I remember how I was struggling with making the first steps towards being an exchange student. It was especially so hard for me to pick up the right agency. With this in mind, I decided to create an entire post about my beginnings.

1. HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT AGENCY

Your decision should depend on a couple of factors. The biggest is probably the price. In this case, it is really important to know what IS and IS NOT included in the amount of money you will have to pay your agency.

Most of the agencies are in their price:

  • INCLUDING
    • around $6000 (although there are some agencies where it cost less and some with higher prices )
    • insurance
    • placement in school
    • placement in the hosting family
    • employees which will be there for you if you would need a help
  • EXCLUDING
    • plane tickets (around $1500)
    • school lunch ( $2.20 per lunch)
    • pocket money (at least $250- $300 per month)
      • any money you will spend
    • visa fees ( around $100)
  • MY APPLICATION PROCESS 
    • to be an exchange student, obviously, your grades have to be at the certain level and you have to have a decent knowledge of English
      • Even if you don’t, keep calm. I know a bunch of people that could barely lead a chat with someone in English. So I would say that the test is more something like a formality.
    • before I was able to apply I had to make an international English skills test
      • this test consisted listening, reading, and writing
      • some of them were tough but if you are good in English just chill and concentrate
      • overall it was not the easiest one but I believe, you can do it
      • I just lost like one or two points
      • then you will have a short interview with someone from the agency
      • then you are all good and you can start with your application (other words: tons and tons of papers)
  • Any agency you will decide to go with, the rules will be pretty much the same.
    • no drinking
    • no driving
    • no drugs
    • no sex
    • no smoking
    • no life changing decisions
      • pregnancy, tattoos, piercings…
    • no visitation from parents for the first 7 months of your stay
    • no leaving the territory of the United States
  • Otherwise, you will be immediately send home.
  • In the majority of the agencies, you will be able to pick up an area they will place you in (for some extra money of course). But we have decided to let happen what is supposed to happen. So we did not influence my destiny and now I’m more than happy that we did so.

2. MY APPLICATION

When you have already done all the paperwork, the nicer part will start. You will have to Write a letter to your host family ( even though you have no idea who that will be yet), make them an album with some of your pictures ( family, friends, hobbies…), fill out a form where you are asked a lot of questions about you, your goals, and expectations, and a whole bunch of other personal things. You will also be given some papers to your parents and teachers to fill out.

This is all the important stuff you will get done in you agency. The next step is the visitation of the US embassies to get your visa.

I hoped this article helped you a bit!

Xoxo, Laura ❤️

Advertisements