Adolesco | How It Works

How It Works

Learn more about an Adolesco exchange

All The Details

The Basics

How Does it Work?

We offer Irish children and teenagers the opportunity to take part in a real international exchange programme and build up a solid friendship with a child their age in another country (France, Spain or Germany). They will live with each other’s caring families, learn each others language, they might experience a new school system, and they will definitely discover a new culture. We carefully match your family with another family in your preferred country. Both exchange families take turns to host and care for the two children. The timing and duration of the travels are up to you. Both families benefit from our support before and throughout the exchange programme.

Who May Apply?

Adventurous and friendly children and teens aged 9 to 17 and their welcoming families are encouraged to apply.

Where Can I Go?

Adolesco exchanges for Irish participants are currently offered in France, Germany and Spain.

When is the Application Deadline?

Adolesco accepts applications year-round for two matching cycles in the spring and autumn (typically April and October) but we might be in a position to accept late applications. Contact your Adolesco representative for specific information about upcoming deadlines.

How long is the exchange for?

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.

When is the exchange? Will my child miss school?

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 – Summer holidays in France, Germany and Spain are longer than those in Ireland 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.

Can I host first and make the decision to send my child after hosting?

Yes, if you are unsure about sending your child to the family we have chosen for you, you can decide to host first and get the opportunity to get to know your child’s exchange partner and his family family first. In this case you would only pay the application fees, the exchange fees will be charged once you make the decision to send your child abroad.

What will the exchange family be like?

You will see below we have a very thorough application process in order to match 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 thoroughly. You will get to see the photos and forms of the family we have selected for you – it’s very exciting!

How Much Does it Cost?

Application Fee

When you have decided to apply and would like Adolesco to find an exchange match for you, the Application Fee is €100.

Exchange Fee

The cost of an exchange programme depends on the duration of your child’s programme abroad:

  • 3 to 5 weeks: €490
  • 6 to 12 weeks: €690

The balance is due once you receive the details of the family that will take part in the exchange with you.

Airfare and other travel costs are the family’s responsibility. Exchange children must also have a traveler’s insurance policy, primarily medical. This insurance is included for exchanges in France but must be purchased by families for exchanges with Germany and Spain, this usually costs less than €100.


Application Process

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 an email or submit the Pre-Application and we’ll be in touch with the next steps:

  1. The Full Application allows Adolesco to match you with your exchange partner. It’s long, but the better we know you, the better we can create an exceptional exchange for you.
  2. The New Family Meeting: You and your family will attend a New Family Meeting in your area. Here, you’ll meet with other prospective Adolesco families, alumni families, and your Adolesco representative. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions, hear from experienced families, and learn everything you need to know in order to have a successful exchange.
  3. Home Visit: An Adolesco representative will visit you and your family at home. It’s an opportunity to get to know you and your family better, and for you to ask questions one-on-one.
  4. The Matches: In the autumn and spring, the Adolesco executives pool all of the applicants from each country and create the matches. Once we let you know you’ve been matched, you have the opportunity to see the application of your exchange partner and decide if you’d like to go ahead. Once both sides accept the match, the travel planning can begin and your exchange adventure is underway!