Who can exchange?
• Any child who wants to learn a foreign language and is aged between 9 and 15 years old.
• Any child who wants to ‘live an extraordinary adventure’ by spending up to six months in a new country, with a new family, and immersing themselves in a new way of life.
• Any child willing to reciprocate the positive experience for their matched foreign brother or sister for the same length of exchange!
No language skills required!
To participate you do not have to speak the language of the country you are travelling to.
Many children who participate in our exchanges arrive in their new country without being able to speak its language or they only know a few words or phrases. This is the norm for our exchange organization. It was built on the premise that academic success is not the condition for a good EFI exchange. What is important to us is the attitude and behavior of the children who take part. We are looking for young people who can accept and follow the basic rules of education, be willing to embrace life in a foreign country and get stuck into the heart of their new family’s life. We are not looking for perfect children or perfect families.
We are looking for loving families with strong educational values and respectful, motivated children who can adapt to change. We are looking for children who will be happy abroad, have a ‘can do’ attitude and really want to make their families happy during the exchange, whatever the challenges. To ensure success, there are rules to follow!
Our exchanges are made for those who are willing to ‘play the game’, so they can grow, integrate and learn.
1) Language immersion: The stages.
In the first week, the child who arrives in their new country with their new family will be able to speak their native language. From the second week, the foreign family will have to respond in their own language. Your child will still be able to speak in their native language though. Once the third week begins, everyone should start speaking the language of the host country, including your child, even if they do not understand. Your child must agree not to read, write or speak their own language for the rest of the exchange. The only exceptions are when you send mail (which should be infrequent) and when you call them for a short chat once a week. If the children follow our immersion rules, your child will be able to hold a routine conversation after six months.
2) Family Integration:
We expect the children taking part in our exchanges to make a huge effort to integrate into their host family’s life, stay at the heart of it, join in with chores, have lots of ‘get up and go’ and embrace all the activities offered. To do this successfully, they need to have both feet in their new life so, children must agree not to use Facebook or send emails to their friends and family back home. This is an important element in a successful exchange. To become truly integrated into the new family, community and country, children must be prepared to leave their old lives behind for those six months. Of course, you can talk to your child once a week and they can write and receive three letters a month (maximum).
Your child has to respect themselves!
No alcohol consumption.
Do not do anything that could harm your body or soul.
Decide to be happy!
Your child must also respect others!
Respect their own parents and their foreign parents.
Respect their siblings in both countries.
Respect their teachers in both countries.
Respect their peers in class and school.
If you are willing to accept these rules and apply our advice to your experience, then an En Famille International exchange is for you!
4) For parents:
Trust us! We have over 40 years’ experience in the Student Exchange Business! Our rules and the contracts between the families are really important and exist because they work. They are the foundation of a successful exchange so please respect and embrace them!
Trust your child! Believe in them. They do have the ability to integrate. If you show your support, they will feel it and channel positive energy into a successful exchange.
Finally, with a good dose of humility and open mindedness the whole family can invest in new relationships and grow together on a personal level. It’s an experience for the whole family, children and parents alike.