Has anyone been an exchange student or know anyone who has been one?

Question:I am going to see my councelor again this year about being an exchange student because I am serious about doing it. (school starts monday)

Well I just want to know if anyone has some personal experiences of being one..or knows anyone?

Im 15 and I want to go to England because I dont speak Italiean or french (i wanted to go to those countries) and if i go to school in a country where i dont speak the language i could do badly in school and then have to retake the classes when i get home. and that would really suck.

so does anyone have any tips for me?
should i be one in england?
and i want to go for a whole semester of school

what do you think?

Congratulations on a great idea!

While I've not been an exchange student, I've been hosting and working with exchange students for the past 12 years and lived for a few years in Germany as well.

My first suggestion to you is to go in your junior year. That is the best year because you will be able to have the fun of your senior year AND have time to pick up any credits you may still need for graduation.

The second suggestion is to select a country where you will learn a new language. That is one of the most important benefits of an exchange year! Most American students doing exchanges have NOT learned the language before they went or maybe had a year in HS at the most. A bit of warning here, however, most French speaking countries (France and Switzerland for sure) require you to have at least two years of French. Most other countries do not have that requirement.

Third, take a year program, ESPECIALLY if you are taking one with a new language. It will take that long for things to all come together for you.

An exchange year is expensive, but colleges and universities LOVE exchange students and many offer preferred admissions and/or scholarships.

I agree with Zoe on one thing FOR SURE! Do NOT lie on your application! As a 12 time host parent there is nothing worse than to think you are getting a student who doesn't smoke, for example, and have them arrive reeking of cigarettes! We've also had international students lie and say they were allergic to animals because they thought that they would not be placed on a farm. What ends up happening, is they are very difficult to place at all. Be up front! If you are a vegetarian, say so. If you go to church, say so.

Finally, as a host parent, I'll also say that the most important part of your application is your letter. That is where we (the ones selecting our student for the year) learn the most about you! A longer, more detailed letter the better! Put as much YOU in it as possible!

Good luck!
If you can handle a year away from home, you would return to the US speaking another language if you are immersed in Spanish, French, or German. You would probably have to be enrolled in a year of high school language.

I think it is admirable that you desire to widen your horizons by learning about another culture. England, New Zealand or Australia would be good choices. Check out American Field Service (AFS) to learn more. The UK is very much like America - you will find it enriching regardless of where you choose. Make sure that you are completely honest when completing your application and interview. Once placed, be trustworthy, help around the house, be polite, and be flexible with your host family. The "slight" differences in culture may be a struggle for you, but remember it is about growing up and widening your horizons.

We have had 2 different students during high school. They had Spanish or French native tongue before coming, and left here speaking much better English than when they arrived. They are still part of our family even though we may not have seen them in many years now.
Ok i am Russian truelly and i know 4 languages including: english still learning if you want to be in a future ambassador this helps alot and you can make alot money$$$ i am 15 also i will be embassador)))))))))

I was an exchange student. I couldn't speak a word of Japanese but had a great time anyway! :) Most of the students who go on exchange programs are not able to speak the language in the host country (of course speaking it will make the exchange easier but don't worry, you should be doing quite well after a year!).

I think England is a good choice because you're familiar with English and it is possible for you to get credits. If you go to Italy for example, your Italian would be very poor (certainly not high school standard) and therefore wouldn't really be taking classes . This means you would have to repeat a year in the US.

Being an exchange student isn't always nice- there will be good and bad times but it's something I would recommend to anyone who's interested in exploring the world! I suggest you go for one year because this allows you to experience independance and a whole new culture properly. A year is also enough for you to go through the whole range of emotions one feels when living abroad (if you go for a semester, it's only oh, fun! i love this country!) .

Rotary International Youth Exchange is reputable and inexpensive (subsidised). AFS is also good but if I'm not wrong, they charge something like $16 000 for the UK program!

Have fun:) It'll be the most exciting (also probably the most iritating and fun) year of your teenage life.
Hey there, I was an exchange student to Japan in the summer of 04' and didn't speak any Japanese, nor did my family speak much English, but neither the less it was a great experience. I learned so much and had so much fun that i would do it over and over and over again. I was 17 when i went and also went in the summer for a short program, strangely enough i was on vacation at home but the second day i was there i was already in school and was in school until i left, but that was way more fun then just staying at home. if you have an interest in traveling the world and can tolerate other cultures i say go for it, it is totally worth it! YFU will really take care of you with all of your needs. You don't have to speak the language of the country you go to (unless it's stated as such) if you don't speak their language they will give you a family who speaks English, and of course teach you some of the language. It is an experience of a life time!
i think its a great idea. its definately a once in a lifetime chance. last year my family hosted an exchange student from Brazil for 10 months. it was the best experience ever. i am 16 and we got really close like sisters. its like you get to have another family. me and her talk every week and email almost every day. it was really hard for my entire family when she left. but overall it was a wonderful experience. she learned a lot about american culture, and we learned alot about brazil and their customs. all in all though being an exchange student seems like there would be more pluses than negative experiences. and i would definately suggest going for more than one semester. becasue at one seemester my exchange student was just getting close to freinds and she mentioned more than once that one semester wouldnt be enough. anway i think you should go for it and if you have any questions email me at life-now@hotmail.com and i would love to answer any of your questions
best of luck

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