Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceStudying Abroad · 10 years ago

How do I become a foreign exchange student?

I'm twelve and i want to be a exchange student in France and my parents are ready to sign me up but I don't know where I can sign up. PLEASE HELP ME! :)

2 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    How wonderful that you are considering studying abroad and that your parents are supportive of it! Unless you go on a private arrangement, you will generally need to be between 15 and 18yrs old -- 12 is too young. Also, I have checked a few programs that go to France and they require incoming exchange students to have studied French for 2 years.

    The safest way to go on exchange is with an organization. Check with your school here in the USA to see if they have a relationship built up with any particular organization. If you are free to choose any organization you like, I strongly recommend making use of the Council for Standards on International Educational Travel ( list. CSEIT routinely audits programs for quality. While it is possible that a good organization is not listed with them, it is less likely and I would advise doing more research on anyone that is not listed with them.

    If I may, I would like suggest checking out Youth For Understanding (YFU). YFU, AFS, and Rotary are frequently called "the big 3" when it comes to exchanges - long histories and good reputations, although a few others are making their way up that list. Please forgive my bias towards YFU - it's the one that I have direct experience with (I am a 6-time host mom and volunteer (unpaid - unless you call getting a couple of Tshirts and a giftcard to Starbucks being paid)). I am gaining indirect experience by corresponding with former students. When I have asked exchange students why they chose YFU, I get the following answers: (1) YFU gave them more bang for their buck and/or (2) someone they knew and trusted recommended YFU and /or (3) they felt like they could trust YFU more. 95% of the fees collected by YFU go for direct program costs (airline tickets, support in hosting country, etc.). YFU has been around for 60 years and has learned how to make exchanges successful.

    I've put some links below for more information. Good luck to you no matter what you choose!

    Source(s): For More Information: 1-800-TEENAGE Videos: American Overseas (1min) American Overseas (14min) Attend a YFU Virtual Information Night: College Scholarship/Preferences Booklet: Contact Information for parents of former American Overseas students; Contact Information for former American Overseas students: Chat with a YFU admissions counselor:
  • 10 years ago

    At your age, there are very few, if any, study abroad programs. You have 2 options: wait until you're older, or do what I did; go to an international boarding school for a year! Here are some sites to get you started. The first is one of a study abroad organization, and the second is a site that will help you find an international boarding school that will suit your purposes. Good luck!

    Source(s): 14 year-old, currently studying at a boarding school in France.
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