What is a Foreign Exchange Program or a Student Exchange Program?

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What is a Foreign Exchange Program or a Student Exchange Program

Every year thousands of students leave their home countries to study in a foreign country. Some of these students are funded by the Foreign exchange programs. So, the question is what the Foreign exchange program is? It is a program which funds secondary, high secondary and university level education for students to study in a foreign country. Foreign exchange programs are mostly government-sponsored aiming to help students in experiencing life in a different country. These programs provide opportunities to students to explore cultural values. The program also offers students to participate in the community services and leadership programs. Some exchange programs are fully funded, and some are partially funded. However, mostly the programs cover air tickets, travel costs, living expenses, education costs and also provide medical insurance to the exchange students.

Selection of the Exchange Student for the Exchange Programs?

Every exchange program has different procedures, and most of the application forms are online. The application requirements also depend on countries offering the exchange programs (For example CCI Program). These programs usually ask to fill out the basic educational details along with co-curricular activities. The exchange programs like the Global undergraduate exchange program and ERASMUS (European Union student exchange program) ask for a Statement of Purpose (SOP) from the applicants. This SOP is considered the essential part of the application. Application forms have guidelines to design a good statement of purpose. Usually, SOP is about why you want to go on that particular exchange program, how this exchange program will add up to your grooming and what would you contribute to your society after coming back to your country?

Exchange programs also ask for recommendation letters from home institutes and work places. You need to know how to request for the reference letter from your professor and immediate supervisor at work. Good recommendation letters increase the chances of selection in the exchange program. There is a language proficiency requirement for the exchange programs as well. If you are applying for study in the United States or the United Kingdom, then you will be asked to take TOEFL or IELTS test. The reason of taking a language proficiency test is to make sure that the students understand English language and can communicate in the United States and the UK. Once you the applicants pass all the process, then they invited for the visa interview. After then, they start packing for the departure.

Expectations of the Foreign Exchange Programs

An exchange student is either placed in a host family or in a dorm or sometimes in the apartment complex. This entirely depends on the program. He/she has to follow the general rules of the host country and the host family. Exchange student has to be punctual for studies by maintaining an average GPA, complete the required volunteer hours and required internships. The country which funds the exchange program is eager to know about the culture of exchange students. So, it is essential to be prepared and share cultural values with the host country through different events. The students can also share their cultures and past experiences through attending local festivals and through participating in the community services. It helps in breaking the stereotypes of the people living in the host country.

Also read – Ten Helpful Hints When Applying for an Exchange Program

In conclusion, the programs provide you many things; it’s up to you how you leverage your resources? How do you make your exchange semester or exchange year beautiful in the host country? Exchange programs help in maintaining peace and harmony among nations. Such programs support students from a deprived background to enjoy life in a developed environment. They provide many platforms for students to widen their horizon and to dream more. Foreign exchange programs simply make students explore the cultural diversity of the globe and build up their mind to accept pluralism.

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