Safety & Privacy

Homestay exchange resources

Your Safety

Your ultimate goal in using is to find a perfect youth exchange match right for you and your family.

That’s why intent to only link you to members whose profiles are compatible with yours. Vitally, as a service that protects your anonymity online, we also put you in control as you get to know other members.’s members

We make as much effort as possible to ensure that the member database does not include individuals who will abuse the service. In our User Content and Conduct Policy as well as our Terms & Conditions you will find a section (Members’ Obligations) which outlines the levels of legality, decency and community respect that’s members must observe.’s Secure Online Systems

Our secure online systems give you control over your anonymity.

We will not reveal your personal details to other members. On the website you are known by the user name or ID number you choose yourself. Your real name, your email address, your phone number and your home address are concealed and protected by the website’s secure infrastructure.

When using the site, members can only communicate through’s anonymous contact and messaging system. At all points, it is for YOU to choose whether you supply another member with further personal details (such as your name and email address).

Likewise, you choose whether to include photographs on your profile. If you do choose to upload one or more photos to’s secure server, it is then for you to decide exactly who sees it – and when. If, at any time, you do NOT wish another specific member to see your photo, then you simply withhold the photo.

Communicating Through – Points To Remember:

1.  Always communicate with other host families on with parental control and guidance.

2.  Don’t give out personal contact details immediately. Remember you are the one in control. Don’t put personal contact details in your profile or in the first messages you send to another member.

3.  You can contact and reply to other members via our secure, private messaging system. Take your time to learn more about a potential exchange family and to feel comfortable about communicating with them. It is for you to decide if and when you want to take things further – for instance by supplying your name, your personal email address or your mobile phone number.

4.  You may wish to set up an email account exclusively for activities connected to your search for a host family. Free, web-based email services like Hotmail or Gmail are ideal for this – and you don’t have to reveal your name in the email address.

5.  If you want to talk to a host family on the phone, remember that a mobile phone number gives you more flexibility and anonymity. It’s also easier, if necessary, to change a mobile number than a fixed line number. In some telephony networks users are able and can choose to prevent their phone number appearing on the other person’s caller ID.

6.  If anything makes you feel uncomfortable about another host family, simply stop contacting them. You can delete their profile instantly from your contacts list. And if you feel someone is abusing the service, please tell us immediately.

7.  Always use your common sense and remember you are the one in control.


Arranging The Exchange – Points To Remember

We sincerely hope that you find a good matching youth exchange candidate and that you and your host family come to an excellent exchange, but at all times the choices are clearly yours.

When meeting another member or host family, we recommend you bear the following in mind: 

1.  Always communicate with other host families on with parental control and guidance.

2.  Never exchange money with any other member or with any of the host family members. is based on the idea that members take good care of each other’s children without any exchange of money.

3.  Accompany your child at the start of the exchange. Get to know the host family, not only during the preparations of an exchange, but also upon arrival. Only move ahead with the exchange if you feel completely comfortable with your host family.

4.  Make your own exchange and travel arrangements. Don’t let the host family make arrangements for your travel or for any (hotel) accommodation.

5.  Make sure you (and your child) have a contingency plan in place. If something unexpected happens, make sure your child knows how to contact you and has the possibility to quickly and easily leave and return home if necessary. More tips and tricks can be found here.

6.  Always use your common sense, keep in control and don’t be forced into doing something you wouldn’t normally do.


Protecting Yourself From Fraud and Scams

Just like you, the vast majority of members are genuine families who have joined our community to find a great exchange. And like you, they appreciate everything does to provide a secure environment for members. For instance:

 – the identity of all Regular and Premium is checked;

– your identity will be kept private by us;

– you decide which photos are ‘released’;

– the payment system is safe and reliable … and so on.

But on the Internet, as in any other area of life, there is the rare dishonest individual who finds a way past security measures and who will use deception to obtain money or valuable personal details. These people are known as scammers.


Scammers – the Signs
*  Photos that look ‘professionally’ shot and where the person (male or female) is of ‘model’ quality

*  Emails that do not address your questions but rather seem to go down a structured path of pre-meditated content conveying an ever increasing interest in you and your family

*  Emails from men or women living in Russia, Eastern Europe or Africa

*  Fraudsters use the identities of US Generals or US business men. Common male professions are army generals / colonel, civil engineer in the oil / gold industry or jewellery designer. Common female professions are nurses and fashion designer, but mostly the female fraudster does not make a direct reference to her profession.

*  Asking you to deposit money in any form

*  Poor grammar and spelling in emails.

*  No spaces between the end of one sentence and the beginning of the next (blocks of text)

*  Use ‘webspeak’ or text abbreviations such as ‘pls’, ‘u r’ etc.


Scammers- protect yourself
*  Please report a suspicious profile or behaviour to us.

*  Never send money to anyone you have met through

*  If you have any doubts or suspicions, delete the member from your mailbox.


If you suspect anyone on our platform abusing the service then please report them to us immediately.
At, we try our best to help make your experience of enjoying a wonderful youth exchange both secure and safe. We hope that – supported by your trust and good judgement – will help you find the perfect homestay match.


Questions or Concerns?

See our Library area where you can find loads of reference and background information.

See Library Section
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Your privacy is important to us and we will never rent or sell your information.



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