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For families coming from abroad obviously accommodation is a prime concern. BIS offers two types of accommodation :
- Staying with a French host family
- Staying in a school boarding unit
Host family arrangements
Living with a local family in Bordeaux is an ideal arrangement for Secondary School students whose parents live a long way from the school. It is also the most effective way to gain fluency and to absorb the French language and culture. The students become part of the family and are soon chatting at the breakfast table, going shopping, visiting relatives and helping at meal times.
Accommodation is full board either on a weekly or full-time basis. Each student has his or her own bedroom. All host families are personally vetted by the school coordinator in charge of boarding arrangements. Hence BIS guarantees the safety of the students. Some of our host families have been hosting pupils for several years, and the school has consequently built up very close relationships with them. The host family coordinator is always in close liaison with the host family and is available for help on a 24 hour basis throughout the week. We have strict rules (Secondary conditions of attendance) in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the student, e.g. no student under 16 years is allowed to go out without the host family. Those aged 16 and above may go out once a week (eg to the cinema) providing the outing is planned in advance and agreed upon by both the host family and the Head of Senior School.
We always consult the parents and introduce both families before the student moves in. It is vital that the pupil is happy in their host family and we devote a lot of care to this aspect.
A school boarding unit
An alternative arrangement is for students to stay in a family boarding unit organized by the school. This scheme allows the students to benefit from collective activities out of school and involves living with French students. Priority is given to full-time boarders.
All host families are located within a short distance of the school, either within walking distance or a 15 minutes tram or bus ride. Bordeaux is a very safe city and public transport is well organised and easy to use. Passes for travel in Bordeaux are given to all boarding students.