Does the fact that the organization is located in the USA complicate communications?

No, it’s the opposite; it reduces intermediaries. You are able to deal directly with the decision makers, those who organize and oversee the program and who are familiar with California. These same people are on site during the participants’ stay. Most of OC representatives are bilingual. You also have a direct contact available in your country. This fact improves efficiency, while allowing a real reduction in the cost of the program.

How do I contact OC to inquire?

You have to start by filling in the form online (LINK).
For any inquiries, leave a message (with contact information and availability) – OUI-CONNECT will call you back within 24 hours. You can also contact our intermediary in COUNTRY at: XX.XX.XX.XX.XX (PHONE # & NAME OF REP).

How do I contact OC in case of urgent problem during the stay?

OUI-CONNECT can be reached 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
The available emergency number in the United States: + 1 949.338.9388.
OUI-CONNECT asks parents of participants to respect the time difference if their call is not urgent.

Since the host family is voluntary, shouldn’t the stay be even cheaper?

It is much more difficult, as you can imagine, to find volunteer families instead of paid families. The price of the program therefore includes the costs of finding these volunteer host families. It should be noted that the recruitment of host families is a constant job that starts at the end of the summer, without stopping until the following summer. The guarantee of a sincere host (a result of volunteering) has, in fact, a cost.

The flight is not included in the cost of the stay. How do you book your plane ticket?

For our “3 weeks + 3 excursions” flagship program, you must book a plane ticket to LAX, with the arrival date corresponding to the first day of the program. You are free to choose the flight you prefer, if the date of arrival at LAX is respected. This is for logistical transportation and organizational reasons.

For the “À la carte” program, you have the most flexibility with your flight options: you choose the dates of your program.


The participant cannot travel alone: what should we do?

If you do not want your child to travel alone you can :

  • Use the UM service (“Unaccompanied Minor”) offered by the airlines. This service, provided for children (in other words minors), consists of extra assistance from the airport of departure to the arrival (in other words, until a OUI-CONNECT representative takes responsibility in Los Angeles). This service costs about 100 dollars extra (the price varies depending on the company).
  • group with other participants so that your children are on the same flight, meet at the airport and help each other during the trip. OUI-CONNECT can put you in touch with other participants.

Is the participant insured?

Participants will receive comprehensive and specialized insurance through AVI International. The price of the insurance is offered and included in the OUI-CONNECT service.
OC will send you the participant’s travel insurance card by e-mail approximately two to three weeks before departure. This AVI card needs to be printed and the participant will need to keep it with them for the duration of the program (please take a photo of the card and keep a digital copy as well).
The OUI-CONNECT participant is covered during his entire stay in the USA.
If you wish to add additional coverage (for example, participating in a risky sport or activity), please discuss it with an OUI-CONNECT representative before departure.

What problems could we encounter during the stay? How are they dealt with?

The goal of OUI-CONNECT is to prepare everything so that the program is a positive experience for both the participants and families. But it is clear that beyond preparation, organization, and logistics, the stay relies on human dynamics (understanding the family, ability to adapt, matching dynamics and comfortable interactions, etc.) There is no perfect family or perfect participant. A good relationship often depends on the ability of each to compromise and communicate, to appreciate the unique qualities of his / her hosts, and to see each other’s points of view in different scenarios. Communication is the key to a successful stay. In case of difficulties, OUI-CONNECT is there to help you. As with any problem or conflict, it is important for the participant to communicate and open up when feeling uncomfortable or disheartened in a respectful manor to his host family and to the OUI-CONNECT representative.

It is always important to remember that host families are volunteers. They gain no financial benefit from hosting and are doing it solely to build connections and teach a young student about their world. They open their homes to discover a new culture while sharing their own and having a good time together.

The participant may have difficulty adapting … the family might as well. It must be understood and accepted that the family is an essential part of the program and that OUI-CONNECT, as much as the participant, must remember their generosity. Participants will integrate better if they:

  • sparticipate and invest in your experience and family relationships;
  • do not spend too much time on your smartphone;
  • thank his hosts (the Americans are, perhaps even more than the French, very sensitive to this… a “thank you” goes a long way!).

An immersion program is a language program … as much as a family experience. This program offers the opportunity for the teenager to progress in English but also to grow and mature. Confronting and adapting to the diversity of the world, and the diversity of America, are the first signs of developed maturity.


Does the participant change families?

It’s rather rare, but it can happen. In case of a serious crisis (unsolvable problem), in case of consistent conflicts, or in case of major and unforeseeable event. The decision to change is solely OUI-CONNECT’s decision. It is OUI-CONNECT that collects information from all parties involved and takes them into account, analyzes, and makes the necessary decisions. No change of family can be decided and carried out without the approval of the organization.

Are host families paid?

No, host families are not paid. They are all volunteers. This principle is essential to the quality of the program.

 

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