Going on exchange is a challenge and takes careful preparation. Far away from home, you will
- live with a new family
- attend a new school
- study different subjects
- speak a foreign language
- be part of a new community
With our experienced staff who will be there to support you, you will be able to meet the challenge and make a success of your exchange program.
Before your departure we will give you and your parents all the information you need to get ready for your experience overseas.
A host family that is right for you. The student and host family relationship is the key to a successful exchange experience. Our job is to recruit a family suitable for you. Warmth, understanding and hospitality are three crucial attributes we look for in every volunteer family. And because there are no financial rewards, you can be assured that your host family has a genuine desire to share their life with you.
Host family selection. Our selection procedures meet the requirements set by the Departments of Education of Australia for registered student exchange organisations. Host family interviews are conducted in the home so that an inspection of the house and of the neighbourhood can be made. All family members living at home are required to attend the interview. At least two appropriate references are required.
Host family profile. Host families come from all walks of life. They include rural and urban families, couples and individuals with and without children. Be they young or older, your host family will do everything possible to make you feel at home.
Going to high school. Part of your challenge will be to adapt to new subjects, to a new timetable and to a new culture in general. Your school life will be very different to the one you are used to. This will make your program a good experience for life and will help prepare you for the years to come.
Learning a second language - Most destinations on offer with STS will imply that you learn or improve your skills in a second language. Your program will be the greatest opportunity for you to add a new skill to your resume, whether it's for your future studies, career or life in general.
Friends for a lifetime. You will make many friendships while overseas. Most of our returnees travel back to their host country for visits and welcome their new friends and family to Australia. They are still true Australians but with an international spirit that will stay with them for ever. And you can be one of them!
Read more: Getting ready, While overseas, After your return.