Student Exchange Programs: Do You Know What to Expect?

Have you recently decided to enroll in one of the many exciting student exchange programs that are now being offered throughout the country?  Do you know exactly what to expect once you’re a participant?  Student exchange programs are not for everyone, but they are ideal for those students who are independent thinkers and who enjoy an interesting challenge.  To give you an inkling of what to expect and all the changes you’ll experience, here we will outline some of the challenges and benefits associated with student exchange programs, including the drastic changes you can expect in your home life and your normal routine.

Reasons to Join Student Exchange Programs

Students decide to join student exchange programs for a number of reasons.  Among them are:

Academic Success.  If you are planning to further your studies at one of the countries’ fine colleges and universities, being part of a student exchange program will look very impressive on your college application.
Professional Reasons.  Not only will your participation in student exchange programs impress the admission officers at the many schools you apply to, it will also look great on a professional resume.  Among other things it shows that you are willing to take on challenges, and you are open minded enough to appreciate and embrace other cultures.
See the World.  Some students join the military to see the world, and others participate in student exchange programs.  Participation in these programs affords you opportunities to see parts of the world you may not otherwise get to experience.
Learn a New Language.  Student exchange programs are ideal for those who want to learn a new language.  Instead of learning from textbooks, here you’ll learn through total immersion with native speakers.

What to Expect in a Student Exchange Program

Many students go into student exchange programs not knowing what to expect—unaware what will happen when they fully immerse themselves in another culture.  To help you avoid this fate, below are some examples of what you can expect as a participant in these programs:

A New Family.  Being part of a student exchange program means you’ll become part of a new family—your host family.  During your stay you’ll live and share meals with them, and be introduced to their culture, food and customs.  These are people you’ll remember for many years to come for the generosity they showed and for the wonderful resource they became during your stay.
A Brand New Routine.  Say goodbye to your old routine.  In student exchange programs you’ll learn how to adjust to alternate ways of doing things—a challenge that many exchange students embrace.
A Bit of Homesickness.  It would be unreasonable to think that you won’t have at least some degree of homesickness, but once you adjust to your new environment this will ease up a bit and you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you love challenges, and you appreciate the diversity and beauty of other cultures, being a part of one of the many student exchange programs that are currently being offered may be just the adventure you need.