School exchange programs in Chile are quite the experience. They give young people the chance to get to know a new culture, gain skills for Spanish, a language spoken by over 400 million people around the world, and especially help students develop their personalities. Close ties are usually formed between the exchange student and the host family and new friends in Chile.
The exchange program experience means that a young person lives with a Chilean family and attends school regularly, participating in activities and meeting the same requirements as the rest of his or her classmates. Students can then choose to validate studies in their country of origin.
Chile has one of the best education systems in Latin America. In addition, Chile is one of the safest countries in Latin America, with low crime rates. Chileans are warm and friendly and the country is noted for its economic progress, political stability, excellent infrastructure, highways and telecommunications networks.
Most foreign students who come to Chile recognize its natural beauty, ranging from the Atacama Desert to the fjords of the south, from ski slopes in the Andes to surfing in the Pacific Ocean. They say that people in Chile make them feel welcome. Strong and lasting ties of friendship are made between classmates, other exchange students, families and teachers. Hospitality and family life are highly valued here. Chileans meet with their families often to eat and talk, as well as to celebrate parties and social events.
The student exchange experience helps students get to know a new culture and customs. From a personal standpoint, it puts students up against an unknown reality, helping them to gain self-confidence and maturity.
Upon returning to his or her country of origin, the student will have reaped academic benefits by developing new skills and know-how, but will also have learned how to relate with other people. He or she will have a different and enriched outlook on life, an added advantage compared to other students.
The following is a list of some international institutions that have long-standing experience in terms of agreements with Chilean schools for exchange programs. There are exchange program alternatives that last for a few months, semesters or up to one year. Prices vary between US$ 3,600 and US$ 8,000, including airline tickets and insurance. Academic expenses are paid by the school the student goes to and lodging is provided by the family welcoming this student in. In addition, personal expenses come to approximately US$ 250 per month.
American Field Service (AFS)
The Association offers different programs for secondary school students, for one academic year (from February to January) or for one semester (from February to March or July to January). There are several places in Chile where students can choose from. Students learn to speak Spanish while attending high school as part of these programs. Applications are available at the AFS office in your country of origin.
This organization offers different programs for anyone interested in learning Spanish, study trips, living with Chilean families, cultural interaction and adventure sports programs. There are also opportunities for living up north or down south for a month, providing community service, traveling and doing adventure sports. Applications are available for students between the ages of 15 and 18 after a personal interview. More information on Experiment Chile’s website and in www.experiment.org.
Youth For Understanding
YFU is a non-profit organization with programs in over 64 countries that offers exchange students the chance to attend private or public Chilean high schools. The experience also includes living with a host family in Chile. Applications are available for students between the age of 15 and 18 and basic knowledge of Spanish and alternatives are available in a wide range of Chilean cities. YFU has organized exchange programs for over 8,000 students in Chile.