Shared Mindspace



There are many commendable programs for the classic student exchange, many of them have been around for a long time – please see the links below.  Education exchange based on Shared Mindspace however is much more than a relationship between host and guest.

…………….It is an ecosystem of interaction between two families.
…………….Kids trade places and swap families.
…………….Parents actively communicate and participate.
…………… So do peers, school classes, teachers , schools.

It grows through sharing and it spreads like the ripples of a stone
thrown into the water. But the waves continue to spread.

To find out more and see what this program can do for you,
please go to SharedMindspace.Org.

Below you find a case study as an example of what’s possible and a collection of links for further reference to put things into a better context.

A classic scenario:
Family “M” in Madrid has a son Felipe, he is 14 years old, their language at home is Spanish, the parents speak basic English and the son’s school English is quite good. Mr. and Mrs. “Y” in Los Angeles have three kids, the eldest son Ryan is 14 too; they speak English and Italian (Mrs. Y grew up in Rome) and the kids learn Spanish at school. Young Felipe has not decided yet if he wants to be a doctor or a musician, Ryan is certain he will be a distinguished surgeon one day and he loves to play the guitar.
These three factors – 1. Spanish/English, 2. music and 3. medicine – are the keys to their  partnership. Both lads have parents with a keen interest in international politics and both families are open minded towards other cultures and life styles. Decency and honesty matter as much to them as curiosity and good humour.
As Parental Pals they build up their relationship without time pressure, they communicate online for a year and arrange for mutual visits when Felipe and Ryan are fifteen, making sure that when they visit Madrid and LA they get a chance to see the schools the boys attend and arrange to meet a school official. During the following school year they prepare to trade places and collect information material about their own home, their town and their country. At sixteen they are ready to swap: Felipe and Ryan exchange families, homes and schools for one school year.  Everyone benefits:  no additional school fees need to be paid, no accommodation search is necessary, no homesickness spoils the fun and their school classes receive plenty of first hand information about the other’s home and country.  Maximum benefit, minimum cost and friction loss.

Give-and-take is the backbone that makes it work; it prevents the disappointments of a one-way-ticket system, opens up opportunities that had not been taken into consideration before, it helps avoid homesickness and hardship in acclimatizing, invites access to local life and cuts cost and risk.

Essential:  mutual trust and a very clear understanding of each others values.

Click on the image for another Case Study: is in the process of building an  international databank of information sources. For a start you find a growing collection of links below, dealing with the many subjects of student exchange and with all related know how. One of the key issues of Parental Pal involvement is to achieve a maximum of exchanges that allow trading places without incurring additional school fees.

For outside information you may want to consult …              

An official explanation from Wikipedia

Study abroad programs on Wikipedia

The all-time classic for exchange programs, the AFS

Two Worlds United Educational Foundation

ISEP have been offering exchange programs
for many years
… see their list of international member universities

Education First (EF) has a wealth of experience in exchange

A good example of an official (gov.) approach with many useful links

Youth for Understanding International Exchange

Pax.Org academic exchange

The Erasmus Programme

Exchange Student World

… and many more

Whilst we accumulate information to complete comprehensive databank we appreciate any input you may have for us. Please drop us infos and pass on links you find useful, either by e-mail ( or by commenting below. Thanx !!!

Continue to SharedMindspace.Org here, this is where you find
all the relevant information and access of course too!



One response to “Shared Mindspace

  1. Pingback: Shared Mindspace, double and twice (CS) | The ParentalPal Weblog