full scholarships

How to Become a Foreign Exchange Student

How to Become a Foreign Exchange Student

Being a foreign exchange student will enhance your life for years to come as you broaden your outlook and learn more about other cultures. Learning how to become a foreign exchange student is the first stop on your journey.

A single year abroad can teach you more than you may think. It can teach you how to communicate in a different language and how to navigate in a different culture while building awareness of world issues and international networking. Our world is more connected than ever before, which requires people to become more aware of different ways of living. Being an exchange student does just that.

Not to mention, studying abroad in high school teaches you responsibility and tolerance. If you’re truly interested in foreign exchange, then perhaps you’ve asked yourself: How do I become a foreign exchange student?

How to Become a Foreign Exchange Student

What is a foreign exchange student?

A foreign exchange student is a student who goes abroad to a different country to live and study as part of an exchange program. Don’t take the word “exchange” literally, though. You don’t always need a literal one-for-one exchange with another student. As part of your course of study, you might simply enroll in classes at a local university or high school.

Most exchange programs encourage students to enrich their experiences by volunteering or participating in extracurricular activities such as sports, dance classes, exercise groups, or whatever tickles your fancy. When you become a foreign exchange student, you will have the opportunity to learn about yourself and discover a new culture while enhancing your education and meeting new friends from all over the world.

How old do you have to be to be a foreign exchange student?

Technically, there is no age requirement to become a foreign exchange student. Generally speaking, many foreign exchange programs are for middle and high school students age 13 years or older. Although the most popular study abroad programs tend to be for university-aged students, there is no law that says it’s impossible to get a head start while you are younger.

You can study abroad on high school exchange or language schools abroad while you are still a teenager. Eager for even more time abroad? You can also become a foreign exchange student at colleges and universities after you have graduated from high school. For further information you can keep following https://chubbyparade.com/‘s articles updates.

How to become a foreign exchange student in high school

Before you book your exchange program, there are some key things to consider. While your exchange provider will likely organize the logistical details, it all starts with you.

1. Do your research!

The most reliable way to become a foreign exchange student is to find the right program provider. A program provider will orchestrate your exchange and advise you on types of exchanges and picking a destination.

However, it’s up to you to do your research and choose your program provider wisely. Consider several programs and be prepared to apply at least four months in advance.

2. Consider why you want to be an exchange student

It’s a good idea to set your intention before making the leap to apply and embark on your journey. Study abroad is not for everyone and foreign exchange programs aren’t exactly cheap.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but choose a country that you feel you’d like to visit. You’ll want to make an informed decision and carefully consider why you want to study abroad. Ask yourself what you would like to do during the exchange and what you would like to take away from the experience, even making a list of pros and cons prior to making your final decision.

3. Pick a destination that is suitable for you

The destination you choose will not only impact the price, but it can also dictate the type of experience you can have. Try to choose a destination that’s suitable for your interests and needs.

Your grades should be steady as most candidates in high school that study abroad have at least a 2.5 GPA. It’s a good idea to choose a program that aligns with the discipline that you would like to study. Keep in mind that typically, the further you travel, the more expensive the program will be overall.

4. Decide on the duration of your exchange

Keep in mind that when you’re far from your loved ones, culture shock can be that much more intense. Living abroad is a challenge. You’ll have an adjustment period that can be difficult to prepare for in advance.

That’s not stated to deter you from studying abroad, rather to provide a reality check. You’ll most certainly have challenges, especially at the beginning. The longer you stay, the more fulfilling your experience can be (though longer programs abroad do also tend to cost more).

If you choose a structured program with activities and excursions included, you’re more likely to get the most out of your experience—no matter how long you decide to stay.

5. Apply and consider the costs

As mentioned earlier, exchange programs can be quite expensive, so make a budget and have funds set aside in the case of unexpected costs. Opting to work part-time or applying for scholarships can help cut costs. Factor in the cost of your transportation and travel to your host country.

Many exchange programs will pair you with a host family. Include living expenses such as food, school material, and local transportation in your budget. In addition, many programs will require you to purchase some sort of health insurance, which can also be expensive. Students who study with exchange programs should also allot a few hundred dollars per week depending on the location and cost of living.

If you are unsure of how to apply for an exchange student program, you may want to ask a school counselor or principal for support. As you apply for your program, make sure to read carefully and include all supporting documents. You may also need to apply for a passport if you do not already have one.

3 exchange programs to get you started

1. Nacel International: High School Exchange in Chile (14 to 18 Years Old)

  • Nacel International offers students the chance to live with a host family and help the environment at the same time. Study at a private high school that has its own INBio (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad) park! Transplant trees, work in the butterfly farm, and collect and prepare seeds. Note that this program is only available to high school students who have at least two years’ of Spanish language classes.
  • Read Nacel International reviews

2. AFS Intercultural Programs: High School Abroad in Italy

  • By going to a local school, you can immerse yourself in a Romance language and possibly become fluent. AFS will prepare you to live with a host family, which will provide your home away from home. With other international AFS exchange students participating as well, you are sure to make connections from all over the world and memories you’ll never forget.
  • Read AFS-USA reviews

3. Go Abroad China: Learn Chinese in China with GAC

  • Struggling with Mandarin? Go Abroad China offers immersive language classes. Students have opportunities to practice and reinforce what they have learned in the classroom. Some activities include weekend tours, language exchanges that include conversation with native speakers, cultural activities, and networking events. Students will live with a host family and get a tutor for extra language support. You’ll also have the option to participate in small group programs or more intimate one-on-one programs.
  • Read Go Abroad China Ltd. reviews

As an exchange student, you’ll see the world in a unique way!

Moving abroad is no walk in the park, but the move brings growth and perspective. You need to be very flexible and adjustable.

If you decide to become a foreign exchange student in high school, you will definitely leave your comfort zone. Not only will you gain independence, but you could improve your language skills and return home with a completely new perspective on what it means to be a global citizen.

How to get a full scholarship

Full scholarships (also called full-ride scholarships) are the holy grail of funding opportunities, covering almost everything for the full three or four years of university. Your tuition and living costs will be covered by the provider, leaving you free to focus on your studies and social life without worrying about money. Sounds great, right?

Sadly, there just aren’t too many of these dream scholarships going around. Full scholarships are rare, and those that are available are very competitive. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply for them – read on to discover how to increase your chances of being awarded one of these prestigious scholarships.

How to get a full scholarship

Know where to look

First things first, where do you actually go to find full scholarships? Your first port of call should be your chosen university’s official website, as they may offer their own funding opportunities for students from your location or in your subject, or possibly list external scholarships you could apply to.

As well as your university, you could check sites like InternationalScholarships or FastWeb, plus our own Scholarships to Study Abroad page, which lists funding opportunities in different study destinations, scholarships focused on particular subjects and scholarships aimed at particular student groups (e.g. African students).

Prepare in advance

If you know you’ll need a full scholarship to help you to attend university, it’s important to start preparing as far in advance as possible. This is especially important if you find you need to attend an interview – some universities conduct special ‘scholarship weekends’ in which 50-100 students will be invited on campus to interview with a faculty member, answering questions on their goals and motivations and how this fits in with that university and course. If you need to attend a scholarship interview, you should treat this as you would any other formal interview, dressing smartly and coming well-prepared with good answers for their possible questions, as well as having a few questions ready to ask them when invited to at the end of the interview. Find out how to answer common admission interview questions in this website in other articles https://chubbyparade.com/

Work hard and keep motivated

Although some full scholarships will be based on financial need rather than academic excellence, some will take both into account, or only be awarded to exceptional students. It goes without saying that you should be working hard in your studies, but you’ll need to really put in the effort if you want to get that full scholarship, as the majority are awarded to the highest-achieving students. In some cases, universities may automatically consider applicants for full scholarships using your regular university application, making high grades crucial. While pushing yourself academically can be mentally exhausting, try to stay motivated by keeping your goals in mind, and give yourself a break every now and then to relax (especially during and after exam season!).

Make yourself stand out from other applicants

With so much competition to get a full scholarship, it’s crucial to stand out from the pool of applicants by demonstrating real commitment to bettering yourself as an individual. This means having a few extracurricular activities to show off to scholarship providers, demonstrating your passions and interests outside the classroom, as well as examples of times you’ve got involved with the local community, perhaps by taking part in volunteer work for a good cause.

Leadership skills are also hugely valued by scholarship providers, and you can demonstrate this by volunteering to lead projects in your extracurricular activities or community work.

Another thing that could really make you stand out from the rest when it comes to scholarship applications is a glowing report on your academic and personal qualities through your letters of recommendation, so it’s important to build strong relationships with your academic mentors – if a mentor knows you well, they’ll be able to provide a more personal and accurate reflection of you in their letter.

Read the application instructions carefully

This may seem extremely obvious, but you don’t want to drop your chances by accidentally missing out a document or piece of information that was stipulated in the scholarship’s application instructions. Be sure to read the application guidance carefully and repeatedly, so you’re less likely to miss anything, and email the provider if you need clarification on anything.

Submit an exceptional scholarship essay or cover letter

Another one that goes without saying, but your application essay/cover letter needs to absolutely be the best quality it can possibly be. This means making sure it’s clear and concise, is formatted correctly, grabs the reader with a strong introduction, stays focused on its key theme or topic, and has flawless spelling and grammar. Don’t just rely on proofreading it hundreds of times to make sure it’s perfect – ask a friend to go over it and check for typos and any sentences that don’t read as well as they could do.

One of the winners of our QS scholarships wrote a very helpful article on submitting a winning scholarship essay, which you can read here.

Be realistic

And finally, as we touched on earlier, the unfortunate truth is that there aren’t many full scholarships to go around, and they’re extremely competitive, meaning that many candidates who meet and exceed the requirements for a full scholarship end up missing out. Don’t let this hold you back from applying, but be realistic about your expectations. And remember, there’s no limit on how many scholarship applications you can send out, and normally no limit to how many scholarships you can be awarded, so you may be able to build your own full scholarship using two or more smaller scholarships. (Of course, be sure to check with the providers that you’re able to apply for and receive funding from other sources). If you do get rejections, try not to let them get you down – pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and don’t stop trying in life until you get what you want.