For 12 and 13 year olds
What is Interchange?
Interchange is a family-centered, two-phase, group exchange between two international CISV chapters. Six or more 12 or 13 year old delegates from Maine and their leader(s) will host and visit a matching number of delegates and leader(s) from Graz, Austria. (3 girls and 3 boys). Delegates of the same age with similar interest are reciprocally hosted for between two and three weeks in each country. The purpose of the Interchange is to learn through living in a family and through functioning as a group.
Interchange encourages a meaningful understanding of another culture by enabling delegates to live in that culture as a family member, as opposed to the multi-cultural environment within CISV camp programs. As a member of the family, the delegate forms a one-to-one relationship with their partner and family, as well as relationships with members of both delegations.
What can I expect to do during an Interchange?
Interchanges are both group and family experiences. Delegates will normally spend two thirds of their time with their partner delegate and their family. One third of the time will be spent in recreational and educational group activities which will include learning about Maine and Austria and also service to the local communities.
There will be a “mini-camp” in both Maine and Austria where the two delegations and their leaders will stay at a location away from their homes for two to three days and participate in group activities focused on peace through building global friendship.
Each delegate and their partner will also go on a family week end vacation to enjoy Maine and Austria and to get to know their respective families.
Each delegation will celebrate a “National Night” when they visit their host countries. The visiting delegations will tell their hosts about their country, share customs, and serve national food.
How will I get to Graz?
The Maine, USA delegation will travel together with their leader(s) from Maine to Graz, Austria. Leaders are all experienced travellers and are trained by CISV in experiential education and in risk management. Your Interchange Coordinator will work with travel agents to arrange your flights. Sometimes Maine delegations fly from Bangor International airport. Other times delegations travel together on the bus to Boston Logan airport and then board a plane to Europe in Boston.
Who “hosts” and who “visits” first: Maine or Graz delegates?
The Interchange coordinators and the leaders will work together to decide the best schedule. The first phase of this year’s Interchange will start in early July and last for about two-and-a-half weeks. The visiting delegation will probably leave on the 17th day or so of the Interchange. Normally, the host delegates during the first phase stay at home for about two or three days before they travel to the second host country.
What if I do not know the other Maine delegates or the Maine leader(s)?
After the Maine delegates and the Maine leader(s) are chosen during Fall 2018 or January 2019, the delegates and the leader will meet four or five times before traveling in July. During these meetings, they will plan the phases of their trip, get to know each other, learn about Graz and Austrian culture, and learn to function well as a group.
How do I apply?
The selection process for Interchange is different from selection for our other programs. We would like to select Interchange delegates before our Jan. 19 selection day activities. Here are application details:
• Submit an application form by Dec. 1, 2018 (we will begin reviewing applications on Nov. 15 and try to set up interviews and home visits for November and December)
• Submit two references for the delegate by Dec. 1, 2018
• Submit one family reference by Dec. 1, 2018
• Be interviewed by the Interchange coordinator and a CISV board member during November or December 2018
• Parents and delegate meet with CISV volunteers for a home visit where the volunteers explain some of the goals of Interchange and answer your questions during Nov., Dec.,or early Jan.
• Attend Selection Day activities on January 19, 2019
The program cost is estimated to be around $3000. This includes the program, travel for delegate and 1/6 travel for leader. Final program cost will be available at the parent orientation. In addition, families can expect to support all other costs of preparation such as passport, visa, booklets, national costume, host family gifts, spending money, emergency money and other Interchange preparation costs.