FAQ - Frequently asked questions

Maybe you have one or more questions. We are asked some typical questions again and again in our work, we have collected them and the answers to them here. Feel free to write to usif you cannot find sufficient answers here.

You can find it here:

You want to go abroad and have questions about everything - then you may find questions and answers here:

You have found a rainbow host family. You can read how it all works here:

Can you imagine becoming a rainbow host family? Questions that you may have asked yourself can be found here:

Information about QueerTausch can be found here:

Are you queer and want to get up and away?

I am bi-, pan- or homosexual and want to go abroad.
That is great and we are very happy!

Do I have to, should or can I state this in my application?
This is not a must and above all not a should! If you find that your bi-, pan- or homosexuality (or how you otherwise define your sexual orientation) belongs to you as a matter of course and you think that this should not be missing in your first self-description - then you are welcome to include this in your application take up. If you find that this is none of your business or otherwise doesn't matter in your life, then don't. If you have been accepted for participation in the program, you have to write extensive descriptions about yourself again in English, which then go to the partner country and with which a family is found for you on site. The same question may arise again. If you are unsure, take it with us Contact us up and we'll think about it together!

Are there any country restrictions for openly bisexual, pan or homosexual people or do you give country recommendations?
Since we also offer countries in our program in which bisexual, pan- and homosexuality are unfortunately punishable, we are currently working very intensively on this issue. So far there is no official statement - neither from AFS Germany nor from any other AFS partner country. In principle, we cannot and do not want to advise anyone against a desired country. But since we have intensive contacts with the active people in the partner countries and experience of those who have returned from all countries, we are very well in a position to give tips in this regard when choosing a country. Please take with us Contact us on!

I am trans * and want to go abroad.
We think that's great too! With trans * people, however, there are some formal hurdles that have to be overcome. Above all, these are questions that revolve around a possible change in civil status, the therapeutic support required by law and specific issues in medical care.
Please take with us Contact us so that we can talk together about possibilities and options. We have also summarized some of the most important questions and information in separate sheets. Here on our side you can find these documents as a brief overview for download.

Where do you want to go
Find out about the legal situation of queer people in your dream country, for example at www.ilga.org, www.queeramnesty.de or that Foreign Office. For experience on acceptance in AFS programs, please join us Contact us on.

Take in a host child as a rainbow family!

We are a homosexual couple - can we also be host families?
Yes, of course! In general, the only formal requirement is an own bed for the guest child! Motivation for intercultural learning and a little time at the beginning of the year are helpful so that one or the other hurdle can be overcome together. Further information on the topic of host families is also available in our article “Eine wie keine”, which was published in 2012 in our association magazine HORIZONTE.
Whether as an old or young couple, with or without children, house or apartment, cat or no foreign language skills - we look forward to welcoming guest children.
In purely formal terms, rainbow host families are so-called “non-traditional placements”. This means that the placement is proposed to the exchange child and their family and they can then decide whether to accept it. Based on the experience of recent years, this serves to protect both sides. After all, nobody wants a child to come reluctantly, but happily accepts the placement for what it is!

How does that go?
Every interested family fills out the form with their general family information, describes their family life on an A4 page, adds a few current photos and sends them to the AFS office. Then there is a visit from the volunteers from the local committee, who usually have one or two guest child profiles in their pockets.
During this appointment, open questions and organizational matters are clarified (Do's & Don'ts for everyone involved) and the volunteers are interested in family activities and local peculiarities.
Once the host family has decided on a child and AFS Germany has asked the child and family through the AFS office in the partner country, there will be an answer! Either the adventure of being a host family begins (perhaps with an e-mail?) Or another attempt with a different guest child profile follows!

Are there also openly queer guest children?
It is extremely rare that host children even mention their sexual identity in their records. But kids rarely tell B. from the involvement in a "Gay-Straight Alliance" at her high school. Openly dealing with a possible homo-, pan- or bisexuality, trans-identity or intersex among young people is unfortunately anything but a matter of course in many countries around the world. It is therefore rather the exception to explicitly convey queer guest children as such. 

As a host child in a rainbow family!

I was offered a rainbow host family - what do I do now?
First of all, you and your biological family now have the opportunity to read the host family's documents in peace and enjoy the interest in yourself! Do you have the same interests or hobbies? Is there an instrument or pet that you would like? The documents can of course only describe a part of what belongs to an overall picture. Therefore do not be afraid to pass your questions on to the AFS office if you have specific questions during the decision-making process. The host families are happy to tell you more about their lives. The aspect that lets the family members become a non-traditional placement usually fades into the background on closer inspection and with you, hopefully, an honest interest in the people is decisive!

Where is there Rainbow homestay or from which AFS partner countries is the inquiry?
Most of the rainbow host families are from the United States. Experience over the past few years has shown that there are often more male couples than female couples. Like all families, these are very diverse: from their early 30s to their late 50s, in downtown Seattle, on a farm in Kansas or in a suburb of Washington DC. Everything is included! Inquiries have also come from Brazil as to whether a child could imagine a rainbow host family.

How often are there such placements?
In recent years there have been around five Rainbow host families per year. In the first years of placement for rainbow host families, the AFS office had to make inquiries with many children and their families. In recent years, children and their families have expressed their willingness to accept a “non-traditional placement” more quickly and have been able to explicitly state this in their profile for some time now.

There is also more information on the topic of host families in our article “Eine wie keine”, which appeared in 2012 in our club magazine HORIZONTE.


How long has QueerTausch been around?
QueerTausch was founded in spring 2010. However, the first ideas for such a group were discussed as early as the mid-1990s.

Who is interested in it or who is the target group?
QueerTausch is for everyone! For people who deal with questions about sexual orientation and gender identity as well as the topic of intercultural exchange. For everyone who found something queer in an international context, who shoot que [e] r themselves or who are committed to ensuring that not only the norm is visible!

In short: for queer people in an international environment!

You can find more under "Who, what, why, how is Queer Swap?","Portraits of the team members" and "Our self-image".