Languages Connect How-to-Manual-for-School-Exchanges - Flipbook - Page 5
If there is no school exchange in your school and you would like to set one up, it is really
helpful to have the following in place:
• An enthusiastic language teacher, or depending on the size of the school, an enthusiastic
team of language teachers
• Supportive nonlanguage teachers
• A supportive principal and supportive management
• Enthusiastic students
• Enthusiastic parents who understand that a school exchange is reciprocal, and that if they
welcome a partner student into their home, their partner student’s family will welcome
their child into theirs.
If any of the above are not in place, you will need to explain the benefits of a school
exchange for students, teachers, parents and the school. The video clips should help to
Benefits of a school
• Improvement in language skills (experience the TL in real life, and improvement in LC
• Opens students’ eyes to a new way of thinking
• Looks good on a CV
• Students learn to be more independent (gain confidence)
• Students learn to appreciate what they already have
• New friends (potentially work experience, job opportunities and family exchanges)
• Opportunity to experience culture in another country
• Opportunity to experience life with another family in another country (students doing a
third level placement will probably experience life in student halls of residence which is
completely different to staying with a family)
Finding a partner
Once the management has given approval to start a school exchange, and there are other
teachers involved to share the workload, the next step is to find a partner school. The
following are suggestions for finding a partner.
• Many language teachers have friends and contacts they made while they were abroad,
these can be a useful starting point.
• As Erasmus has been running for over 30 years, it is likely that some of the other teachers
in your school will have friends and contacts abroad.
• Ireland has much experience with emigration so that there are many people who have
friends and family living in other countries, use the contacts you have as a starting point.
• Some towns are twinned with a similar town abroad, find out if your town is twinned
and if it is, find out if the schools abroad have exchanges in place. If your town is not
twinned, there is European Commission funding available under the “Europe for Citizens”
• Ireland is an Englishspeaking country, Brexit is about to happen, and there are lots of
schools abroad that are very keen to find a partner school in an EU country. The language
teacher associations are frequently contacted by foreign schools looking for Irish partner
schools, as are the education specialists in the embassies, and the cultural institutes.
• The European Commission programme eTwinning is not specifically intended to find a
partner school to do an exchange with, but it works very well for this purpose. Potential
partners can be filtered by language, country, area, town, type of school, etc.
How-to Manual for School Exchanges