- Old friends are best. John Selden
Go on an Exchange
Being an exchange student is a rewarding but challenging experience during which you will learn a lot about yourself and have some fun as well. You will be immersed in the language and culture of your chosen country and live like a local member of your family, town or community and gain skills in inter-cultural learning and understanding. Remember you will not be a tourist.
Personal Benefits that you can have
- Gain experience and maturity through the challenges you face on exchange which takes you out of your familiar surroundings and “comfort zone”.
- Develop increased self confidence and a sense of self reliance as a result of your exchange experience.
- Enjoy the excitement of living in another country with the support and security of a host family and sometimes a new set of brothers and sisters.
- Make new friends that will last a life time and who will help you understand the world through “new eyes”.
Here are some reasons why you need to go for an exchange
Experience a new culture
While on exchange, one typically has the chance to thoroughly experience the culture of their host country. Most exchange students will find themselves completely immersed within a different culture once they have arrived in their host countries, due to differences in the cuisine, architecture, familial tradition, and even the ways in which people carry out conversation! After having spent a significant amount of time within the host country, most exchange students will find that they have become accustomed to the culture of their host country and will find themselves essentially able to behave in the manner of a local. This excellent learning opportunity typically leaves an exchange student with better understanding for people of all sorts, and can really make young people feel as though they have become “citizens of the world.” After the return to native country, an exchange student will likely enjoy sharing his or her new culture with those around them.
Meet new friends from all around the world
By being an exchange student you will meet friends from all around the world. Your exchange program will have meetings and trips for you where you get to meet other exchange students. It is so much fun when exchange students get together because you have so much in common. You will also meet tons of native friends in your exchange country that you will have a close relationship with for the rest of your life.
Most exchange organizations are present within multiple countries within the world; as a result, an exchange student will typically have the opportunity to meet other exchange students, from a variety of countries! Oftentimes, the program will involve various outings with other exchange students, which are typically quite fun and interesting.
Being a foreign exchange student is one of the most challenging things a young person may ever experience, and it is wonderful to know people who are facing similar challenges during that time. The friendships one creates while on exchange are often very long-lasting – and studded with great memories!
Get a “second family”
A high school exchange student lives with a host family that takes care of you. They will take you to their heart and always welcome you as a member of their family. The attachment with a host family stays forever and will always be appreciated.
The majority of exchange students spend their time living within the home of one or more host families. These individuals are typically expected to act as more than just providers of food and a bed – as they have chosen to host an “exchange” student, most host families really want to create a setting in which they can “exchange” cultures, learning a little about the student’s way of life in his or her home country while helping them to grasp new language and experience the culture of the host country.
Learn a new language
While on exchange, students have the opportunity to learn a foreign language as they never had before. Bombarded in all directions by the host language after their arrival, young people will learn much more of that country’s tongue than they ever could sitting in a classroom. Being an exchange student is much like becoming a small child once again, and this provides the opportunity to become familiar with the language in the manner of a native speaker – although one may not always perfect the language before the end of their time within their host country, most individuals will find that they have become conversationally fluent if on a long-term exchange. Even short-term exchanges will make a significant difference in the student’s comprehension of the language of their host country, so long as the student is constantly willing to attempt to understand. Being on exchange and learning a new language will aid students in the future by allowing them to explore new interests, and will likely also help widen the student’s range of future career options.