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What Programs?
Topic Started: Mon Apr 3, 2017 3:02 pm (334 Views)
FordPrefect
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What kind of programs are out there?
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Colin

Hello! I am assuming you are a teen from the United States for no specific reason, it's just where I live so I can help there.

If you're looking to pay your way, there's AFS, Quest Exchange, Rotary, and tons of organizations that can get you where you want to go. It can be pricey, but if you have the money, go for it!

There's also three main full scholarships sponsored by the Department of State: CBYX, a program that sends kids to Germany for an academic year; NSLI-Y, a program that sends a lot of students to study a critical language for both summer and year programs; and YES Abroad, a program targeted to strengthen bonds with countries with a significant Muslim populations.

I'm currently preparing for a year abroad with YES Abroad to India, implemented by AFS. I greatly suggest you apply to one of these programs if you're eligible!

EDIT: I just read your profile, and it looks like you want to go to Germany! Here's a link to the CBYX page. http://www.usagermanyscholarship.org/

Edited by Colin, Mon Apr 3, 2017 7:36 pm.
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Matsunoki
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I really recommend checking the CSIET advisory list at CSIET.org for programs. They make sure a certain set of standards are met. They only assess organizations that operate in the US but since most orgs in other countries will work in the US it should work well enough as a guide. But overall, most of us around here who have been involved in exchange for a while tend to recommend AFS, YFU, and Rotary, and other organizations only if a State Department scholarship assigns you to them.
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mburucuja

I wouldn't recommend anyone outside of AFS, YFU, and Rotary.
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FordPrefect
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Colin
Mon Apr 3, 2017 7:35 pm
Hello! I am assuming you are a teen from the United States for no specific reason, it's just where I live so I can help there.
I'm actually a teen from Australia. Are there the same options, or don't you know because you're from America?
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FordPrefect
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Matsunoki
Mon Apr 3, 2017 8:00 pm
I really recommend checking the CSIET advisory list at CSIET.org for programs. They make sure a certain set of standards are met. They only assess organizations that operate in the US but since most orgs in other countries will work in the US it should work well enough as a guide. But overall, most of us around here who have been involved in exchange for a while tend to recommend AFS, YFU, and Rotary, and other organizations only if a State Department scholarship assigns you to them.
Okay, thanks! I was thinking of Rotary, so I'll definitely check that out now
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FordPrefect
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mburucuja
Tue Apr 4, 2017 5:56 pm
I wouldn't recommend anyone outside of AFS, YFU, and Rotary.
Are those the main three programs everyone uses?
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Matsunoki
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FordPrefect
Wed Apr 5, 2017 3:40 am
mburucuja
Tue Apr 4, 2017 5:56 pm
I wouldn't recommend anyone outside of AFS, YFU, and Rotary.
Are those the main three programs everyone uses?
Short answer: For the most part, yes.

Long answer: mostly? Rotary is a service organization that has an exchange segment, and AFS and YFU are the biggest and longest-running exchange-specific organizations. There are a LOT of other smaller companies that are a mix - some follow the CSIET standards but don't have a big enough network or long enough history to be as good with exchange students as groups like AFS and YFU (support may be spotty, for example). Others don't even do the CSIET standards and students aren't likely to have much if any support if they encounter any problems (and when exchange problems get bad, that support is critical).

Another issue that comes up that differentiates organizations is payments to host families and payments to coordinators for finding host families. Both increase the chances of students ending up with families that aren't good fits for them and especially for host families receiving direct payments, the chances of them treating students like boarders instead of family members goes up a lot. It's definitely something to make sure to understand clearly with the organization before committing. AFS and YFU avoid directly paid host families as much as possible (the main exception seems to be the UK, where hosting exchange students just isn't really part of the culture) and YFU dabbled in paying coordinators to find families in the US but through a better system than most organizations who do that (people involved in their communities could be hired for a HF recruitment gig and get paid per family, but a different person did the HF interviews and support during the year so there was no incentive for that person to hide any issues). Within the US, a lot of the smaller but recognizable organizations (EF, for example) are big on the model where they pay coordinators for both finding and supporting the same students and families, which naturally comes with conflicts of interest for the coordinators since payments in these situation are spread throughout the exchange year and end if the host family stops hosting.
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