If you're considering spending a year abroad in a different country as an exchange student
you should read this list, because we made it that everybody can see what an exchange student
should do before leaving home for a year. There are many different points you should consider.
Some of them you might not want to do but some you really should do (e.g. calling your host
family before leaving).
Whenever you get the information about your host family and your state try
to get more information:
- Call your host family and ask them everything you need to know – they might also have
It might happen that your family goes on vacation during your year and you get the chance
to go with them (e.g. if it is a skiing vacation you might be glad to have taken your own
equipment with you).
- If you have hobbies that you would like to continue with in the USA ask your host
family about it and bring the equipment with you.
- Never bring to much baggage with you – you’ll have much more when you get back.
- Call your IEC if you need information concerning your flight or something else.
- Get a book about your state – you might find some important information.
(e.g. what kind of clothes you should take with you.)
- Ask a former exchange student about the place your going to. You can get addresses or
phone numbers of former exchange students from your organization.
Talk to your parents about the money you’ll need and how you want to
- The best thing you can do is open an account in the USA as soon as you are there
(your host parents might have to come with you). Your parents can just transfer the money
monthly on your account – this is probably the safest way.
- For the first month you do need some cash. Better than cash are travelers checks.
- You have to talk to your parents about the amount of money you’ll take with you. My own
experience is that you’ll spend as much as you get.
- The amount of money to spend which the exchange organizations propose goes up to 500$
There are some other points you should consider:
- Your host family lets you live at their house for free – so at least bring them a
- Since it’s supposed to be a cultural exchange you might want to bring some material
about your home country with you. You host family will appreciate it.