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foriegn student exchange program USA

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Apr 20th, 2011, 06:41 PM
  #1
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foriegn student exchange program USA

Hello,
My friend's son is 17.He wants to study in the US high school.
Please tell us how to start.He is from Venezuela
Thanks in advance.

danny
warmsurfing is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2011, 10:16 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Your friend should go to the website for the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. There, he can send an email requesting information about exchange programs. http://caracas.usembassy.gov/?a=7&lang=sp

On the "Contacts" page, there is a place for "Para" and he should choose "Programas de Intercambio" and he can send them a message with his request. They should have information about high school exchange programs or should be able to point him in the right direction. (The website can be set for either Spanish or English).

Also, there are a couple of international schools in Caracas which should have some information on such programs. I believe the largest school is Colegio Internacional de Caracas, so he might want to contact them.
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 06:32 AM
  #3
 
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This program is what our local high schools use: http://www.afsusa.org/
kkukura is offline  
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 05:40 AM
  #4
 
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As a high school teacher and then counselor for the past 25 years, I have seen so many--read most--foreign exchange students placed in terrible homes. It is common for it to be so bad, the student has to find someone else to live with while they are here. Most families never take them anywhere or encourage extracurricular activities because they are not interested in having to transport them. They are pretty much just stuck at home babysitting and doing chores. They do not get to see much of the U.S.A. In all my years, I only remember ONE student who was ever checked on by the exchange agency to see how the student was doing in school and in their host home. There are lots of rules and regulations for placement but no one is enforcing it. The agencies are so desperate to find homes (to make their money) they will put them anywhere.

If you do a search, you will find lots of horror stories and no where for the student to turn for help and their parents are too far away to help them. I have read it has become such a problem the federal government was going to set up a hotline for these kids but I've never heard that it was put in place.

Most students come to the U.S. to improve their English language skills. We had a student from Spain this year who was placed in Texas. Our school is 25% Hispanic. Of course, they hung out with the Hispanic students and spoke Spanish all the time. The agency should have placed her further north but they aren't really worried about what is best for the student.

As a parent, I would never send my child to the U.S. as a foreign exchange student. There just isn't enough protection for them. We are talking about young teen age students pretty much on their own for 9-10 months. It would be different if they were college age and only here for a short time.

I know there are a lot of good experiences but I have seen mostly bad. Here is an article describing the lack of oversight I am talking about.
http://articles.cnn.com/2009-07-15/u...ily/6?_s=PM:US
Connie is offline  
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 05:52 AM
  #5
 
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There are 2 basic ways to do this - under the guidance and supervision of a specific local high school or on your own - thru an organization who more loosely arranges these things. The "on your own" option is perhaps the type of difficulties to which Connie refers. These are the type of host families who do this as a source of income and therefore you get all sorts of people.

On the other hand, there are organizations which provide more oversight for the exchange, operate in conjunction with a specific high school, and most often do not pay host families - they do it for the experience. AFS is the best known of these organizations.

Concern about the host family is, however, legitimate. We have hosted exchange students who are here on shorter experiences (2-8 weeks), were never paid - but were also not "checked out" by the overseeing organization - we could have been dangerous or creepy and no one would have known. We provided a full experience for the students staying with us (as well as several others who had issues with their hosts families and ended up staying with us as well). In one case, the "issues" had to do with the student acting irresponsibly and not able to handle his new freedom in a foreign country.

Another thing to consider - the age of your friend's son. Most US high school students graduate when they are 18 - some at 17 - so he may be a bit older than most HS students. Once he is 18 he is a legal adult in the US and even the best host family will have less legal ability to influence any choices he may make.
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Agree that in the US high school seniors are 17 - or perhaps 18 - when they graduate - based on thte time of year they are born. they are typically 17 or 16 when they start their last year of high school.

If your friend's son will already be 18 when he arrives there are potential issues in attending schools (most high school don't keep kids that age unless they are local and have been left behind - states have no responsibility to provide public education for kids after they reach 18.
nytraveler is offline  
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Apr 25th, 2011, 10:41 AM
  #7
 
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We are getting ready to sign up my daughter for a year as a foreign exchange student in Europe with AFS. Like gail mentioned, I think that they have lots of oversight and, thanks to technology, we're only a Skype away. I had friends at school that were exchange students and they valued the experience. My only concern (that I'm working thru) is how that will affect her for school credit (she'll be a 10th grader)....luckily she is a honors student so I'm not concerned at all with her doing poorly in school.
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