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Your child’s safety is our number one priority

We want children to be safe, happy and empowered, and for their exchange program to be a life-changing experience they’ll never forget. That’s why we’ve put checks in place to make sure your child’s safety always comes first.

Pre-travel orientation

We offer pre-travel orientation for all students. This includes the family and candidate interview, and information on how to access services while students are away. In addition, we run pre-departure group information sessions, and provide a recording of these sessions. You can watch a video of our most recent session here.

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Zero tolerance

We have a zero tolerance approach to child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns are treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures. We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously. We are committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks. We have a robust human resources and recruitment practices for all staff and volunteers. We regularly train and educate our staff and volunteers on child abuse risks. We’re committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from a culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability. We have specific policies, procedures and training in place that support our leadership team, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments. We make this statement of commitment to child safety as we believe that student exchanges are an enriching experience for the children, families and communities involved, and providing safe circumstances for these experiences to occur is fundamental to our organisation.

Legal checks for all adult members of every host family

Upon application, all members of a host family who are 18 years or over must apply for a Working with Children Check, or national criminal records check (depending on the jurisdiction). The check or card reflects the highest and most relevant level of records screening available for that jurisdiction. All applicants must be holders of a current and clear check at the time of hosting. AFX Student Exchange is a registered employer and as such does online status verification of each applicant via the NSW Working with Children Check online verification system. We also complete a full criminal record check for host families in France.

School liaisons

Throughout the application procedure, contact is made with the host school to establish further background information on the host family to determine both their suitability for an exchange, and the potential issues that could develop during the students exchange. This is provided in both written form, and schools are encouraged to contact AFX in confidence if necessary. This process also assists with the student’s integration into the host school, as it allows the school to specify relevant rules and procedures for incoming exchange students.

In-home host family interviews

All host families complete a structured, face-to-face interview in their family home. You’ll be asked a series of questions about your values, the home environment, your rules and expectations of hosting an exchange student. The interviewer will also discuss what to expect when hosting an exchange student, what to do in case of emergency, the support structures available to both the student and the family. The interviewer also answers any questions you may have. We would never proceed with a host family if any oncerning information surfaced during this part of the application.


All AFX staff members and contractors in Australia and France who have contact with minors involved in our programs must also hold a current and clear Working with Children Check, or national criminal records check, depending on the jurisdiction.
As part of the application procedure, we require the student’s doctor to complete a medical questionnaire, confirming that the student has sufficient physical and mental health to complete the exchange. The questionnaire provides information about health conditions, medications and potential treatments the student may require in France. If a serious mental or physical condition is identified (for example, depression or an eating disorders) we request further documentation and the doctor’s opinion about whether they believe the student is capable of participating in the exchange program. We also consult with health professionals on a case-by-case basis when student welfare concerns become apparent while a student is on exchange.
All students who travel with our summer groups from Melbourne, Sydney and Paris are accompanied by a qualified AFX team member. All students traveling outside groups register with airlines as unaccompanied minors, where the chain of custody is maintained from leaving their parents in their host country, through travel and transit to France. Upon arrival in France, students will be greeted by one of our representatives who introduces the student to their host family or helps with onward travel.
Student and host families have access to a 24/7 support hotline. The hotline offers support in their language, and can arrange local support on the ground, medical and other care. Our local representatives are available for all students to contact for assistance. Trained and police-checked, these representatives can also make scheduled and unannounced visits to host families during the exchange period.
Through phone calls, email, social media and messaging, we initiate and maintain contact with students throughout their stay. This regular, informal contact allows students to inform us of any small issues and ask any questions. We use this contact to monitor each student’s welfare
All students travel with comprehensive travel insurance including full medical insurance, meaning the highest level of care can be provided to the student. All students also travel with a medical authorisation form, meaning schools, host parents and AFX can act where necessary in the interests of the child with regards to their health.

We ask that all students register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trades (DFAT ( before they travel. DFAT can facilitate consular support for Australians travelling overseas. We can help with the equivalent access for
French students travelling in Australia.

What makes our program stand out

Flexible in dates

Flexible in duration

Tailor Made