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The Elementary Exchange program offers Grade 8 students the opportunity to participate in:
- A 9-Week Go-First Exchange with a partner from France*
- A 9-Week Host-First Exchange with a partner from France, Switzerland or Spain(new for 2022)*
Students spend 9 weeks hosting an exchange partner in the Fall and 9 weeks visiting their exchange partner abroad in the Winter. Visiting students receive an English language experience while here, and Ontario students receive a French language experience while abroad.
“An unbelievable experience that I will never forget! I loved experiencing the culture, food, and way of life.”
- Hudson B., 9-Week France Exchange
Go First / Host First Timelines
Go First Timeline
Go abroad from February to April, Host from end of August to November
Mid April to October
Students complete the application process with the required approval of their school (elementary students require approvals from both the elementary school they attend and the high school they will be attending), fees and Vulnerable Sector Checks and submit to the ISE office by mid-October. Successful applicants are matched with a student of similar age and interests. Students receive information about a proposed partner and submit acceptances by mid-November.
November to January
Approximately 2 weeks after acceptance, the ISE Office will give you a firm date when communication can commence with the exchange partner and family. Full payment is due by late November. Mid-January to early February, regional Pre-Departure Meetings are held to prepare students and parents for the period abroad.
to Mid April
Ontario students leave early February spending 9 weeks with their partner returning home mid April.
Early to mid-June, regional Pre-Arrival Meetings are held to prepare students and parents for the hosting period.
to Early November
Visiting students arrive in Ontario in late August. 9-week visiting students return home early November.
Host First Timeline
Host from end of August to November, Go abroad February to April
September to April
Students complete the application process with the required school approval, fees, and Vulnerable Sector Checks and submit to the ISE office by April.
April to May
Throughout April, successful applicants are matched with a student of similar age and interests. In early May, students receive information about a proposed partner and submit acceptances in May.
Mid/Late May to
Approximately 2 weeks after acceptance, the ISE Office will give you a firm date when communication can commence with the exchange partner and family. Throughout June, regional Pre-Arrival Meetings are held to prepare for the hosting period. The first of two payments is due in July.
Late August to
Visiting students arrive in Ontario, late August. (Ontario students must be able to greet them upon their arrival- exact date T.B.A). Early November, the 9-week visiting students return home. The final payment is also due in November.
Throughout January, regional Pre-Departure Meetings are held to prepare for the period abroad.
Ontario students depart in early February to visit their partner. Ontario students spend 9 weeks with their partner, returning home early April.
Elementary program applicants must:
- Have received and are up to date with immunizations (This is mandatory for school enrollment in Europe)
- Have received medical clearance to participate in the suitable exchange
- Be recommended by their teachers and school principal
- Be able to greet their partner upon his/her arrival (late August)
Elementary students who are well suited for an exchange:
- Are enthusiastic and eager to participate in new activities
- Are not overly committed to time-consuming extracurricular activities, work, or social media
- Have been away from friends and family before without great difficulties, such as attending summer camp
- Have the desire to learn and can benefit from enhanced French skills throughout their secondary school career
- Demonstrate an interest in learning about the history and culture of their desired destination
- Are outgoing, personable and responsible
Toronto District School Board: Students are not eligible for Elementary School-Year Exchanges.
York Region District School Board: Elementary immersion students are not eligible for a Host First Exchange. Grade 8 immersion students may apply for a Go-First or Summer Exchange.
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; can 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
- Commit to the reciprocal nature of the exchange program (hosting a partner for the time designated is required)
- Assume responsibility for ensuring their child has the travel documentation required for travel to/from Europe
- 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 period