European schools offer the possibility of hosting other students as well as supporting their students to visit other schools. Both can take place as real exchanges - visit and return visit - or as one-way visits.
European Schools' Parents' Associations run an informal student exchange network called Intercambio, to facilitate student exchanges between schools. But this only works if families are willing to take on exchange students. Even if your child is not in the same grade or section, you will help a lot by hosting a student!
You can find details of students looking for host families under the menu item on the left - accessible to logged-in members only.
If your child(ren) would like to participate in the school mobility programmes please read the following information carefully.
ESF Students eligible to participate in an exchange
Mobility programmes take place regularly within the 1st semester of S5. However, if there are justified reasons, the 1st semester of S4 is also possible.
- The mobility programme gives to students currently in year 4 the possibility to spend the whole 1st Semester of year 5 in another European school or an accredited European school, and vice versa. Students can participate in an exchange programme only during the entire first term, from September to December until the S5 exams (usually in December). S4 students should submit their application form to the Secondary School Deputy Director in their year 4 but no later than the 31st January; requests received thereafter will be processed on a best effort basis.
- Where justified, the mobility programme gives to students currently in year 3 the possibility to spend the five-six weeks in the 1st Semester of year 4 in another European school or an accredited European school, and vice versa. The exchange programme of students in year 4 will be discretionally considered by the school director. This application should be submitted by the pupils in their year 3 but no later than 31st
How to request an exchange
The permission to participate in the student exchange program depends to a great extent on a) the student's academic performance, and b) the availability of the student’s subject choices in the host school. However, many schools have established their own rules to the students’ mobility: some schools accept only mutual exchange – the families host the students mutually; some schools limit the number of incoming and outgoing students (it should be equal); some schools accept only the whole semester exchange and give the opportunity only to S5 students.
First, parents need to formally request the exchange (e.g. via e-mail) to both:
- The ESF Secondary Deputy Director Ms Minna Laatu - minna.laatu(at)eursc.eu
- Ms Vasiliki Tsifa pedagogical advisor for S5 - vasiliki.tsifa(at)eursc.eu and
Second, the Secondary Deputy Director, in collaboration with the pedagogical advisor:
- Will look up the student's subject combination and contact the host school to see if the exchange is possible. This process can take some time so should you have any questions about how the application is proceeding, you may contact the pedagogical advisor directly.
Third, once the host school has decided whether it is possible to host the new student or not:
- The ESF pedagogical advisor will inform parents and students and if positive, parents will begin the search for a host family (see below).
Finding a Host Family
Parents, once you have received confirmation about the host school, you need to start organising the exchange early and get your child(ren) to prepare a one-page introduction letter in English, ideally in the host country language as well (with or without a photo). Don’t forget to include contact information, such as student e-mail, parents full contact details.
- For “outgoing” students looking for host family abroad, the ESF Parents' Association, if requested to do so, will distribute this information to the local Parents’ Association who will pass it on to their parent members. For more information on student exchange’s rules and procedures of other European Schools, please visit the website of the Parent Association’s school your child(ren) will be visiting. The exchange coordinators’ contact details are usually listed on the latter; in addition you are strongly encouraged to visit the host European school website for more specific information.
- For “incoming” students seeking a host family in Frankfurt, the ESF Parents' Association will publish on its website, accessible to logged-in members only, students’ details and their motivation letter, if formally authorisedby the students’ parents.
The Parents Associations of both schools coordinate the requests, using the regular channels of communication through the respective Parents Association and the relevant class representatives.
General information about the role of the host Family
The host family looks after the student during the exchange. The language spoken at home is the L2 or L3 of the visiting pupil so that the exchange pupils can be encouraged to practice in a family environment. The host family is the primary care parent during the exchange with regards to the pupil’s well-being. They are responsible for having a day-to-day dialogue with the student and liaise with the school, e.g. giving permission to leave school during school hours using the specific ESF permission form to this effect. The host parent informs the school via the school online contact form if the pupil is absent due to illness.
Generally speaking, the host family makes the student feel welcome, ensures that he/she settles in, practices the family’s home language or L2 and L3 if this is not the same and above all enjoys the experience.
Financial Terms and Conditions
Families are required to pay their own travel expenses (flights, train tickets etc.) to and from the host school.
In principle and in the spirit of an exchange, families host a pupil free of charge, on the understanding that the exchange family will host in return, but this only if possible.
The following information pack was gathered to facilitate your tasks; in order to find a host family for your child in Frankfurt, or in a different city where your child will be visiting another European School, please contact the Parents' Association via firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more practical information following these links:
- European School Frankfurt
- Information pack for exchange students and parents
- The role of the ESF PA student exchange coordinator
- European Schools Exchange Programme
- Roles and responsibilities of all parties involved, Student application form, Student health form, Parent/Guardian consent form, [PDF]
- Host families information form, host family charter [PDF]
- Guidance on crisis management and crisis contact list [PDF]
- European School Frankfurt internal rules of the secondary school
- Information for new students and parents of the secondary school
- List of European Schools and of Accredited European Schools