COMMON QUESTIONS

Hopefully here you will find answers to your questions regarding all of the swaps offered.  If you want to know more information just contact us.

  1. What types of swaps are there?
  2. How do I find out more about each swap?
  3. Who can participate?
  4. How to I sign up?
  5. How many packages will I send and receive?
  6. What countries will be represented?
  7. What do I have to send? 
  8. What about the cost?
  9. When will the swap start?
  10. Want to find out more?
  11. What are average shipping fees from Europe to the US?
  12. What if I have already participated before?  I don't want to receive a package from the same place.
  13. How do I know the other group members will definitely send their packages?


What types of swaps are there?
  • Worldwide Culture Swap - A group of 5 families from around the world swap packages containing items related to their country and culture.
  • US State Culture Swap -  A group of 5 families from different US states swap packages containing items related to their state's geography and culture.

How do I find out more about each swap?
Click on the buttons at the top of this page (or follow the links in the previous question) to find out specific information about each swap.

Who can participate?
All swaps are open to children, families, schools, homeschools and clubs around the world.  We have had families take part as well as teachers, grandparents and servicemen wanting to set up an exchange for their children back at home

How do I sign up?
You can sign up for any of the swaps by visiting our sign up page.

How many packages will I send and receive?
For the US State Culture Swap and Worldwide Culture Swap each group will be made up of 5 families so you will have to send up to 4 packages. You will receive the same number back.

What countries will be represented?
That depends on who signs up but an example group for the Worldwide Culture Swap might include families from the USA, Canada, Ireland, Indonesia and South Africa.  It is important to note though that Europe, Australia and North America are represented more than say South America or Asia but we do our best to balance each group.


What do I have to send?
Since these swaps began the packages are getting more and more creative so to see some really good examples look here.  There are no requirements but don't spend too much money.  Some of the best items are shells and seed pods, dried native plants and examples of local crafts.  When you are assigned your group you can discuss with them if there is anything that you are particularly interested in knowing more about or receiving.
PLEASE, MAKE SURE YOU CHECK CUSTOMS REGULATIONS BEFORE SENDING YOUR PACKAGE AS SOME ITEMS CAN BE FORBIDDEN IN CERTAIN COUNTRIES. e.i : metal things, plants, organic things like seeds and sand, certain food items, etc...

Here are some examples of what might be sent:
  • a letter explaining what it is like to live in your country including information about local customs, geography and weather etc
  • a picture from the child sending the package
  • a traditional local recipe
  • a postcard
  • pictures of the country / town / famous landmarks etc
  • information about traditional crafts
  • the national flag or symbol
  • a small item or toy relevant to that country (magnet, keychain, souvenir, etc.)
What about the cost?
The package contents don't have to cost much at all and can be made yourself rather than purchased. . However, shipping costs can be high so you must consider this when deciding what to send. You must only participate if you are prepared to send packages (as opposed to just a letter or postcard).

When will the swap start?
The swap starts as soon as there are enough people to make up a group.

Want to find out more?
  • Ask current participants about their experiences on our Facebook page
  • Take a look at some of  the packages sent and received so far
  • Have a look at our guest book
  • Contact us if you have any questions

What are average shipping fees from Europe to the US?
From France expect to pay around 6€ per packet whilst in England it might be £7.  To get an idea of cost from your country you can ask someone on ou Facebook page.


What if I have already participated before?  I don't want to receive a package from the same place.
No problem.  You will have an opportunity to tell us that you have already received packages for certain countries and I will try to give you different ones for the next exchange (this may not always be possible). As there will always be 2 US families per group, please indicate which US State you have exchange package with.


How do I know the other group members will definitely send their packages?
This project is possible only because we trust that for every package we send there will be one received in return.  99% of the time this works very well but there is always a risk that someone won't/can't send their packages (which can be very distressing to children waiting to hear from their new friends). We are now asking each person who signed up to email us back their confirmation before we make each group. Make sure you answer when you receive our email :-).
Whilst I cannot guarantee that you will not have a problem there are a few easy steps you can take to reduce the risk that your generosity will not be reciprocated.
  1. Do not send packages to anyone in your group if they have not communicated at all.  This could be an indication that the wrong email was given to me on the sign up form or that the person does not want to participate anymore but hasn't said anything.
  2. Build a relationship with your group through your email communications before you send the packages.   In this way you can make sure that everyone understands what they need to do and by when.
  3. Set a realistic deadline for the group and stick to it.
  4. Make sure that you check that the address I put on your joining email is correct.  
  5. Finally, exchange pictures of your packages within your group as a proof before you mail them.
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