The easiest way to go on an exchange is to use an exchange provider. An exchange provider can advise you on picking a destination, duration, and exchange type. Once you’ve booked your exchange, they’ll find you a host family and organize all the logistical details. Using an exchange provider is simple because they provide a full service, from start to finish. We’ve been organizing student exchange programs since 1965 and we’ve seen just about everything.
Key considerations for your exchange:
- Where to go – Destination impacts language and price, but it determines so much more as well. Pick a destination that’s suitable for your age and the types of activities you want to do.
- How long to stay – The most challenging part of an exchange is the beginning. It’s hard to settle in, even more so if it’s your first exchange. You’ll get more out of the experience the longer you stay, so consider duration carefully before making a decision.
- What to do – When you’re a long way from friends and family, the days can drag by. Choose an exchange with built-in structure (language classes, a sport, etc.) to keep boredom at bay.
Some people organize their own exchanges too. That’s perfectly possible, especially if you’ve been on an exchange before and have contacts abroad. To do a DIY exchange, you’ll need to find a host family and coordinate with them directly. There are sites that help you find families interested in doing exchanges, either reciprocally or in exchange for payment. You can create an account and see if you make the right connection.
Whether you organize your exchange with us, through another provider, or on your own, it’s well worth your time to go on an exchange at least once in your life. Adults often speak fondly of an exchange abroad that they went on twenty, thirty, even forty years later! There’s no other experience quite like it.