Frequently Asked Questions - Virtual Exchanges 

Q: What is the cost to participate?

A: The regular participation fee of $75 has been waived for the pilot run of the virtual exchange program.

Q: What could an online session look like?

A: The options are endless! Here are some examples:  

  • A guest speaker presenting to the two groups

  • A virtual tour of a local landmark

  • A hands-on session – craft, art, cooking – where participants have been shipped the necessary materials...

  • An online film screening and discussion  

 

We’ve put together some more example activities in the Toolkit for Group Leaders.

Q: What can I do if my youth have barriers to access to technology?

A: The YMCA has always been inclusive and supportive of the community’s needs. This program isn’t any different! To help reduce technological barriers and ensure that every youth has the chance to participate in these virtual programs, internet, data and webcams will be funded if necessary through the project cost application.  

Q: Can youth participate in a virtual exchange and then when traditional exchanges resume can they travel with a group?

A: If your group participates in a virtual exchange this year, you could re-apply for a travel-based exchange with that group for next year. A virtual exchange may be a great way to prepare your group for travel and get to know their twin.  

Q: Is there a limitation to group size for virtual exchanges?

A: As with a traditional exchange, the group size is between 10-30 youth. Due to the nature of virtual engagement, we recommend a smaller group size to better facilitate connections between youth.  

Q: Can we still choose who we want to be twinned with?

A: We recommend that you apply with a twin you have already connected with. The twin will need to submit an application as well. If you don’t have a twin, we will match you with a suitable twin based on the group age, size, and objectives.  

Q: What are the timelines for virtual exchanges?

 

A: The timelines for virtual exchanges are flexible. You will determine with your twin when and how you will participate in virtual activities together. Hosting activities will need to happen sometime between January and June, or between July and December.  

 

Some groups may do all their activities in one week, while others may stretch it out over a period of months.  

Your Regional Coordinator will discuss timelines for paperwork with you, based on when you plan to participate in activities together.