Are you ready to say yes to exchange but find yourself caught in a whirlwind trying to choose the perfect destination? Selecting the right country for your exchange isn’t just about spinning a globe and pointing blindly (though that sounds fun!). It’s about aligning your personal aspirations, interests, and dreams with a place to turn them into reality, challenge you and allow you to find the YFU YOU.
We suggest you list your top 3 destinations, as sometimes, your first choice may not be available for various reasons – limited spots, travel restrictions, or timing issues. But fear not! Having a Plan B and C will ensure you are not disappointed! Being flexible and open-minded about your destination will make you more adaptable – a crucial skill for any exchange student.
To get started, you need to understand Your Motivations:
Why are you going? This is the first question to ask yourself. Are you aiming to master a new language, connect with your heritage, or immerse yourself in a vastly different culture? Your primary motivation will be an important guide in your decision-making process.
Language Love Affair:
Suppose you have been studying a language for many years at school and find yourself dreaming in Italian or completely captivated by the lyrical sounds of Spanish. In that case, choosing a country where that language is spoken is a no-brainer. Immersion is the key to fluency, and what better way to learn a new language or improve your skills than living it daily?
Are you fascinated by the style & history of France or the natural wonders of Norway? Perhaps the vibrant festivals of Brazil call your name? Look closely at a country whose culture has always intrigued you.
Some countries specialise in certain fields of study. If you’re an aspiring engineer, Germany might be your best choice. Art lovers might gravitate towards Italy. Consider your academic and career goals when choosing your destination. YFU also offers specialised programs where you can expand your skills and talents – for example, Performing Arts in Latvia, Environmental Studies in Estonia, Sports Science in Belgium and more. Details are on our website.
Let’s not forget the fun factor! Whether it’s hiking in the Swiss Alps, exploring the heart of South America or enjoying the modern and contemporary at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Brazil, choose a place where the adventurer in you feels alive.
Safety and Comfort:
While adventure is important, so is your safety and comfort. Research your potential destinations regarding safety, political stability, and living conditions. A great experience is a safe experience.
Visa requirements, healthcare facilities, your budget, and even climate should factor into your decision. After all, you want to be as prepared as possible for life in your new home away from home.
Talk to your family, teachers, previous exchange students and our YFU team. Read blogs, explore travel websites, listen to podcasts, and engage in forums. First-hand experiences can provide invaluable insights and maybe even dispel some myths. YFU offers so many exciting destinations, and each has its own unique charm and insights to offer. Being open to multiple possibilities opens doors to diverse experiences while on exchange.
Embrace the journey, wherever it may take you and remember that YFU is with you every step of the way!