Welcome to American Discovery Where We Have Been Bringing Families and Cultures Together for More Than 20 Years!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where We Are Located

American Discovery is based in Eugene, Oregon, the second largest city in the state of Oregon. Eugene is known for its unique, exciting mix of arts, culture, education, scenic beauty, and passion for recreation. Beautifully nestled in the lush Willamette Valley, Eugene and its sister city Springfield are centrally located, with the Pacific Ocean, snow-capped mountains, and the sprawling city of Portland not far away. Home to the University of Oregon, Eugene is also a center for higher learning -- and top-notch athletic events from American football at Autzen Stadium to track & field at historic Hayward Field. Eugene is also the birthplace of Nike and is commonly referred to as “Tracktown USA.” In fact, that is why Eugene hosted the 2012 Olympic Trials.

How We Got Started

In 1992, Bruno Francia founded American Discovery in Eugene, Oregon. But the story began long before that. Born and raised in the outskirts of Lyon, a small town in France, Bruno always had a passion for languages and people of different cultures. During summer vacations as a young teen, Bruno had the privilege of traveling abroad and staying with British and American families where he was able to learn about their cultures and improve his language skills. More importantly, he cultivated relationships that continue to this day. It was his experience of travel and cultural exchange as a youth that inspired him to continue the course. In 1988, Bruno moved to Eugene, Oregon to attend the University of Oregon. Go Ducks!



Bruno began his student exchange career working for Nacel, formerly based in Duluth, Minnesota, and later with IEF, then in Bayshore, New York. After several years away from Oregon, Bruno and his wife, Darci, a native Oregonian, decided to move back to the Northwest to start their own exchange program. While many organizations concentrated on bringing huge groups to large metropolitan areas, the goal of American Discovery was to focus on bringing intimate groups to come visit smaller communities and stay for just two to three weeks during the summer. What has set American Discovery apart from other organizations—and continues to this day—is its family-oriented approach that focuses on the personal experience of each family and each student.

Today, we continue to do what we set out to do more than twenty years ago: encourage a real exchange between people and cultures, create long-lasting friendships, and promote foreign languages.

 

"What could be better than bringing families together with kids from all over the world?" Bruno says today. "I had found my calling."

At the point when the 'change' occurs, I know that we have accomplished — and continue to accomplish — what we set out to do twenty years ago… encourage a real exchange between people.”

Home Stay Programs

We offer programs in Oregon, Washington, California, and Colorado. Over the past 24 years, we have placed thousands of students with American families. Our organization welcomes students and adults who are interested in spending several weeks in the United States to experience an American way of life. In fact, we have several programs to choose from.

Some programs include day trips, overnight trips, and English-language classes. Other programs are "total immersion," which means more quality time with the host family replaces trips or activities. Another program we added several years ago as part of the homestay experience, is the opportunity to take a week-long camping tour of the California Coast. The students travel for a week and get to visit many great California locations such as the wonderful city of San Francisco, beautiful Malibu Beach, and Los Angeles. Afterwards, the students return to their host families for the remainder of the homestay.

Where Do the Students Come From?

Our French students come from all regions of France. A large percentage of the French students are sponsored by French companies. This helps parents with the cost of the trip.

Our Spanish students mainly reside in Madrid or the cities and villages surrounding Madrid. A few also come from Seville, Barcelona, and even the Basque region of Spain. No matter which country the students come from, however, they are all eager to spend time with your family and make the true American Discovery.

Take a look at the map to see where in France or Spain your student is coming from:

Map of France Map of Spain

How We Operate

It takes a lot of planning and organization to operate an international student exchange program. Our main office is located in Eugene, but we have coordinators managing programs in Oregon, California, Colorado, and Washington. Our office works directly with each coordinator, and it is these amazing people who are responsible for planning and supervising each program — which also includes locating wonderful host families!

Each coordinator receives student profiles from our Eugene office. A profile includes the student’s interests, pictures of the student with family and friends, and a short letter written in English. The letter is a delight to read because it explains, in the student's own words, why he/she is interested in coming for a homestay in America.

Each group of students is accompanied by a group leader who also stays in the community with a host family. The group leader is available to help supervise the students during trips and can assist students or families during the program. These group leaders are usually young, dynamic adults, and many are English teachers. In fact, they also come to America to improve their English-speaking skills!

What Kind of Students Choose a Homestay Program?

Students who want to practice speaking English with native English speakers.

Students who want to live the real life of an American family.

Students who want to meet an American family and create a lasting friendship.

Copyright 2012 American Discovery. All Rights Reserved.