Frequently Asked Questions
For more information on questions not covered in this section,
contact STS toll-free at 1-855-815-1010 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
About the Application Top
Q. Do I have to have good grades to be accepted?
A. In order to be accepted into the program you
have to have an average grade corresponding to C in each class.
In certain cases, a lower grade may be accepted but only on a
case-by-case basis. If the country you choose requires knowledge
and understanding of a particular language and this language is
offered as a school subject, you will be required to have the
equivalent of C in this class.
Q. Can I choose the area or city where I will
A. STS offers area choice in the USA where we
have divided the country into a number of regions. There are several
states in this area so a certain region does not guarantee a specific
state or city. There is an additional fee for this service and
it is important to note that your choice will be considered as
a request, not a guarantee. Our first priority is to place you
with a suitable host family.
Q. Am I required to get any vaccinations for
A. Yes, you are. Immunizations are required by
the school and if your immunization record is not up to date in
your destination country, the school may not accept you. Alternatively,
you may be required to obtain missing vaccinations upon arrival
which may cost more than in Canada.
Q. Do I have to have knowledge of the language
spoken in my destination?
A. No, not for all our program countries. To
learn more, please consult the information page for your program
Q. Do I need a visa and, if so, how do I apply
A. Depending on the country and the duration
of your exchange, you may require a visa. Visas are issued by
the embassy representing each country and STS will help you with
your application. However, it is your responsibility to make sure
that you receive your visa in good time.
About the Journey
Q. Will I travel alone or with a group?
A. This varies from departure to departure. Whenever
possible, you will travel with a group, but depending on the school
start date and your destination, you may travel on your own. Should
this be the case, you will be informed prior to your departure
and our representatives will address any concerns that you may
Q. When is the departure?
A. The departure date is planned in accordance
with the school start date and therefore also depends on the school
you are placed in. As a general rule of thumb, fall departures
take place at the end of August or beginning of September and
spring departures occur at the end of January or the beginning
Q. How far in advance am I apprised of my departure
A. This depends on when your placement is finalized.
Your flight will be booked once your school and host family have
Q. Will I fly directly to my destination or
will I have to transfer?
A. Depending on your destination, you will likely
have at least one transfer. Flights to Australia, New Zealand
and South America are generally made with an intermediate stop
while you can sometimes fly directly to Europe .
Q. How much luggage can I take with me?
A. The number of suitcases and their maximum
weight vary from one airline to the next. One suitcase of 23kgs
is the usual weight but we invite you to verify this information
directly with the airline as it can change at any time.
About School Top
Q. Will my Canadian school give me credits for
my time abroad?
A. If you get permission from your Principal
it is possible to receive credit for your time abroad. Speak to
your school to find out what rules apply for you.
Q. Will I be able to graduate and get a high
school diploma in my program country?
A. This is up to the school board and the school
you will attend during your exchange. STS cannot influence this
Q. What subjects will I study?
A. This varies depending on your program country
and the school. Typically, the school will require you to study
certain mandatory subjects and then you will be able to choose
a couple optional courses. Examples of subjects that are often
mandatory are history, English, a foreign language and mathematics.
Q. Will there be other exchange students at
A. This varies from school to school. STS generally
avoids placing two or more students of the same nationality in
the same school.
Q. How big of a school will I attend?
A. STS works with both big and small schools.
New schools are added every year so we cannot say in advance what
size of school a student will attend.
About the Host
Q. Can I refuse a host family if they don't
seem good enough?
A. No, not prior to your departure. STS strives
to find suitable placements for all students. Host families come
in all shapes in sizes and it is important to keep an open mind.
Q. How does STS select their host families?
A. STS has co-operational partners and local
offices in the program countries. These offices and partners match
each student with the best-suited family. All families complete
an application form that is matched with the student's application.
A host family visit is conducted and references are sought before
a family is approved.
Q. Why do the families want to be host families?
A. There are many different reasons why a family
chooses to host. Most often, families are interested in learning
about a new culture as well as sharing their home and culture.
Q. Can I change host families?
A. If there are problems between you and your
host family that cannot be resolved you may be moved to another
host family. Remember that it takes time to feel at home in a
new country and with a new family. Be prepared to give the relation
time to grow and remember that you are the one who is expected
to adapt to your new surroundings. Your area representative is
there to support and assist you during your time abroad.
Q. Will I have my own bedroom?
A. In most cases you will have your own bedroom.
You could also have to share a room with a host sister or host
brother. There is no guarantee that you will have your own room.
Q. Am I expected to help with chores?
A. As an exchange student you are expected to
become a member of the family. This means that you will be expected
to help with some everyday chores such as setting the table, washing
the dishes, taking out the garbage as well as any other chores
that would be expected of your host siblings.
Q. How far will I live from the school?
A. Naturally, this varies depending on where
you are placed. Some students live within walking distance of
school while others must take a bus or other form of transportation.
About the Spare
Q. Will there be activities and trips organized
A. Yes, in most cases the STS will organize optional
trips offered to exchange students. There is a cost for each trip
and it often depends on the number of participants and the trip
duration. You will receive more information regarding any trips
offered to you once you arrive in your program country.
Q. Will I be able to practice in my favorite
A. If you play a particular sport or have another
special interest that you would like to continue during your exchange,
it is important that you mention it in your essay so that we can
take this into account when placing you. Please keep an open mind
and know that we will do our best to meet your wishes but we cannot
guarantee that your activity will be available where you are placed.
Your exchange year abroad will surely give you the opportunity
to try a number of new and exciting activities.
Q. Can I travel on my own in my program country?
A. As an exchange student you may participate
in trips organized by the school or STS if you have permission
from your host family and your natural parents. You are also allowed
to travel with your host family so long as an adult is present
at all times. You may not travel on your own or with a friend.
Can I Choose Where I Want
to Stay in the USA?
STS offers six areas in the USA where we divide the country into
a number of regions. You cannot select a particular state or city,
just a region. There is an additional fee for the area choice, and
it is considered as a request, not a guarantee.
Will I Feel Well Prepared When I Leave?
You will receive lots of information before your departure. You
and your parents will be invited to an orientation meeting with
the other exchange students prior to your departure. In addition,
you can always contact us. We are here to answer your questions.
Will I Be Able to Travel?
Yes! STS and the other placement organizations offer trips and
excursions that provide you with the opportunity to see more of
your country. The cost for these trips is advantageous and a STS
Representative always comes along.
What Happens After My Exchange Year?
We offer all our students the possibility to become a member of
the STS International Returnee Club. Within the club you will have
the opportunity to meet other former exchange students through our
annual reunions. You may also have the chance to work for STS in