how to go abroad? You think it’s a stupid question? I can tell you it isn’t, because it’s not just “pack your stuff & go”.
There are some things that have to be done before you can start.
1. The first thing you have to do is to decide for an organization. The best way to get to know the organizations and their programms is to go on a fair where the organizations present themselves. Every organization has their own booth there with people from the organization telling you about their offers and give you many flyers ;). You get a better overview on all the organizations than online. I can tell you that for me it was so overwhelming to ask Mr.Google about an appropriate organization because every organization seems to offer the same stuff but on those fairs you get to know the differences between them and also you get aware of the organization you feel most comfortable with.
Questions to figure out “your” organization:
– where do you want to go ?
– how long do you want to go?
– special programm? (like really changing with another student so it’s a real exchange and not “just” a year abroad)
– how much money do you want to / are you able to spend (if you / your parents can’t afford spending a lot of money for a year abroad you could either apply for a scholarship (nearly every organization offers scholarship programmes) or you could apply for a so called “education loan” (you can find more information here : https://kultur-life.de/high-school-programm/finanzierung/ – I’m sorry but it’s just for Germany…)
2. The second thing is to get into the organization’s programm. Fill out an online application for the organization you’ve decided for. If they are interested they will invite you to a get-to-know-talk. After a certain time, if they accept you and they know that you are absolutely sure, they will send you a contract that you and your parents and of course the organization have to sign.
3. After some time they will give you the documents for the real/big apply for the school in your exchange country and to create your profile for the school and host family.
Make sure you have a valid passport, otherwise you have to apply for a new one (on time!!!)
4. get the exeat from your school so they are aware of your absence
5. buy all the stuff you need for your year abroad (like a rain jacket for a rainy place and suitable adapters for your exchange country or your favorite cosmetics that you won’t get in your exchange country etc.)
6. as soon as you get your host family get in contact with them (and buy presents for them)
7. apply for your VISA (depends on exchange country-which documents you need and how soon you can apply)
8. make a packing list
9. put all the important documents for your entry in a folder (letter of acceptance, custody documents, etc.) and have them by your side when entering the certain county. Documents I needed to have by my side :
-CustodianshipDeclarations (guardian und parents)
-Letter of Acceptance
-Emergency Numbers (from Canadian school district and from the organization)
-phone number and address from host family
10. Pack all your stuff
Have fun doing that!
And have a nice day & smile a lot!