There is no right or wrong when it comes to organising a language exchange but hopefully the few points to consider I make below, might help another family as they plan and organise an exchange for their child. Each family and person is different and each experience will be unique. Ahh the benefit of hindsight....
When considering your language exchange program here are some aspects that would benefit from greater consideration.
Consider the venue/location of the exchange how will it fit with your child's interests and personality. Is it in a big town with lots of opportunities to explore and experience a range of cultural aspects, sporting activities or a quiet rural village with less to do. Are you comfortable with your child exploring on their own?
The host family:
Get to know the family as much as possible prior to the exchange. Even if via email - understand their expectations - how will the student fit in with family, what chores will they need to participate in.
The one aspect which surprised the Frenchies and the host family, was the mental exhaustion. The school hours in France compared to Australia, are longer and we quickly realised that for a student to sit through classes in another language was taxing. The student not only has to understand new social and cultural rules of a school but try and follow all subjects in another language. This has the potential for the student to switch off and to become bored. Consider the duration of the exchange - depending on your child.
In drawing your attention to the above points for consideration, am hoping this will be helpful in organising your exchange.
Travelling by yourself as a teenager to another country is daunting, no matter how prepared you are, I did it as a sixteen year old to America and now my son has experienced his own exchange, these are so worthwhile.. an experience to remember for years to come. My son has returned and has changed, he is more appreciative of his life back home and has certainly matured - am a rather proud mama.