Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tips for future exchange students #1: The application

As an exchange student myself I wanted to give you some tips, especially if you're thinking about being an exchange student too! I can't tell you how it'll be yet because I've not even left haha. But until now everything I heard about the High School Exchange Year is really positive so I can only recommend it. And since I've already been through the whole process of making this decision and finishing my application I thought it would be nice to give you some tips about that part.

So, the first one is: do research. An exchange year sounds really cool but it's maybe not what you expect. You probably aren't going to live somewhere near the beach or in a big city, because most host families live in suburbs or small towns. It will be hard adjusting to the English language and making new friends. EF can't guarantee that you'll participate in graduation or live in a particular state. So if you've taken all that into account and you still want to do it, you know this is something for you :)
There are also many other opportunities. With EF you can take language courses all over the world or study at an university. Something I think is really cool is the multi - language year. You can choose a language you'd like to study and two or three destinations where you'd like to study the language. This is perfect if you want to see more of the world.

After you've decided to go on an exchange year, you'll have to apply online or during an information meeting. Then you'll be invited to do an interview. This totally isn't scary, the interview leader will have a talk to you (in English) about why you want to do an exchange year and I had to write a letter to my future host family. My advice for this interview is to just be yourself and don't be afraid! I found it really useful because I got much information about the exchange year and that only made me more excited.

When you're accepted into the program there is a lot of work to do! First, you have to fill in your application. This are many forms with questions about yourself, from you're favorite activities to a typical day in your life. Be honest in this application! If you know that you can be shy at first, or that you get homesick soon, just write it down. With this information your organization can find a host family that really suits you. 
You'll also have to submit some pictures and academic information. This includes a list of your grades and a letter of recommendation from one of your teachers. Make sure you start early with this because it can take quite some time to get the forms back. Maybe you'll also have to get some vaccinations, so it's a good idea to do that on time! And don't forget to make a doctors appointment for the Health Certificate.

After you've done all of that, the waiting has started. The most important thing is to be patient! It can take really long to find a family and school because it can be possible that they've found a great family, but they haven't confirmed a school for you yet. Or that they've found a community that really suits you, but they haven't found a perfect host family yet. Try to make some contact with other exchange students and read blogs from exchange students that are in your host country right now. It can really help to prepare for your own year!


  1. Welke docent heeft jouw "recommandation letter" geschreven?

  2. M'n Frans docente, zij was het jaar daarvoor m'n mentor geweest dus ze kende me goed genoeg!

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