Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
10. Student Housing
Chez Vous is a Relational program with the goal of helping students to really connect with French people and culture. Capability with the French language plays a major part in achieving this goal, so for most of each day Chez Vous students commit to speaking only French.
While the Institute has experimented with a “total immersion” French language experience, we now believe that a small amount of “language optional” time each day is also important for absorbing and integrating the entire French experience – a vital part of connecting with the people and culture around us. Therefore during a small portion of each day, generally evenings, students are free to use either French or English.
The Institute is able to offer a few modest scholarship amounts each year, depending on resources. Actual amounts depend on the overall level of need in the current year’s applicant pool, as well as donor support. For more info and deadlines, please go to Apply.
Students are free to bring their own laptops for homework and class projects, and may find some additional convenience in doing so. The following condition applies: Students understand and agree that the Institute cannot accept liability for the security of their laptops during their stay in the program (though the Institute makes every effort to ensure safety and security in all aspects of the program.)
We certainly recognize how difficult it can be to fund a study-abroad experience. In the face of this challenge, it can be important to consider as well the potential for a solid study-abroad experience to open up opportunities later on. The right program can be a great investment in your own future.
Each year, it seems, we welcome a number of students with interesting stories of how God provided for their financial need that summer. At the same time, of course, we also realize that many others were still unable to come due to finances. But for those that do come, here are some of the ways these students have found funding . . .
- Extra work or work projects, especially over holiday periods such as Christmas and Spring Break;
- Immediate family members – gifts and/or loans;
- Support from extended family members – grandparents, aunts, and uncles;
- Occasionally, students who have demonstrated an interest in missions have been able to obtain small grants from their church or denomination. The Chez Vous program does integrate ministry awareness and service opportunities into students’ experience, and we are happy to provide a letter affirming and describing this important aspect of the program.
All students need a valid passport. North American students need a visa only if staying in Europe more than 3 months. Students from most countries outside the European Union or North America must apply for a French visa. Papers must be completed and in good order prior to arrival or a student may be refused admittance into the country.
Students from countries outside the European Union or North America: Here is the website that helps you determine which nationalities need a visa for entering France:
(If you need a visa, please contact us for more details.)
The passport photos required for your application have to be of the same size and quality required for a U.S. passport. Click HERE for requirement details. (Passport photos are available at most chain drug stores such as Walmart, Walgreens etc.) Please write your name on the back of each photo if mailed in.
Students use personal funds for a variety of things: visits to cafes, postcards, stationery, postage, the Institute café bar, church offerings, personal laundry, personal bus-rides, souvenirs, etc. You might consider something in the range of $150 - $200 for personal spending, plus whatever gifts you want to purchase.
As an emergency reserve, we recommend you keep at least 40E in cash with you at all times (about $60).
The most convenient method for obtaining cash in France is to bring a debit card from your U.S. bank (with PIN number). ATM machines are located everywhere in France, providing the best exchange rate for your dollars as well as reducing the amount of cash you need to carry at any one time. ATM’s take most cards – before you travel ask your card company or bank for a phone number to call in case you should encounter any problems.
Other methods for obtaining personal cash: a credit card for getting cash from an ATM machine (need PIN number), or buying traveler’s cheques in Euros (not in Dollars) before you leave the States — Euro traveler’s cheques can be ordered through your bank and take about a week to arrive.
Generally, if the electrical information plate on your appliance indicates 220 or 240 volts, then the appliance will function on French electric current. However you will still need a plug adapter – a limited number will be available for purchase in France.
Chez Vous is an intense experience in culture and language-learning. Visitors can therefore create a real interruption in the learning process, both for the individual student being visited as well as for fellow students.
Visitors to the Center will be greeted warmly, and with notice will be welcome for meals at the regular Center rates. However, visitors must make their own local lodging and transportation arrangements. Visitors may not accompany students on excursions or other program activities.
Over the years the Institute has experimented with several housing options, including home-stays with French families as well as dormitory housing. We have concluded that the drawbacks of these options outweigh the benefits – benefits that at best were inconsistent in helping students to really connect with French people.
Several years ago the Institute purchased its own small Center that provides a more natural “family” environment – a context that makes social interactions with local French people easier, more extensive, and much more natural culturally. The ground floor of the Center offers a lounge, café bar, and classroom, while two floors of 4 rooms each provide basic but comfortable lodgings for the limited number of students that the Institute welcomes at any one time.
Please send your application to our Wheaton address that can be found under Contacts.
You can also scan and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) your application documents to us. (Use this subject line in your email: CV18 Application - "YOUR NAME").
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
The Deposit Payment can be paid either by check (made out to "The Jacques Lefevre Institute" and mailed to "JLI - PO Box 448 - Wheaton, IL 60187) OR online (more under "Apply".)
The Final Payment can be paid by check (see postmark date on the "How to Apply" sheet in the "Apply" section.)
"Do I pay the program deposit even on a collaborative program with my university?"
Yes, even on a collaborative program,the $1300 deposit payment is paid by the student directly to JLI. The final payment will then be billed to the school (all but the supplemental services which are billed to the student).
a) Other than the personal cash/personal spending amount of $150 - $200, the emergency reserve of $60, and personal laundry expenses, what other expenses do the students have while in France?
The biggest expense for students is gifts and souvenirs. Some public restrooms require a small "donation." Church offerings. On some of the excursions there are optional activities that some students occasionally spend a little money on, but these could be absorbed from the personal funds recommended for each student.
b) Which meals will the students pay for themselves and which ones are covered in the program fee?
All meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, are provided from the program fee throughout the entirety of the program.
a) How far in advance will we know the flight information (date and time, etc.)?
The Institute is normally in a position to communicate this information a) after final payment of the Program fee, b) always sometime after April 1, and c) never later than May 1.
b) Does "group travel between Paris and Normandy" mean that someone will be at the airport to meet the arriving students, and they all travel together to Franceville?
We do always arrange to meet all student flights that were reserved by the Institute and that arrive within a reasonable delay. We also do have about 1-3 students each summer who either made their own flight arrangements, or else have been greatly delayed due to a missed connection or other reason. Prior to their trip each student receives an email with travel information from the Institute that contains French phone card information for calling us within France, and detailed instructions for getting to Normandy on public transportation (train). Fortunately this process has always worked well, though is rarely needed.
- Are you planning on staying more than 90 days in France?
- Is your nationality any other than American or Canadian?
If your answer to one or both of these questions is yes, please click on the following link to see whether you need a visa: Do I need a VISA?
Canadian students may make the final payment by wire in USD. Wire instructions will be included in the Acceptance Packet. The inital deposit check may be sent in Canadian funds. All Chez Vous rates are in USD.
For any wire transfer, please remember the following:
- Please note that your sending bank may charge you a $CAD fee for wire. Please insure that this fee is covered outside of your JLI payment to prevent your bank from deducting it from the transfer.
- Please also ask your sending bank if they will be using an intermediary bank for the wire. If yes, please add another $US 15 to cover the fee charged by the intermediary bank.
- On the slight chance that any fees do slip through, you will be able to take care of this at the Institute’s Café-Bar when you come.
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