Interchange Selection Process
The primary qualifications and attributes considered by the Interchange Selection Committee are that the candidate:
- Must be within the age range specified in the Interchange invitation some time between June 1 and Aug 31 at the start of the Interchange Program.
- Is physically and emotionally healthy, and demonstrates self-discipline.
- Is comfortable being separated from family and friends for four weeks.
- Is responsive to authority.
- Makes friends easily and is readily accepted by others.
- Communicates effectively with adults and peers.
- Assumes responsibility and works within a group.
- Has a positive, flexible personality - able to adjust to differences in schedules, activities, cultures, foods, etc.
- Accepts others without prejudice, regardless of race, religion, language or culture.
- Is able to commit significant time (March-June) in preparation for the Interchange experience.
The participant's family must also be:
- supportive of the concept of Interchange,
- able to provide adult supervision during the hosting phase of the Interchange,
- willing to work with other parents in the Interchange to schedule hosting activities, and
- willing to volunteer locally in the DC Chapter of CISV.
The Selection Committee consists of active members of the Chapter who bring various perspectives and a wealth of expertise to the task. The committee includes past Interchange delegation leaders, recent Interchange parents, and members with prior Selection Committee experience. Both men and women are included, representing teachers, counselors, and parents actively involved with youth.
The strength of the selection process lies in the strength of the dedicated members of the Selection Committee. Their experience, expertise and variety of perspectives assure us that the delegates selected will represent our community, Chapter and nation well.
The selection process involves several important factors. No single factor is necessarily more important than the others, but all are considered together in the committee's decisions:
- Application and References
- Attendance at one of the two "CISV In a Day" events (see calendar)— These days are three hours on a Sunday, involving games and other activities similar to those experienced in CISV. These days give the committee opportunities to observe the children and the adult leader while they play games and interact with each other. While the children are participating in activities, parents will have a chance to learn more about CISV and ask questions!
- Parent Involvement — Parents should be ask questions about CISV and learn all pertinent information about the commitment required for participation. The Selection Committee will learn more about the child, the family, and the family's willingness to support the Chapter's efforts through attendance at local events and volunteer assistance with recruiting, serving on committees, etc. The DC Chapter asks that parents commit to at least 2-years of volunteering locally with CISV DC if their child is selected for the Interchange program.
- January Mini-Camp (see calendar) — A carefully-structured and supervised CISV camp, during which children relate to their peers and adult leaders in CISV games, songs and activities. This will start on a Friday night and ends Sunday morning.
- Selection Interview (see calendar) — An opportunity for the child to express his/her feelings about the CISV experience and to ask any questions he/she may have
Using the preceding selection criteria and selection process, delegations are formed based on the best judgment of the Selection Committee. Parents are informed of selection results by mail, email, and with a follow-up phone call, within a few days of the Selection Interview.
A similar selection process is followed in the Chapter with which we will be partnered in order to maintain the high standards of Interchange Delegates and host families.
After the delegates are selected from both countries, a Selection Committee meeting is held by the host country to match the partners. Matches are based on information provided by the youth and family about specific interests and family lifestyle. The Selection Committee will match youth as closely as possible with a partner of similar interests. Once the matches are made, the participants (and parents) can begin to communicate with their partners!
The application deadline is typically the end of January. Please check the calendar for more information. If you are past the deadline, please contact us, to see if applications are still being accepted.
Remember, Interchange applicants should plan to attend local events listed on the calendar!