Want to Become an Exchange Student?

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Want to Become an Exchange Student?




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Have you ever dreamt of being a part of a new culture? Learning a new language and getting a foreign family for a year? You will get that and way more as an exchange student abroad in or after high school.

“I would love to become an exchange student in a foreign country,” said junior Petra Packard. “It would be so great to be able to learn a new language, culture and be able to travel around the world.”

What does it mean to be an Okie, to be an American? You probably won’t get the real answer before you have tried to live outside of the American borders. You will also get an international perspective and see that America is connected to countries all over the world.

Going on exchange as a high school student means that you will live in a foreign country for a school year. You will get to experience a high school year and live with a second family, and that means that you will be a part of a new family and get to experience the culture from the inside. Living a year without your family from home is tough, but you won’t be alone in your new country, because you will always have your organization and your new second family to support you.

“Living with a foreign family is awesome,” said current exchange student at BAHS Noemi Moraal from the Netherlands. “My host family is so sweet and I am already a part of the family. Living with a foreign family is also great, because you will get the real experience of what it’s like to live in your new country. I choose to go on exchange because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and my goal is to get a view of the American culture, grow as a person, and become more independent.”

You will also learn to stand on your own feet in the everyday situations like taking the train on your own or going grocery shopping. Also, in social connections you will have to start at the bottom and make personal relations. It might be uncomfortable in the beginning, but you will return home as a stronger person, more independent and outgoing. What’s not to like?

The next question is: where do you want to go? What about experiencing the friendly people of Denmark or enjoy the typical Danish hygge? Or what about the relaxed people and diverse geography of Chile? Or maybe discover the multi-ethnic country of China? You can go wherever you want to, and there will be an organization that can take you there.

We live in a very international world, and there is a huge demand for people who think, feel, and act internationally at the labour market. Being fluent in a foreign language is great, but you will also have to have an insight and understanding of the culture and the everyday life. That’s something that you can’t study your way to – you’ll have to experience it. That’s what exchange can do – you get tossed out on your own in a new culture and get the opportunity to be a part of something bigger.

“My advice for someone who would like to be an exchange student is to not have your expectations too high,” current exchange student Amelie Wiens from Germany said. “Things turn out to be different than you thought, so you have to have an open mind. Go into your year with a positive mindset, a lot of endurance, and a lot of trust in yourself, and you will have a great year.“


Five reasons to go on exchange:

  • Experience a new culture.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Get a second family.
  • Expand your horizon.
  • Get new friends from all over the world.

Three exchange organizations that you should look into:

  • Yfu.org
  • Afsusa.org
  • Explorius.com
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