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Family Spending Semester Abroad

Santa Cruz, CA
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Family Spending Semester Abroad

We are hoping to spend 6 months abroad with our teens and baby in France. We chose Lyon because of its' size and location as well as its' reputation for great food and entertainment. It also has schools our girls could attend. What neighborhoods could you advise? Thoughts on our idea are welcome. Thanks.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Family Spending Semester Abroad

First up, have you arranged for your long-term visas? If you are travelling on USA passports, you need a visa to stay more than 90 days in any period of 180 days in the Schengen Treaty area (most of Europe).

Paris, France
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2. Re: Family Spending Semester Abroad

Here's a website of how another family planned their move to France:

www.annieandre.com

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: Family Spending Semester Abroad

Are your children already fluent in French?

I'm an anglophone mom living in Paris with kids in French schools. As such, I will offer up the advice that sticking your kids in a French school for 6 months if they're not already fluent would be nothing short of traumatic for your kids, for a long list of reasons. Please feel free contact me by pm, as this is not a travel-related discussion.

Lyon, France
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for Lyon
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4. Re: Family Spending Semester Abroad

Sunshine, I assume the OP think of Lyon international school.

Lulu, am I right: which school do you think your daughters will attend, because this could be a criteria regarding neighborhood choice?

Tampa, Florida
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5. Re: Family Spending Semester Abroad

and as phread advised on the Paris version of this same question, the limited availability of spaces at international schools with the high demand for those spaces is going to make this a rather lofty goal.

Lyon, France
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6. Re: Family Spending Semester Abroad

I confirm the places are limited, especially in English sections (more chances in German), plus there is an exam to pass!

Tampa, Florida
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7. Re: Family Spending Semester Abroad

and for just one trimestre -- it's a lot of hardship on your kids, especially when you're going to yank them up again by whatever tiny little roots they'd have established in such a short time.

(by the way -- a grading term in France -- trimestre -- is 6 weeks)

Edited: 23 January 2013, 15:47
Haute Savoie, France
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8. Re: Family Spending Semester Abroad

assuming the OP has already thought to cover schools and visas, Lyon is indeed a great city. like Paris, its gorgeous with lovely architecture and the Old Town is so quaint. and the location is awesome, with high speed trains connecting you to most areas in france in just a few hours - you could pop to the beaches in Marseilles, or Paris, or the lakes in Annecy and Aix les Bains, or shoot over to Geneva... it really is an ideal choice. Provided those visas and school issues are resolved!

as an alternative, you could look at staying in France just for the 3 months allowed on a Schengen visa and let the girls skip school for this time :)

Or you could place them into intensive french classes (if they dont already speak french). these usually run in 1 month cycles, for 4 or 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. one school you could try is Alliance Francaise http://www.aflyon.org/

good luck!!

Texas
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9. Re: Family Spending Semester Abroad

I have taken our kids away twice and will do so again next year - it's an amazing family adventure. Don't be put off.

Here's a blog link to someone who did it in Lyon (!) last fall. They had a great time and out the kids in French schools. I would go ahead and do that - they will meet French kids, learn French and have a totally different experience than at the international school.

http://slufulbrightinlyon.blogspot.fr/

I have a friend whose kids just started (Italian) schools in Italy two weeks ago - doing great.

Of course, if your kids aren't already learning French, they should start right away:-)

The logistics of these types of trips take a lot of working out, especially on the school/neighborhood/visa but we wouldn't have missed them for the world.

Lyon is wonderful and I think it's perfect for a family adventure of this kind.

Bedoin, France
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10. Re: Family Spending Semester Abroad

Can I ask what age the teens are?