Should You Enroll Your High School Student in a Foreign Exchange Program?

If you have a child in high school, have you ever considered sending them overseas to study abroad? If not, you may want to consider this.

According to a MetLife survey, “65% of Fortune 1000 executives think that knowledge of other nations and cultures and international issues are very important or absolutely essential to be ready  for college and a career — including about two in ten who consider it to be absolutely essential.”

So if you’re ready to explore a few other benefits, AFS, one of many international exchange organizations, compiled 6 benefits of studying abroad.

[Related: 5 Educational Initiatives Parents and Caretakers Should Know About]

Stand Out on College Applications
College admission panels are becoming increasingly competitive. Several college admission departments have expressed how cultural immersion can be more valuable than one more AP course or extracurricular activity. Universities want their campus to thrive with students valuing cross-cultural experience.

Learn a New Language
Most experts would agree, as you get older, it’s harder to learn a new language. So high school is a perfect time to immerse a student  in a foreign culture so they can learn another language. Aside from competitive advantage in college applications and jobs, a new language helps students truly communicate and connect with other cultures.

Gain a New Perspective
An AFS exchange can be a transformational experience resulting in new perspectives on the world and what it means to be a global citizen. By living with a host family, meeting new international friends and attending a foreign school, studying abroad could be one of the best ways for your child to understand today’s social, political, and economic issues.

Explore the World in High School
Most parents and educators will agree, high school is a critical time for teenagers to start thinking about career . If your child is open and receptive, being an exchange student in high school could provide new opportunities to develop skills and profoundly impact future decisions during such formative years.

Embark on an Adventure of a Lifetime
According to AFS, foreign exchange students described their time abroad with AFS as “exciting, rewarding, and memorable.  The experience, however, will depend on what your son or daughter wants to get out of it. The more open and flexible they are, the more they will learn and gain from the program.

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