Wednesday, June 27, 2012

International Exchange: How it Works

Have you recently been approached about participating in an international student exchange, a conversation that has get you now wondering what exactly they are, how they work and what you can normally expect. If so, the following information may prove quite useful. Below we have described some of the basics associated with international exchange programs, including what they are and how they work, not just from an educational perspective, but from a cultural standpoint as well.

International Student Exchange Programs: What They Are and How They Work

Many students (and people in general) often get the wrong impression when they hear the term “international exchange.” They understand it’s about studying abroad, but they also have the mistaken notion that these students are simply “thrown in” to a foreign classroom environment in which the course instruction is provided in a language that is unfamiliar to them. This is not the case. One of the greatest features of international exchange programs is that students will study in their own language, taking many of the same courses they would at their home high school or university. Even better, in most cases, they will receive full credit for the coursework they complete when studying abroad—credit that will be applied to their high school diploma or university degree. International exchange programs have a very low teacher to student ratio, with classes made up of a number of international students (often from a variety of countries) who speak the same language.

Naturally, studying at a foreign high school or university does offer international student exchange students a unique opportunity to gain a fresh educational perspective; to learn new instructional and learning methods and acquire valuable language and alternative problem-solving skills. Whether they’re studying for a semester, full academic year or just during the winter or summer break, the opportunity to meet the local instructors and students, and to witness how the education process is conducted in another country is a truly enlightening and valuable experience.

At this point you may be wondering why these programs are called international “exchange.” The answer is actually rather simple. International exchange programs are reciprocal. This means if you are, say, an American high school or university student who decides to study in China for a semester, a Chinese student will normally have the opportunity to study in the United States, sometimes taking the very place you are vacating at your home school. This allows both of you to reap the benefits and advantages associated with studying abroad.

In addition to the classroom component associated with international exchange programs, you will also be treated to numerous cultural and sightseeing excursions. Many former international exchange participants fondly recall these day-trips as being some of the most enlightening and entertaining experiences they had while living and studying abroad. Together they afforded students a firsthand experience, allowing them to fully “take in” the country and all it has to offer. The chance to visit some of country’s most treasured sites and landmarks, savor the local fare and speak and interact with the country’s people give international exchange students a rare opportunity to completely experience what life is like abroad on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, many of the people students meet along the way—people they meet in the classroom, residence hall or through their host family—are people with whom many former participants stay close and in touch with years after their international exchange program has concluded.


Steven Parker said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life... study in china

Unknown said...

Interact with the students and faculties in the Universities by doing College Visits with TS College Tours. This will help you the choose your dream university.

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