Most parents will find it quite difficult to send their children to other countries for Study Abroad programs, especially if the children have been at home all these years, without having stepped out on their own. The worries and the care can get overwhelming for parents, but this step is absolutely necessary from the child’s career perspective. Such a program is taken up during the Gap Year, which is the period between the end of high school and the start of college.
Foreign Exchange programs for High School students teach children to become independent and responsible at young ages. This happens when the students are forced to come out of their comfort zones. Though it’s natural for parents to be overwhelmed with emotions before the programs, it is essential for the child to take baby steps towards the big bad world.
Different Kinds of Expenses
Considering that life will soon be lived in another country for a few weeks or months, it is natural that parents will have to bear expenses at this stage, although scholarships are also available. Some of the expenses that the kids are likely to encounter during foreign exchange programs are:
- Travel documents like passports and visas
- Boarding expenses, if at all
- Emergency Funds
- Travel insurance, accident insurance, and medical coverage for illnesses and other issues, as per host country requirements
- Ancillary Travel
- Daily Use
Kids will be able to find out more about themselves, especially their likes and dislikes, through these exchange programs. This time is crucial to not just feel relaxed, but also be able to know what career direction to take. Apart from these, students interested to learn new things may also want to take up a new language. The cultural learning derived by students at this stage is unimaginable.
Check for Scholarships
Many deserving students apply for foreign exchange programs, but the prices are too high for a large number of them. It is for this reason that scholarships for the Study Abroad programs are available with top academic institutes. Meritorious students are able to get the same opportunities as others due to these scholarships. In most cases, students are required to fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
- Top Academic Grades – Students applying for scholarships must have consistently good grades at school. These grades would naturally differ from one school to another.
- Permanent Citizenship – It is necessary for students to be permanent citizens of the country from where they are applying for the scholarship
- Age Proof – As per the eligibility criteria, children need to be within a particular age bracket that is regarded as necessary for the scholarships
- Proof of Current Financial Situation – Bright students who have been denied the opportunity to participate in exchange programs due to financial hardships will need to show proof of the current financial situation
Scholarship Applications- Points to Remember
Remember the points mentioned below to complete student scholarship applications for foreign exchange programs successfully:
- Best Time to Apply – Go through the scholarship website to know the best time to apply. Prepare detailed notes about what to put into the scholarship application. It becomes easier to know about the colleges that receive applications by visiting their websites.
- Writing in the application – It is very important to give the institute an updated resume. In certain cases, this is not always mandatory though.
- Applying to many schools – Students can send in their scholarship applications for a number of schools. Sending an early application may be the best way to get a scholarship from a preferred school.
- Writing Essays – Essays needed for scholarship applications have specific guidelines written within the application. This shows the seriousness of a student with respect to his or her own education.
- Getting a recommendation letter – Report card of past performances is always helpful for a recommendation letter, which gives more weight to the scholarship application. Such a letter can be written by someone influential at an academic post.
- Uniqueness – Students must make their applications as different from others as possible. Both attractive presentations and unique perspectives count here.
Away From Home and Financial Responsibility
Staying away from one’s comfort zone and in a completely alien country can be a difficult experience at first, but students gradually understand and learn to adjust. Most students are living outside their homes for the first time here, but the ones who have been shifting homes due to their parents’ transferable jobs would know about this. This is not just the best time to get familiar with new cuisines, languages, dresses, cuisines, way of life, and customs of a new country, but also the time to manage expenses. The addition of responsibility makes each student more responsible than before.
During the program, every student makes important payments and handles expenses as per different heads. Some even take up part time jobs to support their education.