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Safety and wellbeing

The safety and wellbeing of our students is our highest priority. We understand that student excitement at the adventure ahead is often mirrored by parental anxiety. Supporting and guiding our students and families through a safe and secure experience is our key objective.

We do this by:

  • helping prepare students prior to departure and providing them with high quality advice and information about their exchange experience
  • being available to parents throughout the exchange for any questions or concerns
  • always using recognised airlines
  • only working with established and reputable overseas partners
  • ensuring that host families are personally interviewed in their homes and that selection procedures and criteria
  • meet with statutory requirements of the host country
  • ensuring that each student has a local coordinator for regular contact and close support and advice
  • including comprehensive insurance, including cancellation insurance, in our participation fee
  • training our staff and coordinators on a regular basis
  • providing an emergency phone service which students or families can call 24/7 if they experience a genuine emergency
  • providing all students with a Safety Card that lists contact details for our office staff, local coordinator, host family and overseas partner. These cards also contain the 24/7 emergency phone numbers
  • communicating openly and regularly with all parties to the exchange – parents, students, overseas partners
  • regularly monitoring government travel warnings from DFAT (Australia) and MFAT (New Zealand)

We understand that, with the excitement and anticipation of an upcoming exchange, students and their parents may not absorb all recommendations / information at one sitting. That’s why we include our advice and information in various forums, for example, in our printed and online materials and during orientations. Similar but more locally specific advice is included in orientations in the host country.

Child Safety and Quality Management Policy

Southern Cross Cultural Exchange Ltd places the safety and wellbeing of our exchange students as its highest priority. We maintain and continually improve a Quality Management System that complies with the requirements of the International Standard ISO 9001. Click here to read our Child Safety and Quality Management Policy.

Host Family Checks

In each of the overseas countries we work with there are variations in the legal requirements regarding working with children and criminal background checks for volunteer host families. In all cases, we and our overseas partners comply, if not exceed, the requirements of law when selecting host families for our students.

With the exception of Japan (which has been exempted by regulatory authorities because of the complexity of the process in that country) all overseas host families of Australian and New Zealand exchange students undergo criminal record checks in accordance with local procedures. A placement will only proceed if a satisfactory check has been completed. In Japan, additional steps are taken to ensure the suitability of host families.

In all cases, host families are interviewed in their home and referee checked as part of the process of assessing their suitability to host.

Local Support Structure

All students have a local coordinator appointed to support them throughout their time overseas. The coordinator – typically the mother or father of a returned student – is there to provide first level support to students and families. If a student is experiencing a problem they can talk with their local coordinator who will offer advice and assistance.

Coordinators are in regular contact with our professional staff to share information or seek advice.

Our partners keep us informed of any developments affecting the students’ exchange. We, in turn, contact parents if there are any issues that require their attention.

The chart below shows the support structure that is available to all students.

Parent and Student Handbooks

All students and parents will receive a handbook prior to the pre-departure orientation with our staff. Each handbook contains comprehensive information on every aspect of our exchange program, what to expect, how to prepare prior to departure and providing high quality advice and information about the exchange experience.

Monitoring Student Wellbeing

Southern Cross Cultural Exchange Ltd has established a customised online monitoring and reporting system that facilitates us staying in touch with students during their exchange.

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Enquire now

The best way to prepare for your exchange program is to join an Information Session Webinar.
Please click here to register and then complete your details below and we will be in touch to answer your questions.

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