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The Interchange program is a bilateral, family centered exchange between two international CISV chapters for youth (ages 12-15). The delegation of up to five girls and five boys, plus an adult leader reciprocally hosts a partner of the same age and gender with similar interests for two to four weeks. This program encourages a deeper understanding of another culture by enabling young people to live as family members. Group activities involving both delegations are a vital component of the Interchange program.

Objectives of the Program

CISV strives to promote peace and cooperation among nations. It does this through the development of international understanding among peoples, focusing on youth. This overall goal is pursued with different programs for youth of various ages. The Interchange program is specifically designed for youth, ages 12-15, AND their families. Its immediate objectives are to foster in the participants a greater understanding of a particular national culture other than their own, and to create personal bonds of friendship with members of that culture.

How the Program Works

The interchange program consists of a reciprocal exchange of home visits of about 4 weeks each, in two consecutive summers. Occasionally the interchanges occur for 3 weeks and may be over the winter holiday or may even occur in the same summer. The interchange invitations received by our Chapter will be for youth ages 12-13, 13-14, or 14-15. Details of this year's opportunity(ies) can be seen below - under "current opportunities."

Delegates in the Interchange must be in the specified age range at some time between the dates of June 1 and August 31 at the start of participation.

The program pairs a group of approximately 6-10 boys and girls from one member country with partners of the same age, interests and gender from a second country. Adult leaders, one from each country, are responsible for implementing the program in accordance with CISV goals and guidelines. The leaders are volunteers who are selected by the local CISV Chapter and who are required to attend designated leadership training sessions. Their travel expenses are shared by the families of the participating youths.

The program has two aspects, each having equal priority: the family aspect and the group aspect. By living in a family, the guest gains insight into another way of family life, discovers the social structure within the family, and obtains substantial cultural and educational background information offered by the hosts and their country.

In balance with the family aspect, the group aspect includes a number of different kinds of activities. The leader arranges opportunities for the group to meet together to create a group feeling and to prepare activities and social events, prior to the start of the Interchange. The leader also arranges learning experiences where topics about both countries are explored and discussed during the Interchange (family life, different customs and habits, food, education, religion, weather, etc.). Each delegation is responsible for planning a number of group activities during their partner's visit, so that all of the youth have a chance to get to know each other and the other families.

2017 Interchange Program

Location Hamburg, Germany
Dates Mid July to Mid August
Age Range
Delegates 8 Participants
Program Number I-2017-007