These questions have been frequently asked by either parents or students.

What if my French isn’t very good?
There is a lot you can do to prepare before you go to France. Some schools organise some extra lessons for the students before they go. By the end of the stay you may find you are even able to think and dream in French! The Alliance Française in Bristol also run workshops and the details will be sent out to you.

What if we don’t get on with other?
Hopefully you will get on but if you are struggling then there are things that you can find to do together, listening to music, helping each other to learn new words, playing card games etc. There will be other members of the family that you can talk to too. Even if you are not going to be the best of friends you will still learn a lot and experience something different that you will always remember.

Most people do get on really well as you are matched very carefully with you partner.

You may have siblings of the same age or similar pets etc that will make you feel more at home in the family.

What will I do when I am there?
Apart from being part of a French family, and possibly sharing a holiday with them, there are plenty of other activities which you might enjoy. Remember that you are the guest of a family and they will plan activities which would interest both yourself and your partner. They want you to be happy.

When you go to France you will be going to a really beautiful area and in the summer you may spend a lot of time at the beach.

What if I don’t like the food?
There are bound to be things you don’t like eating. There are probably lots of foods in England that you don’t like either. But don’t think that the French eat Frogs legs, Oysters or Duck on a daily basis. They don’t! Many such foods are delicacies which are eaten when dining out or at celebration meals. You can tell your French family what you do like to eat and go to the supermarket with them to choose things.

If you are a vegetarian they may need some guidance as there are far fewer vegetarians in France. You may get to try new things that you really like.

You could think about taking out a recipe and offering to cook something.

What happens if I am really homesick?
When you are in France your French family will look after you and want you to be happy. The accompanying teachers are also there and will come and visit you and take you out if you need a break from speaking French. You can also arrange to see some of the other students who are on the exchange. The first few days can be difficult but after that most students settle in well.

Does my exchange partner have to have their own room?
This is not necessary but if you have a spare room then you may want to give them the choice.

I don’t like flying – do I have to go by plane?
All students fly together and travel as a group with the teachers so you do have to go by plane. You will have chance to meet the accompanying teacher at the pre-exchange meeting before you go and you can let them know that you are nervous about flying.

Can they come to school with me?
If you are still on term time then the schools that work with the exchange are very happy for you to take your partner to school with you. If you go to France at Easter you will have time in school.

What will the weather be like?
It is usually much hotter even at Easter when you may be able to go to the beach.

If you go to France in the summer you are likely to have all of your meals outside and spend time on the coast.

Make sure that you take plenty of sun cream.

Do I need my own passport?
You will need a full individual passport.

If you have anything other than an EU passport it is for you to arrange a visa for entry to France.

What is Erasmus +?
Erasmus + is the new umbrella programme for education, training, youth and sport. It offers a range of opportunities to students and staff to study and train abroad.

How can I find out more?
See Erasmus + programme www.erasmusplus.org.uk

What can we do if we are interested in hosting a young person on an Erasmus + programme?
Contact us as we are often looking for host families in the Bristol area.

Who can help us with a European Development Plan?
– The National Agency – email erasmusplus@uk.ecorys.com
Contact us for advice and suggestions.

How long does the funding last?
The funding is for the period of 2014-2020 and has 3 key actions. Different programmes have different application dates and time periods. More details are available on www.erasmusplus.org.uk

Our school would like to host a placement, can we do this?
We organise placements for students studying “administration” and welcome contact for schools able to offer a placement.

We would like to take a group to France and visit a school – is this possible?
We have several residential bases and many school contacts and can put together an itinerary to suit your needs.

Can you organise trips for primary pupils?
We are building our network of primary links so please contact us to find out more.

Can we combine language learning with an activity or sport?
We have partnerships with several French organisations and can arrange a tailor-made group trip for you combining language learning and being active.

Is there any funding available for school groups?
Contact us to find out more about Community Quartet funding or the LeFèvre Trust.
The next closing date for the LeFèvre Trust is 19 May 2015.

We want to set up a school partnership exchange and are unclear about the DBS requirement?
Schools can decide if their programme falls under the definition of “regulated activity” and whether DBS checks are required.
Other vetting procedures should also be carried out and we can help put this in place as part of your Safety Management Plan.

Can checks be carried out for our partner school families?
Again schools need to make this decision and often the foreign equivalent of a DBS can be obtained easily online.
It may require sensitive handling if it is not part of the culture to request this. We can help you with this.

When pupils are unsupervised how can we help prepare them for this?
“Remote Supervision” is always a feature on an exchange and pupils should be prepared for this as part of the exchange briefing. Pupils should always know who and how to contact group leaders and have 24/7 contact with staff members.

These aspects are an important part of the planning process.

We can help you put these in place with our “Safeguarding” questionnaire “Code of Conduct” and application forms as part of our safety training.
These link in to your risk assessment for the exchange and we can help you with this too.