Trip Planning Folder
Prepared by : Kara Allen
Flathead High School
© 2011
This folder is full of all the useful and important information you will need to prepare you for the
amazing trip you are about to take to France!
The first time I ever visited France was on a mission for my church. I was between my
sophomore and junior year in college and traveling for the first time outside the continent. I
know how easy it is to get swept away by the beautiful scenery and excitement of what is going
on and forget about some of the things you really wanted to see, do, or buy. Good planning is
vital to getting the most out of this trip.
Good planning will also help you appreciate the trip to the fullest extent possible. By knowing a
little bit about the places we are going to see and the culture of France, you will be able to enjoy
our visits and the trip even more.
Keep this folder and bring it with you to every trip meeting before we go. This folder is yours to
keep. One day, many years from now, you might find this folder in your basement and
immediately be transported back to the sights, smells, and sounds of your trip to France. We
may add some more pages to the folder as we get closer to the trip. It is your responsibility to
get all the information that is handed out at meetings and share it with your parents!!
I also want to take this opportunity to say that I am glad you are going on this trip. I am excited
to be traveling with you and am here to answer any questions you have at any time. That is why
you have my email address and phone number right here. I hope that you enjoy this trip as
much as I enjoyed my first trip to France!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness." –Mark Twain
Overview……………………………………………………………………………………… 4
Preparation……………………………………………………………………………………. 7
Code of Conduct……………………………………………………………………………… 8
Important Health Information ..……………………………………………………………... 10
General Tips for Travel……………………………………………………………………… 12
50 Goals………………………………………………………………………………………. 16
Safety………………………………………………………………………………………...... 17
Packing………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
Packing Checklist ……………………………………………………………………………. 23
Group Travel Tips…………………………………………………………………………….. 28
Transportation……………………………………………………………………………….... 30
Money……………………………………………………………………………………..…… 34
Phones………………………………………………………………………………………… 37
Cultural Differences………………..………………………………………………………… 40
Family Stay……………………………………………………………………………………..43
Dialogs et vocabulaire.………………………………………………………………………..56
Histoire de France ………………………………………………………………………...… 72
More Information……………………………………………………………………………….74
DATES: Saturday, June 11, 2011--Monday, June 28, 2011
DESTINATIONS: Paris, Orléans, Mont St. Michel, Bayeux, Les Arromanches, Paris.
Billy Allen
Kathryn Andenoro
Katie Boharski
Laura Johnson
Cassidy Madison
Ashley McFarland
Hannah Schultz
Ashley Schumacher
Kara Allen
[email protected]
Mrs. Patty Hodges
June 11
June 12
June 13
Arrive Paris; transfer to hotel
Paris visit
June 14
June 15
June 16
June 17
June 18
June 19
June 20
June 21
June 22
June 23
June 24
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
June 25
June 26
June 27
June 28
Paris visits
Chartres; un chàteau; Orléans
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
Family Stay
Mont St. Michel
D-Day beaches, Les Arromanches,
Pointe du Hoc, American Cemetery
Train to Paris
Transfer to airport; Depart
Language & Friendship, Inc.
Two Appletree Square, Suite 250
8011 34th Avenue South
Bloomington, Minnesota 55425
phone 952-841-9898
fax 952-841-9919
[email protected]
The mission of Language and Friendship is to provide meaningful intercultural opportunities
through short-term travel and family stay programs abroad as well as through hosting
opportunities in the United States. Emphasis is on the creation of quality programs with a strong
commitment to intercultural and language-oriented education. L&F was created in 1988 to offer
maximum personal service and custom-designed travel and family-stay programs for language
teachers and their students.
Kara Allen
Madame Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in English Secondary Education & French Teaching
from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. During her studies at BYU, she took two years
off to save for, then travel to France for an 18 month mission for her church. She lived in Paris,
Orléans, Cergy-Pontoise, Caen and Cherbourg. Not only did she do work for her church, but
she also taught English to the French and was able to see many of the sites throughout the
northwest regions of France. She is currently in her 11th year of teaching, the first nine years at
Yuma High School in Yuma, AZ, where she also coached girl’s volleyball and basketball. She
has led 2 trips to France, Spain, Italy, and England for students at Yuma High School (2000,
All pertinent information regarding the trip will be posted at:
Please check the site regularly for updated meeting schedules, important packing information,
announcements, etc.
Meetings will be announced via email and posted on the trip information site at:
Attendance at all meetings from this point out is required. If you must miss a meeting, please let
me know as soon as possible so we can make arrangements for you to get the information you
need. If attendance at the meetings becomes a problem, you may be removed from the trip.
You will need a passport to go on the trip. If you do not have one, you need to apply for one as
soon as possible. Normal processing takes 6 weeks, but there are often delays, so please do
not procrastinate on this. You will also need your passport in order to book your plane ticket, so
you will need it much sooner than our departure.
Once you receive your passport, you should make three copies of it: leave one at home, pack
one in your suitcase, and give one to Mme Allen. In case your passport is lost, having a copy of
the front page (with your picture and signature) makes it much easier to replace.
The payment schedule is outlined in the brochure you received at our very first informational
meeting with your trip application. A payment of $800 will be due on March 15. The balance will
be due on April 15, 2011. All checks should be made out to Language and Friendship. Checks
should be turned in to Mme Allen and she will send them all as a group. For this reason, it is
VERY IMPORTANT to submit payment a few days before the actual deadline.
(The code of conduct outlines the expectations and guidelines for you to follow during the trip.
You will each get a copy for you and your parents to sign and return. It is reprinted here for your
reference and information. )
“The purpose of the France 2011 trip is to increase contact with other cultures and people
to further awareness and appreciation of the global community in which we live. By interacting
with people of other cultures and learning their language and way of life, we take the most
fundamental and basic steps towards creating a more peaceful world. The goal of this trip is to
create a total intercultural experience: to enlighten, to broaden and to challenge”.
I realize that while on the France trip with Mme Allen, I am a representative of my country, my
community, my school and my family. I will strive to conduct myself in a manner appropriate to
being a “good ambassador”. I understand and accept the code of conduct as listed below and
pledge to honor it at all times during the trip.
As a student on the France trip …
1. I will commit myself to improving my communication skills in French and will speak it as
much as possible.
2. I will cooperate with the trip leader and honor rules that he sets for me:
a. I will participate in all scheduled activities
b. I will observe a curfew of 12:00am unless with trip leader
c. I will be on time for all group activities and meetings
d. I will sign out when I leave the hotel
e. I will always go out in groups of 3 or more
f. I will keep my hotel room clean and orderly
g. I am responsible to pay for any damages
h. I will not use hotel room phones, mini-bars, or call for room service
i. I will not enter the hotel room of a student of the opposite sex.
j. I will refrain from romantic/sexual involvement of any kind and any behavior
leading to it
k. I will not operate any motorized vehicle or be a passenger on any motorcycle.
l. I will dress and act appropriately at all times and be sensitive to the impression I
am conveying in a culture other than my own
m. I will NOT use alcohol, drugs or tobacco at ANY time
n. I will not hitchhike or accept a ride from anyone I do not know
o. I will not shoplift or break any other laws in France (remember that you are subject
to FRANCE’S LAWS while you are there)
p. I will treat all hotel and travel company employees, tour directors and trip leaders
with respect
q. I will have fun and keep a POSITIVE ATTITUDE!
***Any infraction of the Code of Conduct could cause the student to be sent home at anytime at
the cost of the students’ parents/guardians***
We have read and agree to abide by the Code of Conduct. I understand that if I/my child does
not abide by the Code of Conduct, Mme Allen will make a collect call home, the student will be
sent home at my expense and school disciplinary actions may be taken.
PRINT STUDENT NAME___________________________________________
Student signature
Parent/Guardian signature
Date ____________________________________________________
Our goal is for all participants and host families to have a positive family-stay experience. In the
event that students are faced with cultural issues such as those mentioned below, we hope that
this advance notice will allow you to evaluate your readiness to participate in the program.
For participants with
 Dietary preferences and/or restrictions
 Chronic illness (allergies, asthma, diabetes…)
 Psychological concerns
While we understand and respect the health needs and dietary preferences/restrictions of
program participants, our experience in planning and conducting family-stay programs both
abroad and in the U.S. assures us that your success in this type of program depends on your
ability to adapt to (and if necessary be medically prepared for) the lifestyle of the culture that you
will be living and traveling in while you are aborad. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find
host families, both overseas and here in the U.S., because of the high incidence of chronic
illness. More than ever, students must adapt to the lifestyle of the volunteer families that host
Cultural adaptation is extremely important with regard to foods as well. We cannot guarantee,
even for religious reasons, that those students who indicate that they are vegetarians or have
special dietary requirements will be placed in a home where such meals are served. Host
families will be informed that their student is a vegetarian or has special dietary needs, but we
will make it very clear to the host family that they do not need to change their way of eating or
cooking. Vegetarian students will be expected to eat whatever is possible at mealtimes. They
will need to take responsibility of either packing extra protein supplements such as energy bars
in order to assure proper nutrition or buying such supplements in grocery stores abroad.
An increasing number of participants are indicating allergies/asthma caused by exposure to cats,
dogs, and cigarette smoke. It is nearly impossible to find host families with homes free of
cigarette smoke and/or pets. Because America has become such a smoke-free culture, our
dislike for cigarette smoke stems more from a preference than from a medically diagnosed
condition. While our preference may be to avoid cigarette smoke, there are times when it simply
cannot be avoided (e.g. in restaurants).
We know that the majority of allergic/asthmatic reactions can be controlled with medication. For
all students whose allergies/asthma cannot be controlled medically, a physician’s letter
confirming the exact nature of the allergy/asthma and its severity will be required. For example,
if an allergy is to animals, often dogs are okay but cats make a person extremely ill, or there can
be cats in the home as long as they are not in the student’s bedroom. If we do not receive a
signed physician’s clearance, we will assume that the allergies/asthma are under control. For
those with allergies and asthma necessitating smoke-free or animal-free families, we will ask our
coordinators to do their best to find a family for you. However, we cannot guarantee families for
students with severe allergies/asthma.
Participants with diabetes must pre-plan the dispensing of their medication. The participant must
be able to self-monitor and self-medicate while on the trip. Full emergency care information
must be provided to the teacher with another copy for the host family. Please discuss this with
your physician.
Our years of experience in organizing family-stay programs have shown that for participants
who have suffered from depression, eating disorders, or other psychological concerns, the
stress of cultural differences and change in environment have only served to intensify rather
than alleviate their difficulties. The stress may be minimal while traveling with the group, but the
family-stay portion of the program will definitely be a challenge. Each student will be individually
immersed in the life of the host family, will need to be able to communicate in the foreign
language and to adapt to family dynamics that may be very different from their own. During the
family stay, students may not be in daily contact with their teacher or friends.
Please discuss the implications of this type of program with your physician and your school
counselor. Any participant who has experienced depression, an eating disorder, or other type of
psychological concern, whether treated by medication or not, must provide adequate
documentation that the participant is able to travel and withstand the stress of a travel and
family stay program.
If you are traveling with a prescription medication, please make sure you have a copy of the
prescription with you as it may be required as you go through customs. Also, if the medication is
lost while traveling you will need the prescription in order to replace it.
**I reserve the right to cancel a student’s participation should there be any unresolved
academic, behavioral, or medical issues. **
Do not expect
Be an observer
Do not judge
Be aware 24/7
Be interested
 Be interesting
The Art of Traveling
Travel observantly…
…take time to absorb the beauty of a cathedral.
Travel humbly…
…visit people and places with reverence
and respect for their traditions.
Travel with thoughtfulness…
…think about the beauty before you
and the history behind you.
Travel with imagination…
…put yourself in the place of those who left treasures
Travel courteously…
…consideration for your fellow travelers and your hosts will
smooth the way through the most difficult times.
Travel with flexibility and a positive attitude…
…even when things don’t go as planned.
Travel with an open mind…
…leave your prejudices at home.
Travel with the spirit of a world citizen…
…you will discover that people are much the same the world
1. One shall not expect things to be as they are at home for you have left home to
find different things.
2. One shall not take anything too seriously, for a carefree mind is the beginning of
a joyful experience.
3. One shall not let one’s fellow travelers get on one’s nerves, for you are traveling
to enjoy yourself.
4. One shall take only half the clothing one thinks one needs, and twice the money.
5. Know at all times where your passport is, for without it, you are a person without
a country.
6. Remember that if one were meant to stay in one place, you would have been
created with roots.
7. One shall not worry, for one who worrieth hath no pleasure, for few things are
really fatal.
8. When in Rome, one shall be prepared to do somewhat as the Romans do. If in
difficulty, one shall use common sense.
9. One shall not judge the people of a community by the one person who has
given you trouble.
10. Remember, you are a guest in other lands, and one who treats a host with
respect and gratitude shall be treated as an honored guest.
Practical Tips for Safe and Smooth Travel in Uncertain Times
Excerpts adapted from articles by Rick Steves, noted travel expert
Travel teaches understanding. It broadens your perspective, enabling you to rise above the six o’clock
news and see things as a citizen of our world. The answer to terrorism is not to stay home but to travel
more and to travel sensitively, so we can better understand the world and the world can understand us.
Terrorism has always been with us. It’s best to plan your trip assuming there will be some terrorist
activities. Travel understanding the risk of terrorism, and travel in a way that minimizes that small threat.
We have the option of either accepting the risks or settling for National Geographic specials.
As travelers ask me, “What should we do to be safer?”, one thing is clear to me: I always feel safer in
Europe than in the USA, and current events—even a war—will do nothing to change that. But there are a
few common sense, practical things that today’s travelers can do to travel smarter and enjoy their trips.
First, keep the scary news in perspective. Our planet is still a very big place. Kabul is 2,200 miles from
Istanbul and 3,000 miles from Rome. Beyond heightened security at predictable places and a few
understandable delays, current events should have little practical effect on travelers. It’s unlikely to
“suddenly get stranded in Europe” (a fear I often hear voiced but cannot understand). The real effect of
war and terror—amplified by the media, to the delight of terrorists everywhere—will be on some people’s
nerves. Anxiety aside, the overwhelming odds are that Americans traveling to Europe—no matter what
happens in the world—will have perfectly normal trips.
The risk of terrorism is much smaller than the risks tourists have always taken without a second thought.
Let’s look at it in cold unemotional statistics. It’s much more likely to be murdered on the streets of any
American city than in Europe. Plane crashes are also a greater risk. I know people die in planes, but I
also know that, in the USA alone, over 30,000 planes take off and land safely every day. Flying is safer
than driving by any measure at any time. It’s much more likely to be killed in a car accident or even to be
struck by lightning.
To make good decisions, stay well-informed. Readily available internet access makes this easy. But
don’t overreact because you’ve diligently gathered too much information. A bomb threat to the US
embassy in Rome is absolutely no threat to you at the Pantheon.
Okay, the risks are small. But it’s smart to travel in ways which make the risks even more miniscule.
Avoid being a target by melting into Europe. Travel and look like a local. This is smart travel anyway.
Fancy luggage and jewelry impresses only thieves and gives you an unnecessarily high profile. I wouldn’t
wear an American flag either.
Be patient. Be thankful for security measures which may delay you. Call airports to confirm flight
schedules before heading out. Europe is the acknowledged world leader in quality security. It is not
uncommon to see military people with rifles walking around airports and at major sights. Consider their
presence reassuring.
Regardless of how you assess the risks that come with exploring our world, these practical tips can help
give you safe and happy travels.
This popular activity can be very helpful as you prepare to travel. You don’t have to come up
with all fifty goals at once; you can keep a running list, so that whenever you think of something
else you want to do or see on the trip, you can come back and write it here. I have given you ten
goals to start with. You can use these if you like, or you can come up with all fifty goals on your
own. You can write your goals in French or English (or both!).
1. Je voudrais prendre une photo du hauteur de la Tour Eiffel.
2. Je voudrais voir l’Arc de Triomphe
3. Je voudrais acheter une patisserie en français.
4. J’ai besoin d’une photo des policiers français.
5. J’essayerai des escargots, ou des moules, . . .
6. Je ne peux pas quitter la France sans . .
7. J’ai besoin de . . .
8. J’espère connaître …
9. Je voudrais acheter …
10. Je voudrais enseigner ma famille française….
Now it’s up to you! What are your 50 goals for this trip?
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing
new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
--Marcel Proust
In general, France is a very safe place to visit. The rate of violent crime is MUCH lower than that
of the United States. As a professor of mine once told me, “France is a very safe place for you.
It is not a very safe place for your wallet.”
With that in mind, here is some information on how to travel safely within France.
These words of advice are not meant to frighten anyone. I simply want to remind you that in any
large city, carefree actions can invite trouble. These recommendations are meant to help you
avoid trouble. Given the difficulty in replacing lost or stolen items, I ask you to follow these
“common sense” safety tips.
 Empty your billfold or wallet of everything you won’t need with you, including your social
security card and any irreplaceable sentimental items.
 Do NOT walk around with large sums of cash on you. Use an ATM/debit card and keep
extra cash in a neck pouch or in a safe place in your suitcase.
 Never carry your wallet in a back pocket. DO carry your debit/credit card and money in a
pouch around your neck or a money belt underneath your clothes in the front, not behind.
 Keep your passport in a safe place in the hotel. It is the most important and valuable
thing you have while abroad. Without it, you are a person without a country.
 Shoulder bags should have zippers rather than flaps, and should be held snugly under
your arm towards your front. If carrying a bag, do NOT set it down. In restaurants and
outdoor cafes, keep the strap attached to your body or loop it around your leg.
 Keep a copy of the hotel list on you at all times.
 Keep a list of passport and debit or credit card numbers in your suitcase.
 Never go out alone. Always stay in a group of at least 3 people.
 Wear proper attire. Short shorts, tank tops, flip-flops are not appropriate
 Attention girls! Do NOT smile at guys—ignore any attention that may give you
 Do look both ways when crossing the street and don’t stand too close to the curb. Drivers
have a tendency to go through lights just as they are turning red. Obedience to traffic
regulations varies greatly.
 Do not jaywalk. Even if lost, act as if you know where you are going. Ask directions from
individuals in authority (police, shopkeepers, hotel staff, etc.)
 Try not to look like the typical tourist. Keep your camera in your bag or pocket if possible.
Do not stop in the middle of a sidewalk or plaza to pull out your map.
 Watch out for pickpockets and thieves. They tend to work in groups and can be of any
age, even very young children. Normally one or two create a diversion (holding a baby,
asking a question, creating a disturbance, begging…). Then another picks the pockets or
grabs a bag, passing it on to still another person.
 Do give a thief what he/she wants if you are accosted. Go immediately to the nearest
police station to report the incident. You will receive a copy of a declaration of loss or
theft. This is useful for insurance purposes as well as temporarily covering the loss of a
passport. A theft should also be reported to the American Consulate.
You will be approached by people begging for money in the streets and even in
restaurants. Sometimes they will try to sell you something (a flower, newspaper, etc). It is
best to just ignore them. Paying them even the slightest bit of attention can cause them to
persist and follow you until they get something from you. They may also try to pick your
pocket while you are distracted by their talking.
 Do NOT try to jump the turnstile. If caught, it will cost you a steep fine.
 Watch your step in the busy subway stations and be alert on escalators and moving
sidewalks (stand to the right, walk to the left).
 Do NOT talk and laugh loudly in the stations and cars; this only calls more attention to
 Do not let anyone get between you and your bag. Do not hesitate to push and loudly say
“pardon” as you free your bag.
 The metro is a haven for pickpockets; pay attention to what’s happening around you.
 If for any reason you feel uneasy about someone, let your leader know. Otherwise, use
the signal alarm located near the center of the platform
 DO keep your ticket until you have exited the station at the end of your ride. If you are
caught without a ticket, you will be fined.
“The good traveler has the gift of surprise.”
W. Somerset Maugham
Rule #1: PACK LIGHT!!
Rule #2: PACK LIGHT!!! Each traveler is permitted two pieces of luggage: one suitcase to be
checked and one carry-on that must fit under the seat or in the overhead bin. The carry-on
cannot weigh more than 30 lbs. And the checked bag must weigh less than 44lbs. It is
recommended that your checked piece weigh no more 25 lbs. so you can easily carry it.
Rule #3; Don’t take anything you can’t afford to lose. Leave any jewelry and other items whose
monetary or sentimental value make them irreplaceable at home.
Rule #4: Follow all airline rules exactly. If you are delayed in security screenings, you cause the
entire group to be delayed. Check the Transportation Security Administration website
( for details on items not allowed due to security regulations.
Checked suitcase:
o must be less than 26 inches tall and should have built in wheels
o should be unlocked or have an approved TSA lock
o Airlines may allow more, but it is essential to pack light. YOU will be carrying your
suitcase up and down stairs, to/from buses and trains.
o If the airline allows another checked suitcase, you can pack a collapsible bag to bring
home souvenirs on the return flight.
Carry-on bag:
o Shoulder bag or medium-sized backpack
o Must fit in the overhead bin or under our seat on the airplane.
o You must be able to lift it into the overhead bin
o Rolling suitcases that are normally used as carry-ons are not permitted, as there is no
room for them on the bus in France.
To keep on you while you travel in waist belt or neck pouch (one or the other is mandatory!):
o ATM card, credit card—keep a photocopy in your suitcase
o Small amount of cash—do not carry large amounts with you
o Hotel list with contact information for teachers during family stay
o Watch (be sure to have a watch—being on time is critical)
Many travel tips suggest keeping your passport with you at all times. I advise keeping it in a safe
place either in your suitcase or on your person. In the event you are pickpocketed, having your
passport stolen is among one of the worst things that could happen. I think it is much safer to
keep it at the hotel rather than on your person. If we do need it to get into a museum, be sure it
is secure in your waist belt or neck pouch.
Remember that YOU will be the one carrying your luggage. Wheels will not always help. Many
places will have stairs and if there is an elevator, it will not be big enough to handle you and
your luggage. The most repeated piece of advice from returning students is “pack light!” Refer
to the following pages on packing tips for help. You can also Google “packing tips” and find lots
of extra help on how to pack light.
Be aware that electrical appliances from the U.S will not work in France without a converter and
a plug adaptor. You can find specific information on that on the following pages.
Mark your luggage! Use the group tag and another tag on the outside of your bag and also put
some identification on the inside. You may also want to add a ribbon or bumper sticker so it will
be easy to identify on the baggage carousel at the airport.
Do not pack your baseball cap. Wearing a baseball cap in Europe is not only considered
impolite in many places, but also it will immediately identify us as a group of Americans. We
want to blend in as much as possible!
Helpful packing tips:
 pack a few rubber bands, safety pins, and zip-lock plastic bags.
 roll socks, underwear, and belts inside your shoes to save space in your suitcase.
 Use small travel size or refillable bottles for your toiletries. Take just enough for the trip.
This will lighten the load and save space. You can throw away the bottles at the end of
the trip to make room for more souvenirs!
We will be visiting many churches and other areas of religious and historical significance. Most
of these sites observe a strict dress code. Girls—straps on tops and dresses must have at least
a two-finger width. Keep in mind that shorts are also frowned upon at these places as well as in
general. Other tips on respectful dress:
 no short shorts
 no underwear showing
 no low rider pants
 flip flops should not be primary walking shoes
DO NOT BRING YOUR CELL PHONE!! Participants are not allowed to bring cell phones on the
trip. We will use the phone tree to communicate our safe arrival and any other news to families
back home. Your cell phone will most likely not work in France and if it does, the cost will be
much more than using a pay phone and calling card purchased in France (see section on
phones for more on this).
When buying a suitcase, make sure it is lightweight, has sturdy, inline type wheels, reinforced
corners, a strong zipper, and a pull-out handle that is of comfortable height. A suitcase that can
be expanded is a plus (for your souvenirs on the trip back). A color other than black will be
easier to identify. If you already have a black one, tie a colorful string or ribbon to the handle for
easy identification. Those baggage claim conveyor belts carry a lot of look-alikes.
Suitcases and carry-on bags are often sold as sets. Look for sales and special offers. Some
carry-ons have wheels and a pull-out handle in addition to a shoulder strap. They may not
exceed 45 linear inches: 22” x 14” x 9”. A good alternative is a small to medium sized backpack.
If you are planning to do some shopping, bring a collapsible tote or duffle bag and don’t forget
an extra luggage tag for the trip home. You can also ship items from the store in most cases.
Be conservative. Short shorts, spaghetti strap shirts or muscle shirts are for the beach only, not
for sightseeing. No jeans with rips or holes, please.
Check the weather forecast ( at your destination to give you an idea of
what to pack. Spread out the clothes you consider taking on your bed to see how many matches
and combinations you can get with the items. Take more tops than bottoms. Pick basic colors
for the bottoms. Leave at home what does not match anything (even if it is your favorite). Capris
and skirts for girls, lightweight and longer length shorts for guys are most comfortable. Bring
clothes that can be washed and dried easily. If you are buying some new clothes for your trip,
look for fabrics that are wrinkle-free or wrinkle resistant. Pack the items that you will be wearing
at the beginning of the trip on top.
Bulky items like sweatshirts and heavy sweaters take up a lot of luggage space. Consider a
polar fleece vest or jacket instead (they also dry faster).
Bring enough underwear to get you to the family stay (where you will be able to do laundry).
Don’t try to wash cotton underwear (or jeans) during the travel portion of your trip. Cotton does
not dry fast enough. Consider fabrics like microfiber or the type that wick moisture away from
your body, as they can be washed out in the hotel sink at night and are dry in the morning.
Polyester/cotton blend or wrinkle-free cotton shirts hang-dry fast and are nearly wrinkle free. For
variety, wear them over a tank top, alone, or under a sweater. If you have room, bring a plastic
hanger for drying.
Largest size freezer bags work well for compressing clothing items. Squeeze out the air by
rolling them before you zip them shut.
If you want to pack toiletries in your carry-on luggage, you must follow the TSA regulations.
Liquid soap, shampoo, deodorant, shaving supplies, toothpaste, contact lens solution, liquid
make-up, anything else in liquid or gel form: up to 3 ounces of liquid or gel are permitted in
carry-on luggage. They must all fit into one quart-size zip-lock plastic bag, which has to be
presented at the security check. Rolled-up regular size toothpaste or half-full larger than 3 oz.
size containers are not permitted as carry-on items. Drugstores, as well as Target/Wal-Mart, sell
sample/travel size toiletries. You can also buy small plastic containers and fill them with your
favorite shampoo, lotion, etc. Remember, they must be 3 oz. or smaller containers. If you need
to bring larger amounts of gels and liquids than fit in one quart-size bag, put them in a plastic
bag in your checked luggage.
EVERYONE (checked luggage)
o 3-4 changes of mix-match clothes, which can be layered for hot or cool weather (see
“clothes” next page)
o bathing suit
o belt
o shirts
o one dressy outfit
o dress shoes/nice sandals
o pajamas
o socks
o slippers or flip-flops
o travel alarm clock
o underwear
o comfortable walking shoes (be sure to break them in before trip)
o watch
o scrapbook for host family
o thank-you card for host family
o deodorant
o hair spray/gel
o floss
o sunscreen
o light jacket/sweater
o hairbrush/comb
o toothbrush & toothpaste
o shampoo
o conditioner
o soap/body gel
o travel size Kleenex
o addresses or address labels for postcards
o wash cloth (pack in a zip-lock bag)
o hairdryer/straightener/curling iron
o voltage converter/plug adaptor
o a few extra zip-lock bags
o 1 change of clothes
o 2 pairs of clean underwear
o book/magazine
o snacks
o camera, extra memory card, batteries, etc
o contact case/solution/glasses (solution must be 3 oz. or less and placed in one zip-lock
bag with other liquids/gels)
o headache/motion sickness medicine
o pen and travel journal
o toilet articles in sample sizes; liquids and gels must fit into one plastic zip-lock bag
o small French/English dictionary
o medications in original containers
o Copies of:
 passport picture section
 credit/debit card numbers and the help phone numbers for each
 insurance cards
Copies of: flight itinerary, land itinerary, hotel addresses and phone numbers, phone tree,
passport, credit cards, debit cards, insurance cards, prescriptions, 1-800 help numbers for all
cards. Also, well-worn, “holey” jeans and t-shirts.
You are not limited in the amount or volume of these items you may bring in your carry-on bag.
However, if these items are in containers larger than 3 oz. please do the following: Separate
these items from the liquids, gels, and aerosols in your quart-size zip-top bag. Declare that you
have these items to the Security Officers at the checkpoint. Present these items for inspection
when you reach the x-ray. These items are subject to additional screening.
Wear your bulkiest shoes and clothing items on the plane and pack the other ones. In you
suitcase, stuff the inside of your shoes with socks, underwear, or fragile items and place them
into plastic bags (like the ones from grocery stores) to keep your clothes clean. Put them at the
lowest part of your suitcase, near the wheels. That way they won’t crush your clothes or make
your suitcase unbalanced and difficult to carry. For summer travel, you might consider packing a
pair of sport/walking sandals.
Be extra alert in crowded places and at restaurants. Don’t be an easy target for pickpockets.
Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket. It will disappear in no time. If you do bring a wallet,
only carry enough cash for the day in it. Wrapping two rubber bands around it and putting it in
your front pocket will keep it more secure since it won’t slide as easily. Carry your credit/debit
cards and larger currency in a neck pouch under your clothing. Consider a camera bag large
enough to carry a few extras like sunglasses, snacks, in addition to your camera.
You may choose to bring a small purse. If you do, be sure to wear it across the front of your
body. Keep your credit/debit cards and larger currency in your neck pouch or money belt and
you hairbrush, lip gloss, sunglasses, etc. in your purse. Don’t bring a purse backpack—they are
an easy target for thieves.
If you are buying a new digital camera for the trip, I highly recommend one that uses regular AA
batteries or lithium AA batteries instead of a rechargeable camera battery. Carry an extra set of
batteries with you as well as an extra memory card and you’ll never miss those photo
Picture-taking tips:
When taking photos on gray, overcast days, don’t include the sky in your pictures unless there
are interesting cloud formations. Often photos on cloudy days turn out better because of the
absence of shadow.
When taking pictures of your friends in front of monuments, frame your pictures so that your
friends are no more than 15 feet away from the camera and the monument is visible in the
background. For more interesting photos that show off the setting/background, try not to center
your subjects (unless you are doing a portrait).
Try not to shoot your photos against the light, especially of people, unless you use the setting on
your camera for fill flash. Otherwise, their facial features will be too dark.
Make sure your lens is clean.
Again, don’t take anything you can’t afford to lose (jewelry, things of sentimental value, etc). I
would also recommend leaving personal DVD players and even iPods at home.
If you want to bring a towel, I would suggest a microfiber towel (like divers use). They are very
absorbent and dry quickly.
Bring a plastic bag for dirty clothing and some extra small baggies for snacks, trash, etc.
Save all of your ticket stubs, boarding passes, airline luggage tags (the white stickers that were
put on your suitcase when you checked in) and luggage claim tickets until you return to the U.S.,
in case you have to file a claim for loss or damage. A good idea is to put them in your journal.
Then they are readily accessible if needed & part of your memories already.
Beverages that are purchased after you go through security are permitted onboard the airplane.
However, if you have a layover at another airport you may not carry it onto the next plane.
Important: Do not pack any sharp or pointed metal objects, lighters or matches in your carry-on
luggage. They will not pass the security check. Check for permitted/restricted
Do not lock your suitcase! If a checked bag must be searched and it is locked, it may be forcibly
opened and the lock or suitcase could be damaged. If you wish to lock your suitcase, you can
purchase a TSA-approved lock at stores that sell travel merchandise.
Leave any gifts unwrapped. If you wish to wrap them, do so once you arrive at your destination.
If a bag must be searched, any wrapped gifts will be unwrapped for inspection.
If you are packing several books inside a single bag, spread them around inside the bag.
Stacked books are very dense and may cause the bomb-detection machines to flag the bag for
hand searching.
Don’t over-pack your bags. This will prevent the contents from spilling out if they are opened for
You may be asked to remove your shoes to pass through the security checkpoint. It is a good
idea to wear shoes that you can easily remove for the flight.
If you purchase any sharp object, it must be packed in your checked luggage.
Persons under the age of 21 are not permitted to bring wine or other alcoholic beverages into
the United States. In past years, students who have received such items to give to their parents
from their host family have had the wine confiscated by US Customs Agents.
For more information on security regulations, visit
High protein snacks, like trail mix, granola bars, powerbars, etc. are a good thing to bring along
for the flight. Airlines don’t provide as much food as they used to.
Electricity in other countries runs on different voltage than in the United States. You will not be
able to use electric appliances (hair dryers, curling irons, etc) without taking certain steps to
convert them.
1. Voltage. In North America, the most common voltage is 110 volts. Most of the world
operates on 22OV. In order to use an American 110V appliance overseas, you must
convert the electricity to that voltage. Otherwise, you run the risk of destroying your
appliance. You will need to buy a converter if you plan on using such electric appliances
in France. These can be bought in any store that sells travel merchandise (including
2. Plug shape. There is no worldwide standard for the plug configuration. Outlets around the
world differ in shape, size, and arrangement of plug holes. When overseas, plugs from
your appliances may simply not fit in the outlets. This problem is easily remedied by an
adaptor plug. An adaptor plug allows a plug of one shape to fit into an outlet of a different
shape. Adaptor plugs can be purchased at any store that sells travel merchandise or also
online. IMPORTANT! An adaptor plug does not change the electricity, it simply changes
the plug shape. You will still need a converter to modify the voltage.
More information can be found at any of the websites below or any other travel related website.
permitted items on plane
packing tips
packing tips
travel and packing suggestions
packing tips
packing tips
weather information
Successful group travel is dependent upon considerate, unselfish behavior by all group
Be patient. Traveling with a group is hard work. Obviously it takes more time for a group
to do things than if you were traveling with one or two people.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE SCHEDULE! Don’t be late for the bus, meals, meetings, visits,
and host family outings. Being on time makes everyone happy. When you are late, you
make everyone late!
Treat everyone with the utmost respect and welcome them into your group. Don’t shut
out new people, they may have something to offer. When you go out in groups, invite
new people to join you. Make new friends and include the “loners”.
Listen carefully to all instructions. Don’t rely on others to get your information for you.
Be with the program! MP3 players, iPods and DVD players are highly discouraged
because: a)they detract from your interaction and involvement in the experience; b) they
are easily lost and stolen. Please know that this is for your benefit. Cell phones are not
allowed for the same reasons and because they are highly disruptive.
Follow the curfew set by the leaders and your host families.
Be positive! Participate willingly and enthusiastically in all activities.
Be polite to the bus driver. Greet him and help him by keeping the bus clean of garbage.
Help load/unload the luggage, respect the eating/drinking expectations. Be sure to thank
Be polite and considerate guests in the hotel. This applies to your interactions both with
your roommates and other guests.
This is a one-of-a-kind adventure! Take every opportunity to ask questions, try new things
and learn all you can. Look for ways to show your interest and respect.
Don’t expect everything to be Americanized…you are in a different country. Use French
as much as possible and always with native French. You are a guest to France, so be
open, aware, and friendly. Remember that there are different ways of doing things—they
are not better, not worse…just different.
Get fit! You will be doing lots of walking. Start getting in shape now.
Read extensively about the cities and place that you will visit, current affairs, culture…be
knowledgeable about the US and France, have an opinion on American politics, etc. …
People and their cultures perish in isolation, but they are born or reborn in contact with other
man and woman, with men and women from another culture, another creed, another race. If we
do not recognize humanity in others, we shall not recognize it in ourselves.
--Carlos Fuentes
Those of you who have traveled by plane before know that it requires flexibility. Flights may be
delayed for weather or mechanical reasons, security procedures can take a long time and you
have to deal with other passengers in very close quarters. Included in this section is a page
called “Hints for Flying”. It has many useful tips for how to make the transatlantic flight more
comfortable for you and the other passengers around you. Please read it carefully and follow the
At the gate, we will hand out boarding passes. We will not hand them out until it is time to board
the flight so we can make sure everyone is there.
You will need to show your passport at check-in and again at the security checkpoint. Do NOT
pack it in your suitcase!! The best way is to keep it on your person in a money pouch or pocket.
Please keep in mind all security regulations when packing. No knives, scissors, other cutting
tools or dangerous devices are allowed in carry-on bags. If you are stopped, it will hold up and
delay the entire group. Please remember this! Be patient if one of our groups is stopped for a
security check. This is routine and does not mean that they are suspected of anything. Answer
all questions from airline agents and security personnel seriously and respectfully. This is not
the time to try your stand-up comic routine.
Please be considerate of airline personnel and other passengers at all times—at the gate,
during boarding and during the flight. It is important that you sit in your assigned seat for take-off
and landing. During the transatlantic portion of the flight, you may move around the cabin if the
seat belt sign is turned off. Try not to move around during meal service, as the flight attendants
need the aisles clear for their carts.
Before we land, you will receive a disembarkation card from the flight attendant. Fill it out and
place it inside your passport. You will be required to show it upon arrival in Paris. List “student”
as your occupation.
When we land, make sure you do not leave anything behind. Check the pocket in front of your
seat, under your seat and the overhead compartment. On arrival, you will need to show your
passport and disembarkation card to the immigration official at the airport. Once everyone has
cleared immigration, we will proceed as a group to the baggage claim area.
While in France, we will do some of our traveling by train. This is a unique opportunity, since
most people do not travel by train in the U.S. Trains in France are very punctual and there is not
much time for boarding, so we must be prepared to load ourselves and our luggage on the train
very quickly and efficiently.
This is where you will once again hear the warning to PACK LIGHT!!! If you didn’t heed this
warning before—this is where you will really regret it once you are in France. You must have
only one suitcase and it must be light enough for you to run with. Train stations have more stairs
than airports, the trains themselves have very narrow stairs for boarding, and often there is
more walking involved at train stations than at airports. In addition, trains have very limited
space to store luggage during travel.
In order to board more efficiently, we will use a “bucket brigade” system. This means that two
people will board at first. One finds our seats and directs other students to them while the other
is in charge of luggage. Everyone else loads the luggage first, handing it up to the person on the
train and one or two helpers, then finds their seat after all the bags are on board. Sometimes,
luggage must be stored at the ends of the car, near the doors, due to lack of overhead space.
In the cities, you may find it necessary to use a taxi. This is especially true for Bayeux where
there is no metro service like what is available in Paris. Rates for taxis vary according to
destination, time and traffic. Rates are higher in the early morning and in the evening. A tip of
10-15% is expected in taxis. There are more than 470 taxi stands in Paris, marked by blue signs
with the word TAXI written in white. They are generally located on street corners, outside
railway stations and official buildings, and at airports. Take the taxi at the head of the line, and
be prepared to pay the driver in cash, since credit cards and checks are rarely accepted. Taxis
can also be hailed in the streets. If you are leaving from the hotel and going in a taxi, ask at the
front desk if they can order one for you.
At times during the trip, we may travel on a motor coach. These buses are similar to the charter
buses used for school trips in the U.S. They are equipped with a bathroom, although it should
be reserved for emergency use only. We will make bathroom stops along the route. Always take
advantage of these whenever you have a chance. As in the U.S., take extra care to keep the
bus clean and be polite and respectful to the driver. Expect a collection of 1-2 euros as a tip for
our bus driver when we arrive to the destination.
When loading luggage onto the bus, make sure you stay with your suitcase until you see it
loaded under the bus. You are responsible for carrying your own bags to the bus! It is also a
good gesture to offer to help load your bag on the bus. When unloading, we will have one or two
students help the driver unload the luggage. Watch for your suitcase and when it is unloaded,
take it with you to a place nearby, but out of the way of the unloading area.
Paris has an underground subway system called the metro. This is an easy, efficient and cheap
means of transportation in the city. Lines are identified by color and number and intersect with
each other at certain points to make travel to any part of the city easy. You will receive a map
and a quick lesson on how to use the metro system once we arrive. Be very careful with your
purse, wallet, etc. in the metro. The crowded trains with people very close to each other makes
it very easy for pickpockets to relieve you of your valuables.
Stay in your seat until the fasten seat belt sign goes off, both after takeoff and prior to
arrival at the gate after landing.
If you want to change assigned seats, wait until after the flight has taken off and the
fasten seat belt sign has been turned off. If you do this before takeoff, it will clog the
aisles and prevent other passengers from taking their seats quickly and efficiently.
Do not yell to your friends across the plane. When the fasten seat belt sign is turned off,
walk over to the person you wish to speak to and speak in a low voice. Do not block the
When getting up from your seat and moving around the cabin, do not grab the seats for
stability. It is very annoying to passengers who have aisle seating, particularly if they are
resting or eating.
While on board the plane, do not block the aisles, especially during the meal service. Sit
in your seat until the meals have been cleared unless it is an emergency.
Gently raise and lower your tray table and turn the lock without force so the person in
front of you does not suffer whiplash.
Do not throw objects to friends. This is dangerous to other passengers.
Since we will be flying at night, many people need to sleep (including you!) and expect to
have the opportunity to do so without hassle. You will also need to get some sleep to
become more easily acclimated to the jet lag you will soon feel.
If you must talk, talk quietly and discreetly. Whisper. Do not form large groups which
make noise.
Bottom line: Be considerate!
One word can be used to describe the hotels we will be staying in: SMALL! This is not the
Holiday Inn, with 50 identical rooms and lots of space to spread out your suitcase. Most hotels
we will be staying in are family-run and have very small rooms. They will have their own private
bathroom, but again the bathroom may be small as well. Most hotels will have an elevator, but it
will be too small to handle all, if any, of the luggage. Most elevators are big enough for 2-3
people and that’s it. You will need to carry your luggage up and down any number of narrow,
sometimes winding, stairs. This is why it is extremely important to not over pack. You will not be
able to “slide and slam” or “bounce” your suitcase up and down the stairs, as this is incredibly
loud and disruptive to other guests.
As stated above, most of these hotels are family-run. Therefore, it is very important that you act
as a good representative of not only your school and country, but of your family as well. Eating
in rooms and washing clothes should be done with great discretion. Wet clothes should never
be hung on balconies, out of windows or over furniture. Rooms will be cleaned each day, but
only if the maids can find the beds and the floor. You must keep your room picked up at all
times! Many hotels will not accept student groups, so we must be very appreciative of the hotels
that have agreed to let us stay there and be good guests.
Some things to keep in mind about hotels:
 Always leave your room key at the front desk. This is how things are done in France and
it makes it much more difficult to lose your key this way!
 Be polite to hotel personnel—greet them and say goodbye!
 Be quiet; other guests at the hotel want to sleep!
 No eating or drinking in rooms
 Do not use the phones in your rooms
 Technically, clothes shouldn’t be washed at all in your rooms. But if you do, please be
very careful and do not hang wet clothes on furniture or balconies
 Abide by the curfew—12:00am. This means you are in your own room at that time!
 Do not take anything out of the refrigerator in your room
 Check your room for any damages as soon as you arrive. Report anything immediately to
avoid being charged at check-out
 Always carry the hotel name, address, and phone number with you
 Keep your room clean
 If you have other students in your room, the door must always be kept open.
The Euro
Starting in 2002, 12 members of the European Union, including France, began using a common
currency called the euro (€ or EUR). Each euro has 100 smaller units, called centimes. Any
foreign currency has a price at which you can exchange US dollars for it. For example, if one
euro costs $1.48, that means that you would need one dollar and 48 cents to buy one euro. The
reverse of this is that one dollar costs €0.68. The exchange rates change daily. The lower the
amount you have to pay for the currency the better, and the more they give you for your dollar
the better.
Sometimes it can be difficult to apply global economics to the price of a t-shirt. In this case, it is
better and easier to shop in the foreign currency without getting out a calculator for each
purchase. So, if a store sells a t-shirt for €15.00 and another store has the exact same shirt for
€17.00, you should be able to figure out where to buy the shirt. It also helps to keep certain
“benchmarks” in mind while shopping. For instance, if you remember that €10.00 = $14.80 and
€20 = $29.60, you will be able to figure out how much something that costs €15 will cost you in
Foreign cash before departure
All travelers should obtain Euros (the equivalent of $25-50 per person) before departure so that
getting cash isn’t your first priority on arrival. We may not have time to stop at an ATM when we
arrive in Paris. You will need to ask around at the banks in the area as to whether or not they
can get you some Euros. You may want to go as a group, so that only one service charge is
assessed. It may be a smart idea to call ahead also, to ensure that they have Euros on hand
when you arrive.
Traveler’s Checks
Traveler’s checks are slowly being replaced by ATMs as the primary form of getting cash while
traveling. They are becoming almost impossible to spend and are difficult to exchange. I do not
recommend them. If you want a back-up source of funds in case there is a problem with your
bank card, bring cash (either in dollars or euros).
Checking Accounts/ATM Use
Using the ATM is the cheapest and most accessible way to access money while in France.
Changing dollars to euros in cash (or traveler’s checks) can be expensive and inconvenient.
Important: You must have your money in a checking account. ATMs in France can only
withdraw money from a checking account, not a savings account.
Your best bet would be to have a debit or check card with the Visa, MasterCard, or American
Express logo on it. These cards cannot only be used at ATMs, but also for transactions. Cards
that work on the Cirrus or Plus systems are also good to use, but they only work at ATMs, not
for purchases in stores. Put both parent and student names on the account, that way parents
can access the account while the student is on the trip.
Also check with your bank to determine if the limit for daily cash withdrawals can be increased.
You should have your PIN number memorized and maybe written down in a few places
(separate from your card) in case it is forgotten. In case of trouble with a PIN, a machine will
“eat” the card on the third try—stop after two attempts and figure out what the problem is!!
If you are using a new account for the trip, be sure to try the card at an ATM here before leaving,
to make sure that it is active and working properly.
Check with your bank to make sure your card can be used abroad. It is also important that you
notify your bank that you will be traveling and using the card in France. If you do not do this,
they may freeze your account on suspicion of theft or fraud and you will not be able to access
your money.
I also suggest that when you do use the ATM, take out larger denominations (such as 50-100
euros) at one time. This is because banks charge for each use of the ATM and often there is
another surcharge for using an ATM in another country. By taking out larger amounts, you avoid
being charged these fees over and over again.
Euro Cash Passport Card
The Cash Passport is a prepaid MasterCard card that can be used at ATMs and retailers
worldwide, including France. The card is protected by a PIN code and your signature, so should
the card be lost or stolen, the prepaid balance can be replaced. You can find more details at:
Amount of spending money
I recommend a minimum of $40 per day for program essentials (i.e. meals, beverages, public
transportation, stamps, postcards, etc). It is certainly possible to spend conservatively—for
example, buying food with friends in a supermarket will cost less than eating in restaurants. Gifts,
clothing, and other purchases need to be budgeted for above and beyond the $40 per day
Credit Cards
If you will be using a credit card, check with your company to determine transaction/purchasing
fees they may charge when you make purchases abroad. You may also use a credit card with a
PIN for cash, although this usually carries a much higher interest rate. It is advisable to use an
ATM card for cash withdrawals. Also I would recommend a Visa or MasterCard, since they are
more widely accepted in France. Make sure to keep lost/stolen credit card information in your
Exchange Rate:
The exchange rate between the dollar and Euro has been unfavorable for Americans traveling
abroad for the past few years. For the current rate, visit:
Each traveler is permitted to bring $800 worth of items back into the U.S. without paying duty.
You are also not allowed to bring back with you any meat, fresh fruits, seeds, or vegetables to
the U.S. There is a limit of 1 liter of wine, although anyone under 21 is not allowed to carry wine.
Each person will receive a customs form on the plane before landing. If you are carrying less
than $800 of merchandise home with you, you simply need to give the amount you paid for the
items; you do not need to list each item. If you are carrying more than $800 of items, you will
need to list them on the back of the form.
For more information on what you are allowed to bring home with you, check out the U.S.
Customs website at: or
Phone cards are easy to purchase and use in France. They are also the most economical way
to call back to the U.S. They can be purchased at any kiosco or tabac.
There are two types of cards: one has a computer chip that you insert directly into the pay
phone, the other has an access code that you dial to make the call. This type is a little better,
since it can also be used on regular phones (such as the ones in the host family’s home).
Do not plan on using a US calling card in France. It is much easier (and probably cheaper) to
just buy one once you are there.
I also urge parents not to call students during the trip, unless there is an emergency. Not only is
it hard to reach us as we are busy during the day and staying in hotels during most of the trip,
but phone calls also are a quick way to cause homesickness. We will use the phone tree, email
and the trip website to communicate with parents during the trip. Students may also use their
phone cards to call home a couple of times during the trip.
It is also very important that parents do not call for at least 48 hours into the family stay. This is
the most crucial time of the program and also the time when students are most susceptible to
bouts of homesickness.
Remember—no news is good news!!
Helpful number
Country code: 33
In order to place an international call from France, you need to dial 00 first, then the country
code for the U.S.—1, followed by the phone number including area code. For example, to call
the Flathead Main Office from France, you would dial: 001-406-751-3500.
Emergency numbers
Emergency: 112
Police: 17
Medical (SAMU): 15
Here are some sample phone calls. It is important that you practice these with your friends so
you are not afraid to call the trip leaders if you need to during the family stay.
Si vous n’avez pas le bon numéro:
Désolé j’ai composé un mauvais numéro. Ou : Désolé, j’ai appelé le mauvais numéro.
Si vous avez composé le bon numéro:
Âllo. Puis-je parler à Mme Allen, s’il vous plaît? Ou : Est-ce que Mme Allen est là ?
You will likely hear a questions such as :
C’est qui à l’appareil?
Ne quittez pas.
Répondez avec:
C’est _____ (votre nom)
D’accord, merci.
Quand je réponds :
Bonjour, Mme Allen c’est _______ (ton nom) à l’appareil.
Si le prof n’est pas là :
Est-ce que c’est possible de laisser un message?
Eh bien, dites lui que (votre nom) a appelé. Merci beaucoup. Au revoir.
REMINDER! It is up to you to call the leaders if there is a problem during the family stay.
Nothing can be done if you don’t call!
<<J'aimerais prendre un coca avec vous>>. This phrase is to be used for emergency
situations only—not just for homesickness!
un appel transatlantique
un appel en PCV
composer (un numéro)
un appel
pas de réponse
transatlantic call
collect call
to pick the phone up from its cradle
to hang up
to dial
a call
no answer
The program guidelines and expectations indicate that you must agree not to bring your cell
phone for many reasons:
1. The purpose of the program is to focus on the country and the people you are visiting.
2. Another goal of the program is to encourage personal growth, independence, and selfreliance.
3. Making and receiving cell phone calls and text messages is disruptive to the group and
detracts from your experience.
4. Spending time chatting in English takes away from the French-speaking experience
5. Chatting with friends/relatives and hearing what people back home are doing often
causes homesickness when there otherwise would be none. Even just hearing a familiar
voice can cause homesickness.
6. In case of any problems or concerns, students talk to me first! I will be there to take care
of any problems—I promise! Learning how to ask for help (from a local person, familystay coordinator, teacher) and learning how to use a phone abroad are skills we will be
practicing. This will provide much more security than calling someone at home who is
thousands of miles away.
7. Electronics in general are an extra hassle. They require adaptors for charging and are an
extra thing to worry about losing.
8. Most American cell phones don’t work with the system abroad and if they do, they are
extremely costly.
9. Be in the moment! Listen to the language around you and the information being given to
you. Learn from the people you are traveling with and from the people you meet. Live the
experience while you have the opportunity.
 I’ll encourage students to send postcards 
 I will send you a few email messages along the way to keep you posted
 It’s recommended that students avoid or limit calls home
 I don’t want you to not talk to your kids, I just want them to make the most of this
 It is extremely important that I have your support on this rule, even if you disagree
with it. If you allow your child to disregard this rule, then you send the message
that they have your permission to ignore other rules on the trip. These rules are
put in place for their own safety and to help them maximize their experience in
It is important to point out some of the cultural differences that may confuse you or raise your
curiosity while abroad. While many of these are addressed elsewhere in this packet, they are
worth mentioning as a group here.
Americans enjoy what is probably one of the highest standards of living in the world. We take for
granted many things that are luxury items in most other countries. When we travel abroad, we
sometimes are surprised by the conditions. Even in highly developed countries which enjoy
standards of living at least as high as ours, there are instances that are frustrating to the
American who is expecting things to be the way they are at home. It may be helpful for you to
know about these cultural differences in advance. Your experience should still be worth the time
and money spent, but we must realize that when we leave home we cannot always expect
things to be the same.
Europeans generally do not use any ice cubes in their beverages and have ice on hand in
limited quantities for cooling produce, etc. Hotels will not have the big ice machines on every
floor as you are used to.
Air Conditioning
In the US, air conditioning is no longer considered to be a luxury, but rather a standard feature.
Most hotels in the US are fully air conditioned and we are able to individually control the
temperature as well. In Europe, air conditioning is usually limited to higher end hotels. Even in
touring coaches, the air conditioning often does not function to the extent we are accustomed to.
You should not expect the level of comfort cooling you enjoy at home.
For many years, the US has been ahead of Europe in limiting public smoking. In recent years,
many European countries have passed laws that limit smoking in public areas. While many
hotels now offer non-smoking rooms, they cannot guarantee enough of them for an entire travel
group. There is no way to completely avoid tobacco smoke in Europe.
Rest Rooms
In the US, we are used to using rest rooms in gas stations, restaurants, department stores—
almost anywhere—at no cost. In Europe, many restaurant owners, shop keepers, etc. show
their displeasure when tourists march into their establishment, use their water (which is often
more expensive), and then leave. When buying something, of course, usage is almost always
free. Finding public restrooms can be frustrating. Sometimes restrooms are leased out to
individuals who keep the facilities clean, and charge a usage fee, which can range from 50-75
cents. You may also find that many restrooms are not well-stocked with toilet paper. Because of
this, you may wish to carry a pocket-size pack of kleenex with you.
You may be used to finding drinking fountains in every building and even in public spaces. Do
not expect to see many drinking fountains in Europe. You will also not be presented with a glass
of water with your menu at a restaurant. Although the water is safe to drink, Europeans as a rule
do not drink tap water. They prefer bottled water, for which there is a charge. Tap water may or
may not be available at restaurants and may still carry a cost.
Those of us on tight schedules in the US have found it feasible to eat a meal at a restaurant in
20-30 minutes. In Europe, service is slower. On the other hand, waiters will not hint around that
lingering guests should vacate their tables. Neither will they be interrupting your conversation
every 5-10 minutes to check on how the meal is going. In most cases, they will not even bring
the check until it is requested. Keep in mind that European waiters are often not as dependent
on tips for their income as American waiters are.
Higher prices
In the US we enjoy the bargain of paying a dollar-fifty for an unlimited supply of soda or coffee at
a restaurant. In Europe, as well as other parts of the world, one cup of coffee or soda can cost
up to $4.00 or more, depending on the restaurant or café. Keep in mind that due to taxes, coffee
is more expensive in Europe, the rent the owner is paying for the location of the café is usually
very expensive, and guests are often paying for the privilege of enjoying the table at that quaint
outdoor café. Remember that the table is yours for as long as you care to enjoy it.
Meal times
Breakfast times on tour will vary depending on the day’s activities, but mostly will be around
8:00 AM. Lunch stops are made anytime between 12:30 PM and 2:00 PM, but will mostly stick
to the French custom of eating closer to 2 PM. Dinner in France is generally not served before
9:00 PM.
Stores and Banks
Many banks will close for the day at 2 PM. Many stores will close for a midday break at 2 PM
before reopening later in the afternoon, usually around 5 or 6. Many stores and services are
closed on Mondays.
Public displays of affection are common between couples, as well as friends. For example, it is
common for two girls to hold hands with each other as they walk down the street. This is nothing
more than a sign of friendship. Friends can often be seen greeting each other with a handshake
and a kiss (or two) on the cheek. In the family stay, your host mother and likely the rest of the
family, too, will probably greet you with kisses on both cheeks. They often hold each other by
the shoulders as they faire la bise. This may be as close to a hug as they are comfortable.
Be prepared for questions about politics in the United States. It is very common to be asked
your personal opinion on a variety of political issues. It is acceptable to say that you are not
interested in talking about it, if it makes you uncomfortable. Many Europeans enjoy political
discussions and are simply curious to hear a native’s opinion. In the end, they are able to
separate the politics and policies of your native country from you, the individual citizen.
“Speaking emotionally”
Many Americans are confused by the tone that French may use in conversation. What
Americans may consider an angry tone of voice is not what is intended by the person speaking.
French tend to be more emotional when speaking, which can cause some confusion. What may
be just friendly debate or discussion is not actually as intense as it may sound to you!
Félicitations! You have chosen to participate in what for many of you will be a once-in-alifetime experience: a family stay in another country. The family stay is the part of the
program that causes most students to be a little nervous. I hope that the information
provided here will help to relieve some of the anxiety that you may be feeling when you think
about the family stay.
While anyone can visit France, a family stay experience is available only to a select few. It’s
an opportunity to live the culture of another country rather to simply view it through the eyes
of a tourist. Congratulations on having the courage to be one of the select few!
There are several important things to always keep in mind as you read this information:
 90% of the success of the family stay depends on YOU! Students who are wellprepared, who have done their “homework” (i.e. learned about France, studied the
following pages, learned the vocabulary, and practiced some dialogues), and who
most importantly, jump in and give 100% of themselves from the moment they first
meet their host family until they say goodbye to them, are the students who have the
most successful experience.
 Family is what is important here. You are being welcomed as a member of a family.
We cannot guarantee same sex nor age matches. Family stays matched this way are
not always successful. The best matches are those based on interests and
personalities. This is why you are required to fill out a questionnaire and write a letter
introducing yourself to your host family. Chances are there may not be a teenager in
your host family. Although every attempt is made to find families with students your
age, French teens are required to take some very important tests in June which
require a serious time commitment from them.
Maybe the best advice comes from past travelers in response to the question: “What advice
would you give your best friend if s/he were going on the same program next year?”
 “To learn all the French that s/he can”
 “Go without any expectations and with the awareness that you have to leave America
behind for a while. Have an open attitude toward a different culture”
 “Relax, don’t be scared. Everyone was great and, if you make an effort, the people are
 Be flexible and try to adapt to a different culture, a different way of living”
Bon Courage! I hope that the information provided here will help to better prepare you for this
unique and enriching experience!
FAMILY is the key word. This experience offers an incredible opportunity to become a
member of another family, in a different culture, and whatever the makeup of that family
might be. Opening their homes to a student means these families are indeed eager for this
experience. Families are excited about this opportunity; they want to host.
All host families tend to react positively to an interested, open student. Experienced host
families emphasize that hosting success really depends on the whole family. There are times
when the hosting student is busy with obligations or other friends so the foreign guest ends
up spending time with younger siblings or a host parent. Younger siblings are often more
intrigued by the guests and more patient with weak language skills. They love being involved
with someone older, and will enjoy doing something simple as playing games or going
shopping. It is important to remember that you can learn from people of all ages!
Host families will be diverse. They will come from a variety of socio-economic and ethnic
backgrounds, some may be more active than others, etc. It is essential to remember that
each family is unique. Resist the temptation to compare your host family with others. Your
experience will be unique and unlike anyone else’s—enjoy that fact! Keep in mind the
families in the US and even Kalispell are also very diverse. One family is not better or worse
than another—they are simply different.
Be prepared to see students your age smoking cigarettes. It is very common in all of Europe
and does not carry the same social meanings that it does in the U.S. Students may also be
seen rolling their own cigarettes to save money, so be careful not to confuse this with
marijuana. If you do happen to come across marijuana (as it is also more common than in
the U.S.), politely refuse. If the situations are too frequent or the pressure is too much,
contact Mme Allen right away. And if you run into hard drugs, call me immediately!
Remember to call me, and not your parents. I can change your situation, your parents are
across an ocean and will not be able to help you.
You may want to try some activities with your family that require little language skills, to give
you a chance to adjust during the first days of your stay. Games or puzzles work well, and
UNO or other simple card games have been suggested also. Your personal scrapbook page
is also a good icebreaker and should be a good way to ease into using your French!
You will receive my contact information as to where I will be staying during the family stay. I
will also tell you what times of day I will be certain to be at the house for your phone calls if
Give yourself a couple of days to adjust to the family stay. Then, if you feel still
uncomfortable, call me and we can meet to discuss the situation. You can use a pay phone
from the street or a café, or if you need to use the house phone and do not want to cause
alarm in the family, the password will be: <<J’AIMERAIS PRENDRE UN COCA AVEC
If you call me and say this or leave me a message with this password, I will know that there
is a problem and will help you right away. Do not call your parents in the US. This will only
make any homesickness worse. In many cases, the problem is simply cultural or linguistic in
nature and can be easily cleared up. We want you to have a successful family stay. Help us
by telling us when there is a problem. If there is reason to move you to another family, it will
be done very discreetly so that no one will be hurt. These situations are very rare, but it is
important that you call someone if you feel uncomfortable.
Uncomfortableness could be as simple as a misunderstanding of the language or a cultural
difference. Don’t wait until after the stay to talk to me about it; it will be too late to help you
then. If you feel uncomfortable, call me and we can work it out.
Remember that it is very important that your parents, relatives and friends from home do
NOT call during the family stay. You need to focus all of your energy on speaking French
and making your stay a success. Calls from home can cause you to feel homesick even if
you didn’t feel that way before. And again, if you have any concerns, call me first rather than
calling or e-mailing home.
Make sure to write your family a thank-you note after the stay!
Here is some more valuable information you might find useful as you prepare for your stay
with a French family.
You will meet many French people during your homestay. When you meet someone for the first
time, it is appropriate to say <<Enchantée>> and shake hands. If someone says one of those
expressions to you, an appropriate response is “Le plaisir est le mien” or “De même”.
It is also common when meeting a female to give one kiss on each cheek. This is very
normal, since in France there is much more physical contact than in the U.S. The idea of
personal space is much closer than in the U.S., so be prepared to have your personal
“bubble” shrink a bit while in France.
When you enter the house (or a store, restaurant, etc), say “Bonjour”. This is considered
common courtesy in France. But when you are walking down the street, do not say “Bonjour” or
“Salut” or greet every person you see. This is especially true if you are a female. It is also a
good idea to not look strangers directly in the eye as you walk along. If a man gives you a
catcall or flirtatious remark, just do as French women do and ignore it. If someone insists or
approaches you too closely, you can say “Laisse-moi tranquille”.
Make sure to say “Bonne nuit” to each member of the family before going to bed at night.
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes
to his head.
If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."
~ Nelson Mandela
The family stay is the most important part of this program. You will always be able to visit
museums, monuments, and historic sites. You will not always have the opportunity to be invited
into a French home and live like the French. Your age and the desire of French families to
create friendships and language ties for their own children contribute greatly to our ability to find
families to host you. Host families are not paid; they host because they want to.
Apprehension about the family stay is normal. Your host family is also apprehensive, worrying
that you might not like their home, their food, that you will be bored while in their home. Once
students meet their families, the apprehension quickly disappears as the warmth of the
hospitality becomes evident.
The success of your family stay depends primarily on YOU! It depends on your openness, your
expressions of appreciation, your interest in the family, and what goes on around you. TALK!
Even mini-phrases will do. No one will care about incorrect grammar. Your family will help you
communicate. SMILE! Express your thanks and enthusiasm if your family takes you somewhere,
for special foods they serve you, etc. Try a little, even if you don’t like it. Help around the
house—setting and clearing the table, doing the dishes, etc. Keep your room tidy—bed made,
clothes picked up. Do not expect the family to be your personal tour guide; that is not the intent
of the family stay. This is not vacation time for the families. French students may spend a lot of
time sitting in cafés and talking. Be prepared to listen, to ask questions, to participate whenever
you can. Go on walks, observe, cook, watch TV, and make vocabulary notes! Expect some
“down time”; you will not be going somewhere or doing something every minute of your stay. Be
prepared to entertain yourself. There is no reason, other than a lack of effort on your part, for
this experience to be boring. Basically, be the type of teenager you would enjoy having visit you
from France.
Just as your family is different from the families of your friends, host families will be different.
Some may live in a house, many will live in apartments. Some will live in the country, others in
the city. Most will have teenagers, a few may not. Girls may be hosted by boys; boys may be
hosted by girls. As we are traveling in June, it is important to remember that you may be hosted
by a younger student, since 16 to 18 year olds are taking very important exams and may be
unable to host. There will be active families who take their student everywhere; others may
simply follow their daily routine. The common denominator is the desire to host. It is easy, once
back with American friends, to compare families. DON’T! Rather, try to regard your own
experience as unique and special. Do not post negative comments on facebook or in any other
public spot either during or after your stay. This would do more harm than good and may be just
a reaction to a misunderstanding. Remember, things are simply different, not better or worse
than what you are used to.
As in America, be careful about asking people their incomes, the cost of their
possessions, or their ages. In fact, wait until you’re asked (about family, etc.) before
asking about theirs.
Using “merci” and “de rien” is essential. It is expected at all times.
Eye contact is essential in conversation in France. You must look the speaker in the eye
and observe their body language. You may notice that they have a smaller personal
space than what you are used to in the US. Backing away is considered rude. Listen and
nod you head or add little comments to show that you are interested and are listening.
Use words like “oui”, “Je vois”, or “Je comprends”.
Breakfast is the only meal where butter may be served with the bread. At meals, put your
bread on the table next to your plate. Break it with your fingers, not with a knife. Breakfast
is usually coffee, hot chocolate or juice, and some bread.
Wine usually accompanies meals. Let your host family know that you can’t have any so
they won’t be insulted when you leave their expensive wine untouched.
It is considered an insult to the cook to add additional seasoning to home-cooked meals.
Watch your host family to see what they do.
Only take what you can eat; it’s insulting to leave food on your plate. You can turn down a
second helping without offending the hostess.
Keep both of your hands (not your elbows!) on the table. Fork in the left hand, knife in the
right. You are expected to use the same knife and fork for every course.
If you have fruit for dessert, there may be a water bowl on the table for you to rinse the
fruit in. Peel it and cut it before eating it.
Lunch is eaten from 2-4 pm, dinner is often eaten no earlier than 9pm.
There is no such thing as a free refill at restaurants in France. You pay for each one.
Restaurants typically serve only bottled water, and you pay for each bottle you order. If
you want tap water, ask for “l’eau du robinet”, although do not be surprised if they will
only serve you bottled water.
There is very little snacking in France. Be prepared for sit-down meals.
Be careful with the volume of your voice. Americans have a reputation for being too loud;
this will not endear you to the French. Elementary teachers call this “using your indoor
Don’t chew gum in public. If you do, be sure to do so with your mouth closed (and no
When using public restrooms, look for signs marked “toilettes”, or “WC”. “Hommes” are
men, “Femmes” or “Les Dames” are women.
French dress (even casual dress) is more formal than in the US.
Always ask before using the TV, phone, computer, radio, etc. Use your phone card if you
are calling the US from your host family’s phone. Phone calls are very expensive.
No matter how short your stay, always offer to do the dishes or help prepare the meal;
flowers make a great gift to your host if you are out on a walk and see a place to buy
Suggested gifts to take with you for your host family: regional food products
(Huckleberries are unique to our area and might be a good idea), CD’s, t-shirts, baseball
caps, games, picture books, etc. Don’t forget to take a thank-you card!
Their Father’s Day in France is the third Sunday in June. It would be a kind gesture to
purchase an extra card before you leave to give to your Host Dad. As well, it might be
nice to send your Dad a French Father’s Day card while you are there.
Electric water heaters are common and electricity is expensive. Make your showers
When exiting the bathroom, leave the door closed.
When at your host family’s home, it is not appropriate to wear your regular shoes around
the house or to have just socks or bare feet. You need to wear some sort of slipper or
sandal. Never put your feet on the furniture or casually take snacks without an invitation.
They always ask before opening the refrigerator or cupboard to get even a snack.
If you go out, always let the parents know where you are going and when you plan to be
back. If by chance you run into an American friend, be sure to introduce your French
“brother/sister” . Avoid speaking English during this period. Take advantage of this short
time to immerse yourself in French life.
Take every opportunity that you are presented and learn from it.
If a SERIOUS EMERGENCY arises (physical/verbal abuse…homesickness is NOT an
emergency), you need to contact your leader at the contact number.
When you meet your French family, perhaps you will be a little nervous. Don’t worry—that’s
normal. What can you do to make the best out of your time with a French family?
Firstly, make sure to write to them before leaving! This way, you won’t be starting from scratch
when you meet them in person. As soon as you find out who your family is, write a letter
introducing yourself and tell them how excited you are to be staying with them and to visit their
country. If you are given an email address, use it—it is an even faster way to communicate.
Also, take a few small gifts with you for each family member. Try to pick something American, or
something that is typical of your hometown. Many French enjoy baseball caps or t-shirts with
printing in English. Another good idea is a small book with pictures of Kalispell and/or Montana
in general.
You will also need to create a small scrapbook (2-10 pages) of pictures to share with your host
family. Include pictures of your family, friends, school, favorite places to hang out, your house,
your town. This way you will have something to show your family to introduce yourself and to
show them, in case you forget your French!
It is very important to be courteous when you are with your family. Don’t put your feet up on the
furniture and observe if others take off their shoes inside the house. If your shoes are dirty, take
them off or try to clean them before going in the house. Many French remove their shoes when
they enter the house, and wear slippers around the house.
In most French homes, it is preferred that the bathroom door stay closed. The kitchen door will
most likely be shut too, to keep odors from going throughout the house. It is also polite to ask
before turning on the television, as well as before getting anything to eat out of the fridge/kitchen.
During meals, wait for the mother to serve everybody before eating. You will most likely be given
a full plate. If you cannot eat it all, politely explain that would prefer smaller portions. Keep both
hands above the table at all times; it is seen as bad manners to place your hands under the
table during a meal. If you do not know how to eat something, ask the family—they will be happy
to show you.
Chances are you will be served something that you do not like. Try some of it anyway, and if
you still don’t like it, don’t make faces or say anything rude—simply don’t eat it and explain that
you don’t care for that food in general. Think of the feelings of the person who worked hard to
prepare it for you. Find something that you did like about the meal and be sure to compliment
the person cooking for it.
French people see meals as something to be enjoyed and not hurried through. Try to eat slowly
and enjoy the time spent with the family at the table. Listen to the conversation, even if you are
unable to say much.
Make sure to say “merci” after the meal and mention that you like the food. Offer to help clear
the table after the meal. In more traditional families, men are not expected to help in the kitchen.
Pay attention during the first days to see what your family is like.
During your stay, you may offer to prepare a typical American food for your family. For example,
you could take along with you some jell-o or chocolate chip cookie mix to make a simple dessert.
It is also easy to prepare sloppy joes or tacos by taking flavoring/seasoning packets along with
you. Remember that Mexican food is very different from French food. Don’t be surprised if they
offer suggestions for your recipe! If you need exact measurements for your recipe, you will have
to take along measuring cups/spoons, since measurements in France are different from those in
the U.S.
Don’t always stay in your room! You can do that at home in the U.S.! Remember to say “Bonne
nuit” to everybody at bedtime.
Above all, remember that you are a guest. Keep your room clean and make your bed every day.
It is the least you can do to show that you are well-mannered.
When it is time to leave your family, you might be sad. That is natural. But once you have left,
don’t forget about your family. It is extremely important that you write them a letter to thank them
after you leave. Remember that you not only represent yourself and your family, but also the
United States and you want your French family to have a good impression of Americans. To the
French, you have become an integral part of their family. The French are not the most open
people, so when they make a friend, that friend is for life. They expect that you will
communicate with them throughout the coming years. What an opportunity to keep a foreign
One last thing: Have fun!!
Imaginez une journée typique pendant votre séjour en famille. Vous réveillez-vous à sept ou huit
heures lorsque vous entendez un réveil ou votre mère française vient de se réveiller et prépare
le petit déjeuner.
Un petit déjeuner typique comprend une boisson (le jus, le café, le chocolat) et un peu de pain
(pain grillé). Ne vous inquiétez pas parce que vous pensez que c’est un peu mais, vers 11H00
vous allez manger un peu plus.
Après le petit-déjeuner, vous allez à la salle de bains pour vous préparer pour la journée. De
nombreux français ne se baignent pas tous les jours comme les américains. Vous pouvez vous
laver dans l'évier avec une serviette avec de l'eau savonneuse. N'oubliez pas que vous
partagez la salle de bains avec tous les membres de la famille.
Vous vous trouverez que les Français ont moins de vêtements que nous. C'est parce que les
vêtements en France sont plus cher. Ils préfèrent avoir moins de vêtements, mais les vêtements
sont normalement de très bonne qualité. C'est une différence culturelle entre nous. L'important,
ce n'est pas de critiquer les différences mais d’observer et de les accepter.
N'oubliez pas de faire le lit et de ranger votre chambre. Il n'est pas poli de le garder en
désordre, même si la famille a une personne qui nettoie la maison.
Vous aurez peut-être la chance d'aller à l'école. Dans ce cas, on doit payer le transport en bus
si vous ne marchez pas. L'école n'offre pas de transport comme aux États-Unis. L'occasion de
visiter une école est incroyable. Ne la manquez pas!
Si vous allez à l'école, il est possible que les professeurs vous demandent d’expliquer d’où vous
venez ou de vous présenter à la classe. Dans la classe d’anglais le professeur pourrait
demander à vous d’expliquer quelque chose en anglais. Vous pouvez être l'expert de la journée
N'oubliez pas que vous êtes en France pour parler français. Ne manquez pas l'occasion
d'apprendre le français, et vous ne restez pas toujours avec les américains. Vous pouvez le
faire des États-Unis gratuitement !
A 11h00 est le déjeuner et vous pouvez acheter quelque chose dans la cafétéria de l'école. Un
repas typique serait peut-être un morceau d'omelette. Cela vous coutera plus ou moins de 2
euro, mais cela dépend de l'école. Vous pouvez demander vos frères français combien vous
devez payer. Parfois les élèves apportent leur déjeuner emballées dans l'aluminium.
Entre 13h30 et 15 h 00 est le temps de manger. La famille se rend à la maison et de nombreux
magasins sont fermés. C'est la tradition en France, mais il change progressivement parce que
plus de monde étudie ou travaille loin de chez eux et ils n’ont pas le temps d'aller chez eux et
de rentrer au travail.
Dans la maison, tes frères peut avoir les tâches ou les devoirs à faire. Vous pouvez aider ou
vous reposer.
Dans l'après-midi, c’est le temps de faire des achats aux ateliers, regarder un film, ou rester
avec des amis, vous pouvez aller au parc pour un pique-nique. En France la famille se
réunissent pour dîner vers 10 pm, alors vous aurez beaucoup de temps de voir la ville, écrire
dans votre journal, prendre les photos, etc..
Le dîner en France n'est pas le repas principal comme aux États-Unis. C'est à la legère. Un
repas typique : une salade, de la viande avec des oeufs ou des frites(pommes de terres), le
fromage, du pain et des fruits.
Après le dîner, c'est l'heure du coucher. Dites bonne nuit à la famille et allez au lit !
Et le matin ? Si vous ne voulez pas aller à l'école, vous pourriez passer la journée avec la mère
(si elle ne travaille pas). Si vous avez le temps, écrivez dans votre journal ou envoyez les cartes
postal. Dans l’après-midi vous pourriez marcher autour du quartier. Si les deux parents
travaillent à l'extérieur de la maison, leur demander si vous pouvez les accompagner au travail
pour voir comment c’est. Peut-être vous pouvez passer la journée chez les grands-parents
aussi. Vous devriez savoir comment s'amuser.
Et le plus important c’est que vous vous souvenez que votre temps en France est limité, alors,
utilisez ce temps d’apprendre le plus possible. Les possibilités sont infinies !
Les pourboires. Cela dépend de l'endroit. Au tabacs, on ne laisse pas un pourboire. Il
serait acceptable dans un restaurant sur 50 cents. Dans un endroit plus élégant, un
Toilettes publiques. C'est une bonne idée de prendre un paquet de Kleenex avec
vous. Les toilettes manquent parfois de papier de toilette.
Le Métro. Vous devez toujours garder à l'esprit qu'il y a des voleurs dans le métro.
Soyez très prudent avec votre sac ou votre portefeuille. Les voleurs peuvent être les
enfants ou deux ou trois personnes travaillant ensemble. Vous allez être dans les
grandes villes et il faut être vigilant.
Les églises. Certains des plus célèbres monuments de la France sont des églises. Il
est important de les respecter. Enlevez les chapeaux, ne parlez pas très forte et ne
prenez pas de photos au cours de la masse.
Personnes étrange ou que vous ne connaissez pas. Il est important de ne pas
mentionner que vous êtes une étrangère. Si vous êtes une fille : ne regardez
personne dans les yeux. Cela peut être interprété comme une invitation sexuelle.
C’est pourquoi il ne faut jamais être tout seul. Les grandes villes ne sont pas comme
au Montana. N'ayez pas peur, mais faites beaucoup d'attention.
In the first few hours of your family stay, you may feel a little awkward and not know what to say.
Included here are some ideas and topics for conversation. Also in this list are topics that you
may be asked about by your host family. It is a good idea to think about what you would say and
your opinions on these topics.
First of all, you will make a scrapbook page or pages with photos of your family, friends and
hometown. This is a great way to break the ice and start talking to your family about a subject
you are an expert on: You!!
Pictures to include:
1. exterior shot of your house
2. exterior shot of your house (backyard, garden, patio, etc)
3. interior shot of house (kitchen)
4. interior shot of house (living room)
5. interior shot of house (your bedroom)
6. interior shot of house (your bedroom or other room)
7. family pets
8. entire immediately family (the people you live with)
9. extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc)
10. your family car, especially a van, truck or SUV
11. your own car, if you have one
12. exterior shot of high school
13. shot of gym
14. shot of football field, auditorium, some place associated with activities you like, etc
15. interior of French classroom or other classroom at school
16. computer lab at school
17. good school friends
18. best friend
19. City Hall
20. Holiday Inn Express or another big hotel in town
21. snow drifts (they will be amazed at how much snow we get)
22. Shots of deer or any other wildlife you may come across
23. Flathead Lake
24. The mountains—the open space we have here
25. personal
26. personal
27. personal
You can come up with other ideas too. These are just suggestions for ways to make your
scrapbook pages interesting and give you something to talk about with your family.
Conversation topics (some of these will be covered in your scrapbook page):
My family
my future plans
My house
My job
sports I like
My pets
My town/city
my family life
My friends
my school life
My high school
holidays I like
Meals at my house
people I admire
Music I like
my favorite places
My car/bike
how I spend my pocket money
These topics are a little more complicated and may not be what you usually discuss with your
friends, but French are very likely to be curious about them and want to discuss them with you.
You may want to have something in mind for your answers.
American films
Modern problems in America
American politics
Dating in America
American TV
Arts in America
Youth in America: ambitions, problems, trends
Books and Magazines you enjoy
Pour connaître un mot
Vous ne pouvez pas entendre.
Vous ne comprenez pas
Qu’est-ce que cela veut dire ?
Comment ?
Je ne comprends pas
Vous entrez dans un magasin.
Vous voulez quelque chose
Je voudrais . . . s’il vous plaît.
On vous donne quelque chose
Merci beaucoup.
Quelqu’un vous dit <<merci>>
De rien/ Il n’y a pas de quoi
Vous voulez aider quelqu’un
Je peux vous aider à . . .
Vous ne voulez pas quelque chose
Non, merci
Vous ne voulez pas de la nourriture
Non merci. Ça va bien avec ceci
Vous voulez payer
C’est combien ?
Vous voulez payer dans un restaurant
Le reçu, s’il vous plaît
Une personne mange
Quelqu’un vous dit « Bon Appetit”
Bon appetit!
Merci !
Quelqu’un éternue
à tes/vos souhaits!
Vous répondez au téléphone
âllo ?
Vous touchez quelqu’un par accident
Il n'est pas difficile de demander votre chemin. Mais il peut parfois être difficile de les
comprendre. Ensuite, vous devez demander à vous parler plus lentement ou de répétér. («
Parlez lentement, s’il vous plaît » ou « Comment? »).
Commence toujours avec « Désolé » ou «S’il vous plaît ». Il est préférable de demander à un
agent de police et si vous êtes une femme, c’est mieux de parler avec une autre femme, si c’est
People who know the neighborhood may give you directions in terms of landmarks, so be
prepared for some descriptions. As in any part of the world, some people give directions better
than others, so if you are not happy with the first information you get, you can always ask
someone else.
Vocabulaire Utile
S’il vous plaît
Je cherche . . .
Où est/sont …?
Pourriez vous me dire . . . ?
Je n’ai pas compris
Pourriez vous le répéter?
Merci quand-même
pardon/ excuse me
please/ excuse me
I’m looking for…
Where is/are…?
Could you tell me…?
I didn’t understand
Could you repeat that?
Thanks anyway
La Répétition
1. Practice approaching people for directions, using “Excusez-moi, monsieur/madame”.
2. Practice asking directions to the following locations using the vocabulary from above
a. La Tour Eiffel
b. Les renseignements
c. Une banque
d. Notre Dame
NOTE: “Répétez s’il vous plaît” is a phrase that you will want to say because you’ve heard it six
million times in French class, when your teacher or the tape program wants you to repeat
something. However, real-life French people do not use that expression when they ask people
to repeat something. Instead learn to say, “Comment?” or use the wonderfully polite expression,
“Pourriez-vous épéter plus lentement, s’il vous plait?”
Vocabulaire de compréhension
Je ne suis pas d’ici
Vous allez toute droite
C’est dans le coin
Au coin de la rue
À la fin de la rue
En face de
À gauche (de)
À droit (de)
Près de
À coté de
Au feu rouge
“tournez à droit…
“Continuez jusqu’à…”
I’m not from here
keep going straight ahead
It’s on the corner (nearby)
around the corner
at the end of the street
opposite/across from
to the left (of)
to the right (of)
next to
at the stoplight
to turn
turn to the right . . .
cross . . .
follow, continue
Keep going up to…
La Répétition
1. With a partner, practice understanding directions using the vocabulary above as well as
other words and phrases you already know
a. Give directions to your grandma’s (cousin’s, friend’s) house from school
b. Using a map of Paris, direct each other to a “secret monument”. Your partner will
let you know if you arrive at the right place.
c. Hide an object somewhere in your school (or pretend to), then give directions to
your partner on how to find it.
2. Recognizing the names of landmarks also helps, such as: la rue, l’avenue, la place, le
pont, etc. Can you think of any more vocabulary like this? Try to stump your partner, in
French or English.
Be sure to review your numbers, since you will need to be able to understand and to say your
room number. In addition, review some ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc) to say what
floor you are staying on. Remember that the ground floor in France is always “le rez-dechaussée” (marked with “RC” in the elevator). The next floor, which we would call the second
floor, is called “premier étage” by the French.
Vocabulaire utile
la clé
le rez-de-chaussée
les escaliers
la reception/la conciergerie
la serveuse
les invites
le hall
La salle à manger
le salon
the key
floor (story)
ground floor
the stairs
the elevator
the front desk/reception
the housekeeper
the guests
the lobby
the dining room
large meeting room
En France, il faut toujours laisser la clé à la réception avant de partir. De cette façon, il ne sera
pas perdu. Quand vous quittez votre chambre, la dernière fois, vérifiez que vous n’avez laissé
quoi que ce soit. Il est très difficile de récupérer les choses perdues !
Il est également important de se rappeler que nous ne sommes pas les seuls clients de l'hôtel.
Vous ne devez pas donc faire trop de bruit, ne pas bloquer les portes, les escaliers et les
ascenseur. Il est important d'utiliser les escaliers autant que possible. Parfois les hôtels ne
prendront des groupes de jeunes. Il est de votre responsabilité de montrer que les jeunes
américains sont aimables et polis.
Un dialogue:
Bonjour mademoiselleJe peux vous aider?
Avezvous une chemise à manches longues ?
Non, mademoiselle. On ne les vend pas.
Vous voulez un autre type ?
Oui. Je cherche une chemise pour une amie.
Elle est de quelle taille ?
Je ne sais pas. Elle est comme moi.
Eh bien, disons un 38. (elle montre plusieurs chemises)
Oh, je l’aime. Je peux l’essayer ?
Oui, bien sûr. Les vestiares sont par là.
Heather prend la chemise et va aux vestiaries.
Comment ça va ? Ça marche ?
Très bien, mais est-ce que vous l’avez en rouge?
Je vais aller chercher. (elle retourne). Voici, mademoiselle.
Oui, c’est parfait. Je le prendrai.
Très bien.
Merci beaucoup !
NOTE: Heather wears a size 38! Does she need some Slim-Fast? Mais non! Check the
shopping information in this folder for a reminder of European sizes (38 is a size 10/11). Be
careful when buying European clothing, as it runs narrower than American sizes. Be sure to try
on pants before buying.
Vocabulaire Utile
Je voudrais…
Je cherche …
Je regarde
Puis-je l’eassayer?
Où sont les vestiaires?
Non, je ne l’aime pas.
C’est combien?
Oh, c’est trop cher.
I would like
I am looking for…
I’m just looking
Do you have…?
May I try this on?
Where are the dressing rooms?
No, I don’t like it.
How much is it?
Oh, it’s too expensive
I’ll take it. (fem)
I’ll take it. (masc)
Je la prendrai
Je le prendrai.
La Répétition
1. Practice refusing or accepting the following items, using “Je voudrais prendre”
a. Un manteau
b. un chemisier
c. une jupe
2. Practice saying that you’re looking for certain items.
a. Une cravat
b. un pantaloon noir
c. les chaussettes
Plus de vocabulaire
Je peux vous aider?
May I help you?
On vous aide?
Are you being helped?
Vous portez de quelle taille?
What size do you wear?
Vous faites quelle pointure?
What is your shoe size?
Ça vous va très bien!
That looks great on you!
C’est par ici.
Over here, this way
La caisse est par là
The checkout is over there
Les vestiaires sont par là
The dressing rooms are over here
Le solde
Un bon marché
Ma pointure est (número).
C’est combien?
the sale
a bargain
My shoe size is (number).
to try on
What is the price?
EUR 32
5-5 ½
6 ½ -7
14 ½ 15
15 ½ 16
38 39
16 ½
6 ½ -7
9-9 ½
NOTE: Knowing your size in the USA before you go will help. Guys, don’t assume that your shirt
size is S-M-L-XL—those sizes may not apply in Europe.
If you’d like to buy gifts of clothing for friends or family, jot down their size before you go. Be
aware that Americans tend to be broader in the chest, hips, and feet than people from other
countries, and taller as well. So the above charts are just general guidelines. To be really sure,
you need to try on the clothing you purchase for yourself! Some easy-to-fit or sizeless gifts
would include ties, scarves, necklaces, or earrings.
Finally, be aware that clothing in France is more expensive than it is in the U.S. You may be
shocked at the price of jeans or a simple shirt. It is probably not a good idea to purchase
something that you could just as easily find back home for half the price. For clothes that are
more reasonably priced, try stores like Auchan, Monoprix, Carrefour, C&A, which usually have
fashionable clothes at lower prices than other stores. Also, look for “les soldes”, which are sales.
Vocabulaire Utile
un timbre
un aerogramme
par avion
de l'expéditeur
ça pèse . . .
une boîte
un paquet
les frais
un carnet de timbres
a stamp
an air letter (one self-folding pre-stamped sheet)
to send
air mail
the address
the sender
it weighs . . .
a box
a package
the postage
a book of stamps
Practice your numbers! You will need them to say how many stamps you want, to understand
how many you need to put on your letter, and to understand how much to pay. Stamps may also
be purchased at les tabacs (tobacco shops).
Dans les restaurants et cafés en France, vous pouvez voir les plats sur les vitres avant d'entrer
dans le restaurant. Ainsi, il n'ya pas de surprises. C'est une bonne idée de regarder la nourriture
et les prix avant d'entrer.
Si vous voulez juste boire un verre ou un café, allez dans un café ou un tabac. Ces lieux ont des
prix différents que dans l'endroit où vous mangez. Par exemple, si vous mangez à l'extérieur
d'une table, vous paierez plus cher que si vous êtes assis à l'intérieur.
Si vous allez dans un restaurant c’est presque toujours moins cher de commander le menu du
jour. Il s'agit souvent d'une salade, un plat, un dessert, du pain et une boisson. Si vous
commandez tout séparément, c’est plus cher. De nombreux restaurants affichent le menu du
déjeuner dehors, et vous pouvez voir ce qu'ils ont avant d'entrer.
Lorsque vous êtes prêt à commander, appelez le garçon en disant "s’il vous plaît!" ou son
"pssst" pour le garçon, en le regardant et soulevé le premier doigt. En France, les garçons
préfèrent ne pas déranger les clients en venant à la table si nécessaire.
En France, le pourboire est inclus dans le reçu. Si le service est particulièrement bon, vous
laissez un peu plus.
Une autre chose que vous devez savoir est que si vous vous asseyez à l'extérieur, vous paierez
lorsque vous procurez la nourriture. Un café en plein air n'est pas seulement pour manger mais
aussi pour le plaisir. On peut passer des heures à lire et à regarder les gens passer. Si vous
souhaitez utiliser la salle de bains, vous devez acheter quelque chose d'abord.
Si vous ne reconnaissez pas tout, il suffit de demander, «Qu'est-ce que c'est?".
Vocabulaire utile
la carte
Je voudrais…
ne pas fumer
Quel sort de … avez-vous?
Les desserts
Les savurs
Les sandwichs
De l’eau minérale
De l’eau
I would like…
to smoke
no smoking
What kind of ….do you have?
carbonated water
regular water
Pour comprendre
Volez-vous commander?
Would you like to order?
Etes-vous prêt?
La cuisine est fermé
The kitchen is closed
Nous n’avons plus de…
We’re out of…
Quelque chose à boire?
Something to drink?
Avec ceci?
Anything else?
There are many, many words for food that you will encounter. If you are allergic to something, it
is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you know the word for that in French. It is a good idea to
know the French for your favorite foods, as well as the foods you will absolutely not eat.
For a typical French meal, you will normally find a small loaf of bread or roll set directly on the
table beside each plate. Then you have several courses, starting with “hors-d'œuvre”
(appetizers), maybe a soup, or a “premier plat” (first dish). This is followed by the “l’entrée”
(main course), which may or may not have a side of potatoes or some other vegetable. Then
you may possibly have two desserts; first fruit, followed by something sweet such as flan, cake,
or ice cream. If you drink coffee, you have it at the end of the meal, not during.
For many French families and friends, the most important part of the meal is the conversation
after the meal, where everyone enjoys sitting around the table talking.
Finally, if in doubt, ask! “Comment est-que on prépare ça?” Or point to what you want. Don’t
pass up a delicious looking pastry on the dessert cart just because you don’t know what it is or
how to say it in French. Just point and say “Je voudrais un de ça.”
Here is a short list of some common foods in France:
Une salade niçoise
Un croque monsieur
Une croque madame
Les moules
Les champignons
Les crèpes
Les gallettes
Le jambon
Le fromage
Le gruyere
Le comté
Le brie
Le camembert
Le chèvre
Le roquefort
La moutarde
Le steak frites
Le cassoulet
Les endives
La quiche
Les lardons
Les escargots
Coq au vin
Le spaghetti bolognaise
Les Autres:
La Répétition
varied ingredients, but always black olives, tuna
hot ham & cheese sandwich covered in cheesy sauce
same as above but with a fried egg on top (over easy)
thin, flat pancake filled with fruit or chocolate
thin, flat pancake filled with meats and cheeses
cheese (only a few are listed here)
most common; like swiss
also called gruyère
soft, mild cheese
soft, little stronger
goat cheese
sheep milk blue cheese
especially Dijon is VERY strong—use sparingly
steak & french fries
Duck with different sausages served with white beans
leaf vegetable in salads or with ham & cheese melted inside
basically an egg, bacon & cheese pie
little pieces of bacon often fried up
snails—often cooked in a butter-herb sauce
chicken braised in red wine, lardons and mushrooms
spaghetti with red meat sauce
1. Practice ordering the following foods, using “J’aimerais . . . ”
a. une pizza
b. un sandwich c. une salade d. un crèpe
2. It is perfectly acceptable to order just by giving the name of the item, followed by “s’il
vous plaît” Practice ordering the items in number 1 this way.
3. Practice asking the waiter what kind of items they have.
Il est important d'essayer de communiquer avec votre famille. Ce n’est pas necessaire de parler
parfaitement ; ce n’est pas un examen et vous ne recevrez pas de notes! Mais faites de votre
mieux. Imitez les autres et communiquez!
Le lit
Faire le lit
La couverture
la taie d’oreiller
les volets
le réveil
le tapis
le miroir/la glace
le peigne
les étagères
make the bed
to turn on
alarm clock
rug, carpet
to plug in
les draps
le matelas
la lumière
le sèche-cheveux
la brosse
la poubelle
la prise
to turn off
to ring
hair dryer
to tidy up
la machine à laver washing machine
la laverie
un fer à repasser a clothes iron
to iron
accrocher les vêtements-to hang up clothes
le sèche-linge
to dry
to wash
l’eau de Javel
la planche à repasser-ironing board
le lavabo
la serviette
un gant de toilette
la douche
le shampooing
la prise
la brosse à dents
la bañera
le savon
le robinet
les toilettes
le sèche-cheveux
le papier toilette
hair dryer
to plug in
toilet paper
une balaie
le petit déjeuner
un goûter
la cuisine
le poêle
la cafetière
la marmite
le mélangeur
le congélateur
la serviette
le couteau
le verre
la chaise
to cook
a broom
to eat dinner
a snack
the kitchen
kitchen sink
coffee pot
cooking pot
À table!
Come and eat!
Venez manger
Bon appetite!
Enjoy your meal
C’est délicieux
It’s delicious
Je peux avoir…
Pass me…
J’ai toujours faim
I’m still hungry
Vous êtes un bon cuisinier.
Quelle heure est le dîner?
Je ne serai pas là pour le dîner
mettre la table
set the table
la pelle à poussière dustpan
to eat lunch
to eat
les miettes
le salon
dining room
le four
le frigo
le lave-vaisselle
la recette
la cuillère
la fourchette
la tasse
coffee cup
la table
la nappe
J’ai bien mangé
I’m full.
Je ne peux plus manger
Ça sent bon
that smells good
Serve yourselves
Je peux te servir? Shall I serve you?
Je n’aime pas . . . I don’t care for
You are a good cook.
What time is dinner?
I won’t be here for dinner
NOTE: Offer to help whenever you can (remember to observe the family’s traditions and
possible gender roles)—setting the table, peeling vegetables (peler), setting and clearing the
table, taking out the garbage, etc. You’re not expected to like all the food, but you do need to at
least try small portions. Don’t make a big deal out of it if you don’t like something. You will be
home to fast food soon enough!
E. La Santé
The most common expression used with illnesses is AVOIR
J’ai mal à la tête
J’ai mal aux dents
J’ai mal au ventre
J’ai mal à la gorge
sore throat
J’ai mal au dos
J’ai mal . . .
my … hurts
une fièvre
je suis enrhumé
I have a cold
une rhume
J'ai la diarrhée
Les allergies
Les boutons
Les ampoules
un bleu
a cold
I have diarrhea
The following are reflexive:
Se faire mal à . . .
to hurt oneself, to get hurt
Se couper
to cut oneself
Se sentir
to feel (emotions/illness)
la grippe
les ruches
les crampes
une éruption
une entorse
a rash
Je me suis fait mal à . . .
Je me suis coupée le doigt
Je me sens malade
Hopefully you won’t have to go to “l’hôpital” or “la CLINIQUE”. But if you have a minor problem,
you can probably take care of it at “la pharmacie”. Like in the US, you may only have to use a
brand name—Kleenex and Tylenol are international! However, you can find some helpful terms
here should you find yourself talking to the “pharmacien”.
le sirop contre la toux
les pansements
les serviettes hygiéniques
une ordonnance
l’ étiquette
la dosage
les lunettes
de prendre soin de
Advil, Motrin
cough syrup
mini/maxi pads
to take care of
la pilule
les tampons
un cas
le contenu
le pot
lentes de contact
a pill
a case
the contents
contact lenses
to cure
In French cities, you can almost always find an all-night pharmacy. They often take turns on a
revolving schedule. You can always find a pharmacy by the green neon lighted cross outside
the door.
The family unit is very important in France. It is common for the extended family to live nearby, if
not in the same house. Often, when one grandparent is widowed, he or she might live with your
French family. Single parent families are not as common as in the United States, but the divorce
rate in France is rising.
Even though you learned family vocabulary in French I, it won’t hurt you to review before you
go! The expressions in parentheses are slang terms or familiar terms for those family members.
la grand-mère
les grands-parents
la mère (maman)
le grand-père
mother (mom)
le père (papa)
father (dad)
les parents
la femme, l’épouse
la belle-mère
les beaux-parents
le cousin/ la cousine
le neveu
les enfants
les enfants adoptés
la fille
la soeur
une demi-soeur
la belle-soeur
le beau-fils
a cousin
children, kids
adopted children
le mari, l’époux
le beau-père
un(e) fils/fille unique
le chien
the oldest
the only child
the dog
le cadet/la cadette the youngest
le bébé
the baby
le chat
the cat
la tante
la niece
les petits enfants
Je suis adopté(e)
le fils
le frère
un demi-frère
le beau-frère
la belle-fille
I’m adopted
le/la voisin (e)
the neighbor
les amis
mon pote
my buddy
les invités
le parrain
les arrières-grands-parents
une grand-tante
great aunt
les copains
les copines
les connaissances
la marraine
un grand-oncle
great uncle
une veuve/un veuf
un père célibataire
un petit ami
se marier
une mère célibataire
une petite amie
se divorcer
single mother
to get divorced
widow, widower
single father
to get married
pals (f)
La Répétition
1. Prepare your family tree and explain it to your classmates/friends. Use sketches or
photos to represent your family members.
2. Put together the photos you plan to take with you for your family stay. Practice identifying
the people in them for your French family.
3. Write a “gossip column”. For example, “Brad Pitt va se divorcer d ‘Angelina Jolie.”
“George Clooney a une nouvelle petite amie.
4. If you like soap operas, have fun figuring out the relationships of your favorite characters.
Par exemple: “Dorian est la mère de Cassie, la veuve de Victor, la nièce de Blair, la mère
de John et la tante de William.”
There is no way you can learn every possible word or phrase that you will need before you go to
France. If that were possible, you wouldn’t have to go at all! Part of the fun is learning new
words and phrases that you can then share with your classmates. Here are a few more terms
that you may find helpful, especially during the family stay.
C’est ça!
Ça suffit.
That’s it!
That’s enough
Se manquer de
Ma famille me manque.
Ça y est?
On y va.
Is that it? Are we done?
Let’s go.
Shall we dance?
to miss someone
I miss my family.
Excusez-moi de vous déranger, mais ...
to bother, to annoy
to irritate, annoy
Pardon me for bothering you, but . . .
Ça m’est égal(e).
Permettez moi de . . .
I don’t care. Either way is fine.
May I…
Circumlocution literally means “to talk around”. It is an extremely valuable asset to
communication, since there is no way you can know the correct word for everything. It helps to
be able to describe what you want.
For example, let’s say that you can’t remember the word for “hat”. You can ask for “something to
put on my head’. You might not get a hat right away, but at least people have an idea of what
you might want.
Some useful phrases to help you with circumlocution:
Une chose/ un truc
a thing
quelque chose (pour)
une sorte/type de
a type of
comme un/e…
une sorte de..
a kind of….
something (for)
like a …
See if you can guess what the speaker would like:
1. J’ai besoin de quelque chose pour écrire, une type de crayon mais avec l’encre.
2. Je cherche une sorte de sac pour mes papiers et mes livres.
3. Il me faut quelque chose à coudre, en métal avec un trou
4. Je ne sais pas comment dire, mais c’est pour boire du lait.
5. C'est comme un tee-shirt, mais elle a des boutons
If you guessed un stylo, un sac à dos, une aiguille, un verre et une chemise, you understand
circumlocution very well.
You can also ask for words and meanings with two useful expressions:
Comment dit-on…?
How do you say…?
Qu’est-ce que cela veut dire ?
What does that mean?
Qu’est-ce que . . . veut dire ?
What does . . .mean?
Don’t be afraid to point at what you want, but take advantage of the situation to learn the correct
word and how to spell it. Ask, “Comment est-ce qu’on écrit ça?” and someone will spell it for you.
If you have a piece of paper, write down the word, but if not, try repeating the word several times
and using it in a sentence. When you do get to some paper, write down the new word so you
can remember it and teach it to your friends.
La Répétition
Brainstorm a list of 10 words you know, then use circumlocution to describe them.
One last word on vocabulary: you may learn some very inappropriate expressions when
traveling. Please be careful when using them. You may think it is cool to talk like a French sailor,
but many people could be very easily offended, especially since those expressions may have a
much stronger meaning in the other language. People may get the wrong impression: that you
are a royal jerk.
Through learning language we learn about culture.
Through learning about culture we learn tolerance for others.
Through learning tolerance for others we can hope for peace.
For more information on the places we will be visiting, I have included here a list of just a few
websites to get you started. You will all be respsonsible for researching a city or
monument/historical site/museum that will be touring, so this might be a good place to start. This
is just a short list; there are obviously many, many more websites out there with lots of valuable
City specific
Les Arromanches:
Mont St. Michel: