CSFES director Danielle Grijalva and Clear Cause are the sources for these questions that parents might ask re exchange year.
UN Youth defines «youth» as 15-24 years of age.
1. Do you have family or friends abroad that your exchange student might live with?
Do you know anything about the exchange organization in your home country and their partner in the exchange country?
- Are there safety statistics?
- Google the name of your organization with words like “lawsuit, injured, death, died, rape, fire, fraud…’
- Are background checks done on the home stay families.
- FBI Identification Record/Criminal Background Check / International Criminal Police Organization– INTERPOL (only works if name has not changed)
- What are the codes of conduct for representatives and students.
- What is the policy on students who do illegal drugs, get drunk, bully others etc? Do they notify authorities? Do they send them home? What can you do if your organization does nothing?
- Inappropriate sexual advances should be dealt with promptly.
Check out the reputation of the high school.
2. Will you be able to speak with your child in the host-country or will you be told that you cannot speak to my child due to cultural shock and the need to settle in?
3. Will my child be able to speak in their native language to me?
4. Will I be allowed to visit my son or daughter?
5. Are there weapons in the house?
6. Will I be contacted for permission to participate in dangerous
7. Why might my child risk having their telephone or computer taken away from them by the agencies local coordinator?
9. Is it true my son or daughter may be labeled as a «trouble maker» or having an «inability to adjust» if he/she speaks to anyone outside the organization about any problems or concerns in the home?