Please read through our Parent Handbook. It is filled with valuable information and resources.
Q: How do I know my child is ready for a Language Village experience?
A: You know your child better than anyone. So while there are individual needs to consider, a young person should be able to: provide their own personal care (dressing, showering, selecting clothes); move independently from place to place; live cooperatively with others in a cabin setting. For month-long villagers, a young person should have the emotional resilience to handle the demands of a rigorous academic program. For Voyageurs villagers, both physical and emotional resilience is necessary to be able to live in tents and enjoy a wilderness experience.
Q: How do I decide which session my child attends?
A: Consider the age and interest of your child. One-week sessions are called “exploration sessions,” giving the villager an introduction to language learning in an immersion setting. Two-week sessions, our most popular program, are for both first time and returning villagers. They are designed to provide a more in-depth immersion experience and new activities are offered every summer. All language speakers, from beginning to advanced (immersion school students and fluent speakers included), are challenged at their appropriate level. Four-week credit sessions can earn the villager high school or college credit and are intensive and innovative programs for older students.
Q: What language should my child choose?
A: With 15 languages to choose from, this can be a tough decision! Talk with your child about what interests he or she might have in learning another language or about another culture. Some children choose a language to learn more about their family’s heritage. Others base their choice on what language is offered at their school; in this way the Village experience can serve as an extension to classroom learning. Still other children opt for trying a second or third language, often supplementing what their school curriculum provides.
Q: How does my child learn the language when counselors don’t explain words in English?
A: Speaking the language to villagers, without using English, is a hallmark of immersion language learning. We use many learning techniques to help comprehension: gestures, pictures, pointing, facial expressions, actual objects, mime, repetition, examples and demonstrations, just to name a few. “Context” is important, meaning everything is grounded in daily life at the Villages to help language learners understand. We make deliberate use of routines and normal activity. But the staff will use English with villagers for health and safety reasons, and also at times in the cabin to make sure that everyone is feeling comfortable in the Village no matter what their language level. If your child is a beginner, you can rest assured that we will make it fun and understandable!
Q: How much will my child learn?
A: Learning a language certainly takes time. Villagers come to us at all levels. We strive to meet language learners at their individual developmental and linguistic levels. Our programs offer the opportunity to interact with others using the target language in an encouraging and supportive environment. This kind of real communication is impossible to replicate by using a text book or computer program.
Villagers will have gained many important language skills. They will leave with an enthusiasm to continue learning about the world. They will have a sense that learning this language is something they CAN do, and they enjoy doing. They will be motivated to go on and to discover more about other languages and cultures. It is our goal to send your child home from one of the most academically and culturally enriching, and personally transforming experiences of his or her young life.
Q: How soon should I register?
A: Many of our sessions do fill up, so the sooner the better. If you are applying for scholarships, pay attention to those deadline dates. All registrations are processed on a first-come basis. For information about openings contact our registration office at 1-800-222-4750 ext 3699.
Q: Can I register my child for a session that is in my child’s age level?
A: Typically we are unable to accommodate an age request. The program content is designed to be appropriate for the developmental level specific to the sessions age group.
Q: What happens if I need to cancel my child’s registration?
Q: Are there scholarships available?
A: We do offer scholarships. Our Passport fund is a need-based scholarship, based on a sliding scale, and available for students who wish to attend Concordia Language Villages. There are additional language specific scholarships available. Some of these scholarships are offered through third-partners such as the Sons of Norway and the Salolampi Foundation. For more information about our youth scholarships, visit our scholarships FAQ (pg. eight Parent Handbook)
Q: What will my child do while they are there?
A: Each Language Village has a unique and culturally influenced daily schedule. Your child’s day will be packed with fun activities, learning and excitement! Activities are conducted in the target language and are culturally based. Crafts, playing soccer, dancing, cooking and swimming in the lake are just a few activities that can be found at each village. To look at a typical day, click here.
Q: My child is attending a session during Internation Day, what does that mean?
A: International Day, or I-Day happens twice a summer. For Summer 2018 I-Day is July 6 and August 10. If your child’s session falls over I-Day, your child will attend. All the villagers from all the villagers travel to Waldsee, the German Language Village for a day of fun! Here’s more. You can also read more about International Day in the Parent Handbook starting on page 8.
Q. How do you handle children of different language levels?
A: Villagers language levels are evaluated when they arrive. Villagers are place in language groups with others of the same ability as them. Throughout the day, each day, your villager will have language sessions will this smaller language group. Other times during the day will be spent with mixed levels, participating in activities, meals, evening programs and campfire.
Q: Who Will Care for My Camper?
A: The staff is comprised of adults of all ages. Our staff comes from all over the world. They are native speakers or students and teachers of the language. Some of our staff have been past villagers in the program. Our staffing ratio is 1:4 and meets or exceeds national standards for overnight camps. The staffing ratio reflects the total number of staff in a Village who are responsible for engaging with and supervising participants, as teachers, counselors and program leaders. The overall ratio varies from activity to activity during the course of the Village day, from large-group instruction to small-group interaction. Your child will also have the opportunity for many individual conversations to further develop language and culture skills.
Concordia Language Villages hires staff members with the safety of your children foremost in our mind. We hire carefully. We train carefully. We supervise carefully. We follow camp industry best practices, and our approach complies with standards of our accrediting agency, American Camp Association, as well as pertinent laws and insurance regulations. For more information visit our page Safety: our top priority
Q: What is the housing like?
A: Every village is a little different. Each cabin has 8-16 beds. Villagers are housed with others in the same age range and gender. We house 2-4 counselors of the same gender in each cabin. If your villager has a roommate request, we make every effort to honor housing requests. Please have both villagers complete the bunk request form found in your My Village account. For more information, visit our lodging page
Q: What will my child eat?
A: Our cooks are experts in kid friendly culturally authentic foods – from breakfast to four-course dinners. Your child will be asked to try some foods you’ve never had before. Every Village has the basics too. Our kitchen staff will prepare vegetarian meals and other meals for villagers who have special dietary needs. Complete the Villager Health History document to let us know about your child’s dietary accommodation. For more information, visit our cuisine page
Q: How is health care handled?
A: Every village has a health center and a designated healthcare provider onsite. Healthcare staff complete an orientation that includes review of medical protocols from our program’s supervising physician. The scope of service provided by our Health Center staff is limited to care of routine illness and injury; we do not have physicians in residence. You can find detailed healthcare information in the Parent Handbook or visit our Healthcare at the Villages page on our website. Please contact Health Services at: (800) 450-2214 (direct line: (218) 586-8771) if you have questions.
Q: How much money should I send my child with?
A: It’s not necessary, but a little spending money for the stores is a good way to practice the language. A Village bank will exchange your money for the currency used in your Village, such as euros at Waldsee or Yuan at Sēn Lín Hú. Each Village has a store for snacks, soda, Village t-shirts and cultural souvenirs. Please see our Parent Handbook for recommendations on spending money.
Q: How do I know what to pack for camp?
A: After registration, you will be able to access a packing list specific to your program and Language Village when you log in to your MyVillage account. You can also find information on what to pack our website.
Q: When should we arrive, can I drop my child off early?
A: Check in and customs is from 2:00pm-4:30pm the Monday of the session. Your child will go through Customs, just like if they were to enter a foreign country! They can unpack, make their name tag, check in with the Health Center, choose activities for the week, etc. Parents may wish to stay for some or all of the customs process. Here is a video of the Customs process at the French Language Village in Bemidji, Lac du Bois.
Q: When am I able to pick my child up?
A: The closing program begins at 10:00 AM. Parents may arrive on site at 9:30 AM.
Q: How do I get my child to you if I can’t bring them?
A: When you send your villager to one of our programs, we are happy to assist you in getting them here. We provide several options to accommodate your needs. All summer programs require you send us a transportation form to indicate how your villager will be arriving and departing from the program. Transportation forms are also available on your MyVillage account. You can find details about our travel options in our Parent Handbook or, click here for more information.
Q: How do I communicate with my villager?
A: At the Villages, we check cell phones and other personal electronic devices at the door. Instead, we focus on fully engaging with the language in our cultural settings and the natural outdoor environment. Your villager can write letters to you and you can see what your villager has been up to on the village blog. You can use our one-way email service to email your villager through your MyVillage account . You can also mail letters and care packages. If there is an emergency, you should call the camp to get a message to your camper. Click here for our locations and village contact information
Q: What happens if my child gets “homesick”?
A: For some villagers, spending time away from home is a major step. The first letter you receive (which may have been written on the very first afternoon) may sound a little hesitant about the Village experience. We find that most villagers just need a little time to adjust to the new situation. Most villagers are quickly consumed by the activities and opportunities of the village and forget their worries after the first or second day. We encourage a positive attitude and also encourage villagers to write home and let their parents know how they are doing. Parents are asked to support their child by sending mail or emails, which are delivered each day at a specific time. The Parent Handbook has great tips to help your villagers adjust to the Villages.
Q: If I have a question that is not answered on the website, where can I look?