Single vs. group foreign exchange students.

Old Dec 9th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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lvk
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Single vs. group foreign exchange students.

I'm not sure which board to post this on, so I'll try the U.S. first.

A niece of a friend in Germany would like to come to the U.S. as a high school exchange student, on her own, not part of a group. We, as the only American family they know, have been enlisted to do the research for her.

I have only seen exchanges done with groups of students between two schools which seem to have standing agreements with each other.

Does anyone have any experience at all with organizations that arrange single student exchanges?

We have done similar research in the past for girls who wanted to come here as au pairs, only to have the girls change their minds, so I'm not inclined to allocate all that much time and energy into this endeavor. Any help from the Fodorites that will cut down my research time will be greatly appreciated.

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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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Check out the Rotary Club. I've heard good things about their exchanges.
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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Lots of high schools host foreign exchange students - I have heard of many going thru AFS (afs.org).

I doubt that she will be likely to find a school or family to take this on without the security of some similar umbrella organization.
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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I second the advice to contact Rotary Club International. A counselor at your local high school or the friends' HS in Germany would be the logical place to start. My son spent a year overseas through their Youth Exchange Program and we were very happy with the entire program.
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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My daughter who lives in New Zealand did a student exchange to the US in 1998/99,this was done through a program called STS. www.stsfoundation.org
We did have a family for her to stay with though but they also arrange to find host families. My daugther had a fantastic year.
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for all of your replies. I will pass this information along.

Do any of these organizations allow you to choose your location? (She specifically wants to come to California.)

nelsonian: Did you already know this family, and then contact STS to make all of the arrangements with the schools, immigration, etc.?
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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Also, check out Youth for Understanding. My daughters both did it this way. There are so many legal things that need to be navigated, it's great to have an experienced organization to work with. They also do a great job of orienting the student on both ends of the experience.
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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A second nod to YFU (Youth for Understanding). My son did a 6 week summer program to Japan with them. The following year they had a new scholarship for 1 year in Japan.

He got that. It allowed him to live with a family in Japan for 11 months. He had to pay $500 only. I can tell you the airfare is more than that.

You can go without a scholarship, but it expensive. You'll also want to meet with her high school. Our son had a principle who was great and very understanding. If he had not, he would not have been able to graduate with his class.
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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LVK, We had never meet the family but had been e-mailing them for a couple of years,had exchanged video's etc. They were happy to host our daughter for a year, so we just advised STS of this and they did all the rest. The host family did the enrolling at the high school, STS did all the other paperwork including student visa. STS provided a scholarship for some of the trip we paid for the rest. We are going to visit this family in April 2007 for the first time, I can't wait.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 02:37 PM
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lvk:

I have hosted 9 exchange students over the past three years. I have done this with the ASSE International http://www.asse.com/

The organization charges anywhere from $5000 to $10,000 to place these students. If you are or know the people who wish to be the host family you might try to arrange the exchange yourself. You will have to make sure your local high school will accept them. The exchange student will have to arrange for the student visa and will require a medical exam to provide the high school along with a transcrip of their grades from their present school. Some one will also have to pay and arange for medical insurance while they are here.

A considerable amount of money can be saved if the two famlies can make the arrangements themselves. The only big costs would be the transportation and the insurance. This is considerably less than what the exchange organizations offer, BUT you have to do some of the work and if there should be some problems with the student through out the exchange period you will have to solve them by your self.

My experience with exchange students has been a good one and would recommend you do it. If you have any questions, please contact me at [email protected]
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