Ready to experience the world? Friendship Force exchanges are designed with a particular format and subject in mind…
Exchange Format Varieties
1. Club-to-club exchanges are the basic FFI program, linking two communities from different regions of the world. Assignments made by FFI match an ambassador (traveling) club with a host club. Both clubs work together to plan a one- to two-week exchange. The families of the host club provide home stays for the 15-20 ambassadors, introducing them to their daily life and culture. The host club also prepares an interesting itinerary of cultural activities.
2. Global Exchanges are designed to attract applicants from all over the world to join a single exchange. Participants make their own travel arrangements to and from the host community. The whole exchange planning process is completed by the host club. Global exchange participants are recruited with assistance from FFI and use of its email marketing system.
3. Regional Exchanges are organized for multiple clubs within a region to travel together as ambassadors. One ambassador exchange director is selected from among the participating clubs. Examples include All Florida to Hamburg, Germany, and All Indonesia to Rotorua and Napier, New Zealand.
4. Cooperative Exchanges are designed for two or more clubs to travel together as ambassadors, hosted by a single club. An ambassador exchange director and an assistant ambassador exchange director are selected, one from each ambassador club, to recruit participants. Read more.
Exchange Subject Varieties
All Friendship Force exchanges are cultural exchanges. While some exchanges focus on a specific topic, cultural understanding and friendship is the goal of all programs. The program types below can be applied to any of the formats above.
1. Cultural Exchanges: The basic Friendship Force exchange focuses on the general subject of cultural understanding. The host club introduces the ambassadors (travelers) to their culture through organized activities and sight-seeing tours but especially through home hosting and sharing of everyday experiences. Hosts may show ambassadors their place of work, schools, public buildings or parks, houses of worship, theaters or even grocery stores and markets.
2. Themed Exchanges are organized to bring people together around a particular personal or professional interest. The host program mainly focuses on that theme. Examples include:
a. Special interest: gardening, biking, hiking, quilting, history, environmental interests, etc.
b. Humanitarian: ambassadors engage in special humanitarian projects.
c. Language Learning: Exchanges are designed for language instruction and practice.
d. Teachers: Specifically designed for teachers or school administrators, these exchanges include school visits, discussions with other educators, in-the-classroom experience and/or professional development components. The Legacy Fund may be used for scholarships in some cases. (For more information contact Allison Lindsey.)
e. Students: Examples of past student exchanges include high school band exchanges and English language exchanges. Possibilities for other types of student exchanges may be considered. (For more information contact Allison Lindsey.)
3. Discover Exchanges give Friendship Force members a thorough cultural introduction to new countries or regions, particularly where hosting may be limited or not yet available. Discover exchanges feature well-developed and thorough cultural programs, but may include only a brief home stay or even none at all. Current Discover destinations include Morocco, Vietnam, Argentina and Italy, among others.
1. Contract and Partnership Programs: Organizational partnerships, such as FFI’s partnership with the US Library of Congress’s Open World Leadership Program, provide new opportunities for Friendship Force members and promote the FFI mission across the world.
2. Conferences: Each year there are 10-15 regional conferences around the world. FFI organizes an annual World Conference that brings together members from all six continents.
3. Supplemental Exchanges:
a) Domestic exchanges are opportunities for clubs to visit other clubs of the same country. When longer than four days, these are considered official Friendship Force exchanges.
b) European Interclub Visits are 1-4 night visits between neighboring clubs within the EU.
c) Stopover Hospitality refers to 1-3 night home stays provided by a host club to a delegation of ambassadors as they travel to or from a regular exchange.