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, 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?
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 .
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 . 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 . 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 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, . 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 , 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 if you do not already have one.
3 exchange programs to get you started
1. Nacel International:
- 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 classes.
2. AFS Intercultural Programs:
- By going to a local school, you can immerse yourself in a Romance language and possibly become fluent. AFS will , 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.
3. Go Abroad China:
- Struggling with Mandarin? Go Abroad China offers immersive language classes. Students have opportunities to practice and reinforce . 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.
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 , 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.