FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about French Exchange. But if you still have queries, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Q. How long does it take for the exchange to be confirmed?
A. The length of the process is dependent on the speed of response we receive from both the English and French families and the availability of suitable families at the time you apply. For a more detailed explanation of the process, please see the How It Works page. Please contact us if at any time you want an up-date on progress.
Q. What should I do about insurance?
A. Your child should be in possession of the European Health Card before they travel. An application form is available from Post Offices.
Travel insurance is also recommended and many companies offer student policies.
More information can be found on the Travel page.
Q. Can my child travel with a friend?
A Yes, this is usually possible but we will need as much notice as possible. We will then try to place the two children with families in the same area so they can travel together.
Q. Does the service include travel arrangements?
A. No, you must make your own travel arrangements, which gives you greater choice and flexibility. You will find useful links on our travel page and our office is always happy to provide advice. The French family will meet your child from the nearest arrival point.
Q. What does the Registration Fee cover?
A. The Registration Fee element of the total charge is a handling fee for the initial work undertaken by our office and is not refundable. However, it can be used for other children in the same family and you will not have to pay it again if you use our service in future years.
Q What is the difference between an Exchange and a Homestay?
A. An Exchange is the cheaper of the two schemes because the French child will come to stay with your family during one of the school holidays in the same year. However, for those who do not want a reciprocal visit, a weekly charge is made for a homestay with a French family (currently £250). Details of the latter scheme are available from our office.
Q. I am not happy about my child travelling alone. Are there other options?
A. Apart from accompanying them yourself or letting them travel with a friend (see Question 3 above), we can, at certain times of year, offer the option of accompanied group travel. This is only available on restricted dates on which Belaf Study Holidays has groups travelling to and from France. Please ask our office for further details.
Q. In what order should the exchanges take place?
A. This is a matter of choice and what is practical for you. However, if at all possible, it’s a good idea to have the French child stay with you first. You will learn a lot about him or her and their family life before your child returns to them. It is also a good idea to ‘spread the exchange’. For example, two weeks at Easter and then two weeks in the summer rather than four weeks back to back, which can be a bit tiring for the children concerned.
Q. I live in France. How do we register for an exchange?
A. This site is designed for residents of Great Britain but we hope to publish a French version in the future. But if you are a French family seeking an exchange with children in Britain, please send us an email giving as many details as possible of your requirements.
Q. What happens if I have to cancel the exchange?
A. For details of our cancellation fees, please see paragraphs 4,5,6, and 7 of our Terms and Conditions.
Q. Is it safe to register and pay online?
A. Our online payments are handled by ‘PayPal’, one of the largest and most reputable such companies on the internet. When you click the Payment button you are taken to the secure Paypal site which uses the highest level of encryption commercially available. (You should see a small padlock icon at the bottom of your screen). None of your credit card details can be accessed by anyone at French-Exchange.co.uk.
Q. I am having problems submitting the Registration Form.
A. It might be a browser problem. If possible, try using Internet Explorer. If this doesn’t work, print the form and complete it manually. Then post it to us with a cheque.
Didn’t find an answer? Send us an email or telephone our office on 01249 812551.