STS High School 14–18 years of age
Empowering young people since 1958!

FAQ

Here are some of the most common questions about an exchange with STS – and their answers.

If you have other questions or need more answers, contact us. We will gladly help you!

  • Which grades are needed?

    Our students need to be achieving at an average to above level across all subjects during the last three years (or the years that they have received grades). If you have below average results please contact us and we will do an individual evaluation. Maybe you can be an exception to the rule.

  • Can STS help me if I have an allergy or if I have had an illness?

    Health is important, but we always want to help students with allergies or previous medical problems. Everyone is unique and we will make an individual evaluation of your possibilities.

  • Can I take part in sports during my exchange year?

    Of course! Let us know which sport you would like to play when you apply and we will do our best to find a school where you can practice your interest.

  • Will I be able to graduate abroad?

    This is completely up to each and every school. They all have their own rules and regulations. Some schools let their exchange students participate in the graduation ceremony, but without getting an official diploma. In some cases, you can ask your school for a transcript of your courses and grades.

  • What sort of school will I attend?

    In most countries, you will attend public schools. The difference between public and private schools differs between countries.

  • Can I get out of certain courses by doing an examination when I get home?

    That is something you need to discuss with your school before you depart New Zealand. We do recommend you keep a record of all that you study while on exchange to bring back to New Zealand with you to show to your school.

  • Can I choose where I will live during my year?

    Yes, in some of our host countries you can state in your application that you wish to be placed in a certain region or city. There will be an additional fee if you get the placement you wished for.

  • Can I arrange my own host family?

    In most cases this is possible. In some countries we have to follow some rules. For example, in the US you are not allowed to be related to, or come from the same country as the host family.  Let us know if you want to arrange your own host family and we will gladly help you with this and give you all the information you need.

  • When do I receive my placement information?

    It depends on your final destination, since different countries and schools have different start dates. You will get more detailed information about this when you apply.

  • What happens when I have been accepted?

    Congratulations, you're accepted to the programme! Once accepted you will be guided in applying for your visa and we will notify you as soon as your placement has been confirmed.  You are on your way to the adventure of your life!

  • Does STS have a contact person at my destination?

    Yes, no matter where you go, we have a local representative at your location. It is the local area representative who works to approve our host families, have contact with schools and will be your supporter and advisor during your exchange year.

  • Can I travel around in the host country?

    Of course! Your local area representative and school often arrange trips that are very popular to join. When your exchange year is over you can use the extra month that is included in your visa to travel around. We at STS arrange an extremely popular trip Coast to Coast throughout the USA. Former students have described this trip as the best possible ending to their year abroad!

  • How is a student placed with a family?

    As a part of your application you write a personal letter, and give a presentation of who you are and what you like. Our host families choose the student that they feel will fit the best into their family and routines. Give your personal letter some extra attention to enhance the chances of the perfect match.  Be sure to explain all your interests and weekly activities!

    We put a lot of emphasis on accepting the right host families. After the host families apply, we interview them, visit their home and collect references. Many of our host families are experienced and used to having an exchange student in their home. What they all have in common is a genuine interest in cultural exchange. Just like you!

  • What’s the application process like?

    The process of applying for an STS Exchange is very straight forward and we are there, at your side, all the way if you have any questions. Here you can read more about the steps in the process.

  • When do I have to apply?

    We recommend that you apply in good time to secure your spot. The earlier you register the better, to allow plenty of time for the right host family to be located for you.  For departure in August you can apply as late as 1 April. For a January departure you need to apply before 30 September.

  • Can I apply for an STS scholarship?

    Yes, you can! We have several scholarships to apply for each year. We are also happy to guide you in the application for other grants. Click here for more information.

  • I am ready to apply, how do I do it?

    The easiest way to apply is to visit the page of your favourite destination and click the "Apply now" button.  Your application is not binding, and you make your final decision once you have been accepted.