During your exchange in Belgium French, you will live with a volunteer host family, attend a local school as a domestic student, participate in AFS orientations and activities, and make incredible memories. Go for a year (availability varies), check your eligibility and other requirements below, then enquire now to start your adventure of a lifetime!
- You must be between 16 years to 18 years and 8 months
- Enrolled in an NZ school or Graduated
- Language requirements: French A1 (2 years)
- Airport Pick-up
- Host Family Placement
- School Placement
- Community Service Placement
- Individual Contact Person
- Medical Insurance
- 24/7 Emergency Support
- School Transport
- Language Instruction
- Assistance with Application Process
- Visa Application Assistance
- Pre-Departure Orientation
- Orientations during your time abroad
- Global Competence Certificate
- Access to Alumni Network
- Continuous Support
- Worldwide Presence
- 70 Years Experience
- Visa and Passport Fees
- School Materials
School in French Belgium is quite demanding – teachers are hard to impress and students spend a lot of time studying 10 to 18 different subjects! School starts between 8 and 8.30am and finishes between 4 and 5pm, with breaks for lunch and snacks. Class groups usually stay together in the same classroom, and the teachers come to you. You will be placed in one of four types of public school according to your preference and skills. General is academic-focused; Vocational combines general education with practice-oriented training for a specific occupation; Arts combines general education with active practice of art; and Technical focuses on general and technical subjects. Arts and Technical are usually best for AFS students!
There is no typical Belgian family; your Belgian host family can be a married or unmarried couple, with kids of your age or not, a retired couple, a single mother, etc. Most likely, you’ll find that your Belgian host family is different from your own, both in composition and in their way of life.
Dinner time is a very important family gathering in Belgium, and is an opportunity to share your day, discuss problems, and share feelings. Belgians are kind, fun-loving, and direct in their communication – everyone says what they think. It is usual in Belgian families to talk about oneself and ask for advice.
Life in your host family will be more formal than you might expect! For example, family members will say hello/goodbye to every person in the family when they arrive home, leave the house, or go to bed. Belgian parents are also used to monitoring their child’s social life and school results, and teens are often required to ask permission to go out and to say where they are going, with whom and to respect a curfew.
Belgian teenagers usually enjoy going to concerts or the movies and watching or playing sports – especially soccer and cycling. Many teenagers also participate in youth groups like Scouts or Girl Guides. Your social life will probably centre on your host family and a small group of friends.