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How a student exchange can be beneficial option for a student

By Tania Bagwan,

Here's how a student exchange programme will help your teen broaden her horizons.

A student exchange programme gives the opportunity for a student to study abroad for a limited period of time which ranges from a few weeks to maybe even a few years.

When it comes to gaining life experiences and expanding the horizon of exposure, leaving one’s home and exploring a new place is often the best way to do so. Staying in a familiar environment for a long period of time can provide stability. However, it does not allow an individual to have enough room for new experiences and opportunities to explore the world around. One of the best ways to ensure that your teen gets a chance to broaden the base of his knowledge and exposure, is to sign him up for a student’s exchange programme. Read on to learn more about such programmes. 

What is a student exchange programme? 
A student exchange programme is the opportunity for a student to study abroad for a limited period of time which ranges from a few weeks to even a few months or years. Such a programme is organised when two schools, colleges or universities from different countries join hands. Each institution sends a few students to the other for a stipulated period of time to get an experience of studying abroad as well as a new culture.  

Popular Student Exchange Programmes in India 
Numerous Indian educational associations and institutes have collaborated with international universities and colleges for organising student exchanges. Here are two of the most sought-after ones. 

Rotary Youth Exchange Programme 

The Rotary Youth Exchange programme, initiated by the Rotary International is open to students of ages 15-19 who are drawn to experiencing a new culture in a foreign environment. Applicants can choose programmes which last for three months, or even longer ones that last up to a year. Rotary International covers the tuition fees, lodging and accommodation. However, it does not provide a stipend for local, everyday expenses. To apply for this, interested candidates have to contact the Rotary Club in their area.  

ISEP Student Exchange Programme 

ISEP has partnered with almost 300 universities from around the world to offer Indian students an opportunity to expand their horizon through student exchange programmes. Some Indian universities/colleges included in its list are Chitkara University, Lovely Professional University, Symbiosis International University and University of Petroleum and Energy Studies. Depending upon the programme chosen, the eligibility criteria, tuition, dates and deadlines, etc. differ. All the information can be found on ISEP’s official website. 

Benefits of participating in a student exchange programme 
A student exchange programme is one of the rare opportunities where teens get to explore their independence, take responsibility for themselves and step out of their comfort zone into an unexplored one, quite literally. Here are some of the reasons why you should encourage your teen to participate in one. 

Exposure to a new culture 

It is one thing to travel to a different country as a tourist, but another thing to actually spend time there and get acquainted to its culture, traditions and people in an immersive, authentic way. An exchange programme will allow your teen to explore a new place on his own terms, which will help boost self-esteem and make him more responsible and open. 

Experience of a different education system 

Studying at a university in a different country will allow your teen to understand how education systems vary from country to country. Moreover, it will also be a good training if your teen plans on pursuing higher education abroad later. Universities highly value such experiences when it comes to admissions. 

A cost-effective option 

A student exchange programme is an economical choice when it comes to education abroad. This is because, most of the times, the student resides with a host family abroad or the college/university arranges for on-campus accommodation. Thus, it will not break the bank as much as sponsoring the entire trip oneself. In some cases, the travel expenditure is also covered by the host institution. 

Helps in forming a global network 

Today’s world is dubbed as a global village, and having a strong network outside of one’s country is extremely beneficial in the future. An exchange programme will help your child make new friends, learn to socialise in a different environment and enhance her communication skills too.