An ALLEF exchange lasts six months, during which time your child will be living with a family in France or Germany
The exchange usually starts in September or February each year, with either the UK child travelling to France or Germany, or the UK family receiving a French or German child. Your child may therefore be away from home for Christmas, their birthday or other family events.
ALLEF carries out linguistic checks during the exchange by telephoning the child and then chatting to the host parents to give them advice and encouragement. This ensures that language skills are being developed by the child and information can be passed to the parents at home about how the exchange is going.
Whilst away, your child will do everything that they would normally do at home. They will go to school, have homework to do, attend clubs, do things with their French or German family, make new friends at school or where they live. Likewise, when you have a child staying with you, they will go to school with your son or daughter, have homework and do all the normal things you would expect from a member of your family.
A minimum of one week, preferably two weeks, break between the two parts of the exchange is recommended so that the returning child and his/her family get to know each other again. Occasionally some families have a six month break between the two parts of the exchange.