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Foreign Exchange Student Program

Joan Said:

What is a good foreign exchange student program?

We Answered:

We have hosted 4 students in the United States through AYUSA. They have a study abroad program in Switzerland, but only for the summer.

Be aware that you can choose your country but it is usually not guaranteed that you will get placed in a certain city.

For an academic year in a country not served by AYUSA, I recommend either Rotary International, Youth for Understanding or American Field Service.

Rotary International is the most competitive to get a placement and is the least expensive because costs are underwritten by the organization, which is an international charitable service club.

Other exchange programs are specifically cultural exchange organizations with more limited access to scholarships or other underwriting.

If Germany is close enough, you might look into applying for Congress Bundestag which is a grant program through the state department. Which exchange student agency you would work with depends on the region of the country in which you live.

Danny Said:

How do I get started in a Foreign Exchange Student Program?

We Answered:

Check out Youth For Understanding.

Not only do they have an excellent program (I went to Japan in 2005), they have more scholarships than just about any other organization!

Just go to their website, fill out the application, and you'll hear back from them in not too long.

Your grades and language ablitity will help you out TREMENDOUSLY.

And.. don't be scared by people who tell you that "exchange programs are dangerous". The statistics say it is very unlikely, and I know hundreds of former students who had no problems at all.
YFU will even move you if something happens. Heck, I got moved because the mother got sick!

Barry Said:

Can my twin brother live in the same host family in the foreign exchange student program in Japan?

We Answered:

I don´t know about any program in Japan that may allow for you to stay in same host family home as your twin brother. Japan is known for the limited space in their homes, but who knows...
There is this program that does definitely allow for you to be hosted by same host family home, but it is not in Japan, sorry. You may want to consider it as it is the highest quality for a much lower cost for comparable programs. Cost for your brother and you, both, might be less than USD8,000
This program does not require for you to have studied Spanish prior to participating.
Spain is a wonderful choice and the program, one of the best if not the best of the programs offered abroad world wide. Location is a safe and most amazingly beautiful beach resort in Northern Spain.
Host families are extremely well screened and very loving. This program gets returnees year after year, so great it is.

Cost is really reasonable considering everything included (as long as you sign up with this program through their web site as there are organizations that sell the same program for much more so high quality it is).

Some of the activities and excursions it offers besides Spanish, cooking and dancing classes are: Guggenheim Museum, paella dinner, bullfight, fireworks on the beach, city tour, medieval towns, fishing villages, many beach days, Aquarium, tall ship vessel excursion, Roman village hiking trip, canoening down the river, shopping, and much more.

It offers you the possibility of enrolling with a friend with whom to share same host family home, or for you to stay alone at host family. Many host families count on children of similar age to participating students.

Jackie Said:

What's the best foreign exchange student program for highschoolers?

We Answered:

I participated in a fabulous program, called HomeStay Spain in SPAIN. After speaking with other kids in the group who had participated in other exchange programs abroad we decided this was the best! If you are interested in a lifestyle immersion experience and willing to learn about Spanish Culture and Lifestyle, this is the most amazing program available. The beautiful and safe town of Santander is known for its cultural refinement, and an atmosphere typical of old Spain. It is so much fun!!! And we learned so much!!!! It was so enriching. I LOVED IT!!! Both my sister and I participated different summers and we had a blast! We made so many good friends we still keep in touch with! The program is really well planned out and people are lovely! Many host families have teens. They even allow you to come with a friend to stay in same host family home or in a different home. And if you sign up early they allow you to choose from the available host families for a perfect fit. Check their website

Before deciding among different programs I had a chance to speak with some contacts that had participated in this program and my parents did as well. Everyone spoke wonders about this program, the host families and the local director Nuria, who is such a nice lady,... She is usually in Florida at this time of the year, so that means that you may be able to talk to her on the phone once you contact them through their web site.

This program is considered the most complete exposure to a foreign country because as they say it is true that it combines CLASSES (art, debate, street talk, folklore, DANCING classes, among others) with FUN and EXCITING ACTIVITIES such as Latin Dance Classes, Bullfight, Boat Excursion, etc…, FULL DAY OUTINGS to places of historical and cultural interest such as prehistoric Altamira Caves, Guggenheim Museum, Roman Ruins, "Capricho de Gaudi", Roman Route Hiking adventure, etc... are also ALL INCLUDED IN THE PRICE while living with a local, loving and carefully selected HOST FAMILY. I know this program allows you to choose from several host families (the type of things this program does, no other program would ever) in order for everyone to be happy.

Arnold Said:

What can I do to increase my chances at being accepted into the foreign exchange student program?

We Answered:

Learn to speak the language, even if you only learn a few things, it will impress them if you want it enough to learn the language a little.

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