What if I do not speak German?

Knowledge of the German language is helpful but is not required. German students are required to study English and most communicate quite well with their American host families. In Germany, many people can speak at least some English.

When is the exchange scheduled?

Generally, the exchange takes place from the last week in July through the second week in August each summer. One year we go to Germany; the next year they travel here.

Can we choose our host or guest?

Past participants often make such requests and we honor them when possible. Otherwise, we attempt to match students with a host family based on information in the student's profile.

What takes place during the exchange?

The purpose of these visits is to experience family life in the other country. Students become an adopted member of their host family and participate in normal family activities. Several scheduled events for all the students, their host students

and their host families take place during each exchange. Otherwise, host families are free to schedule activities with their guest as they choose.

Do host parents need to take time off from work?

Although it is common, it is not necessary. Traveling students are visiting to see how the other culture lives, works and plays. Families are free to carry on with normal activities, including work.

What if hosts will be out of town for a few days?

They usually take the visiting student along. In fact, if it will enhance the cross-cultural experience, it is encouraged! However, host families will help each other out. If needed, another host family will take in other students during brief absences.

What about student safety?

This is our foremost concern. Chaperones travel with the group to assist in safe transit. Both the students and their host families know how to contact the chaperones at all times. The chaperones are also in frequent contact with the students during the exchange

How much does it cost?

Travel years are greatly affected by transportation costs, which can change significantly. The only cost to hosting is to provide the visiting student's room and board. Traveling students are responsible for their own spending money.

Whose laws apply?

The host country's laws apply, regardless of what students are allowed "at home." For instance, in the U.S., German students cannot purchase tobacco products nor consume alcohol. In Germany, only U.S. students 18 years or older can drive a car.

Does the student require a separate bedroom?

While a private bedroom is preferred, it is not required.

How do we sign up?

You can email any remaining questions or ask to be put on our list of future participants by sending an email to youthexchange@peoriasistercity.org. To be considered for an exchange, complete an application and send it (in travel years, along with a deposit) to:
FOF Youth Exchange, 4127 N. Stonewater, Peoria, IL 61615.

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