To allow my 14 year old to do a 3 month exchange trip

(60 Posts)
Mistigri Thu 11-Jun-15 16:20:25

Have to make a decision tonight due to a f*ck up by the school which failed to pass on the information in time.

DD has the opportunity to do a three month exchange in Spain next year. We get the Spanish kid in September for 3 months, DD goes to a school in Zaragoza for three months next spring.

She's keen. She has already done a shorter exchange and her Spanish is fairly fluent. But it's a big decision to have to make in less than 24 hours!

Enb76 Thu 11-Jun-15 16:21:48

I went on similar when I was that age - I had an amazing time. Say 'yes'

LadyPenny Thu 11-Jun-15 16:23:44

Hell yes, she will have an amazing experience.

Mummyusername Thu 11-Jun-15 16:23:56

Since you will have already hosted the other child when your daughter goes to Spain there's no one to let down if she wants to come home. She can come home if she hates it.

maz210 Thu 11-Jun-15 16:25:24

My first instinct is that 3 months is a flipping long time to be away from home! If it were one month, I'd say yes, go for it.

How will her schooling work when she's over there? Will she still have lessons in English or do they join the Spanish school? Over that length of time I'd be worried it might affect her GCSE's if she's having to study in another school/language.

I'd also be worried about mine getting homesick after the initial excitement has worn off. Are you able to pop out there halfway through to visit and check she's OK? I'd probably go for it if I knew I could bring her back early at my own expense if it wasn't working out for her.

FernGullysWoollyPully Thu 11-Jun-15 16:25:37

I would honestly let her go. It's a brilliant opportunity. Wish I'd been able to do something like that at that age.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 11-Jun-15 16:30:39

Not for 3 months,I would for a month max.

IHaveBrilloHair Thu 11-Jun-15 16:32:22

Yes, brilliant opportunity.

katienana Thu 11-Jun-15 16:32:44

I wouldn't want to host for 3 months!

DoItTooJulia Thu 11-Jun-15 16:33:00

12 weeks seems like a long time! It'll be great for her Spanish though. How do you vet the host family?

Mistigri Thu 11-Jun-15 16:33:53

GCSEs not an issue (not in the English school system).

It would be complete immersion with all lessons in Spanish.

BarbarianMum Thu 11-Jun-15 16:35:42

If you can bear to, let her go. It will be a great opportunity for her.

addicted2cake Thu 11-Jun-15 16:35:59

What an amazing opportunity for her. I host foreign students and they always enjoy their time away from home! if she is keen to go then let her. Spain isn't a million miles away should she need to or want to return early.
Bet you will miss her like crazy tho!

Mistigri Thu 11-Jun-15 16:37:29

Sorry, don't mean to drip feed.

DoIt it is an exchange project organised by the local authorities on both sides, involving about 40 students in total. I don't know how the vetting is done, but they obviously take some care to ensure that students are well-matched as the questionnaire is very detailed.

Bonsoir Thu 11-Jun-15 16:38:23

We have sent our DC on loads of language trips and exchanges (probably about 20 in total). The longest was DSS1's Australia trip, when he went to school in Melbourne for seven weeks, aged 15. We haven't repeated it - it was too long.

squoosh Thu 11-Jun-15 16:40:16

Three months is a long time in the life of a 14 year old.

Jinglebells99 Thu 11-Jun-15 16:45:37

Three months is too long. I wouldn't want to be away from my dd for that long. I did a german exchange twice at school for two weeks each time. So overall a month each time - I went there for two weeks, exchange student came to me for two weeks. It was excellent for my German

Theycallmemellowjello Thu 11-Jun-15 16:51:23

If she is not doing GCSEs and she's keen she should go for it! Fluency in a language is such a gift. Yes, it's a long time, and she'll have some tough times and homesickness being away, but I am absolutely sure she'll come out the better for it. Tbh, since the Spanish student is coming first, I'd also imagine you'd be able to say yes then pull out without letting anyone down.

girliefriend Thu 11-Jun-15 16:55:32

Would be absolute no from me!! 14 is really young and Spain is a long way away. What is she doesn't like the family or they are a bit odd what is she is ill, what if she becomes homesick? ??

Maybe I am slightly bias though as I did a 2 week exchange age 17yo, had an awful time of it, was really unwell and came back a stone lighter (I was skinny before I went!)

She is too young and it is for too long imo.

ShitHotAwesome Thu 11-Jun-15 17:00:20

Go for it. I did a 6 month exchange when I was 11 (to France) and it was great. Hard to begin with and hard on my parents but a great experience in my life overall.

I was homesick to begin with but it subsided. I wrote letters every week and my mum wrote to me loads, my dad sent me a postcard every week and they telephoned once a week. The family I stayed with were lovely and we are still in touch.

PrawnToast12 Thu 11-Jun-15 17:03:20

Please let her do it. It would be awful for her to miss out, and if she is so keen. If she hates it -come home, Spain is hardly the other side of the world and flights are cheap. Those saying that they couldn't be away from their child that long - yes it will be hard but its not about you is it? In my opinion that is a very selfish reason for not allowing your child to take up such an opportunity. She is 14, not a young child.

Mistigri Thu 11-Jun-15 17:03:54

We do have to commit - you can't pull out halfway (except if there is a major problem).

She went to Madrid on a 2 week exchange in March and we had the other student back here in May, and she loved it. Of course 3 months is rather different.

To give a bit of context she is bilingual already, spanish is a third language. From September she will start a bilingual programme in which one third of her school hours will be taught in Spanish. However the exchange is not part of the course (it's part of a European programme that is organised at regional level).

I really don't know! So cross with the school. It's not long enough to make a sensible decision.

ShitHotAwesome Thu 11-Jun-15 17:04:22

I also did a 3 week exchange to Spain when I was 14 - I actually found that tougher, I think as it was not long enough to truly adapt and was during the school holidays (with both host parents working) so there was not much to do and I was stuck reading books and not speaking much Spanish much of the time.

Another benefit of a my French trip for 6 months was that I got way better at eating what was given to me or at least trying things!

As a parent now, I find it hard to imagine sending a young child - as I was at 11 - away for so long and I know my mum was in bits but it really was good overall! I really wanted to go, by the way. My cousin did the same.
When my exchange came back to us for her 6 months, she was very homesick for most of it and, if I had been as sad as her, I think my parents would have rescued me and brought me home...but she was even younger than me, having just turned 10 when she came to us which may have been a factor.

If it seems well organized and your child is keen to go - send her off with as happy a smile as you can muster!

girliefriend Thu 11-Jun-15 17:04:45

Age 11 for 6 months?! shock <faints>

I am dithering about whether 9yo dd can go on a school trip to London for 3 days as I will miss her too much grin

PrawnToast12 Thu 11-Jun-15 17:05:06

As long as you are happy with vetting/safety processes, and she is keen, why not. I would be more concerned with the hosting side! 3 months with someone else's child!

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