A life-changing experience for students


A life-changing experience for students

School Exchange Spain 2020 St Olivers

Why is an Exchange so good for your language skills?

Lots of students would prefer a more hands-on approach to foreign languages, according to recent research*.  

Attending school in another country, meeting young people their own age and staying with a host family. There are countless real-life experiences during an exchange that build real connections with a language. Not only will this help during school, these experiences can stay with you throughout your life.

*Research undertaken by RedC on behalf of Post-Primary Languages Ireland in 2019.

Check out the videos below to find out more about some great exchange experiences from schools across the country.

School Exchange Funding 

As part of our support for schools, funding is awarded to schools who make a successful application based on the following criteria:

• type of school (some additional points awarded to DEIS schools)

• effective whole-school approach,

• percentage of students participating in the exchange or in the case of existing exchanges the increase in percentage

• three year plan

• plan for the year

• exchange programme for the week/fortnight

• length of time spent in the TL country

• promotion within and outside the school community

• type of transport

• new or existing exchange with priority being given to a new exchanges

• budget

• other sources of funding

To date, 39 schools have been awarded a total of €300,000 in funding. Schools receive a maximum of €5,000 each year for up to three years to contribute towards the costs of a school exchange. School exchanges have many benefits including providing students with an immersive language learning experience. Other benefits for students include improved language skills, a new way of thinking, material for their CV, independence, confidence, appreciation of what they have, new friends, experiencing another culture, experiencing life with another family, and potentially even future work experience. Teachers also benefit from the exchange keeping their language skills up to date, and job shadowing/team teaching methodologies with exchange teachers in the Target Language country.

In 2023 we gave funding for school exchanges to the following 10 new schools. They will be heading to France, Germany and Spain and we’re looking forward to following their adventures on social media. We would like to encourage schools who would like to avail of funding for their school exchange to look into Erasmus+ funding which is managed by Léargas.

  • Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Grammar School, Co. Dublin

  • Skerries Community College, Co. Dublin

  • Clonaslee College, Co. Laois

  • St Mel’s College, Co. Longford

  • Presentation College Headford, Co. Galway

  • Educate Together Secondary School Wicklow, Co. Wicklow

  • Bridgetown College, Co. Wexford

  • Gallen Community School, Co. Offaly

  • O’Carolan College, Co. Meath

  • Trinity Comprehensive, Ballymun, Co. Dublin

Interested in starting an exchange in your school?

Check out our manual and get the practical advice you need.

Check out our 'Exchanges' video playlist

Taking part in a school exchange brings a foreign language to life. Equal parts challenging and fun, it gives you the chance to connect with a different language, culture and community. Unique experiences, lifelong friends and more can be found every step of the way.

Start exchanges in your school

From teachers and students to schools and families, exchanges have a positive impact on communities at every level.

Front cover of Virtual Exchange Guide

Virtual Exchange Guide

Virtual exchanges are a great way to start up a partnership with a school. This guide offers tips on how to get started and suggestions for activities.