"I've made friends for life and had experiences that were really incredible so thank you to everyone who made it all possible."

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Outbound application form
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What to pack

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The outbound basics

You can stay for a month in Tahiti in December and January. It costs under $3000 for everything – for four weeks! You will celebrate either Christmas or New Year with your host family and attend school for about two weeks of your stay. If you have hosted someone on the Inbound exchange in July you will have priority for the Outbound exchange and will already know at least one person in Tahiti. The person you hosted will probably host you there.

You can
• improve your French very fast
• learn about a new culture
• get better qualifications results
• make new friends
• see exotic places
• have a tropical holiday
• travel cheaply
• have experiences your friends can only dream of.

The aim is to improve your French and it certainly does that, but it is also an exciting cultural experience in a beautiful tropical country.

What is it?

The Tahiti Exchange is a linguistic and cultural student exchange, which means you must attend school with your correspondent. If you are hosted in or near Papeete, the capital, there are some optional activities and excursions organised by Fapelec, our sister organisation in French Polynesia. We are usually able to email you the programme, with dates and prices, before you leave New Zealand.

We will confirm this year’s accompanying teachers closer to the departure date. The pupils and their families in New Zealand will have their contact mobile number in Tahiti.

Who can go?

Students of French in a New Zealand secondary school whose application is supported by their French teacher, up to the number FAPELEC has host families for may be selected to participate in the exchange. You have to have enough French to survive – two years' study is a minimum, but three years are better – and you have to be outgoing and independent. The humid heat, the culture shock and the separation from home can be demanding. If you are in doubt about any of these, think about waiting another year.


When is it?

The next Outbound exchange leaves on 27 December 2015 and returns on 21 January 2016.

Information about the dates of the Outbound exchange will be posted early in Term 2 each year.

Where will we go?

Most New Zealand students are hosted by families on Tahiti, but in the past some have been placed on beautiful Mo'orea or in the Marquesas Islands, 1500 km to the north, some in the Austral Islands, 600 km to the south, and others on more of the 120 islands in French Polynesia; a few even on pearl farms in the Tuamotus. We will pay for domestic airfares in French Polynesia if you are to be hosted on an island other than Tahiti.

If you hosted someone in July and would like to stay with them, you should indicate that on your application form. Otherwise, FAPELEC will find you a family if you are selected. You may want to host your correspondent next year. Once FAPELEC in Tahiti sends us the hosting list, we will email it to everyone, so that people organising their own flights from their home airport can arrange to travel on the same flights. We will have someone at Auckland airport for any student who needs help getting from their domestic flight to the international one and to make sure you can check in for your international flight.

Do I need a visa?

Not if you travel on a New Zealand passport valid until at least 31 April 2016 and are staying no longer than 30 days. If you travel on another country's passport, you are responsible for checking whether you need a visa for French Polynesia and a returning resident visa for re-entry to New Zealand, and for getting them both, if they are necessary. This is very important. No visa, no travel.

If you do not have a passport, you may choose to wait till you are accepted before applying for one, or you may apply for one anyway. It can sometimes take a while, so don't delay, although a higher fee will get a passport issued faster. New Zealand passport application forms are available from any travel agent or on line at dia govt. If you need to apply for a foreign country's passport, it may take longer. The travel agent can give you information about getting a visa.


How much does it cost?

$2000 from Auckland International Airport. This covers airfares, insurance, airport taxes and administration, but not your spending money. If you need domestic flights to and from Auckland, our travel agent can arrange those for you, or you can organise your own domestic flights. If you choose to do this, be aware that low cost airlines do not always have the facility to link your domestic and international travel and in the event of a flight delay you may not be able to complete your forward travel. We advise you to discuss this with a travel agent before making any bookings for domestic flights.

You will need another $800 to $1000 for spending money, some of the FAPELEC activities and a small fund for an emergency such as a doctor’s visit. When you are at school you will also need to pay for your lunch, either at the school canteen or from a Snack Bar outside the school gate.

Before you sign up and pay for any of the activities in Tahiti, you should ask your host family what plans they have for the holidays. They may be planning some or even all of the same things. Please be prepared to pay your own way, even if you do an activity with members of your host family.

How do I apply?

Applications open in August. Fill out fully and clearly the application form, and do the quiz and Personal Writing page. Ask your French teacher to complete the form with their assessment of your suitability. Then one of you should send us these three documents by 15 September with a copy of the photo and signature pages of your passport, if you have a current passport.

You must scan and email all of these to