FAQ’s – Frequently asked questions about studying abroad
1. Does ISFL offer scholarships?
Yes! ISFL offers several scholarships each year for our summer and trimester programs based on merit and teacher recommendations! Funding is limited, first come, first served. Upon receiving and evaluating your registration, you will be notified within one month if you qualify for a scholarship.
2. How are applicants selected for the program?
Students should be motivated to learn a new language, open to new cultures and in good standing in their studies. Good grades are important as well as recommendations from your teachers about your character and parent input. You should also be in good physical and mental health. Having a positive attitude, being respectful and open minded about other cultures is highly important in your selection.
3. Do I have to speak the language?
You do not need full command of the language since you are traveling abroad to learn the language and culture.
4. Will I need a passport to travel abroad? How do I apply for a passport?
You will need a passport to travel abroad. However, you do not need to apply for a passport until you have been accepted in the program. ISFL will be happy to provide you with details about obtaining a passport when the time comes.
5. Is there an age limit?
You should be between 12 -18 years old.
6. I think I really want to study abroad but my parents are unsure. How can I convince them?
It is natural for your parents to be hesitant and to have questions. Let your parents know that you will be living with a host family who will welcome you into their home and take care of you like a son or daughter. Once accepted into the program, your parents will have an opportunity to communicate with the host family. ISFL host families are thoroughly screened and in many cases have hosted other international students. You can also take the plunge and become a host family so that you and them can experience what it means to be an exchange student.
7. Will I receive academic credit for my time studying abroad?
ISFL recommends you ask a guidance counselor at your school about receiving academic credit. It is important to remember that studying abroad looks great on a college application.
8. What is the deadline to apply?
See our ISFL deadline calendar here. (2019 Summer calendar coming soon!)
9. Will I be allowed to explore the host country on my own?
During your study abroad experience you will be living with a volunteer host family and attending a public school. While part of your studies include excursions, you are in the country to learn the language and integrate into the culture and traveling without your host family is not allowed.
10. When will I find out if I have been accepted into the program?
Once ISFL has received your complete application, recommendation letters and parent survey your application will be screened and sent overseas. This process can take some time to confirm the best volunteer host family for you. It could be a couple months prior to your departure before you receive confirmation of your family at which time you and your parents are encouraged to contact them and begin getting to know each other.