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American Village

About

American Village Camps are owned and managed by Nacel France, and belong to the Go&Live corporate group. The Go&Live group promotes learning through active participation, cultural exchange and linguistic immersion.

American Village camps were created for French youth in 1994. Our English-immersion camps create a positive environment where it is fun, natural & necessary to use English!

We hire North American, British, and French counselors for periods of 4 to 8 weeks between the months of February & October at a variety of locations across France.

Counselors live on camp! They create and lead activities, as well as English classes. They are responsible for the safety and well-being of the campers under their care. Each counselor is an important member of a multi-cultural counselor team in the village!

Founded
1994

Reviews

Default avatar
Holly
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great to work on a multicultural team, learn more about ESL, and have diverse experiences. Since AmVil the games, lesson ideas, dances, etc have been so useful in childcare and teaching experiences I've had since then! Overall, really loved my AmVil experience and glad it was exactly two months (I think beyond that I would have been exhausted). It was also a great was as an American to spend a longer time in France while making some money and gaining work experience! Plus most of the kids are a delight and I'll forever remember some of the kids I met through AmVil.

Long work days and hard to try not to speak any French to kids (if you already happen to know French). They will try you and see if you crack! Many camps are further from town which means usually on the weekends leaving camp. There's often a lot going on and kids to entertain which often is so fun! Yet it's shadow side is if something needs to be addressed to the team may take a few hours till the next team meeting and there can also be improv (which scared me a lil at first but then I began to enjoy it).

lake
Joanne
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated Queen Mary University with a first class degree in English Language and Linguistics. I figured completing a TEFL course wouldn't hurt - and then I had to decide how I would utilise such a qualification. American Village were actually the first company I applied to. And I am so glad I did. I've met people I cherish fondly still, and experienced things I never believed possible.

Surmising my entire experience at camp is difficult. It's a true rollercoaster of emotions, there's moments filled with uncontrollable laughter, and there's times where you just want to break down and cry because it's suddenly got too much.

But it's okay, because you're surrounded by your other counselors, and they truly make the experience worth it.

Camp life is difficult, and the days are long. You won't be finished until gone 10pm most days. You also won't get a lot of free time. Or alone time. So, if you're someone who cherishes their privacy and requires solitude, I'd suggest American Village isn't for you.

My advice to anyone considering the program would be to stock up your knowledge of cheers and dances. Bring a towel. And if you really want to get fancy, bring your own blu-tack (it will inevitably run out).

If I had to choose one memory to encompass my experience, it would probably involve the many times I've dressed up as a goblin to scare children into cleaning their rooms.

And that's pretty tame, in all honesty.

If you're an enthusiastic, creative, fun-loving person, I'd say give it a go.

Camp life is far from perfect, but it's my kind of perfect.

Default avatar
Ethan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I signed up for American Village the final week of my undergrad. I just wanted a reason to go back to France and didn't care how I did it. Up to the moment I arrived on site, I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but oh boy, it changed my life. Before campers arrive, you set up your site and get to know and work with counselors from all around the world. The bonds you form as a team in these few days create an unforgettable experience, not only for yourselves, but for the campers as well. During the session, you have counselors teaching English in the morning, activities (in English) in the afternoon and a big activity in the evening. At all points in the day, counselors are able to be who they are, and many, myself included, are able to dress in fun costumes to make learning and living in English fun for the campers.

I did this camp for 4 years in a row. I started as a counselor, having never been to a camp myself, and worked my way up to Head Language Counselor, Office Intern and even Site Director. I feel I was truly able to realize my personal potential through American Village. As a part of the AmVil team, I learned how I cope with cohabitation on little sleep, how to work as a team, as both a teammate and leader and how to turn a simple piece of cardboard into a couture outfit that is only needed for a 5-second skit. As an Intern/ Site Director, I learned how to communicate during recruitment, site set up and with the central office, in my case in English AND French.

I have met so many amazing people from around the world, many who I still talk to today and meet up with as often as possible. However, the impact we have on young campers gives an indescribable sense of pride, especially when you have them several years in a row. To see young people grow from year to year and become more confident in their own skills is powerful enough, but to realize the impact you are having on a young person's life as they are learning a language and about a culture that they may not be fully familiar with is incredible.

In conclusion, do it for the fun, do if for the campers, and most of all, do it for yourself. You will never forget the thrill of your first Congress and the tears that come while waving and chasing the bus of departing campers, whose lives will never be the same after just a few days at AmVil.

What would you improve about this program?
When I first started at AmVil, some of the sites were less desirable than others and there was a lot more preparation for counselors. However, when I went back last year, there was an incredible amount of materials available to counselors, so that we could focus more on creating an experience for the campers and not the pre-planning.

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