Subject: An Amazing Experience !!!
Our names are Jade and Brianna. We participated in the 12-week exchange program in 2018 - 2019. We wanted to tell you that our exchange has been such an amazing experience that positively impacts our lives even now. Jade went to Canada from August to November 2018, and Brianna went to France from February to May 2019. We felt that our time abroad helped us grow up and be more open-minded people. We had so much fun meeting new people and discovering new things! Also, our speaking and understanding language skills improved exponentially.
We felt it was so great, actually, that Jade and her family came to revisit Brianna during the summer of 2019. Because of the pandemic, we were not able to visit each other more, but we've kept in touch this whole time. Now, here we are, 3 years later, seeing each other in Europe (France and Italy). We are now 18 (almost 19!) and 20 and still friends. We speak half French and half English when we are together. Even if we don't see each other that often, we built such a strong friendship during the exchange.
We just wanted to express our gratitude towards the program. Also, our gratitude to whoever went through our long applications and paired us up! We are hoping to continue to see each other as the years go by (in fact, we made a pinky promise to attend each others weddings haha). Anyway, we have attached photos of the four times we have seen each other in person. Feel free to use them!
Brianna A. & Jade C.
Go First Program Timeline
Summer Exchange Program
Host First Program Timeline
ISE Ontario Safety Precautions
Recognizing the safety and well-being of students is always a high priority. ISE Ontario would like to assure you of the measures we take to protect our program participants. When matching students, we ensure that our children will be sent to a stable and secure home where they will be integrated into the family for the duration of the exchange. We will answer any questions and concerns families have and send frequent email updates regarding the program and expectations during their exchange timeline. We have representatives at the airport upon student departures, arrivals, and returns, as well as experienced chaperones who are responsible for assisting all students in moving safely through the airports, getting on their flights, and greeting their family upon arrival in Europe. We also ensure ground support is in place in Europe and participants are provided with my cellular number, along with the emergency contact details of our partner offices. We recognize that most participants travel with a cell phone but have limited data and always request they enroll on a social media platform that will allow for our offices to connect with them as needed without incurring additional expenses. This information is collected prior to their departure and approved by the families.
Touch points occur throughout the exchange and our partner offices work together to follow-up and support the exchange experience. Any issues that arise during the exchange period will be examined by both offices and we will work to solve these as soon as possible. We coach to any concerns and if, after monitoring and efforts at problem-solving deem necessary, will move the student to a new host family. If repatriation is necessary, we will secure our students’ safe return home at the earliest date available and support parents during this time. We will not send children abroad if we identify any major risks to them prior to time of departure. Should a situation arise once the children have departed and the exchange needs to be terminated early, ISE will work in partnership with our European offices, travel agent, and airlines to manage the safe group return of all our children abroad. As recently witnessed during the return of over 140 participants during the COVID-19 pandemic, as matters escalated, we made the decision to terminate the program prior to the first Canadian travel advisory announcement.
We will continue to evolve practices moving forward. Please be assured ISE will always act in the best interest of our students.
Mary Di Santo - Lawless, Executive Director