Author Topic: High school study abroad- cheaper options?  (Read 875 times)

danakado

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High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« on: October 12, 2018, 07:50:12 AM »
Hello!  I mostly lurk around here and appreciate the wisdom this group has....  Let me first admit that I am an aspiring Mustachian and my husband is probably posted on the Wall of Shame.  I've tried lots and lots of ways to get him on board, but, for the sake of my marriage my approach is to control what I can control, which is my spending.  Ok after all that, I have this anti-mustachian dream of helping my 13 yo daughter fulfill her dream of studying abroad during her sophomore or junior year.  It is, of course, crazy expensive.  The dream is do 3-4 months in Italy and attend Italian school. 

Does anyone have experience with this and more importantly do you have ideas on how to this without paying 5 digits? 
Thanks in advance. 

onlykelsey

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Re: High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2018, 08:00:04 AM »
I did a high school exchange program myself.  This was in the mid 2000s so I'm sure prices have gone up, but it was about 6K + airfare, insurance and pocket money.  I paid for the program, but my mom bought airfare, and I had (very limited) pocket money by tutoring two classmates for 5/euro an hour once a week.  It was a great experience, I'm sure it helped me in college admissions, and I just took my one-year-old to go stay with his "host grandparents" for a week this past summer.

I think your daughter needs to have skin in the game both economically and otherwise.  If your daughter can start saving even a grand a year starting next year, she'd be able to make a dent in the tuition herself.  Paper routes, babysitting, tutoring, whatever.  Have her start researching school schedules in Italy because they're different than here.  Have here figure out how studying abroad would affect her graduation here (would she miss courses she needs to graduate? if so, can she take a community college or online course to make it up?  My state required a certain number of health/PE credits and wouldn't accept foreign equivalents).  What about PSATs/SATs/ACTs?  How will she take them if she's abroad, or plan so she doesn't have to?

Frankly, I don't think 10K is all that much money when you compare it to college which is a couple years after that on the horizon.  What's your approach to college planning?  Can you just roll part of this tuition in to your plan for that?

Pigeon

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Re: High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2018, 08:12:23 AM »
Personally, my thoughts on this with my own kids were, yeah, I'd like to go to Italy (or France or Spain), too, but I hadn't done that because I was saving for their college education.  So, mean mother that I am, I kinda didn't care what their "dreams" were on this particular issue.

gatortator

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Re: High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2018, 08:39:52 AM »
I too was an exchange student my senior year of high school, paid for with a full scholarship from the US State Department.  There are several programs offered in several countries.  Details here

I think your daughter needs to have skin in the game both economically and otherwise.   Have her start researching school schedules in Italy because they're different than here.  Have here figure out how studying abroad would affect her graduation here (would she miss courses she needs to graduate? if so, can she take a community college or online course to make it up?  My state required a certain number of health/PE credits and wouldn't accept foreign equivalents).  What about PSATs/SATs/ACTs?  How will she take them if she's abroad, or plan so she doesn't have to?

I agree with what is said here...  If studying in Italy is that important to her,  she needs to be the one to take the lead on how to make it happen.

An exchange year is an amazing experience and changed how I view the world.  However, the reverse culture shock upon returning to the US was worse than the adjustment I made when I first arrived in my host country.  Returning to a typical American high school after the exchange year can feel somewhat boring and constraining, based on conversations with others from my exchange program alum group.   Therefore I will would gently caution you/her on being an exchange student in 10th or 11th grade.   
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 08:53:53 AM by gatortator »

reeshau

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Re: High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 08:45:46 AM »
Is the desire really centered around study abroad, or just travel?  Maybe what your daughter is thinking about is a walkabout year--a very common thing, in some places.  She could Nanny or teach English, after high school graduation, and just delay the start of college by a term or a year.  That could be a fully self-funded endeavor.

ixtap

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Re: High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2018, 09:16:12 AM »
My experience was so long ago as for the price to be irrelevant, but I did pay for it out of my own savings. That was the only thing other than college I was ever allowed to withdraw from my savings account.

The biggest issue was coordinating with my own school to get credit for graduation. In the end, that as why I only went for a few months, and I still had to do work for each class to be turned in upon return.

Look for a program that will out her in school with locals, rather than a language school. She will learn so much more.

lhamo

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Re: High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2018, 10:46:18 AM »
If you/she are open to a longer-term overseas study arrangement, she could apply to the United World Colleges and see if she can get admission to the school in Duino, Italy:

https://www.uwc.org/news/?pid=159&nid=8&storyid=28

Admission is very competitive, but all US students are fully funded for the two-year IB program.  Another advantage of UWC education is that it qualifies you for needs-based scholarship support to many selective US colleges, through the Davis Scholars program:

http://www.davisuwcscholars.org/

I attended the UWC of the Atlantic 30 years ago, and it changed my life.

danakado

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Re: High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2018, 01:14:28 PM »
Thank you for the replies!  I will definitely explore the programs mentioned.  I agree she needs to have significant skin in the game and so far she is leading the charge, including coming up with a budget and how she can make money to support this.  I think we will have significant hurdles with getting credits accepted locally and likely that will guide our whole path.  I love hearing about others who have done this and how it changed their lives. 

Cranky

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Re: High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2018, 02:14:24 PM »
If you/she are open to a longer-term overseas study arrangement, she could apply to the United World Colleges and see if she can get admission to the school in Duino, Italy:

https://www.uwc.org/news/?pid=159&nid=8&storyid=28

Admission is very competitive, but all US students are fully funded for the two-year IB program.  Another advantage of UWC education is that it qualifies you for needs-based scholarship support to many selective US colleges, through the Davis Scholars program:

http://www.davisuwcscholars.org/

I attended the UWC of the Atlantic 30 years ago, and it changed my life.

My dd also attended UWC! Her IB French was great prep for the time she spent in France in college, which was covered by her scholarship.

me1

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Re: High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2018, 07:00:33 PM »
As someone who hosted 2 exchange students from Europe in the US, the whole thing is such a scheme. The kids paid a lot of money to be in this program and the program did very little for them, certainly not worth thousands of euros they paid. I was a volunteer host, but I had to make sure they were signed up at the local school and spent most of the day at the school administrators office because the school lost the paperwork the program sent them (or maybe never sent it?). The program organized 2 retreats for them and had a lady from the program meet them for coffee twice. That was basically all they did. The second kid was actually someone who did not get along with his original host family (they sounded pretty awful, honestly, poor kid) and we volunteered to take him in while they looked for a permanent solution for him. Well, they didn't bother finding anything for him, and we had to help him do it.
I don't know if it's just this particular program, but I would definitely not send my kids to do one of these.
I think there are also options to host a kid in the US and then have their family host your kid abroad. A friend I went to college with did that. I think those are a lot cheaper. Of course the cheapest would be to have a good friend live in a different country and be willing to host your kid and skip the middleman agencies all together.

danakado

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Re: High school study abroad- cheaper options?
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2018, 08:02:22 AM »
As someone who hosted 2 exchange students from Europe in the US, the whole thing is such a scheme. The kids paid a lot of money to be in this program and the program did very little for them, certainly not worth thousands of euros they paid. I was a volunteer host, but I had to make sure they were signed up at the local school and spent most of the day at the school administrators office because the school lost the paperwork the program sent them (or maybe never sent it?). The program organized 2 retreats for them and had a lady from the program meet them for coffee twice. That was basically all they did. The second kid was actually someone who did not get along with his original host family (they sounded pretty awful, honestly, poor kid) and we volunteered to take him in while they looked for a permanent solution for him. Well, they didn't bother finding anything for him, and we had to help him do it.
I don't know if it's just this particular program, but I would definitely not send my kids to do one of these.
I think there are also options to host a kid in the US and then have their family host your kid abroad. A friend I went to college with did that. I think those are a lot cheaper. Of course the cheapest would be to have a good friend live in a different country and be willing to host your kid and skip the middleman agencies all together.

This is what I would love to find.  I would also be more comfortable if I had met or knew the family in advance.  Plus not all the red tape.....! I don't know anyone directly but maybe I can start brainstorming ideas.  We actually just booked vacation to Italy this summer.  Must make friends there, lol!   Would also love the hear the name of the organization you worked with in case it's one of the ones we are looking at (currently have looked at AFS and Greenheart).