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Student exchange program connects France and Bakersfield

10 host families needed July 8-28
Posted at 5:19 AM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 10:15:54-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A group of French teens will spend three weeks in Bakersfield starting July 8.

"That way, they can really experience what the real American life is and not just what you see on [television]," said Caroline Texier.

Caroline is the CEO of the student exchange program Horizons du Monde.

She said the students range from ages 14 to 17. The goal is to fully immerse them in the life of an American family. They’ve already studied the English language for several years but this allows them to really practice, and the host families get to learn about France

“When people can’t travel to France, then having the French come to stay in your home is France coming to you," said Caroline.

Holly Kuntz is the program coordinator for Bakersfield. She’s thrilled to welcome the students to Kern County.

"I love agriculture and I love that we feed the world, [so] for them to be able to come here and see what’s that like and experience [where] all the food comes from, I think that that's going to be huge for me to share that with them," said Holly.

The students will go on excursions to local places like Buck Owens Crystal Palace and Tehachapi, and regional spots like Six Flags and Hollywood.

Regional Manager Mayde Hurley said the students will also get involved with nonprofits.

"[My] favorite is [giving] back to the community, going to [volunteer] at Ronald McDonald House, visiting the Bakersfield Visitor Center," said Mayde.

Caroline said the program builds lifelong relationships, with host families and students even visiting each other years later. She hopes it provides a sense of unity across the globe.

“We’re all different nationalities and come from different cultures, but we’re all human beings and it's wonderful to have people connect and get together and realize that we’re far apart but we’re very close, and that brings understanding of the world and of the people that compose it," said Caroline.

Again, they need ten families to host students July 8-28.

To become a host family, there is an application process and several requirements to meet. If you’d like to learn more or apply to be a host family, call (661) 808-8453 or click here.

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