Waring’s Homestay Exchange Program with the Lycée David d’Angers is central to the Waring Experience. In October, Waring Ninth Graders host French students for three and a half weeks. In March our students journey across the Atlantic to spend a month living with the family of the same student in Angers, France, approximately 180 miles west of Paris.
The program is designed as an immersion in both French culture and language. It benefits all levels of French students, from those who have been studying the language for several years to those with no previous experience. This program increases students’ fluency and comprehension and gives them real experience of another culture.
Although language acquisition is a major goal, there are other purposes to the trip as well. While in France, every effort is made to enhance the Humanities, Art, Math, Science, and even Music programs. Math and Science courses continue while we are in France and are enriched by local resources such the biotechnology teaching laboratory, L’Ecole de l’ADN. For Humanities, destinations are chosen for their connection to the year’s curriculum: the Mont Saint Michel, Notre Dame, and the Musée de Cluny (Musée National du Moyen Âge Paris) for Medieval Europe; and World War I and II sites in northern France when they are studying Modern Europe. Parents regularly notice and appreciate the increased maturity, independence, and awareness of the needs of others that their children have acquired through having to adapt to the rhythms of another family and travel as a member of a group.
At the conclusion of the program, the students, host families, teachers and administrators celebrate the relationships formed during the course of the year. These relationships often endure well past Ninth Grade and allow students to make the study of French and France a life-long experience rather than just an academic class.