How Does One Join A Student Exchange Program?
Aug 21, 2011 Study Abroad 1966 Views
A number of routes exist for a student that is interested in studying abroad, be they a high school or university student. The educational institution that the student is involved with will likely have exchange programs that they already work with. Thus the first step is to get in touch with a local school counselor to inquire about information on the program. Requirements get a lot more unique for acceptance from that point onward. Each program will have its own criteria of things it will expect and wants to see from the student.
A high school program will typically have a grade requirement for the prospective exchange student. A 3.0 GPA or higher shows the foreign exchange program professionals that the student is serious about their education. Their desire is to send students that will be able to make the most of the experience, complete the stay successful, and serve as a positive representative of the home country.
The program will often require testing of the student on the destination country's home language to ensure there will not be communication problems. Language skills do not need to be immaculate but they need to be good enough to participate in educational pursuits. It is not uncommon for students to hone their skill and become fluent after being immersed in a culture that uses the language natively for a period of time.
The application process will be followed by an interview process. In some cases, an international exchange program may use an inquiry application and then request a more in-depth document if they find it favorable. The student will then be interviewed, sometimes multiple times, for the program representatives to get a solid idea of the character of the student. Representatives of the program are looking for individuals that are open-minded and mature so they can adapt and thrive in a different culture. Entering into an exchange program with too many preconceived notions prevents that individual from being able to accept and learn from major differences.
A student should understand that there is very tight competition for available spots to study abroad. The program will begin screening people approximately six months to a year before the student would be departing for the trip. The student will want to ensure they have the grades and language skills already in place before they apply. They need to be ready to demonstrate that they have the skills and the attitudes that the program is looking for in a potential exchange student.
The application and acceptance process will ultimately depend on the organization that is doing the recruiting. Different organizations have different specific goals in mind though they share the prime motivation of ensuring the right person gets the slot. A student that is serious about taking part in this program will already be bolstering their grades, honing their language skills, studying up on the culture, and reviewing the native laws of the land. The student that is not willing to put in exceptional work to be noticed and accepted by the representatives might as well not waste their time.