The Student Exchange Program - Questions

Who can apply for a CEEF exchange program?

Who can apply for a CEEF two/three-month international student exchange?

All secondary school students are potential candidates.

You are eligible to apply if you:

• are enrolled in a secondary school for the entire school year during which the exchange takes place
• have a good attendance record
• have demonstrated academic achievement
• are aged 14 to 17 during the school year of the exchange
• are studying/have studied or would like to learn the language, culture, history, geography, way of life and business environment of another country
• have the principal's approval of your application

Elementary school students can apply for a 3-month exchange to France. You complete your application during Grade 7, and go on the exchange when you are in Grade 8 (possibly Grade 9 if you are in a Grade 7 to 12 school or a junior high school).

While in Europe, elementary school students attend a "college." In the European school system, this is the equivalent to Grades 6 to 9.

If you are in elementary school, this program is a good choice for you if you:

• have demonstrated very strong ability in Core French
• are enrolled in Extended French
• are in a French Immersion program

Ontario students in elementary school are eligible to participate in CEEF's Summer Program to France.


What is included in CEEF Program Fees for two/three-month international exchanges?

What is included in CEEF Program Fees for two/three-month international exchanges?

CEEF Program Fees for two/three-month international exchanges include:

• a deposit
• international group air travel
• CEEF escort(s) on trans-Atlantic flights
• connecting air or surface travel as required in the host country
• out-of-country Travel Insurance - Emergency Medical, Trip Cancellation/Interruption + Baggage
• a minimal CEEF administration fee. (CEEF is a not-for-profit foundation.)

Click the blue Program Fees button to learn more about CEEF’s Program Fees. Information about our fees are also listed on CEEF’s Preliminary Application Forms which are available on the site for downloading.

Please note that some Boards levy a small, additional administrative surcharge for participating students.


Do I get to choose the destination for my exchange?

Do I get to choose the destination for my exchange?

CEEF organizes two/three-month international student exchanges with many different countries. For 2019/2020, CEEF destinations include:

• France (two or three month exchanges)
• Spain (three month exchange)
• Italy (three month exchange)
• Germany (three month exchange)

For more information about these countries please visit the Destinations section of our web site.

When you send in your application, you indicate the destinations you are prepared to accept in order of preference. CEEF works very hard to give you your number one choice, but also has to balance Canadian applicants with the number of applicants from the various host countries.

You will have an excellent chance of being successfully matched if you are:

• flexible
• willing to be matched with either a boy or a girl
• open to accept placement in any of the destinations you indicate on your application.


Where would I live while away on exchange?

Where would I live while away on exchange?

A successful applicant is matched with a student of similar age, background and interests from one of the host countries indicated as preferred destinations.

In the same way that your family hosts your exchange partner for the first phase of the exchange (mid-August to early October/November), you are hosted by your exchange partner's family during the second (or return) phase.

In early February, you travel to the home country of your exchange partner. You become a member of your partner's family for two/three months, living in their home, attending school with your partner, visiting sites of interest in the area, learning all about the lifestyle, enjoying the delights of sampling an exciting new cuisine, and gaining more self-confidence!


Do I need to be fluent or currently studying another language?

Do I need to be fluent or currently studying another language?

Do I need to be fluent or currently studying another language?

If you are applying for an exchange to France you should be studying or have studied French as a second language.

If you would like to go on exchange to Spain, Italy or Germany, you should ideally be studying, have studied, or have a basic knowledge of Spanish, Italian or German or plan to take a course (at school or by independent study) before leaving on your exchange.

You can also gain knowledge of these languages by searching for language instruction videos on YouTube or by setting up a free account on Duolingo at

If your school does not offer programs in these languages, contact your local school board and ask for information about Independent Study, Private Study, Continuing Education Programs and Summer School.

Some school boards are also beginning to develop Internet-based learning opportunities for students, allowing them to register for and take courses on-line via an e-mail address. Check with your Guidance Counsellor.


How long does an exchange last, and when does it take place?

How long does an exchange last, and when does it take place?

For secondary school students, CEEF offers both two and three-month reciprocal exchanges to France. In addition, CEEF offers secondary school students three-month reciprocal exchanges to Italy, Germany and Spain. For elementary school students, CEEF offers a three-month reciprocal exchange to France.

Visiting students arrive in Canada in mid-August and return home in early October/November.

Canadian students depart for their exchange destination in early February and return home in early/late April/early May.

If you are interested in one of CEEF's shorter-term exchanges to France or Spain, please click on "Does CEEF organize any Summer Programs?" These exchanges do not involve school time! (Summer Exchanges are available only to students living in Ontario.)


Does CEEF organize any Summer Programs?

Does CEEF organize any Summer Programs?

In addition to Two/Three-month international programs, CEEF organizes extremely popular "cultural" exchanges during the summer months. Summer Exchanges do not involve any school time.

The destinations for 2019 Summer Programs are France and Spain. For France, Canadian students travel in July and host here in August. For Spain, Canadian students host here in July and travel in August.

Secondary students may apply for France and Spain. Elementary students may only apply for France.

Summer exchanges are available only to Ontario students. All departures are from Pearson International Airport.

Summer Program participants will:

• meet their exchange partners and host families
• settle into a new ambiance
• participate in all aspects of family life abroad
• practice French or Spanish in real-life situations
• explore the sights of France or Spain
• experience first-hand the history, culture and cuisine of France or Spain
• reciprocate by hosting their visiting exchange partner for 4 weeks.

Summer Program Applicants first submit the 2019 Summer Preliminary Application and then go on to complete the more detailed Summer Application.

The Summer Program Fee includes:

• return travel from Toronto Airport to final destination abroad
• CEEF escort(s) on trans-Atlantic flights
• Comprehensive Travel Insurance
• a minimal CEEF administration fee (CEEF is a not-for-profit foundation)
• support of knowledgeable staff, if needed, throughout the summer exchange.

Summer Program fees do not include personal expenses for the period of the exchange.


How would a Two/Three-month Exchange affect my academic year?

How would a Two/Three-month Exchange affect my academic year?

Canadian Education Exchange Foundation Programs are the successors to programs provided prior to 1991 by the Ontario Ministry of Education. By meeting all of the criteria outlined by the Ministry in Memorandum 2004:SB7, CEEF exchanges continue to qualify as eligible educational exchange programs for purposes of clause 49(7)(a) of the Education Act. (April 23, 2004: Memorandum 2004:SB7, third-last paragraph.)

During both the hosting and return visiting phases, CEEF exchanges are school-based programs. School attendance is a requirement for participation.

The vast majority of exchange participants complete their full roster of credits during the exchange year. Students do so in a variety of ways:

• by completing equivalency assignments under the direction of their own teachers
• by taking Independent Study or Continuing Education credits
• by earning discretionary credits granted by the Principal or School Board
• by taking summer school credits (if available)

The key to a successful exchange year is to plan ahead and be well-organized.

Consult with your subject teachers or Guidance Counsellors. They can help you make the right choices so that you can achieve your academic goals for the year while participating in the exchange at the same time.


What would I study during a Two/Three-month Exchange?

What would I study during a Two/Three-month Exchange?

Since all CEEF 2/3-month exchanges are school-based programs, as an exchange student you attend classes on all school days throughout the duration of your stay in the host country.

When you arrive at your partner's school, in most cases you meet with a counsellor. Together you discuss your needs and preferences and determine which classes would be the most appropriate for you during the exchange period.

Great emphasis is placed upon giving you the opportunity to improve your proficiency in the language of your host country, but you study other subjects as well, just as you would in your own school.

At the end of the two/three-month exchange, teachers in the school abroad complete an anecdotal report describing your attendance, participation and progress during the two/three-months abroad.

You bring this report back to your home school. This assists teachers with the preparation of your overall evaluation for the academic year.


Does CEEF organize any non-academic exchanges?

Does CEEF organize any non-academic exchanges?

CEEF's primary goal is to provide educational exchange opportunities and all of our exchange programs fall into this category.

CEEF does not organize independent tourist travel which is not part of an academic program.

During the exchange period, students have the opportunity to travel with their host families and also to take part in excursions or trips organized and supervised by the host school.

In many cases, deep and lasting friendships develop between exchange students and families. Visits and travel back and forth between Canada and the host country sometimes continue for years after the actual exchange itself!

An International Exchange could lead to the type of job that has you travelling all the time in your chosen career. Many companies recognize the importance of having employees who speak more than one language and who have lived in another country. Your exchange experience will look good on your résumé!


How can I apply?

How can I apply?

The application process for Two/Three-month and Summer Exchanges involves two easy steps:

• a Preliminary Application with some basic information
• a longer, more detailed Full Application which is used for matching.

Most students submit their applications in the fall/winter of the school year prior to the actual exchange:

• fall of 2018 for 2019 Summer Programs
• fall/winter of 2018/2019 for 2019/2020 Two/Three-month Programs.

Since many schools are semestered and some students may not learn about our programs until the new year, CEEF accepts all school-approved applications sent to us throughout the school year.

Matching begins in April, and most students have been partnered by the end of May. Some late matching does take place in June and July. However, the earlier we receive your application, the better your chance of getting an exchange partner in the country you prefer! This is especially true for the Summer Programs, which are in very high demand.

To receive a Preliminary Application, click this Application Kit link and then download and print the appropriate Application. You can also send an e-mail to the CEEF Office in Barrie: . You can also telephone (1 705 739-7596) or write to:

Canadian Education Exchange Foundation
250 Bayview Drive, Unit #4
Barrie ON Canada L4N 4Y8

Please include the following information in your request:

• full name and mailing address complete with postal code
• home telephone number and e-mail address (if applicable)
• school and school board
• preferred program (Two/Three-month or Summer).

Submitting as much information as possible on your Full Application will help us to get to know you and your family so that we can arrange the best possible match for you!


What have recent participants said about CEEF Exchanges?

Some sample comments from recent participants about exchanges they have done with CEEF:

"I was in France for the 3-month exchange from February-May and had the time of my life. I made so many new friends! I can’t even explain how much I loved it! This experience has truly changed my life… I have a much broader outlook on the future and have insight into a completely different part of our world. After only 2 weeks there, I realized that I needed to plan to come back. I’m already looking into study abroad programs for when I'm in university. I'll never forget CEEF and my very first study abroad program. Thank you!!!" A.B.

"I would like to thank you for organizing exchanges in our area. I, myself, had an amazing exchange the entire time, here and in France and would recommend it to anyone interested in going. Thank you again, CEEF. Without your support I would not have had this great experience." C.W.

"I'm writing this note to send my thanks for all the extra effort you put into making my exchange trip so successful. I really had the "time of my life" and I learned so much. A definite life-changing experience. I appreciate everything CEEF did to make this one of the most memorable events of my life." L.S.

"My school in France is great! The teachers are friendly and approachable and the students are nice. I never feel out of place. My French family is friendly, open and approachable too. We are all having a great time. My partner and I get along very well. I think I've made a lifelong friend." R.G.

"I've just come back from my exchange to Germany and I really enjoyed it. I can't believe what a wonderful job you did of pairing up partners. You couldn't have chosen a better partner for me. We had so much fun together that my parents are sending me back to Germany for Christmas and then my partner is planning to come back to Canada next summer. Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime to see and live in another country. You are the BEST at what you do." K.F.

"We cannot say enough about the opportunity that my daughter and her partner have been given by taking part in the CEEF program. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for this. The hardest part of the hosting phase was falling in love with our exchange student and having to watch her walk away to go back home. We are already planning ways in which they can visit with each other in future." B.P.