Aliore

Program Reviews

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Olivia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

People and Places I Will Never Forget!

Aliore allowed me to spend 6 weeks living in the South of France with an amazing host family. By the end of the six weeks, I truly felt like their fourth daughter, and was beginning to feel like a local in the city of Toulon. This experience gave me the freedom to explore on my own, but more importantly, Aliore matched me with a host family that truly cared about me and wanted to show me all the amazing things that Provence has to offer. My host family wanted a more hands-on basis to learning English, meaning we never sat down and had grammar lessons. Rather, we would talk in English at dinner, watch movies in English, ask each other questions about our languages, and much more! I can clearly see how much my host family has improved in their English (they talk to each other in English now, even when I am not in the conversation, it's so awesome to see!) and I know that my French has drastically improved. They have already invited me back to Toulon, and have even chatted with me about coming to visit the US! That same kindness was shown by our advisor at Aliore, Soizick, who we added to our family groupchat to share photos, videos, and updates. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who is looking for a volunteer based cultural exchange without feeling micromanaged at every step!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most amazing part of this experience was a three day hiking trip in the Alps with my host mom and host sister. On the last day, we took a wrong turn and ended up on an insane mountain trail with loose rocks and huge cliffs. I had never hiked anything like it before and was scared out of my mind, but my host mom was extremely calm. I knew that as long as I kept going and remained focused like her, I would be totally fine -- and we all were! That hike was the most amazing experience of my life, and I don't think it would have been the same without overcoming that fear.
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Kayla
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My host family was amazing!

When looking for a host family program, what drew me to Aliore was the locality of it. It's based out of France, so I knew that I would have an experience catered towards French culture. Soizick, the program coordinator, was super helpful every step of the way. She made me feel relaxed and confident and sent many helpful links and materials. My host family was beyond great - I bonded with them right away. They were so welcoming and hospitable and really tried to make me feel at home. Not to mention the city I was placed in, Annecy, is gorgeous. I truly believe I have made lifelong friends, and I plan to return to France to visit my host family again in the future!

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Linda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The most amazing time in France!

I highly recommend anyone who's looking for a rewarding cultural experience in France to do this program with Aliore! I was matched with a host family in the city of Montpellier. I had the best time ever being completely immersed in French culture and living like a local. All the while, helping with my host family's English and adjusting to their daily routines and lifestyle. My host family were extremely friendly, hospitable and kind-hearted that I adjusted with no problems at all. The program itself offers great flexibility as I had plenty of time to engage in cultural activities locally and explore nearby towns in the region. My French improved immensely too with self-study and constant exposure to the language and culture.

The application process was very simple and straight-forward thanks to Soizick, the program organiser. She was very patient, helpful and quick to reply to any questions I had about the program. It really took away any worries that I initially had. The program is definitely of great value and I got so much more out of it than I expected. I have many wonderful memories with my host family and many enriching cultural experiences that I'll never forget. The most important thing to remember is to be open-minded, flexible, and you get out what you put in!

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MaryElizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

BEST VACATION EVER!

NOVEMBER 6, 2017-DECEMBER 3, 2017…BEST VACATION EVER!!!
I decided that I wanted to travel to France for the month of November 2017 and spend some time in the Languedoc region. I have spent the last seven years traveling to France for a month or more at a time exploring different areas of the country. I had never used a placement agency before, and I came close to using one in the US but then I happened upon the Aliore website and decided to give it a try.
Soizick Chartier, one of the founding members of the organization, was my contact person. She was extremely attentive to my needs and my questions. It made me feel extremely comfortable. I sent her my bio with picture and received information about a possible placement in Nimes with a French teacher and her 16 year old daughter. I said YES! That first week of my time in Nimes, Soizick hosted a get together in Montpellier with the other students who were also on placement in that area. It was a nice way to meet fellow explorers and also to meet Soizick.
My family lives in Nimes. Nimes is a fantastic jumping off point for a lot of other great places to visit within an easy day’s train ride. I visited Toulouse for a weekend, Avignon 4 times, Montpellier many times (where I attended a French language school based on Soizick’s recommendation), Marseilles, and Carcassone to name a few.
My host family honestly could not have been more perfect. I fell in love with them! Because I am a “senior” my host gave me all the information to get a senior discount travel card for 80 euros that was good for a month. I must have logged in over twenty five train uses and only had to pay extra once.
The daughter in my family wanted to write a short film in English. She is interested in being a director and writer, so that was my English teaching assignment during my stay. We did not write a short film, we wrote a full length feature. Since we did not have time to finish, I am now skyping with her on a weekly basis to finish her wonderful script.
I speak Intermediate level French and was really challenged to keep up with my speaking and listening. Mothers and daughter have their own “short-hand” in any language and they kept me on my toes. I learned a tremendous amount and could NOT have enjoyed myself more. We went to the movies together, cafes, they took me to an amazing light festival in Montpellier and many other activities. They were both busy during the day, so I had all day to myself to explore and experience. They are currently trying to make plans to come visit me in Los Angeles this summer.
I am 66 years old…so if you are a senior (or not!) I highly highly encourage you to run, not walk to ALIORE if you want to have the experience of a lifetime.
It was MY BEST VACATION EVER! THANK YOU SOIZICK AND ALIORE! I WILL DO THIS AGAIN!

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Praharsh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing 2 weeks in Balazuc!

I had wonderful experiences and unforgettable memories through this program!

Everyone at the host place was very friendly to me. Some took even special efforts so that I settle in well over there. The main host made sure I have everything I need for comfortable arrangements. Moreover, he made schedule such that I get to not only experience all the activities that happen there but also be a good part of the team!

I have been on 'garde' with the goats, got to be part of 'traite' for milking of the goats and cheese making process. Along with that I did some gardening, made bread and even fabricated dry toilettes for their festival! I got to be part of the hosting team where I generally used to have most of my meals along with helping them. Thus got an opportunity to interact with interesting groups of children, teachers, professors and the french-german group.

I also had time to explore things by myself. So I have gone on 'balade' many times, visited Balazuc very well and nearby regions, visited Avignon and swam in Ardèche. The place is so beautiful that each day I was amazed by it in its own way! I must have taken hundreds of pictures there, including many pics at the same locations! I will miss being so close to the nature, with the sound of the birds singing, wind blowing past and just the perfect amount of sunshine!

Moreover, I got to experience the life in a village in France. Got to learn a lot about the french culture and also improve my spoken french. The people there were multitalented, amicable and very inspiring to me personally to care more for the environment and to live a simple life.

I would totally recommend this program to people who like to travel, meet new people, experience French culture and who are up for an interesting adventure!!

What would you improve about this program?
In my opinion, it met all the details that are mentioned. My suggestion would be to provide information so that more people are aware about the program!
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Andre
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Tarbes 2016!

I had the very, very best time staying with my host in Tarbes for 4 weeks in October/November. I found the most lovely, kind and generous host in Suzanne and left feeling truly fortunate to have had the time and the most authentic French experience-thankyou both Suzanne and Soizick! I found myself included in activities with family and friends and have come to adore the lifestyle and food! All-in-all it was a fabulous experience and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a cultural/language experience.

What would you improve about this program?
From my communication with Aliore prior to my departure I knew what to expect it in fact was beyond my expectations. These excellent programmes are a little short on reviews which is not a problem with the Aliore but rather the past participants hence my making sure I add my thoughts here!
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Erika
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing Opportunity for Cultural Exchange

There's such a lovely versatility and flexibility to this program. Personally, I was lucky enough to be have the perfect placement with my host family but I understand reality happens and this can seem scary to some people. However, I assure you the risk is worth it. If you are a positive and open candidate you'll absolutely love it!

So first off, Montpellier is a wonderful city. To me, it was just big enough to be urban and fun without the typical drawbacks of a big city. The old part of Montpellier, which is also the majority of its downtown core is a pedestrian zone and its really well connected with the tram system as well as trains/busses to nearby cities like Nîmes. There are tons of parks, cafes, shops to visit and while I was there in this past spring there was an arts, music, culture or even extreme sports festival on the weekends.

As I mentioned, my placement was superb. I was living right in the downtown core, a five minutes from central station and about 40 minutes from the beach. Not only that but my host family was really genuine, kind and fair in terms of hospitality and their expectations of me as a live-in language assistant. I had a wonderful experience thanks to them as well as Soizick and Naïa who were so helpful and accessible along the way.

I had an incredible time doing this program. With cultural exchange, however, I believe you get out of it what you put in. So if you're ready, go for it! It would only take a bit of savings, some effort and a open spirit.

What would you improve about this program?
I obviously really enjoyed the program and the Aliore team did provide help, resources and support but sometimes I felt underprepared to teach. It's probably my inexperience as an actual teacher or perhaps the unpredictability of children. I cans suggest adding more to the archive of teaching resources and maybe promoting that they're being used. Again, a lot of this is up to the tutor and the student.
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Carol
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Live like a French family member

I saw the way one French family worked, juggling everyones wants and needs, and making room in their lives for me, taking me on outings to spots I could not reach by public transport.
I met their friends and neighbours, listened a lot and gradually gathered the courage to chat a little...even got an earful from the lady over the road who disapproves of their dogs! Maybe its best to nod and smile!
How else could I have seen an English class in a French school, helped with the primary student's swim class and gone to the rentree parents meeting!

What would you improve about this program?
I agree with the family mother that the weeks of return to school are not the best time to have a live in language helper...let the kids settle into their routines first.
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Vrinda
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teach English in France

I lived with a French family in Villeneuve Les Maguelone, close to Montpellier. It was the most amazing month of my life. The family I stayed with was extremely cooperative and kind. I ended up calling my mother and telling her that I feel I have a real family in France, people who took care of me just like my parents. They used to cook separate meals for me because I'm a vegetarian, took me to the neighbouring cities over the weekends. I cooked them an Indian meal, showed them a bollywood movie and did a little bit of yoga with them. It was a language and cultural exchange program for me!

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Marianne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

conversational exchange

Wonderful program. I was fully immersed in the French way of life. The family were welcoming and showed me many places off the tourist list. I could have stayed longer if my visa allowed me. It is the best way to experience France and the people of France. I emailed the organisaton a few times regarding information and they were prompt to reply. Just a great experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I needed a better understanding of how the transport system worked.