Practical Tips for Exchange Students – Preparation for Travel to Your Host Country

Every year, I send my new students some pieces of advice for them to think about before they travel to the U.S. for their exchange semester or year.  Here are some tips that expand on recent advice I’ve given to my new student group, as they prepare to leave their home for their host countries […]

Youth and High School Exchange Programs: What’s the Right Program for You?

In an earlier post, I talked about the differences between J-1 and F-1 visas, and how which visa a student obtains can affect his or her study abroad experience in the U.S.  In this post, I will back up a step, and ask students to think about their motivations for going on a study abroad […]

Sending Your Child Off This Summer for a High School Exchange Year? Here Are Six Tips For Parents

1. Take the Opportunity to Learn About Your Son or Daughter’s Destination * Read a book or two about the country where your son or daughter will be living.  Research the region – the eastern part of the country may be very different from the west, or the north or south.  Try to find out […]

“Exchange is not a Year in a Life, but a Life in a Year” — The Year Ends, and the Life Begins

airplane taking off

There is a saying in the international exchange community, “exchange is not a year in one’s life, but a life in a year.”  Between late May through the end of June, the students who have been on their exchange for a semester or for a full academic year are beginning to return to their home […]

Did You Know There Are Multiple Kinds of Visas for Exchange Students?

Recently, a woman approached me expressing an interest in hosting an exchange student in her family.  She had first asked the school near where she lived if they had exchange students she could host, and the school referred her to me.  She didn’t understand why I was involved; she seemed to think I worked for […]

Africa, the U.S., and High School Cultural Exchange Programs – What’s Missing?

Visiting my son Marcus during his six months in Ghana (part of his gap year between high school and college), has been an eye-opening experience, one that has raised fundamental questions about where we stand when it comes to achieving the goals of exchange programs aimed at young adults like Marcus. When it comes to […]

Preparing to Go Home at the End of Your Exchange Year: The Beginning of the End – or just the Beginning?

In my last blog post, I talked about the difficult feelings my students have at this time of year as they begin to realize their exchange year is almost over.  They are anxious, happy, and sad; they are looking forward to being back home over the summer and miss their parents and friends, but they […]