The most exciting part of participating in a student exchange program during a gap year is the opportunity to reside in a new country. Students get the chance to learn about the culture of a different country and can also discuss aspects of the same with their peers. The gap year, a period of a few months to a year, is between the end of school and the beginning of college. It helps a student choose a career path. Before commencing studies in a college, the exchange program enables students to handle responsibilities and feel relaxed.
Living Abroad- a New Experience
Living abroad is an entirely new experience for most kids, the only exception being kids with parents in the armed forces. In most cases, parents find sending their children to a student exchange program in the US extremely beneficial. Although concerns are understandable, enrolling in foreign exchange programs is the best option for deciding on a profession after graduation. During the program, children get a real sense of the world’s way of functioning.
Before beginning college, students gain clarity about the career they wish to pursue, especially in the wake of several options. Counselors at these programs also help students make the right decisions. A short and hassle-free curriculum is completed in a gap year program.
Get Scholarships for Financing Education
The most fabulous international exchange programs provide scholarships for outstanding students to enroll in them. Scholarships are essential for intelligent students who, due to financial constraints, may not have appropriate options for availing higher education. Students must meet the following criteria to be considered for them:
- High Academic Marks– Children applying for scholarships must demonstrate a consistent track record of good grades. The grade requirement may vary among schools, but consistency is always the key.
- Permanent Citizenship– Most programs make it compulsory for a student to be a permanent citizen of the country to get a foreign exchange scholarship.
- Age Proof – Children must submit the age proofs that show them within a specific age range to be eligible for the scholarships.
- Proof that Highlights the Current Financial Situation– Students who have been denied admission due to financial constraints may be eligible for scholarships if they can prove their current financial situation.
Gaining the Confidence to Take Life’s Decisions
Parents must seek out the most effective student exchange programs to ensure that their children’s futures are secure. These programs play an essential role in educating children to be responsible from an early age. When students return, they will be confident to step outside their comfort zones and express their views easily. Additionally, they will be benefited from the experiences of teachers, counselors, and many students as friends. Students will see the consequences of their actions and be able to take life’s decisions accordingly.
Exchange Program Expenses
Before sending students on exchange programs, parents must be financially and mentally prepared for the future expenses. If there are scholarships, it will require a slight adjustment in budget. The nature of expenses in an exchange program in the US are as follows:
- Boarding Expenses– Not every exchange program will have its own boarding expenses. Even if it does, boarding will be a component of the fees paid to the institute for the program.
- Airline Tickets and Visa– The cost of to-and-fro tickets will depend on the country of origin. Though a student visa is less expensive than an adult visa, it is still an expense.
- Emergency Funds– Students must always keep some money handy to meet any kind of emergency expenses.
- Passports– For students whose passports are still not made, making it will be an expense
- Daily Use– This is the money that students will use for everyday expenses
- Ancillary Travel– These are expenses for travelling within the US, as per the exchange program’s parameters
- Travel Insurance– It is helpful to cover all eventualities related to travel
Preparing Students for Jobs
Students may not realize this, but most reputable exchange programs prepare them for relevant jobs after completing their education. Several important life skills are gained during the gap year. For example, organizing activities within pre-existing clubs enables them to develop their leadership skills. There are also some students who undertake part time jobs during this period. Students who study abroad tend to be better problem solvers than others.
As the world is becoming smaller and workplaces are becoming global, it makes sense to gain an international experience immediately after school. An organization needs an employee to adapt with changing situations, which is what the exchange programs also teach.
A student exchange program provides the time for children to learn more about themselves, including their dislikes and interests. The program also results in immense growth in the life of the adolescent. Some individuals may want to continue living in the country of the exchange program.