Elementary Program


About the Program

The elementary program offers grade 8 students the opportunity to participate in:

9 Week Exchange with a partner from France or Switzerland !

Students spend 9 weeks hosting an exchange partner in the fall and 9 weeks abroad with their exchange partner in the winter/spring! Visiting students receive an English language experience while here, both at home and at school, and Ontario students receive a French language experience while abroad.

Students have the option to choose between two different exchange timelines: Go First and Host First.
Note: Switzerland is not available on the ‘Go First’ Timeline. 

Core, Extended, and Immersion French students are all eligible for an elementary exchange program.
With the exception of  students from dual track schools (i.e. Toronto students), French Immersion school students should only apply for the Go First program as the visiting French student must have an English language experience at school. All other students can apply for either timeline.

Elementary students who are well suited for an exchange:

  • Are active, outgoing, personable and responsible
  • Are not overly committed to time-consuming extracurricular activities, such as competitive sports teams
  • Have been away from friends and family before without great difficulty, such as attending summer camp
  • Can benefit from enhanced French skills throughout their secondary school career
  • May go on to participate in another exchange in secondary school

Elementary program applicants must:

  • Have above average academic standing and a good attendance record
  • Have up-to-date immunizations (required for school enrollment) 
  • Be recommended by their teachers and school principal
  • Not be employed while their exchange partner is visiting
  • Be able to greet their partner upon his/her arrival  (late August, exact date T.B.A)

The applicant’s parent(s)/ family must:

  • Have a home that: is clean and orderly; has adequate space for the visiting partner; is free of substance abuse, physical abuse, or any other form of abuse
  • Be warm, caring and open; be able to host a student in a supervised, safe and comfortable atmosphere; can provide for all meals and the cost of family activities for the student during the hosting period
  • Be willing and able to speak only English at home during the hosting period
  • Assume responsibility for ensuring their son or daughter has the travel documentation he or she requires for travel to/from Europe
  • Understand and agree to the reciprocal nature of the exchange program (hosting a partner for the time designated is required)
  • Submit a clear Vulnerable Sector Check for each adult aged 18 and over living in the host home(s) (dated within one year of the start of the hosting period)
  • Maintain regular communication with the exchange partner’s parent(s)/family throughout the exchange year

Participation costs for the 2018 Go First Exchange Program are:

Total Cost: $2,999

  • $450 Registration Fee to be submitted by October 16, 2017
  • Balance of $2549 due November 30, 2017

Program fees include:

  • Accompanied international air travel from Toronto Pearson Int’l Airport in economy class on regular airlines
  • Unaccompanied connecting service travel (flight or train) in the host country, where required
  • Travel insurance: cancellation and interruption, AND emergency medical /hospital
  • Orientation tour or activity day in the host destination
  • ISE administration fee


  • Personal spending money
  • Domestic flights or shuttles for the Ontario student to/from Toronto Pearson Airport and any associated fees or costs (i.e. checked luggage)
  • Excess or overweight baggage charges imposed by the airlines
  • Expenses resulting from travel changes caused by events beyond the control of ISE Ontario.

Click here to download the program requirements & costs in PDF

An exchange is like a ski hill. You get on that chairlift going up and up, so excited yet nervous because you don’t know what’s coming. You get off the chairlift and start your way down the hill, fall a couple times but you get back up. You’re still not used to this hill so at the beginning you may be a little off balance but as you start to know the hill, you know what to do and it gets easier. You might trip or lose your balance a couple times, but that’s okay, because while going down that hill you feel so free, you’re having a lot of fun and experiencing something new. But once you get to the bottom, it’s over, you’re happy to be back on flat ground but want to go back on that hill!

Host First Program:
The application deadline for the 2017-18 Host First program has passed. If you wish to submit a late application for France, please contact our office immediately to discuss your options.

Go First Program: 
The deadline to apply for the 2018 Go First Program is October 16, 2017.

Click here to proceed to the APPLICATION PROCESS