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Programme Exchange

What is it ?

How it works ?

How to apply/register ?

Frequently asked questions

Cancellation Policy

Document to download

What is it?

Irish in France puts Irish and French families in touch and finds a good “match” for language and cultural exchanges between children or teenagers the same age. The two families offer hospitality to each other’s children in their homes. The families are not paid.

The Programme caters for children and teenagers between the ages of 10 and 17 – students of Irish Secondary Schools and French Collège or Lycée.

The Language exchange programme is a unique opportunity for children and teenagers to learn a language and experience a culture in an authentic way, hopefully forming life-long friendships in the process. 

How it works?

The 2 families (Irish and French) pay a registration fee which covers:

1– Finding a student to do an exchange with.
– The “match” will be geared to the principal participant i.e. if the Irish family has a 14 year old girl in 4th year of Secondary school, then IIF will a French family with a 14 year old girl in 3ème to exchange with.
– IIF does not guarantee that all siblings will match in age and profile.
– IIF will find participants with similar interests where possible.
– Families are not paid for hosting.

2– Each family signs a contract agreeing to welcome the student for a designated period (1 or 2 weeks) during that same academic year. The contract is valid for one year.

3– Upon signing the contract, each family must propose a 1/2-week period in which they can welcome the other student. This proposition is open to negotiation with the other family. IIF takes no part in these negotiations.

4– Each family is responsible for :
– arranging the dates of the exchanges
– all travel arrangements, including flights, insurance, transfers to and from the airport of the visiting student
– arranging activities for the exchange students,
– integrating the student into family life
– arranging for the visiting student to attend school with their child (where possible and when the school permits)

5– Ideally, the students would spend one week in school together and one week of holiday together. (This is merely a guideline and may not be possible as not ever school permits foreign students attending for short periods.)

How to apply/register?

1– Fill in Registration form on irishinfrance.com By completing the online registration form, the client agrees to the conditions of the contract which are available online.
2– IIF confirms receipt of online registration form and starts the selection process.
3– When IIF finds a good match, the selected “abbreviated student profile” is sent to each family – (Abbreviated Student profile details age, sex, family composition, class level, town.) If the client agrees to the “match”, the client pays 200€ fee paid by bank transfer to IIF. This fee is non-refundable.
4– Upon receipt of payment, IIF sends Irish and French clients detailed family profile and contact details.
5– Both parties are invited to get in touch by Skype/email/phone. IIF proposes a 3-way skype call by means of introduction, upon request.
6– Both parties at this stage must provide proof of application for the Casier Judiciare no.3/Garda Vetting forms. The onus is on the two parties to acquire and send to the exchange family their own judicial paperwork. IIF cannot process or receive these documents on behalf of the client.
7– IIF sends contracts to both parties to sign (dates having been negotiated between parties).
8– The two families organize the exchange, the travel dates, school immersion, medical insurance information, airport security documents etc. IIF takes no part in this planning.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What happens if one party does not provide dates agreeable to both parties to host?

Dates should be agreed upon before signing the contract. Exchange dates are written into the contract therefore it is up to both clients to adapt and organize the exchange dates. IIF cannot accept responsibility for one party breaking contract. The contract is between the French and Irish signatories. IIF is not a signatory of the contract.

Q: What happens if for example, the Irish family invites the French kid during Winter holidays and the 2 kids hate each other; and neither wants to do the second part of the exchange which was planned for Easter holidays?!

The contract clearly states that IIF cannot take responsibility for students “not getting along”. Irish and French parents will have to convince their children to adapt, to be patient and to try and get along.

Q: What happens if IIF proposes a “match” and sends me an Abbreviated Student Profile, but I do not accept it? Can I refuse the “match”?

When IIF sends the “Abbreviated Student Profile”, if one of the parties involved does not accept the “match” proposed, IIF will look for a second family. But if the second proposed match is not accepted, the registration fee is forfeited.

Q: What is the Irish Garda Vetting Certificate?

In Ireland, any individual who seeks employment that will involve access to children or vulnerable people, will be subject to mandatory “Garda vetting”. Fields of employment include schools (all teachers, canteen staff, teaching assistants etc), social workers, sports club personnel (trainers, assistants, physiotherapists etc) and host families (all family members and people living in the home must be declared). This is basically a background check which seeks to protect children by making it obligatory for all those involved in work with children, to declare past criminal offenses.

Q: How do I get my Garda Vetting certificate?

Irish clients are invited to apply online for the Garda vetting certificate.


The process should take approximately 1-2 weeks.

Q: What is the Casier Judiciare No.3?

The Casier Judiciare is an individual’s police record which shows past criminal offenses. All French residents (French citizens and non-French) can request a copy of their police record.

Q:  How do I get Casier Judiciare no.3?

French clients are invited to apply online for the Casier Judiciare extract No.3


The process should take approximately 1-2 weeks. 

Cancellation Policy

1- If one of the signatories of the Contract should cancel their participation before the arrival of the exchange student, the onus is on the signatories of the contract to renegotiate and find a solution that is agreeable to both parties.
2- Irish in France accepts no responsibility in the event of the cancellation of an Exchange trip.
3- The Registration fee is non-negotiable and non-refundable.

Document to download

Registration form in English