Frequently asked questions

On this page you will find all the answers to your questions about your international exchange.

General questions

What are the differences between our programme and others?

Experience & personal contact! Our organisation (non-profit) has over 40 years of experience; all the into staff have been exchange students themselves. They can advise and prepare you well and are always there to help you. We have built up stable and trusted relationships with our partner organisations abroad, based on many years of fruitful cooperation. We are an exclusive organisation with personal attention and every student is special to us. We don’t forget your parents either!

What is the best time to go abroad for a year?

Many of our students finish their exams and join us for the start of their further education.
A gap year at your secondary school is also a possibility. As long as you are between 14 and 18.5 years old, you can apply for our programmes.

How long should I go abroad for?

As long as you want! With most destinations, you can choose a full school year, half a school year or less. We also have a shorter programmes which means you can go to different destinations for a few months to experience the different cultures!

Won't I lose a year if I go abroad?

A year abroad is not a ‘lost’ year. On the contrary, it is a year in which you learn a lot. You grow up, gain more self-confidence, gain knowledge of the world, learn to deal with other people, languages and cultures. But above all, you learn a lot about yourself. This can have a wonderful effect on your career in the future. If you want to take a gap year at your current school it is important to ask at school if it is possible to re-enter or if you have to repeat a year.

Your High School

In which class will I be placed abroad?

This is decided by the headmaster of your new High School in the host country. Usually, you will be placed in the last or second last year. You will be placed with peers in the class.

Can I graduate with a High School diploma?

A High School diploma is not a regular part of our exchange programmes. A student can sometimes get a diploma, but only if you are placed in the exam class and even then the headmaster makes the final decision.  However, the Select Programme in the United States does allow you to obtain a valid high school diploma.

Will I get school points or tests during the programme?

This varies from school to school. into has no influence on this. Many schools have normal tests. For these tests you have to get pass marks.

How big is my school going to be?

We work with schools of various sizes, ranging from 50 to as many as 3,000 students.
First, we look for a host family. Once a host family is found for you, you will be enrolled in a local secondary school. The most important thing is that it is a good school.

Are there other exchange students at my school?

Usually, yes. Schools may accept exchange students from different organisations and it depends on the size of the school exactly how many there are. If there are other exchange students in your new school, they will be of other nationalities. We only allow a maximum of 3% of our students to go to the same school, for example a school with 300 students will get a maximum of 3 students from into. Unfortunately, some other exchange programs do not have a limit and they like to place as many students as possible ion the same school.

Which subjects can I take?

The subjects you can choose abroad are usually many more than in Spain. The normal subjects like mathematics, physics, art and languages are offered as are other subjects like journalism, astronomy, automotive engineering and computer science. Not to mention the wide choice of various sports.

I don't speak the language of the country I would like to go to, now what?

It very much depends on the country. In many countries, English is a widely spoken language and our students manage just fine. However, in certain countries, such as Sweden, some prior knowledge is useful. Good preparation is important and we advise you to attend an (online) language course before you leave so that you will progress faster once you are at your new school. You can also get in touch with our former participants for some tips on the language.

Can I participate in the Graduation ceremony in America?

A common question! This is something that your new High School will decide, but in most cases you will get permission to attend. Check up on this yourself when you are there.

Your host family

What are the criteria for choosing a host family?

There are strict criteria in all countries for host families wishing to host a student, especially in the United States. All family members aged 18 and above are given what is known as a Criminal Background check. The house must be clean and a healthy environment is crucial. It is important to know why the host family wants to host an exchange student. Host families are screened on various aspects by the partner organisation.

How does the partner organisation choose the host family?

All into partner organisations have a large network of Local Representatives or coordinators. They visit the host families they have found through networking. Checks must be made on every person over 18 and the house must have a healthy environment. Students may have to share a room, but this is not necessarily the case. The family looks at the profile of the students and so they choose a student they think will be a good fit for the family. The host family signs the agreement  if they agree to the rules of the programme.

Why do families want to host an exchange student?

Every family has its own reason. Some families may have children who have never had the chance to travel and by bringing an exchange student into their home, they are bringing a different culture into their home.
Others may have an admiration or curiosity about a particular country. Above all, they are proud of their own country and are eager to share their culture with you!

When will I receive information from my host family?

This usually happens in May, June or July although it may sometimes be as late as August. In any case, you will be informed by your into office on the same day the placement information arrives at our office.

Should I attend church with my host family?

If your host family goes to church, you will sometimes be expected to join them, at least in the beginning. Many events, excursions and sports are organised by the local churches of many religions. Our students generally have very positive experiences of social life within the church.

Can I change host families if there is a problem?

No matter how well our partner organisation selects the host families some problems may occasionally arise. These are small problems just like at home in your own family. You may also need time to adjust to the way your host family lives. You will be expected to actively participate in the family and work on developing a good relationship with your host family. You are expected to help solve problems that might arise. If that fails, you can call the local representative for help. The most important thing is to be honest and discuss things. If there is really no feeling between you and your host family, there is often the possibility of changing host families.

Can I reject a host family in advance?

Before departure, you cannot reject a host family. In our experience, you only really get to know a family when you actually live with them. This prevents you from making the wrong judgement too quickly about people you do not yet know. The host family opens their home and life to you and gives you the opportunity to go on an exchange, so give the family a chance, too. Embark on the adventure with an open mind!

Will I get my own bedroom?

Yes, you will usually get your own room. However, be prepared that you may get a much smaller room than you are used to at home. In some cases, you may have to share a room with your host brother/sister or another exchange student.

Do I have to help with household chores?

As an exchange student, you are part of the family. This means you will have to do the same things as your host brother/sister like wash the car, cut the grass and wash the dishes. And you will definitely have to keep your bedroom clean  and tidy.

Your application

What are the criteria to be accepted into the programme?

You must be between 14 and 18.5 years old. On average, you have to have good grades. You should not have an insufficient grade in the main subjects such as mathematics and especially for the language of your future host country. However, the main criteria for us are your personality, motivation and openness to other cultures and your willingness to accept and adapt the rules of the program.

Do I have to be a very good student to be accepted into the programme?

We think average numbers are good enough if you are very motivated. Adapting to another life and solving problems are solved by flexibility and openness of mind, not by school grades. However, in some countries your final grades are very important, so good grades should always be a priority.

How can I register?

On our website register  you can sign up for a free and non-binding introduction. After submitting this form, we will contact you as soon as possible to make an appointment.

Can I choose a region in a country?

At a number of destinations you can indicate a preference regarding the region (usually for a small fee). In a number of countries we offer so-called ‘Select’ programs where you can choose a specific city or school. For more information, check the destinations.

Costs

Other than the price of the programme, what other costs will I have?

Think of visa costs, insurance, pocket money, excursions offered by school or partner organisation, possible costs for school uniforms and books, depending on the country or school you are going to attend. For a full overview, check out our Terms and Conditions.

How much pocket money will I need?

You have to assume €200/250 per month. Of this you pay all your personal expenses such as hygiene/cosmetics, cinema, dining out, sports activities, club membership, hobbies and excursions you participate in.

Flight

When will I know the departure dates of my flight?

The moment we get your placement in, we’ll book your flight and you’ll receive the flight details quickly.

Am I travelling alone or with a group?

That depends very much on when you are going to start the program whether you are visiting a Welcome Camp and the like. If possible, we book the flights with other into participants.

Welcome Camp

When do the Welcome Camps start?

We have a series of camps and you will be placed in a camp that starts about 12 to 5 days before your school starts. We will know this date as soon as we have your placement with the date that the school starts.

Returnees

What happens after my year abroad?

When you’re back home after your great adventure, it’s not over as far as we’re concerned! You will receive our Welcome Home mailing containing, among other things, an evaluation and information about our into Returnee club. We like to maintain warm contacts with our former participants, such as an annual Returnee BBQ and we meet regularly at various events.

Why do I want to stay active for into?

We have an enthusiastic, active group of Returnees at into who also see and speak to each other regularly. For a lot of work we can use help regularly, such as fairs, open days, PDS and school information. But there is also sometimes office work, we have an into Social Media team and much more where we can use your help.

In return, you can participate in a special savings system with which you can save for a flight back to your host country.

Other questions

Can I travel during my programme?

Of course! Sometimes trips are included in your program, but usually the partner organisation also offers optional excursions and trips that you can participate in. Apart from this, you will undoubtedly also make trips with school and your host family!

Can I travel alone?

For your own safety you are not allowed to travel alone. We can’t be responsible for you if we don’t know where you are. For all programs, the following applies: leaving the family and city is seen as leaving the program.

Can I get my licence and drive a car during my programme?

This is very dependent on the country. In most countries you can get your driver’s license but you are not allowed to drive a car independently (not even for practising for your driver’s license in America, for example), so in most cases it doesn’t make much sense.

Do you have more questions?

If your question is not listed, we are happy to answer it. Please contact us via email info@into-education.es or phone 951 870 122.