How To Become An Foreign Exchange Student

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How To Become An Foreign Exchange Student

Maite Alcaide, Author

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When you meet an exchange student the first thing you usually think is “Oh she/he is so brave” or “Oh she/he has a funny accent”. But what a lot of people don’t realize is all the work that is behind it. Being an exchange student requires a certain training, you always need to know how to answer politely and of course you need to know how to teach about your country. The reason why they are called exchange students is because they go to a country with a different language and they learn about the culture there and in exchange they teach about their own culture and country.

So let’s start from the beginning. If you want to be an exchange student first is a decision that your parents need to prove because it’s being 10 months or more away from home. Once your decision is made you get in contact with agency you want to travel with (this is usually a yer before the exchange student leaves). After you get in contact with the agency they talk to you about prices and the requirements to travel. You will have to have all your grades at school above a C, it is always better if they are above a B, you will have to have a good level of basic English and a good level of socialization. They will test your English grammar, listening and speaking to see if you will be able to communicate in the foreign country.

After you are done with this the most complicated part starts. You will have to write a letter about you and explaining the things you like to do and of course a lot of details about if you like having siblings, animals, every kind of food… And you have to be totally HONEST! Because if you lie to try to look better you can end with a host family that has a lot of animals and you don’t like animals (for example). Then you will have to sing and “read” hundreds of papers and of course depending in the country you are going to you will have to get shots to not get diseases (in my personal experience I had to get four shots and it was painful). Once you send the letter and pictures of you all is up to the host families, they are the ones that have to choose their exchange student so all you can do is wait anxiously.

When you a family chooses you your level of happiness goes to 100% but only for a few hours because then you start to think “What if they don’t like me?” and the excitement starts to vanish. You start to realize that you are going to be a year without your parents, your siblings and your friends! So you may start to think if it’s a good idea and let me tell you something. Being an exchange student is an scary adventure but it can be the experience of your life so if you get the opportunity to do it just try it!

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