High school is a tough time for most students with physical, emotional
and academic changes in every year. Allowing your student to consider
an exchange program that takes them away from home for months may seem
like a contentious idea, but for most students it is a wonderful growth
opportunity. Student exchanges are international programs which enable
students to travel to a foreign country to be hosted by a family there.
Stays are traditionally 3, 5 or 10 months long and your student will attend
school while they are there to avoid losing out on academic development.
Traveling abroad to stay with another family is a safe and exciting way
to learn independence. Having to navigate airports and trains and getting
to know a new school and neighborhood without the guiding support of your
family is made easier by having a host family who is there to help at
Your student is introduced to the exciting world of international travel
and a different culture. Immersion is also the very best way to learn
a new language and you will be amazed at how much your student picks up
during their student exchange stay.
Students and their parents can choose the country to which they travel,
the length of their stay, the school they will attend while they are there
and whether they go to a private or public school. If you like, you can
host a student from another country first so that you can get to know
them better and then send your student to stay with their family later
in the academic year. This will mean that your student already has a fast
friend when they arrive in their new host country.
Depending on the exchange company you select, applications can run from
four to ten months as students and host families are interviewed to find
a good match. Exchange programs will take care of all the arrangements
and costs will include travel fees and insurance costs.
Student exchanges go beyond personal growth to give your student a more
well-rounded education. They are able to experience different languages,
cultures, cuisines and environments while learning independence. Staying
with their host family will give them an opportunity to experience a family
life that is different from their own as well as political and cultural
opinions which differ from those they are accustomed to.
Student exchange programs can really be an exciting way to broaden your
student’s horizons and give them a whole new perspective. Ask you
student’s teacher or councilor for information on student exchanges
that your school participates in.