be teaching or simply assisting?
The answer is...Yes. You will work closely with the language department to determine what needs they have and with what you feel most comfortable. You may start by simply observing and participating in small group conversation and graduate to leading those conversations before planning lessons and splitting the class with the supervising teacher. Throughout your experience, know that you will be a part of a team and it will be important to communicate your interests and level of comfort.
I also speak Spanish, can I be a Spanish language assistant?
YES!!! We have many of our partner schools begging us to send them trilingual (English, Spanish, & French-speaking) interns.
What can I expect during school vacations?
You have school vacations to yourself! Stay with your host family and stay local, explore France, or take a European adventure! Some schools may offer you the opportunity to participate as a chaperone (all expenses paid) in school trips to other parts of France and nearby countries.
What are my expenses while abroad?
Your room and board are covered by your school as well as a monthly stipend (ranging from $250-$600/month). If you live with a host family or in dorms, your meals are generally provided. Personal expenses include a cell phone plan, social outings, personal travel, souvenirs, clothing, etc. Much of this can be covered by your stipend. Laundry is generally available at the school and/or with your host family.
What are the schools like?
Most of our partner schools are private schools and many have religious affiliations. This does not mean that you have to be practicing and many of the students enrolled are not religious. The schools do require that you respect their building rules around conduct and professionalism. Your race, religion, sexual identification or orientation, or any other identity in no way preclude you from participating in this program.
What are my pre-trip responsibilities?
You will need to:
-Submit your Andégo application and payments on time.
-Be granted deferment from your college or university (we can help you request this).
-Prepare your travel documents.
-Appear at your visa appointment with VFS Global.
-Prepare for the experience using the orientation materials we share with you.
-Attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation meeting in the summer.
What travel documents will I need?
You will be granted a "Student Intern/Trainee Long-Stay Visa" from the French Government that is stamped inside your U.S. passport. Your passport needs to be valid for three months after your scheduled return to the U.S. It is your responsibility to obtain all necessary travel documents for your stay in France. If you do not yet have a passport, now is a good time to apply for one!
Do I need to pay the fee all at once?
No, we will create a payment schedule for you which you can view on your program calendar. You will also find a copy of your payment schedule in your contract.
Can I request an alternative payment schedule?
Yes, we can work with you to set up an alternative payment schedule. Be prepared to complete all payments at least one month before your travel date.
Are there scholarships available?
We work with several partner organizations to provide needs-based scholarships. Availability depends on the year. Amounts range from $500-$2500. Please contact us for more information on applying.
Will I be on my own?
Most all of our partner schools have had language assistants for years and have a team in place to help. Many schools have multiple language assistants, perhaps from Andégo, perhaps from other countries. You will have an administrator at the school to whom you can speak, the language department, our French partner organization, your host family, and of course, Andégo is there to support you at any point.
Can I come early to travel or stay after?
Coming early may be possible depending on the receipt of your visa. You are also able to stay a limited amount of time after your contract ends into the summer if you like.
Can my parents or friends visit me?
During school holidays, absolutely! They would likely need to make their own lodging arrangements. During school, remember that you are participating in a professional experience and are being paid for your time. As long as you are able to fully complete the requirements of your position, there is no reason that you could not also have visitors. I equally encourage you to make the most of this experience! Visits from family or friends will disrupt this unique experience.
What are the prerequisites for this program?
This program is open to those who will have completed French 3/4 by the end of the school year, but French 5/6 is recommended. If the program fills, waitlist order will be determined by French level, overall application strength, and order of initial application received.
Who should not apply for this program?
Those who are currently experiencing excessive behavior problems, drug or alcohol dependence or abuse, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, or other psychological disorders that might interfere with the program, or students who have experienced any of these issues within the past year should not apply. Likewise, we cannot accept students with life-threatening allergies.
What is your cancellation policy?
Andégo will refund your deposit less a cancellation fee of $250 if you cancel before the due date of your detailed application.
If you cancel after that, we will refund all payments made less the deposit and any non-refundable costs incurred.
If you cancel less than 90 days before your departure, a 25% cancellation fee will be applied.
In the event that Andégo cannot accept you into the program or cancels the trip for any reason, you will receive a full refund.
See our full payment & refund policy here.
How does school placement work?
In most circumstances, you will receive placement information in mid-May. Schools are presented with the dossiers of applicants and then select the intern(s) who best match the school's program and environment.
What is the host family screening process like?
Local coordinators and our partner schools network to find families who are interested in participating as hosts. They check references and visit the families. Some families have hosted more than once; for others, this will be their first hosting experience.
If I don't like my placement, can I request a different one?
This program requires a leap of faith for both students and our partner schools. Our program works because our schools value the knowledge and experiences that you bring and our interns understand the unique opportunity to be immersed while having the professional experiences the program provides. We ask that you keep an open mind and find a way to connect, as they will be doing with you. If an issue arises during the stay, you will have a contact at your school that you can & should be open with. Most issues that students experience are related to cultural adjustment challenges, misunderstandings, and communication barriers. We can help!
How are host families prepared?
Andégo & our partner schools provide families with meetings and resources to help prepare them for the experience of hosting. Topics might include: how to prepare for a student’s visit, how to help a student feel at home, warning signs of culture shock, what to do in case of emergency, etc.
Can I take classes while abroad?
You can, in all likelihood, take classes within the school where you're placed. There may also be opportunities to take classes at local universities, schedule permitting.