Exchanges

Experiences Canada offers youth exchanges for participants aged 12 to 17 years old. The exchanges are organized between groups of 10 to 30 young people. By discovering a new community, young people deepen their knowledge of a second language, become aware of a new culture, remove social barriers, form new friendships, and develop greater self-confidence. Youth Exchanges Canada is an enriching educational exchange program that encourages participants to learn and gives them the opportunity to live life changing experiences. Join the 4,500 youth who participate each year in the Experiences Canada Youth Exchange Program.

Please note that all participants must be new to the exchange program.

SPORTS EXCHANGE

SUMMARY

Experiences Canada funds travel for sport teams across Canada to promote physical activity and connect young athletes across the country. During a sports-themed exchange participants engage in their sport as well as learn about the history and heritage of Canada and develop an appreciation for Canada’s regional diversity.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

DAY 1 AND 7

  • Travel

DAY 2

  • Walking tour of Gastown in Vancouver
  • Soccer practice

DAY 3

  • Tour of UBC
  • Visit Museum of Anthropology

DAY 4

  • Walking tour of Granville Island

DAY 5

  • Rent bikes and tour Stanley Park
  • BC Royal Museum
  • Hike in Deep Cove area

DAY 6

  • Visit the Burrard Inlet and Rocky Point area
  • Soccer game

IMMIGRATION EXCHANGE

SUMMARY

Experiences Canada has partnered with the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 to offer a truly memorable experience! Youth will visit specific sites around Halifax and throughout the province where they will learn first-hand how different organizations work to address these issues with respect and dignity. Participants will take part in a wrap-up discussion reflecting on what they learned and experienced in Halifax and implementing an action plan for an event or activity that they could undertake during the second half of their exchange. In the months that pass between travel periods, the groups will carry on virtually, exploring this dialogue with a blog or vlog! Participants will explore the twin group’s community and put their plan in action!

SAMPLE ITINERARY

DAY 1 & 7

  • Travel days

DAY 2

  • Harbour Hopper Tour
  • Board Room Games
  • Visit Pier 21 Museum

DAY 3

  • Boat Rowing
  • Lunch at waterfront
  • Maritime Museum

DAY 4

  • Fairview Lawn Cemetery-visit graves of those passed away in sinking of the Titanic
  • Ross Creek Center

DAY 5

  • Mik’maw Art Workshop
  • Visit to Grand Pré

DAY 6

  • Peggy’s Cove
  • Halifax Shopping for souvenirs
  • Soccer game

INDIGENOUS EXCHANGE

SUMMARY

Experiences Canada funds youth exchanges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities as well as Indigenous groups to other Indigenous groups. These culturally enriching exchanges provide youth with an opportunity to share their culture, language and traditions while enhancing their pride and respect for their community.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

B.C.

Day 1 & 7 • Travel days, some include welcome potlucks
Day 2 • Hike the Burnt Bridge Loop Trail
Day 3 • Hot Springs
Day 4 • Language and Traditional Food Workshop
Day 5 • Petroglyphs and Waterfall
Day 6 • Potlatch

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

Day 1 & 7 • Travel days
Day 2 • Dinner and sharing circle
Day 3 • dog sledding • ice fishing • drying fish • checking snars
Day 4 • Beading with Elders • Sliding
Day 5 • Snowshoeing • Youth Outdoor Event • Drum Dance
Day 6 • Trapping camp

NUNAVUT

Day 1 & 7 • Travel days
Day 2 • Walking tour • Visit with local artists
Day 3 • Day on the land-ice fishing arctic char
Day 4 • Traditional Inuit games • cross country skiing • igloo making
Day 5 • Carving demonstration • Hike • Sewing/beading, scraping sealskin
Day 6 • Throat singing and Drum dance

HUMAN RIGHTS EXCHANGE

SUMMARY

Experiences Canada has partnered with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to offer a truly memorable experience. Youth will visit specific sites around Winnipeg, where they will learn first-hand how different organizations work to advance human rights and address inequalities with respect and dignity. Participants will take part in a wrap-up discussion reflecting on what they learned and experienced in Winnipeg and implementing an action plan towards the second half of their exchange. In the months that pass between travel periods, the groups will carry on virtually, exploring this dialogue with a blog or vlog! Participants will explore the twin group’s community and put their plan in action!

THINK: fundraiser for a charity, organizing a school or community awareness event, an anti-bullying rally or volunteering at a local food bank.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

DAY 1 & 7

  • Travel days, some include welcome potluck.

DAY 2

  • Riding Mountain National Park

DAY 3

  • Life and Arts Center
  • Traditional Prairie Meal
  • Ukrainian Dancers

DAY 4

  • Winnipeg Harvest
  • Manitoba Indigenous and Cultural Education Center

DAY 5

  • Human Rights Museum

DAY 6

  • Tour of the Mint
  • Walking tour of the Forks
 
 

LINGUISTIC EXCHANGE

SUMMARY

Linguistic exchanges provide youth with an opportunity to strengthen their second language by involving them in another community and immersing in the culture. Second-language exchanges make up half of all Experiences Canada youth exchanges. Participants not only gain the confidence to use their second language, but they realize the importance of being skilled in both of Canada’s official languages. Whether your group is learning French or English, Experiences Canada will develop an exchange experience where youth are immersed in their second language.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

DAY 1 & 7

  • Travel days

DAY 2

  • Maison de la Découverte
  • Terrasse Dufferin
  • Château Frontenac

DAY 3

  • Plains of Abraham
  • Walking Tour of Quebec City

DAY 4

  • Village Valcartier

DAY 5

  • Dog Sledding
  • Sugar Bush visit and meal

DAY 6

  • Family Time

What we finance

  • Transportation is free from your community to your twin group!
  • Air, bus and train transportation costs are covered by the Department of Canadian Heritage
  • Transportation to and from the airport is also covered.

 

What does it cost?

  • A membership fee of $ 100 per group is required with the request to participate
  • A registration fee per person is requested after the group has accepted the funding
  • Hosting-related expenses such as local transportation, supply teachers and activity costs while hosting the twin group or as agreed upon between the two organizers.

Special Measures

In order to support the inclusion of all youth in Experiences Canada’s exchange programs and to reduce barriers to participation, Experiences Canada will provide limited additional funding for special measures.

The special measures will specifically support:

  • Inclusion of youth with disabilities and other special needs, including expenses related to the support of special care attendants and interpreters.
  • Young people from low-income families
  • Other types of accommodation I.e. shared accommodation
  • Youth in rural, isolated or marginalized areas.
  • Other requests approved on a case-by-case basis.
  • Each year, group organizers submit a request for additional funding by submitting the “Special Measures” form to their Experiences Canada Coordinator, along with their budget for the exchange. We encourage groups to raise funds as much as possible to contribute to their request for special measures because funding is very limited.
Exchanges FAQ

Exchanges FAQ

We strongly believe that all youth should have equal access to participation in Experiences Canada Exchanges. As such we provide limited funding to support the inclusion of youth with special needs or disabilities, from low-income households, rural or...

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What’s Involved in an Exchange?

What’s Involved in an Exchange?

Submit application 4-6 months before you want to travel or host Ensure you have School Board or Association Approval Be aware of your learning theme and group size as this will help when filling out the application Once submitted you will be asked to submit two...

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PROGRAM ADVISORY COUNCIL (PAC)

 

The mandate of the Program Advisory Council is to provide input and advice on issues pertaining to all current and ongoing programs. The Advisory Council will provide a platform for educators and community leaders to share ideas, perspectives, concerns and best practices

Program Advisory Board members must meet the following requirements:
  • Being a teacher, working or volunteering with 12 to 17 year olds, or being a retired teacher.
  • Experience in developing business plans, curriculum linkages and other educational resources.
  • Bilingualism is an asset, since French and English speaking representatives participate in most of our meetings.
Members of the Program Advisory Council must:
  • Believe in the mandate and vision of Experiences Canada.
  • Have the willingness and the ability to dedicate time and energy to participate in quarterly phone calls.
  • Ability to think, speak and act independently on behalf of Experiences Canada at conferences or conferences of teachers and community organizations, school board meetings or other events where Experiences Canada could be invited to participate.
  • Promote the youth exchange program and other Experiences Canada initiatives, and actively participate in the implementation of recruitment strategies in their respective province or territory.
  • Provide feedback to help staff improve programs.

If you would like to remain active in Experiences Canada and want to join the PAC, please submit your application online.

 

 

2019 PAC Members (Left  To Right): Back row: Lee Barter, Anneke Jansen Van Doorn, Remi Leduc, Pat Watson, Joanne Lussier, Sue Hemstreet. Front row: Emma Hart, Joyce Leggot, Silken Bruder, Annie Coulombe.

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