Sunday, February 8, 2015

How to become an exchange student

Hello everybody! For the first post of my blog I decided to talk about how to become an exchange student. Did you have the idea to live abroad, but you don’t know how to do and what to do? Well, don’t worry! Now I am going to tell my story and how I am now here in Denmark.

First of all, I tell that there are many different companies that organize exchange programs abroad: EF, AFS, Rotary, YFU, STS High School, etc.
Mine is AFS, and I decided this one because it is the most famous in my country and in my region, and then I heard many beautiful experiences. One day I will tell you about its history, but here you can visit the official website.

How to apply? I remember that last year, exactly the August 2013, I started talking to my parents about this idea of living abroad. To be honest, they were not that convinced, especially my mom, but then my father said: “Try to apply”. So the 1st of September there were inscriptions. I remember I quickly filled out my information because I was very scared there weren’t anymore places, but in reality there was time to apply till the 10th November.  Subsequently I was called to do the admission tests. What do they consist? First of all you make a list of at least 10 countries where you would like to move, and I suggest you to fill the all 10 places, so you will have more possibilities … this was my list:
1) Japan 
2) Denmark
3) Iceland
4) Germany
5) France
6) Austria
7) Holland
8) USA
9) Belgium
10) Czech Republic
I am not very sure if USA was in the 8th position or Belgium was in the 6th, but I am sure about the top 5. ATTENTION! I remember you that with the countries USA, Thailand and India (if I do not wrong), you have to do an extra test about the English language because you have to be at least a level B1. 

So the first real test are aptitude ones, and they ask you a LOT of questions, maybe more than 800 hundreds, and some of them are very idiot. The first question was to draw a tree, the most stupid were like “Do you see ghosts in the night?” or “Do you like your ass?”. After around a week I was called to do an oral interview, and there they ask you questions why you want to be an exchange students, or just simple questions about your daily routine.

After this annoying tests, it will pass a very long time, you do not have to think about it otherwise you will die. I knew that they selected me for Denmark the 19th February and that was one of my happiest days of my life!
And then there will be the preparations with the volunteers that tell you what to do in difficult moments during your year, how to react with your host family, the rules, etc.

Is it free? No, it isn’t. But AFS offers every year scholarships to good students. Moreover the prices are divided into 5 different sections: 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4.
This depends on may factors, how much money your parents earn, how good to school you are, etc. 

To sum up, if you will be taken to be an exchange student, you will know your host family around June/July and you will take the plane for your new life around August/September. 

Next post ... on Saturday!!! :) And if you have any question, ASK!!! 


  1. Non voglio essere scortese, ma questo post non servira' a molti, solo agli aspiranti exchange student italiani.. Non che sia scritto male o cose del genere ma essendo stata un'exchange student con AFS Intercultura ho avuto modo di parlare con gli altri ragazzi stranieri della mia zona di come funziona AFS nel loro Paese e ho capito che in generale il processo di selezione cambia da Paese a Paese. In molti stati AFS non e' come in Italia, cioe' un concorso, ma semplicemente un'agenzia che accetta iscrizioni fino ad esaurimento posti. Comunque spero che la tua esperienza in Danimarca stia andando alla grande, darei l'anima per rivivere il mio anno!

    1. E' vero che AFS non é uguale in tutti i paesi, ma volevo raccontare la mia storia e aiutare eventualmente ragazzi che avessero dubbi o perplessitá. Comunque, tu dove sei stata nel tuo exchange? :)