Your exchange year abroad
On your student exchange year you will experience a life different from what you have at home. You will be surprised how quickly you settle in. Soon, everything about your new country – your high school, host family, friends and activities – will feel like home.
Arriving in your host country
When you arrive in your host country, your host family or local representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your new home. When you first arrive, everything will be new and exciting. Take your time getting to know your new surroundings, and do not be surprised if things are a little different than you expected. Every day will offer new experiences as you become acquainted with your neighborhood, host family, high school and friends. It will be one of the most exciting years of your life!
Living with a host family
Your host family will be just as curious about you as you probably are about them, and you will soon feel like part of the family. It is important to ask about family rules and to have an open communication with your host family throughout the year. Remember - it’s not right; it’s not wrong; it’s just different! You will have a great year if you have an open mind and a positive attitude about the people you meet and the places you go.
Attending high school in a foreign country
Studying at a high school abroad will make you grow as a person. At school you will find yourself busy with classes, school activities and new friends. It is important that you attend all your classes and do your homework and assignments. You will be amazed how fast your language skills improve just by following classes and talking to your classmates.
Free time, activities and holidays
Sign up for after-school clubs or sports and get to know your community with your host family. One of the reasons why you chose to go on an exchange year was to experience something new and different, so don't be afraid to try a new sport or hobby. You will surely enjoy experiencing some of the local traditions of your host country during your student exchange, like Halloween, Thanksgiving, St Patricksday or Homecoming. During school breaks, you might get the opportunity to see more of the country with your host family or join one of our popular EF Discovery Tours!
Throughout your exchange year, you will be in touch with a local representative whom you can contact whenever you would like. Contact your local representative if you want to chat or if you have any questions or concerns. Staff at the EF office in your host country are also always available if you need assistance. In addition, we operate a 24-hour support line, which is available every day of the year, 24 hours per day. Make sure you contact us if you have a question or if you need help!
EF Preparation Camp
EF arranges optional preparation camps in all our host countries at the beginning of the year, before you arrive at your host family’s home. Preparation camp serves as a great introduction to your host country and exchange year. It provides you with the opportunity to practice language skills and make some of your first friends abroad. The camps are fully packed with classes, action, fun activities and excursions.