Every student’s desire is to study and obtain an education overseas. Many students are unaware of the opportunities available to them and give up their ambition of studying abroad. The majority of students attempt to travel overseas by taking exams, taking out loans, etc.
There are numerous student exchange programs that assist students in studying abroad for a set period of time.
As the name suggests, it’s a student exchange program, where the university accepts and houses a student for a set period of time at their expense or through scholarships, or via necessary assistance from the program’s facilitating agency.
This article will explain what a student exchange program is, the benefits it provides to students, and how to apply.
What is a student exchange program:
It is a program in which a student studies at an overseas institution for a set period of time. The word “exchange” refers to when a partnering institution accepts a student, although it does not always imply that the students must locate an equivalent from the other university to exchange with. Exchange students either reside with a host family or in a designated location such as a hostel, apartment, or student lodging.
The cost of the program varies depending on the country and institution. Scholarships, loans, and self-funding are used to help participants pay for their participation. The study program lasts between 6 and 12 months, and applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 24, depending on the program type.
Sometimes the study program moves from one university to another within the same city or nation. This student exchange program is designed for institutions or institutes with a separate branch in the same country.
A foreign student exchange program provides students with valuable academic and development opportunities while also bridging cultural barriers and broadening their social horizons. Also, improving language abilities, one’s personal and social skills, and providing them with a worldwide perspective.
There are 2 types of study programs:
- Short-term study program(STEP): STEP refers to a short-term exchange program. Accommodation facilities, language skills, community service, and cultural activities are among the subjects addressed. Students in high school and university can apply for the programs through a variety of government and non-governmental organizations. A short-term exchange can span anywhere from one week to three months and does not need the student to attend a certain school or institution. Students participate in a rigorous program that expands their knowledge of different cultures, people, and languages.
- Long-term study program: A long-term exchange is one that lasts between six and 10 months, or up to a year. Participants use a student visa to attend high school or university in their host country.
Students are expected to become fully integrated into their host family, as well as immerse themselves in the local community and environment. They are expected to apply this knowledge in their daily life after they return to their home country, as well as give a presentation to their sponsors about their experience.
How to apply for a student exchange program?
- Long-term (10 to 12-month) exchange applications and interviews typically take a few days to a few months ahead of departure, depending on the program type, host institution requirements, and destination country. Several programs could use a preliminary application form with costs, followed by interviews and a more comprehensive application form. Other programs start with a comprehensive application and interview sessions.
- To be eligible for student exchange programs, you must have a good academic record with a GPA of 8.5 or higher, as well as excellent communication skills. A respectable academic record, as well as all necessary papers and a student visa, are required for foreign programs. Some programs additionally mandate passing a few English or other internationally recognized exams.
- The student’s home country organization will contact a partner group in the student’s chosen country. The organization in their native country may or may not screen students accepted for the program.
- Each of the host country’s partner organizations has different levels of screening that students must pass before being accepted into their program. For instance, students may be allowed to go to America on the recommendation of an organization in their home country, or the hosting partner may require the student to submit a detailed application that includes previous school report cards, letters from teachers and administrators, and standardized English fluency exam papers. The application may then be accepted or rejected by the US agency.
- The final selection program depends on passing the screening tests and eligibility criteria for any applicant.
- The fees charged by a student exchange program organization or by the institution or college determine the costs of student exchange. Expenses differ from country to country, length of study, and other personal circumstances. Various programs offered by the university of choice may provide students with scholarships to cover travel and lodging fees as well as personal requirements.
- Countries like Australia, Germany, the USA, and the U.K have some excellent student exchange programs and a lot of students seek education there.
Student exchange programs are useful to students, but only a small percentage of those who meet the eligibility criteria are able to participate. However, applying to these programs can be a life-changing experience for any student, which provides them with an outstanding professional prospect.
About the Author: Samiah Fareed
Samiah has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and is currently pursuing MBA. She enjoys writing and creating content for digital platforms in her spare time. She is a determined and ambitious person who wants to follow her passion for writing.
This article has been re-published on Medium