École européenne de Strasbourg


My child wants to do an exchange: frequently asked questions…

To whom do I address my questions about exchanges?

The coordinators for exchanges are:

Who can apply to go on an exchange?

All pupils who will be in S4 or S5 in 2022-23 who want to improve their language skills or discover a new country and culture may apply for an exchange.

How long is the exchange period?

All exchanges will take place in the first semester.

  • For S4: exchanges will last 6-8 weeks (from the beginning of the school year until the Toussaint vacation, or from the Toussaint to the Christmas vacation).
  • For S5: exchanges will be made for the entire semester.

Can all pupils who want to, go on exchange?

To go on exchange, the pupil must apply to Mr. Duhamel or Ms. Schirmann, the exchange coordinators.

Application is made by means of a letter explaining their motivation and their preferences. Acceptance of applications will be made by Mr. Duhamel and Ms. Schirmann, after consultation with the pupil’s teachers.

What health restrictions may be in force?

Before leaving, pupils must certify that they are in compliance with the conditions or restrictions in force in their host country at the time of departure.

In case of cancellation for public health reasons, all costs (e.g., for transport) remain the responsibility of the family. The school assumes no liability.

What should be included in the application letter?

Pupils should explain their motivations and what they are hoping for. They can also describe their families, activities, lifestyle, passions, interests, etc. If the application is accepted, this letter will also be used to match exchange partners.

How is an exchange school chosen?

The criteria are tailored to each pupil. Many pupils hope to improve a second language, some to discover another culture, others just to experience life in a different school…

Applicants should list up to five schools, in order of preference, that they would like to attend.

Are there guaranteed exchange schools or do they vary from year to year?

Exchanges are only possible when we have participating exchange partners at another school. Since both our and their requests and needs may vary, the possibilities are not necessarily the same from year to year.

In 2022-23, the following schools are slated to participate:

S4 S5
/ Bruxelles (I, II, III, IV) (Belgium)
/ Mol (Belgium)
Tallin (Estonia) Tallin (Estonia)
Helinski (Finland) Helinski (Finland)
Bad Vilbel (Germany) Bad Vilbel (Germany)
/ Karlsruhe (Germany)
/ Parma (Italy)
/ Brindisi (Italy)
/ Varese (Italy)
Luxembourg (I,II) Luxembourg (I,II)
Alicante (Spain) Alicante (Spain)
/ Bergen (Netherlands)
The Hague (Netherlands) The Hague (Netherlands)

Am I guaranteed exchange to the school of my choice?

The exchange coordinators do their best to accommodate pupils’ first choices, but these cannot be guaranteed, and pupils may be asked to accept a second choice. In very rare cases, an exchange possibility may not be found.

In what language section will my child be enrolled?

  • If the partner school has a section in the pupil’s home language section, they will go into that section.
  • If their language section is not available, the pupil may choose among the possibilities offered at the school.

What language(s) will be spoken by the host family?

The language(s) spoken by the host family are provided to us by the host school. We ensure that exchange pupils and their host families are able to communicate easily.

Is it certain that the subject content of courses will be the same at the partner school?

The academic syllabuses are the same for all the European Schools. However, teachers have the pedagogical freedom to treat the different sections of an annual program in the order they prefer.

It may happen, therefore, that a pupil may study the same section twice or miss out on one as a consequence of exchange.

It is possible that a pupil’s options may not all be open in the host school (particular in smaller schools). In this case, pupils should remain in contact with their Strasbourg teacher.

How do pupils catch up when they return? Will there be learning support for them?

It is up to pupils to stay in contact with their home teachers to keep up with work. We also advise pupils on exchange to find a trustworthy classmate to help them keep up and catch up.

There will not be particular support organized for pupils when they return from exchange; this is not possible, as they are not all in the same class or on exchange at the same time. Pupils may also discuss particular difficulties linked to an absence directly with their teachers.

How are B-tests or semester examinations handled?

  • Pupils on S5 exchange for a complete semester, and sit their semester examinations in the exchange school. We will receive a full semester report after the exchange is completed.
  • For pupils in S4 who exchange for 6-8 weeks, the pupils sit the tests regularly scheduled at their host school during the exchange. It may thus be possible that a pupil sits three B-tests during the semester—or only a single one. Except under special circumstances, pupils are not required to make up B-tests on their return to the EES.

How are marks communicated? Do the marks given at the host school count at the EES?

Pupils on exchange should be serious students during their exchange. At the end of each exchange, pupils will receive a report card from their host school.

The marks given while on exchange will be taken into account by teachers at the EES and will be counted in semester reports.

Are exchanges always reciprocal?

In general, we try to set up reciprocal exchanges, in which our pupils stay with families whose children will stay with the pupil’s family in Strasbourg, in order to encourage communication and confidence between them. On occasion, however, there may be exchanges with families whose child is not coming to Strasbourg.

Are exchanges always simultaneous?

Semester-long exchanges are always done simultaneously (the EES pupil in the host school while the exchange pupil is in Strasbourg).

For 6-8 week exchanges, there are two possibilities:

  • A ‘same-time’ exchange in which the pupils do not cross paths.
  • A ‘before-and-after’ exchange in which the exchange partners attend the same school together throughout and get to know each other.

We will ask if you have a preference after your child’s exchange has been approved.

How are the costs of an exchange covered?

The travel to the host family is covered by the exchange pupil’s family.

The two families should come to an agreement about how to cover the costs of each child during the exchange period. In general, during exchanges of the same length, each family covers the costs of the child beneath its roof.

There are no tuition fees due to the exchange school. Pupils remain enrolled in the EES for the duration of their exchange, under its responsibility.

How does the canteen work?

An exchange pupil staying with you may be enrolled in the EES canteen; see the bursar’s office for the forms.

What about insurance coverage?

A pupil on exchange should have a European Health Insurance Card.

Pupils on exchange are under the legal responsibility of the school during their exchange. Nevertheless, you may wish to verify that your own insurance covers civil liability abroad for damages received or caused, and/or for emergency repatriation.

Important dates:

  • 18 March 2022: applications due, with motivation letter
  • 25 March 2022: decision on applications
  • 1 April: deadline for return of completed dossiers
  • April-June: Matching of exchange partners and families