Antoine, a 16-years-old globetrotter from France, took a three week trip with World is a Village to discover the homestay experience by staying with a wonderful family in Mendoza, Argentina. During his trip, he got the chance to discover the wonders of visiting a country in the southern hemisphere and taste some of Argentinian’s culture.
To know more read on 😉…
Interview conducted by Josephine Terrien, content manager at World is a Village.
Interviewee: Fanette, mother, and Antoine, globetrotter
Welcome Antoine and Fanette! We are so glad you could come to share your experience with us.
Antoine: Thank you so much for allowing me to go on this trip! I am so happy I get to share my experience with future users.
Fanette: Thank you for welcoming us.
We need to use this channel to send our children and host kids from the whole world!
👉Read more: Why is homestay the best way to travel? Find out here
World is a Village: reassuring the parents
Let’s get started! First, Fanette, how did you discover World is a Village?
Fanette: So I discovered World is a Village through a friend. She explained to me the concept and I immediately thought it was amazing because it was exactly what I needed and was looking for for my kids. I’ve had multiple bad experiences in the past with other platforms that send kids abroad and I was very disappointed every time I tried to find a program for my children. But when Marie told me about the World is a Village concept I thought to myself: this is amazing! We need to use this channel to send our children and host kids from the whole world!
How did World is a Village help reassure you into sending your child so far?
Fanette: I was reassured very fast by World is a Village to send Antoine at the other end of the world, all alone, without being accompanied during his trip, because we were in contact with the host family from the very start, we talked through the platform and stayed in contact throughout Antoine’s trip. It was very convivial from the start, so when we imagine our child go off on his own, we already have an idea of the environment, the dad, the mom, the kids, where they live… I remember, on the first video-chat, they turned the camera around to show us their house, the dad’s vines right in front of their house…
The customer care system is well put in place that as parents we always feel the team’s support if we have any problems or worries whether before, during or after the trip.
Antoine: Yes! I wanted to go from that first video-chat!
Fanette: So, yeah, this put us in a very reassuring state because it’s easier to imagine our child there. And with today’s technology, if there is any issue at any time it’s so easy to be in contact either with the host or with our child. Also, it is very reassuring to know that the World is a Village team that always has our back. The customer care system is well put in place that as parents we always feel the team’s support if we have any problems or worries whether before, during or after the trip. And on top of all that the insurance offered by World is a Village through Assur-travel is very well made for these kinds of trips. You do tell yourself: “it’s a little worrying to send my son so far all by himself, I need some kind of insurance if he gets sick or needs to be sent home for any reason”. Well, no worry at all when you get the insurance and you have such a well-organized trip by World is a Village!
👉Check out how we made World is a Village a safe place
Antoine’s trip to Argentina
Antoine, could you tell us more about your trip with World is a Village?
Antoine: I traveled to Mendoza in Argentina for three weeks, where I was hosted by Andres’ family. The children were on holiday too so that was nice. I could hang out with them. They introduced me to their friends and invited me to tag along anytime they would go out. The parents each brought me to their place of employment, the dad has a winery and the mom is a teacher. Andres is learning to pilot a plane so he brought me and his daughter along for two of his lessons. That was so cool! We also went skiing for four days which was a little crazy since it was July and all my friends back home were at the beach.
those are experiences he never would have had through another channel or organism. To be totally immersed like this forces us to make friends and get out of our comfort zone
What was something that impressed you?
Antoine: Definitely the food. Andres’ family eats very well. Every day we had a different home-cooked meal with very good meat. They have some amazing ham!
According to you, Fanette, what do you think Antoine liked most about his trip?
Fanette: I think he really enjoyed going on a trip on his own. He knew where he was going because we had been in contact multiple times with the family before the trip, so it wasn’t totally unknown. However, he was very happy to go, at 17yo, alone on the plane, leave home for three weeks to go on a “solo” trip, discover on his own a new family, country, culture… And I think that’s a level of autonomy that quite amazing and cool at his age! I think he really loved it. And he had truly amazing experiences, I mean skiing in July, flying over the Andes, those are experiences he never would have had through another channel or organism. To be totally immersed like this forces us to make friends and get out of our comfort zone, learn Spanish, and I think this is a lot more efficient and fun rather than going on a trip with a group of French people in an organism that is not at all fit for immersion. I would’ve loved to do that at his age!
The new and improved Antoine
Antoine, do you feel like you improved your Spanish during your trip?
Antoine: Yes definitely! I totally improved my Spanish! At first, it was a little hard, because the Argentinian accents are a little different and they have different expressions but now that I’m back in school I realize that I am a lot better than everyone else in my class.
Are you still in contact with your host family?
Antoine: Yes! With the kids cause we exchanged our social network accounts so we talk on the regular. I’m also still in contact with their friends.
Yes, he practiced his Spanish, but I would say that is a little detail of all the things he learned.
Fanette, did you feel like Antoine had changed upon his return home?
Fanette: When we went to pick Antoine up at the Airport he had the biggest smile after I don’t know how many hours on a plane, so we knew he had the time of his life. And yes, Antoine had already traveled alone but never to go visit people we didn’t know for so long and so far so everything was new for him. He handled himself so well, of course, the context was ideal so even we were over the moon to know that he had a great time over there. Yes, he practiced his Spanish, but I would say that is a little detail of all the things he learned. He also learned how to be self-reliant, take care of himself, and he gained in maturity and open-mindedness. And this is what we wanted him to discover with this trip, see how other people lived and understand that we are a world filled with diverse people and that is the beauty of our planet!
So you would be ready to send another one of your children with World is a Village?
Fanette: It’s not only that I am ready, I totally want to and can’t wait to send my two daughters on a trip through World is a Village. Or even, that Antoine goes on another trip!
I dreamt of a program like yours and you made it happen!
What about you Antoine? Would you be willing to travel with World is a Village again?
Antoine: Oh hell yes! I’d go tomorrow if I could! But I’d like to go in an anglophone country because I would like to improve my English now that my Spanish is at a pretty good level.
Would you like to add anything?
Fanette: Thank you so much World is a Village! I dreamt of a program like yours and you made it happen! I can’t wait for my other children to experience travel abroad but also to host because it is not only by traveling but also by hosting that we get to learn and experience new cultures.
Antoine: Thank you so much World is a Village! It was one of the best experiences of my life and I would do it again no hesitation!
Check the video interview below!
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