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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What exactly is a "Journey" and is it different from an "Exchange"?

    A "Journey" is simply an organised visit by one club to another and forms the basis of Friendship Force.  It nearly always includes home hosting, welcome dinners, activities, local sightseeing and so on.  Normally a "Journey" lasts for one week.

    An "Exchange" is an old term for exactly the same thing.  It was in general use up to a few years ago which is why long serving members can still be found using it.  Both the words journey and exchange are used interchangeably in general conversation.

    Do I have to be wealthy to join?

    ABSOLUTELY NOT. When Friendship Force members travel to another club, they do so to meet the people and learn, not judge how they live.  A Friendship Force Journey will cost you about the same as a package tour to the same location - the difference is that you will go home with so much more.

    What if I'm not a good traveller?

    You don't ever have to travel if you don't want to.  You can still be a member of the Friendship Force. Many Perth members do not travel but enjoy the social activities of the club and join in on incomming journeys by being either hosts, day hosts or dinner hosts.

    What is a "Homestay"?

    Simple - when you travel with the club to another country, you stay free of charge as a guest in the home of another Friendship Force member in that country.  You share their life for a week and probably their friendship for the rest of your life.

    Who are the host families?

    Host families are members of Friendship Force. They are not paid to provide hosting but do so because of their interest in getting to know "citizen ambassadors" from other countries. Your host and their family become your inside guides to the country and its people. There is no better way to explore the world!

    What are my responsibilities if I am to be a Home Host?

    A home host invites his/her guest to be a part of the family for the time the journey is in Perth. Involve your guest in the activities of your family. Participate in all official functions that are planned and attend all scheduled workshops. If you have an obligation during the journey that is of such a nature that you are unable to take your guest, inform the Host Coordinator and a "day host" will be arranged to accompany/entertain your guest on your busy day.

    What can I expect when I am home hosted by an individual or family?

    You become a part of the family during your stay. The host club will have planned a number of activities for the entire group with one ot two "free days". On these days you and your host might visit areas in which you have a mutual interest as well as time spent with your host's family and friends. Often this involves meals with neighbors, family celebrations & special outings.

    Since I am a single woman, would I be matched with another woman?

    Yes, that is usually the situation while couples normally host another couple. There are exceptions, but it is your decision. Frequently, the number of bedrooms and type of bed(s) available play a part in matching hosts and ambassadors (guests) as do interests & occupations.

    Will I have the opportunity to communicate with my host or guest before the journey?

    Usually that is the case. Via email you would introduce yourself, exchange emails and get to know a little about each other before you meet in person.

    What is a Day Host?

    A club member who is not home hosting, but one who takes a home host's ambassadors for a days activities. The Day Host provides vital assistance to home hosts who work or have a previous commitment during one or more days, and are unable to participate in the journey events.

    What does it cost to join The Friendship Force?

    Current annual subscription for the Perth Club is $65 per person. If joining partway through a financial year the subscription fee would be pro rata. The financial year runs from 1st October to 30th September.

    What about travel costs?

    When we go on an Outbound Journey, we pay our own travel costs, entrance fees, incidental costs and a fee to Friendship Force International of US$140 per journey (ie, week).

    How can I participate in an Inbound Journey if I work all day?

    You could provide accommodation on a 'bed and breakfast' basis and let another club member assist you by Day Hosting. They look after your ambassador(s) during the day while you are at work.  Alternatively you could contribute by inviting a couple of ambassadors to join you for a meal one evening, or just provide some food for the welcome or farewell party. There are many ways to be involved in a journey.

    How are journeys organised?

    Each year, clubs decide whereabouts in the world they would like to go to be hosted (Outbound Exchanges), also where they would be prepared to accept clubs from as ambassadors (Inbound Exchanges). This information goes to our head office in Atlanta where the staff do their best to match up the clubs. An Ambassador Coordinator (for outgoing journeys) or a Host Coordinator (for incoming journeys) will be appointed and they will liaise with their opposite number in the other club to decide things like pairing of hosts and ambassadors (trying to match up people of similar ages and interests if possible). Committees of club members will work to organise outings and entertainment for the ambassadors. The success of all journeys depends on both clubs working together.

    Does it matter if I can't speak a foreign language?

    No, not at all. If you can smile, mime and point, you're going to do just fine. Even mundane events can sometimes become hilarious that way.  Remember that everyone in The Friendship Force is a member because they WANT to communicate and learn. They will be trying as hard as you. Learning just a few words in the hosts language will guarantee a delighted smile, no matter how badly pronounced.

    Isn´t The Friendship Force just a travel club?

    NO! The whole point of the club is Friendship - at home and abroad.  Our motto is "FACES, NOT PLACES."  A journey involves commitment and effort on your part. If you are just looking for a cheap holiday then the Friendship Force is NOT for you.

    What are members really like?

    They are just ordinary people of all ages who like to do something rather special.  We have no religious or political associations, just a desire to learn more about other people in other places and be friends with them, no matter what their creed colour or background.

    How many clubs are there?

    At the time of writing there are 360 clubs world wide and growing.