I'm thinking about going on exchange. How do I talk to my parents about it?
YFU recommends that you have a conversation with your parents about going on exchange prior to contacting YFU. Try to ask yourself questions like, "Why do I want to do on exchange? What do I want to achieve? Where do I want to go?" These types of questions may help you define your motivation and reasons for going abroad.
Decide on an appropriate time (for example a family meeting or over dinner) when you can present your thoughts about going on exchange, and discuss with your family whether this is the right decision for you.
What are the chances that I will go to my first choice of country?
Program availability depends on the number of spots YFU Canada is allocated each year by its partner countries, and the number of applicants that we have. Slots will be assigned on a first-come-first-basis to students that meet our application criteria and pass the admission interview. If you are accepted, your place in the program is pending until we have received your deposit of $950.
What can I do to improve my chances of getting accepted?
Transcripts showing a minimum 70 percent average over the past two years (80 for Japan).
Apply early. Slots are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
Consider why you wish to go on exchange. We look at your motivation, personality traits and goals in the admission interview.
Can I request to go to a certain city or area?
YFU in your host country will match you with a host family that they believe is suitable for you, and we cannot accommodate requests for certain cities or regions. Keep in mind that our host families are usually spread all over the country, and that any town, place or city that you end up in will be a unique and interesting experience in itself.
What happens if I am accepted and pay, but decide not to go?
From the time of registration (signing of contract and payment of $950 deposit), your YFU insurance coverage begins. Therefore, if cancellation is due to medical issues or death in immediate family (parents/siblings), you receive a 100% refund.
However, when the $950 deposit is received, almost all of this amount is immediately paid out by YFU Canada for registration, insurance and fees to the inbound country; therefore, unless it can be claimed on insurance for medical/death cancellation, it cannot be returned after that point.
If you choose to cancel at the last minute and tickets have already been purchased, you are liable for the ticket cost as well as the original $950. The remaining balance will be returned to you.
I am over 18 and/or already graduated; can I still participate?
Applicants cannot be older than 18 at the time of departure. You may have graduated, but you will face limitations in terms of which countries you can apply to. Certain programs will only take students that are still enrolled in high school in their home country.
That being said, many YFU students successfully go on exchange after their grade 12 year. Please contact YFU for more information about how to apply as a mature student.
Can I get credits for the courses I take abroad?
YFU cannot assist in the transferring or approval or courses and credits. However, most schools are willing to work with you to plan your exchange and the transition back to your high school. Please arrange a meeting with your guidance counselor prior to departure to discuss your situation, as well as a follow-up meeting when you come back. You may be asked by your school to choose certain courses while you are abroad if possible, or to provide course descriptions and transcripts.
Can my parents/friends come to visit me?
YFU does not recommend, and rarely allows, visits from parents and friends. There are many reasons for this, and although a visit sounds completely harmless and very nice, it can serve as a disruption to the exchange experience and the takes the focus away from your life in the host country.
If you do want your parents or friends to visit you, YFU recommends that they come at the very end of your exchange. Regardless, you will have to apply for permission from YFU prior to their arrival. Visits from parents and/or friends that have not been permitted by YFU may result in an involuntary early return.