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MFL Exchange expectations

(11 Posts)
charlmum60 Mon 16-Oct-17 00:29:20

DD rang me tonight from her French exchange ...a few teething issues which were out of schools control ...but one one thing that did concern me was that DD is having to share a bed with a school friend (the school have paired up the girls with families - two girls with each family). DD is Ok with this because she's with a friend she knows well - but she did state that two of the other girls seem to be sharing a very small bed (she said single but I expect its a small double) doesnt help that the one girl is very tall and therefore I am not sure how well this is going to work out....

I have looked to host children on exchanges and it has always been specified that a bed is required for each is it different in France ?

ifonly4 Mon 16-Oct-17 10:25:19

We had a foreign exchange student from France as the school had more girls than boys wanting to do the exchange and were desperate for a host family there. The school particularly stated she should have her own bed and ideally own room, although if they were to go into a shared room they just wanted to forewarn the foreign student beforehand. We weren't able to offer a bed but as we were the only family who came forward to help, they accepted a camp bed in her own room.

I'd hope and expect that somewhere like France would be similar to here, ie one in a bed.

HorlicksBunny Mon 16-Oct-17 10:28:41

DD just returned from a host family in France, trip with school. No mention that any of the kids had shared a bed - a room for some of them, not a bed. Will double check later.

BubblesBuddy Mon 16-Oct-17 11:46:34

Is it because a French family pulled out at the last minute meaning two girls had to stay with one family? This sounds most likely. You should have been told about arrangements beforehand and you should have known two girls were going to one family. Not much speaking French with two school friends together in one house! A camp bed or inflatable bed should have been provided though. I don't think this is acceptable and your school has probably allowed this so as not to disappoint a child.

charlmum60 Mon 16-Oct-17 12:22:58

Bubblesbuddy - apparently not - the correct number of children went - in fact 36 went where the trip allowed for 40 -they were always going to be buddied up for whatever reason (maybe safety - school playing safe). I know of two sets of girls that are in double beds (one of the beds being extremely small)....there maybe more. I have raised it with the HOD who is with the group - reply back : I need to stress though that the families have not been selected directly by (school name) but by the local EDI representative. I shall wait until they return and then do a stern letter stating that the school is responsible for my daughter whilst she is away with them and I expect them to have guidelines for sleeping arrangements,

HorlicksBunny Mon 16-Oct-17 16:43:58

I stand corrected... checked with DD after school and she said one pair had to share a bed. The parents are writing to complain to the school as we speak... I think it's a problem because no one was expecting this situation.

LIZS Mon 16-Oct-17 16:48:29

When dd did hers she was in a group of 3 and 2 shared a bed. It does seem to be not that unusual.

charlmum60 Mon 16-Oct-17 16:52:51

It should not happen though - every child should have their own bed (if they have got an issue they should also let the parents know) and not just dismiss it that it has little to do with the school because they have not selected the families

Mistigri Mon 16-Oct-17 17:30:55

We are in France and have hosted language exchanges three times with students from Spain and Germany.

Our school always asks for information about the accommodation which will be made available for the visiting student - ideally their own bedroom though two visiting students sharing a room would be OK I think. I don't think that sharing a bed is acceptable at all - at minimum I'd expect the school to organise some camp bed type arrangements. I'm quite shocked that this has happened.

Is the exchange organised between two state schools?

Mistigri Mon 16-Oct-17 17:35:29

Ah ok I see that a third party has organised the accommodation. Still, it's unacceptable. Are the hosts being paid?

My DD is currently in Spain on an exchange, there are three girls with her host family, I'll ask her about the sleeping arrangements. This is a paid-for arrangement and I imagine there are strict quality standards. (The exchanges we have hosted have been unpaid i.e. we host a child for free and in exchange my children get free accommodation.)

charlmum60 Mon 16-Oct-17 18:15:44

Its paid - not sure how much but the whole trip cost £570 for 5 nights and they went via coach virtually all the way (through the tunnel). There is tuition each morning, cookery class and few excursions...they are not with the host family during the day ... I just think the girls are not going to sleep that well either - I think two of the girls said they were sharing a single bed (although I think it probably is a small double).but you cant lead a trip and say that you are not responsible - its down to the school to say what sleeping arrangements they want - I think this is the first exchange trip of its kind for the school in its present format and if the HOD (who is a man) is organising it I guess he doesnt have the experience and has just left it to the third party. Its an independent school...

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