The primary objective of most exchange programs are for a student to study abroad in an American high school for a year in order to exchange cultures and learn from each other. World Link exchange programs are not different in this regard. Our relationship with schools is important and many students will engage in their program requirements through participation in school activities. The common objectives among exchange programs include:
- Gain an understanding of American society, people, values, culture, diversity and respect for others with differing views;
- Interact with Americans and generate enduring ties;
- Teach Americans about their home countries and cultures;
- Explore and acquire an understanding of the key elements of a civil society; and,
- Share and apply experiences and knowledge in their home countries as alumni.
World Link operates only publicly sponsored exchange programs that are a part of official government missions to gain a better understanding and relationship with each other through engaging with the “successor generations” of future leaders. World Link’s goal is to make each of our participants a “global citizen” that is capable of understanding differing views, adapt to other cultures readily and that can see the benefit of learning and adapting lessons from other cultures. World Link values the role that schools play in this mission and work diligently through our programming and our local representatives to engage with our host schools in a manner that not only benefits our participants, but also benefits the school community. When our students are in the school, we follow the school rules and policies. Our participants are your students and we want them to be an asset to the school community in bringing the world to your community.
During the year, we encourage our students to present their cultures, especially during International Education Week in November, to get involved in school activities and clubs so that everyone knows their name, and to engage in community service with their peers. Each World Link student is selected through a merit-based process that ensures an adequate level of English and a desire to do well in school. World Link students must maintain a 3.0 GPA minimum.
By engaging with World Link students, you will be receiving students from countries that the U.S. Congress has deemed that we need to have a better understanding of. The countries our students come from do not include the mainstream exchange student regions and instead you will experience the unique diversity that the FLEX and YES programs have to offer. To read more about these programs, click on the link to see the attached School Administrator Handbook published by the U.S. Department of State for our programs that we cooperate with.
We invite you to read the following post written by the principal of a high school which hosts World Link exchange students.
We encourage you to read through these guides to learn more about welcoming a World Link student into your school. If you are interested in placing an international exchange student in your school, please visit our Staff and Coordinators Page to see where we currently place students or Contact Us to get started.