We offer your child or teenager the opportunity to build up a solid friendship with a child their age in another country. Through this friendship, the two children will become highly motivated to learn each others language. They will live with each others caring families, they might experience a new school system, and they will definitely discover a new way of life and a new country. Adolesco exchanges are true exchanges where both exchange partners get the opportunity to travel and host. We carefully match your young person with an exchange partner in your preferred country (France, Spain or Germany if your first language is English) and then you and your exchange family will each take a turns to host and care for the two children.
Adventurous and friendly children and teens ages 9 to 17 and their welcoming families are encouraged to apply. You must live in the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, France, Germany or Spain to participate. Ex-pat families who are British Citizens and who can provide a totally English speaking environment for their exchange can also apply, for example if you work in Dubai or Singapore.
Adolesco exchanges are only offered between countries with different languages. English speakers in the USA, Canada, and the UK and Ireland may choose to travel to France, Germany, or Spain. You do not need any particular level of the relevant language – studying it for a year at school for example is fine. We sometimes have exchange partners in Switzerland and Austria. Adolesco does not offer exchanges between countries with the same language: for example, the USA and the UK, or Ireland and Canada.
You can choose to go and host for between 3 weeks and 3 months on an Adolesco Exchange – it is up to you. From our years of experience we have found really short exchanges do not work well and so we do have a 3 week minimum in order to have time to settle in, get to know the family and then enjoy the time and really start to see an improvement in language skills. Of course the longer the stay the better the language will be and the more time there is to make friends. If you are worried about homesickness then do talk to us, we have some good ideas to help.
From your application form we will check your preferred dates and once we have found you a good match and both families would like to go ahead the two families get their diaries together to plan the trips. The timing and duration of your travel are up to you – we only ask that you be open to hosting for a little bit longer or shorter than you travel if it works out that way.
You do not need to miss any school if you prefer not to as the exchanges can be arranged entirely in school holidays – European Summer holidays are longer than those in the UK so it can work really well. It can also be great fun and very educational to go to school in your chosen country for perhaps half a term and we can help you arrange this with your school.
You will see below we have a very thorough application process in order to find you with a child or teenager who is of similar age and someone who we feel will be compatible with you and your family life. We have a central matching team who with the help of the Country Reps review all our applications manually – nothing is done by computer! You will get to see the photos and forms of the family we have selected for you – it’s very exciting!
When you have decided to apply and would like Adolesco to find an exchange match for you, the non-refundable Application Fee is £60 or €70 for those in Ireland.
When we have found a match and you are ready to begin your exchange, the Exchange Fee paid to Adolesco is £800 or €1000. The Exchange Fee can be paid in two instalments: a £400 or €500 deposit when the match is accepted, and the £400 0r €500 balance two weeks before your child travels. If for some reason an exchange is cancelled before either child travels, the exchange fee will be refunded in full.
Airfare and other travel costs are the travelling family’s responsibility and exchange children must also have a Travel Insurance Policy and EHIC Card in advance of travel. No money should pass between the families and once you are hosting you are responsible for all the living costs of your exchange child as is their family when your child is staying with them.
The first step is to contact your local representative. They will be your guide throughout the application process and your exchange, from beginning to end. Send us and email and we’ll be in touch with the next steps:
We make no apology for this lengthy and thorough process, we are sure you will be comforted to know the host family of your child has also gone through this.