There’re various benefits of participating in a high school exchange program. You’ll learn a new language, study a new culture, boost your sense of independence, and discover things in real life. Keep in mind that there are various study abroad programs out there. Therefore, you have to choose a program that will allow you to maximize your experience. Below are aspects to help you select a high school exchange program.
Where do you want to go?
Selecting the country for your study abroad program is an important decision to make. A good idea is to choose a country based on the skills you’re seeking to acquire or the foreign language you’ve been studying. Alternatively, opt to study in a country you find interesting matching your background, heritage, and what you’ll want to discover more about.
Choosing a country you have an idea about eliminates the risk of cultural shock. It will be easier for you to adapt to that new environment. When going to a new continent, ensure to do some background check on the country you’re going to. Invest in a guidebook, do a Google search, or learn a few phrases in the host country language. It will be easier to adapt to the new environment to ensure that you have a wonderful experience.
When do you want to go?
You have to make a decision on when to participate in a study abroad program. Personal preference matters to make you select a convenient period. When choosing how to study abroad in high school, going during summer is a wonderful idea. You won’t have to worry about graduating on time. To make the most of your experience requires balancing studies and mingling with the locals.
Alternatively, you can study abroad during your school year with more options for classes. Luckily, these programs are available for students throughout the year although you might have to meet a grade criteria. This program isn’t available to those in their freshman year since high school experience is mandatory. It ensures that you’re more prepared to encounter the environment and handle learning in a foreign environment.
Additionally, it isn’t a great idea to consider study abroad during your senior year. You’ll find a problem applying to colleges. The last year in high school is when you have to spend more time with your current friends. This makes the sophomore and junior years as the best times to study abroad.
How much time to spend abroad
Study abroad programs ranges from a week to a full year. When considering participating in a foreign exchange program, you need to put some things into consideration regarding time. The program shouldn’t interfere with your regular study in any way. It’s a great idea to opt for a program that won’t let you start missing your family, friends, or country. In addition, the duration of the program should be affordable to allow staying for an appropriate time to learn the skills you want. The more time you spend in a foreign country the higher the chances of getting immersed in the culture and language.
What does the program focus on?
It’s very important to participate in a study abroad program that matches your goal. Fortunately, there are programs focusing on language acquisition, a particular school subject, and cultural immersion. Perhaps you’re more interested in community service, travel, or sports. Ensure to fish around for a program tailored to your interest.
What are the living conditions in the host country?
The various study abroad programs offer various living conditions. If you want to make more friends, opt for a program with dorm housing facilities where you’ll live with other students. This has an opportunity to live with age mates with a chance to meet foreign students from various countries. Alternatively, choose a program with homestay arrangement to meet locals and understand their culture and language better. You’ll have to live with a host family to improve your language skills and understand how the local people live.
Participating in a study abroad program is a great idea for any high school student. However, choosing a program matters since it will determine your overall experience. The right program should be tailored to your needs, not interfere with your education, and fit your budget.