AIBU to let 16yo DD travel to France for a summer school?

(29 Posts)
scrattlepigeon Mon 14-Mar-16 12:39:02

Our DD wants to carry on learning French in the 6th form and is really keen to boost her language skills over the summer. She wants to go to a language school in France for a couple of weeks.

She's not keen to go to one of the teen summer language 'camps' where she would be at the older end of the age range and would be under constant supervision from the staff. So, the only option would seem to be a course at a language school combined with her staying with a host family. She'd have to make her own way to/from the language school each day.

Does this sound like an unreasonable arrangement for an unaccompanied 16-year old? She is normally very responsible but hasn't travelled independently before.

araiba Mon 14-Mar-16 12:40:17

sounds great

MissTessmacher Mon 14-Mar-16 12:42:57

Sounds fantastic.

I travelled to France alone at 17 to aupair for the summer (was arranged by my A Level teacher). I was utterly terrified before but it was a thoroughly positive experience and really character-building.

Ladycrazycat Mon 14-Mar-16 12:44:26

I would say it would depend on the 16 year old but i don't see why not. It sounds like an amazing experience.

SohowdoIdothis Mon 14-Mar-16 12:45:24

Sounds great, just make sure the host family are checked out properly.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Mon 14-Mar-16 12:47:21

It sounds great! It's good to see her so enthused about learning a language and broadening her life experience

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Mon 14-Mar-16 12:48:05

If she is mature enough to know she doesn't want to go with a big group and stay in a college, she's definitely mature enough to go as an indiv.
Most decent language schools cater for older teens, look for courses specifically for 16+ kids.

Noofly Mon 14-Mar-16 12:48:56

It sounds great! We sent DS(13) to Panama by himself over the February break. He has a grandfather who lives there but he really doesn't know him at all. He had an absolutely fantastic time and is already hinting at how much his Spanish would improve if he were to spend, say a full summer there...

Firstlawofholes Mon 14-Mar-16 12:50:13

I did exactly that at the same age and it was great!

Abraid2 Mon 14-Mar-16 12:50:29

I cannot think of a reason why you would not do this.

SugarPlumTree Mon 14-Mar-16 12:53:13

Another who thinks it sounds great ! DD went to a language school, but in Japan for 2 weeks after GCSE's with the same set up - host family and getting to the school on transport.

It was such a good experience for her, she grew up loads, it opened her horizons and she made lots of friends.

Drinksforeveryone Mon 14-Mar-16 12:53:16

That sounds great.

Even if she isn't a very mature 16 yo right now - she will be so much more confident after looking after herself in a foreign country for a week or so.

Can I go too ? smile

Sallyingforth Mon 14-Mar-16 13:07:35

What a wonderful opportunity! - of course she must go.

lalalonglegs Mon 14-Mar-16 13:13:17

I think it sounds a great idea as well. My only suggestion would be that two weeks isn't really very long unless her French is already very good and I would be tempted to see if I could arrange something for a month or so.

aginghippy Mon 14-Mar-16 13:18:40

YANBU sounds like a great opportunity. Also great that it is dd's idea and she is keen. All good.

TheDrsDocMartens Sun 20-Mar-16 09:32:07

I'm looking at this for my dd, she would be happy with a course or a camp but the camps tend to have lots of sporty activities which she isn't keen on.

Have you come across any recommendations?

ElviraCondomine Sun 20-Mar-16 09:42:26

My DD is going to France for a week at Easter for an immersive study week run by English-trained native French teachers - it's specifically for British AS students. It's not cheap but is absolutely what she wanted. She'll effectively be living en famille for the week and all lessons and 'family' activities will be in French only.

The alternative would have been what you're thinking of OP - which we were happy for her to do, but realised that a lot of the language courses and camps had too wide an age range and actually very little formal language tuition. At that age I went several times to stay with families and as a result had excellent teen slang and the ability to negotiate buses and trains with ease but I can't say either really benefitted my academic results directly; sadly with university entry for DD1's chosen course being so competitive she's taken the very hard headed and understandable approach of opting for something that will have an immediate impact on her exam results (with a plan to do something more unstructured like a sports camp later on)

I can let you know how she gets on in a couple of weeks!

Archfarchnad Sun 20-Mar-16 09:50:14

The only problem would be that she won't learn that much in 2 weeks. Dd1 did a 3-month exchange when she was 15, and she really needed that full time to achieve fluency. She was also living with a family and went to the same lycee as her exchange partner. The French girl also spent 3 months with us. It really paid off: DD became so much more confident and is now floating through her French A-level (equivalent qualification, as we don't live in the UK). Total immersion is more effective than a language school, but what you're planning is better than nothing.

IceMaiden73 Sun 20-Mar-16 09:52:07

Wow what an opportunity, I would let her go

Is 2 weeks long enough though?

BlueJug Sun 20-Mar-16 09:54:02

I'd also be interested in recommendations. So many of the camps have an emphasis on sport or a very mixed age range.

As an aside I went to Paris at 16 with a friend. We went over on the ferry, found a hotel and spent happy week sightseeing.Loved it.

mmgirish Sun 20-Mar-16 09:55:03

Not to freak you out but my older sister had a terrible experience with a host family in France. It was many moons ago mind you but she had to share a bedroom with the whole family! She didn't talk about it when she returned but later made a comment about something to my uncle who then coaxed all the information from her. When my parents complained to the school who organised it, they found out that the family were a last minute substitute family as another had dropped out.

MrsChrisPratt Sun 20-Mar-16 09:57:01

During university summers I worked at an English language school that had similar arrangements. It is a fab opportunity at that age, most host families will host 2-3 students so maybe ask that she is allocated a host with similar age/gender to give her a head start on building a little social network out there.

FithColumnist Sun 20-Mar-16 10:40:26

This is an amazing opportunity! Your DD sounds mature enough to know what she wants, and this could be the making of her, OP. Even two weeks of immersion in French will help enormously: it won't get her fluency of course, but the transition between GCSE and AS is a hell of a learning curve, and much of this is to do with confidence in speaking.

TheDrsDocMartens Sun 20-Mar-16 13:40:48

Elvira who is that with?

ElviraCondomine Mon 21-Mar-16 11:37:40

Learn French in France.

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