Host Family Testimonials

 “…the exciting idea of what we might learn and experience by sharing our culture with someone from another country”

It turned out that we had much more in common than we imagined. We all loved good food and shared lots of time in the kitchen exchanging recipes and food culture. We loved the outdoors and ran together, hiked together, biked together and more. Her English began to sound amazing and she and my daughter would speak French together regularly. She shared French stories and movies. In short we just loved spending time together and before long Jeanne was just a normal part of our family. By the time our 5 months were over, we found ourselves sad that we would have to say goodbye. Its been 2 months since she left our home and we still miss her, but stay in touch regularly. And I know we have made an amazing friendship that will last the rest of our lives. We got so much more out of hosting than we gave and would wholeheartedly recommend taking the leap”. – Bernaird Family (2016)


“…a wonderful and fulfilling experience”

Hosting an intern was a wonderful and fulfilling experience for our entire family. It was wonderful to be able to share some of our favorite things with the intern and see and experience them through their eyes. It was a great opportunity for us to learn more French and about French culture. It was cool for our kids to be able to form that really relationship over a semester. We look forward to being able to host again in the future.

-Tyler LeClear Vachta

“France has come to us” 

At least that is how we approached hosting our French intern. From the start, the Intern Committee provided information and support regarding the hosting process and clear communication regarding expectations.  When Kawtar arrived in the fall, we were excited to meet her.  We have enjoyed learning daily about differences and similarities between our languages, cultures and food.  Catching up on the news, going to a drive-thru and trips to the grocery store became a little more interesting when viewed through a new lens.    

We’ve shared meals, movies, road trips, holidays, our bathroom(!) and have in turn (see what I did there?) gained a new perspective and most of all, a dear friend from our hosting experience. As the last of our 4 children gets ready to leave LNFI, we’re so thankful we had the opportunity to host.   -The Tissels


“an enriching and fun experience for the whole family!”

We choose to enroll our children at L’Etoile Du Nord French Immersion school because we feel strongly in the language immersion curriculum and style of learning.  We are excited about instilling the skills of a second language and are continually impressed with the teachers and all that they are learning from them.   We also learned that other cultural or French opportunities would present themselves along the way that we would be able to take advantage of for the kids, such as the intern program.

Inviting the intern, Chloe Trouche to live with us for a few months was very rewarding and fun for everyone in the family for different reasons.  When I asked my 5-year-old what her favorite part of hosting was she said, “Chloe was always so nice and always in a good mood and she gave me candy!”  Well, all parents know how wonderful it is to have a positive role model for their kids that doesn’t have the same triggers and stressors that parents do.  The relationship our kids were able to develop with Chloe and the smiles and laughs they shared was so fun to witness.  Also, the girls really enjoyed having a teacher in our house that they could talk about school things with or share stories with.  Of course, they felt extra special being able to walk into school with a teacher as well.  Chloe was also able to share her French experiences and traditions with them, particularly around the holiday season with the awesome Advent calendar she made for them.  One of the biggest benefits of hosting for our family was to help broaden our children’s perspective from the usual Twin Cities/USA outlook to a taste of a French/World-wide understanding.

As parents it was great to have another adult in the house to talk to and share with about daily life.  Life can get boring and routine so having another person brought into the scene helped break up the monotony.  Around the dinner table we were able to learn and share different cultural things and experiences.  In our case we were quite a bit older than Chloe, so it was fun to have all these discussions with a person from another country and a different generation!  It was also fun to introduce her to different things in the city or state or region and be able to get a different sense of appreciation from a foreigner’s perspective.  

The intern program — bringing native French speakers to LNFI — is a unique program in SPPS and offers valuable interactions for the education for all children enrolled at LNFI.  Every parent is aware of the cost of the program and does what they can, but the program can’t exist without the investment of time, money and support from the host families.  For us it was so worth having to restructure our house, have the girls bunk up together and change our routine for five months so that the school could have an intern in the classrooms.  But the chance to have a foreign adult live with us was also such a great benefit that we will never regret and forever be thankful for!

“make the world a bit smaller” 

This past fall, our family hosted our first French intern– Roxane Chiquet from Rennes, France.  And we can’t recommend hosting enough.  We found it a terrific, cross-cultural experience.  You’ll learn a lot; you’ll laugh a lot, especially about foods, French words, English words and multiple meanings.  Kids have an opportunity to explore what they know and wow with their verbiage and crazy American culture.  You’ll be amazed at how tech savvy French interns are.   

Roxane beca​me a ​part of our family. We celebrated holidays and birthdays together. We ​traveled to outstate Minnesota, ​ we tackled puzzles and played games.  And though she will eventually return to France, she will always be part of our extended family.    

—Ray Kirsch & Sheri Huerd

Why hosting an intern is worth it (It totally is!) by Ellory (11yrs old):

  1. You develop a friendship that can last for many years.
  2. You get the experience of having someone from another continent, state, city, and home come to live with you.
  3. It’s educational. You learn about French culture and some bonus words and phrases!
  4. Since English isn’t their first language and French isn’t ours, you both make mistakes, and maybe your kids will have the chance to correct them in English, a person way older than them. It definitely boosts self-confidence.
  5. It takes a lot of bravery and confidence to welcome a stranger in your home. It will be scary, but I know you have it in you.  And after you do it, you know that it was worth it.