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About Us

It's important to know

Southern Cross Cultural Exchange (S.C.C.E.) is a not-for-profit organisation specialising in international educational exchange programs for secondary school students.

The first Australian student exchange organisation to be based in Australia, S.C.C.E. was founded to further international understanding by means of experiential education.


Our Purpose

  • To further tolerance
  • To challenge youth towards international understanding
  • To encourage youth towards further learning
  • To provide self-knowledge and awareness

Our Mission Statement

We believe in building a better cultural understanding between nations and people. By offering safe and exciting ways for young people to fulfil their dreams of discovering a new culture through learning, we help create better global citizens, while contributing to improved quality of life for those less fortunate.

Programs exchanging students to live in another culture have been popular for centuries, organised by universities and secondary schools. They became professionally organised by pacifist groups after WWI with the desire to promote peaceful relations among nations. There were many similar programs organised by governments. The 20th century brought forward many organisations promoting student exchange as well as the establishment of many overseas branches of universities.

After WWII, German corporations in Australia commenced sponsoring scholarships for secondary students, soon followed by a U.S. exchange organisation offering Australian students a choice of many countries. In 1970, another U.S organisation arrived with a U.S. government grant, adding many new destinations for Australia. Then, after comedian Paul Hogan, in 1984, urged every nationality to “put another shrimp on the Barbie in Australia”, several European, American, and Japanese exchange organisations came to Australia.

Since its incorporation in 1983, S.C.C.E. has exchanged over 16,500 students with 27 different countries.

S.C.C.E.’s vast experience and professionalism in providing high quality exchange programs is reflected in its approval and registration with Australian state and federal education departments, and its acceptance by immigration and education authorities around the world.

Recruiting professionals qualified and experienced in the fields of education, counselling, travel and administration, most of S.C.C.E.’s staff are former exchange students whose unique experiences and knowledge, as well as enthusiasm for intercultural exchange programs, directly benefits today’s participants.

With four decades of Australian-based experience, S.C.C.E. staff have a unique ability to respond to the changing needs of Australian education systems through the innovation, diversification and adaptation of our programs and procedures.

S.C.C.E. takes pride in designing programs, ranging in duration from six weeks to ten months, which reflect the values and ideals of Australian students, families, and schools..

Living like a local

There is truly a world of difference between a tourist and someone living as a family member for an extended period of time. An exchange program will allow you to live in a country and experience it as a local on a day-to-day basis. You will live with a carefully-selected host family as a member of the family, attending the local school, participating in school life with fellow students. You will make friends for life!

One important element of your cultural exchange program will be your role as an ambassador for Australia. People will be curious to know more about you and your way of life in Australia.

Engage your sense of adventure and quest to understand a new culture – its language and customs – and accept the challenge of living with a host family. There is no better way to begin to understand yourself, your opinions, beliefs and ideals. Make the commitment today to learn more about the world through personal experience. We hope that you will come back home more confident and ready to become part of a changing global community.

The Host Family

The family is the oldest classroom for cultural understanding and is the centre of the exchange experience.

The rare opportunity to live as a family member in another country comes only to young participants on exchange programs. It is a unique change to gain lifelong friendships in another part of the world.

You will gradually become an accepted member of the family unit through observation and participation in the daily life of the family and its surrounding community. You will require perseverance and patience.

You will be treated as a member of the family. Volunteer host families may be the families of doctors, teachers, farmers, mechanics or park rangers. Their home may be a cottage or a castle, in a rural area, small town or big city suburb. The one thing all host families have in common is a willingness to share their home without compensation and accept you as a son or daughter.


Becoming part of an overseas school community will give you another opportunity to make international friends, discover customs and feel part of another community.

You will be given the chance to take advantage of the many new and different courses, timetables, social and sporting activities.

State and private schools must accept S.C.C.E. exchange students without educational fees. Any costs such as subject levies or supplies must be borne by the student if not waived by the school. Subject choices vary considerably all over the world. Participants are advised to not expect continuity among educational systems, but to take advantage of the opportunity to study something different, especially about t

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Live like a local, experience a new way of life and discover yourself.