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International Exchanges FAQs

Experience the World: International Exchanges

What is an International Scout Exchange (ISE)? 

An ISE is an exchange between the youth and leaders of two Scouting Groups in two different countries. The ISE normally includes a visit by the Scouting Group in each country to the other country. 

How does an International Scout Exchange work? 

An ISE normally spans 2 years and frequently occurs in the summer months of the year. An ISE normally involves both Scouting and touring and each leg of the exchange is approximately 2 weeks duration. The activities of the ISE are normally planned and organized by the Scout Group in the country that is the host.

Can an International Scout Exchange be one way only? 

Yes, an ISE could be a non-Canadian Group coming to Canada or a Canadian Group going to another country with no return exchange trip.

Does Scouts Canada have funding available for ISEs? 

No, not at this time, but there are countless ways to fundraise to offset the cost of participation.

Our Group would like to do an ISE but we don’t have a Scouting contact in another country, what do we have to do? 

You may indicate interest to Scouts Canada by completing the International Exchange Request Form. When completing this form indicate which country or countries you would like to exchange with.

Where do we send the completed form? 

You may mail or e-mail the completed form to Scouts Canada’s International Commissioner. They will then contact other Scout associations on your behalf to begin a dialogue to help you partner with a group and begin planning your exchange program.

We are a Scouting Group from outside Canada wanting to have an ISE with a Canadian Scouting Group, what do we have to do? 

You may download and complete the International Exchange Request Form and forward it to the International Committee of your own NSO. The ISE Request Form is available HERE.

Our NSO has its own Exchange Request Form, may we use it? 

If your NSO has its own International Exchange Request Form you may complete it and forward it to your International Committee.

For an ISE what risk management factors need to be considered?  

In addition to the normal risk factors associated with Scouting Activities it will be necessary to consider factors such as the availability of medical treatment, general sanitation and the availability of reliable drinking water and possible questions of geo-political uncertainty in the region. Scouts Canada, through its contacts with the NSOs in the Countries in the region can assist with the assessment of such risk factors and, where the risk is unacceptable will advise Groups not to pursue an ISE in certain specific countries or regions.

What are the typical activities during an ISE? 

The activities associated with an ISE typically include a mix of Scouting and touring. The Scouting activities normally include: camping, hiking, canoeing, swimming, etc. and the touring activities include visits to points of interest, taking in a sporting or theatre event, visits to a shopping mall, etc.

How are costs shared for the activities for an ISE? 

As much as possible both host and guest Groups cover their own costs. Inevitably the host Group will incur a few costs associated with hosting, which are not possible to recover from the guests, but, this will be a reciprocal situation, which should come close to balancing out in the end.

I am an individual who would like to participate in an ISE but my Group is presently not interested in considering one. Is there any way that I can join with another Group to participate in an ISE that they’re planning? 

You may complete an International Exchange Request Form and forward it to the International Committee who will forward it to all of the Scouting Groups in your Area recommending that they consider you in any International Exchange plans which they may have.

I already have a contact in another country. Can I just arrange the ISE with them? 

Your first step should always be to contact the International Committee. This way we can ensure that the partner NSO is aware of the exchange, to provide additional support. We can also check that all parties in the partner country are members of Scouting. By contacting the International Committee and completing the International Exchange Request Form, we are also able to help support you, making sure you get the best possible experience.



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