© WEP 2020
Kia Ora, New Zealand, you're our 28th destination and we're already in 💚. WEP Australia is super excited to announce that we are launching programs to our favourite neighbour this October! Need to knows:
- You'll study full-time at a high school in Auckland!
- You'll live with a local Kiwi family!
- This is a short term program, starting in October 2020 and returning in December 2020.
- The program fee is $6,900. For a list of WEP program inclusions, click here.
- Your full application must be submitted by 4 August, 2020!
- You can start your application here.
Physical distancing doesn’t need to mean social isolation! With WEP’s Social Action Scholarship, we’re asking what you do to improve your community. Show us how you volunteer, advocate, educate, donate, participate or organise. Apply for this scholarship and you could win $1,500 towards your semester or year WEP student exchange program. With two scholarships available, you’ve got double the chances of a win! WEP’s Social Action Scholarship is applicable to semester and year student exchange and WEP+ programs departing between January and March 2021 to the following countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, South Korea and the USA. Click here for more information and to apply.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing havoc around the world. WEP Australia’s programming decisions are based on advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the World Health Organisation. We have unfortunately suspended August 2020 exchange programs to China and South Korea. Our hope is that programs to other countries departing later in 2020 (August and November) and early 2021 (January) will go ahead as planned. Applications are still open!
Did you know that Norwegians celebrate the end of the week with Taco Friday or tacofredag? This alone is a pretty fantastic reason to choose this little gem of a country for your WEP student exchange, but there are plenty more!
- Norway doesn’t have a language requirement
- Exchanges to Norway departing in January and August include a two-night orientation in Copenhagen or Oslo (numbers permitting)
- Gorgeous views, snowy mountains, fjords.
Peek into the world of a WEP exchange student in Norway, Alyssa.(more…)
Oh my gosh, happy new decade! To celebrate the 2020s and WEP’s increased commitment to going green, we’re announcing 5 x $1,000 Going Green Scholarships. These snazzy new scholarships cover semester and year WEP Student Exchange and WEP+ programs departing between July and August 2020 to the below countries. Eligible countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, South Korea, Spain and the USA. To apply, create a three-minute video addressing the scholarship question: What single policy do you think would have the biggest impact on fighting climate change? Submit your video here by midnight 16 February 2020. This year, WEP Australia will continue to champion climate action and take further steps to reduce our impact on the planet. We will reduce printing, postage and courier services, using recycled paper, offering electronic alternatives to program material, improving our office recycling systems, going solar and choosing airlines that have fleets of more fuel efficient aircraft. WEP also supports climate-smart politics and encourages politicians to support progressive climate policy.
Application deadlines for WEP’s August* 2020 student exchange programs will start to close in early 2020. Don’t miss your chance to participate! These programs are some of our favourites, here’s why: 🙋♂️ Incredible orientations available for many countries, including in New York, Rome and Paris! ✅ Choose a semester or year exchange and experience Christmas and New Years overseas (plus Halloween and Thanksgiving in the USA)! ✈️ Choose a short term or semester program and return in time for the start of the Australian school year. ❄️ The possibility of seeing snow! *August programs depart between July-September. Apply now!
Complete a full WEP student exchange application before midnight on 30 November 2019 and save $500 on your program fee with our Early Bird Special. This offer is for students in years 9 to 12* and can be applied to a semester or year program departing between July-September 2020 to any of the following countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Chile, China, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, or the USA! Simply submit your full application online before midnight on 30 November 2019. To request access to WEP’s full online application, please click here. Don’t miss out!
*The fine print:
I embarked on my exchange experience wide-eyed and bushy-tailed at age 15 in November 2015. I was to spend three glorious and mind-boggling months in the snowy magnificence of eastern Canada. I had never travelled on a plane before, never been away from my family and never pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone. If I could say something to my younger self, it’d be “wise choice kiddo,” it is one of the proudest decisions of my life. Now, at age 18 and a new University student, I can’t imagine the person I would have become instead. The nostalgic fondness I possess is thanks to the gifts my exchange program snuck me under the table; independence, persistence, spontaneity, vision. I learnt to discard my introverted tendencies which held me back and to say yes to more. Passport documents, visas, forms galore, bring it on, I’ve seen it all now. I felt snow for the first time, I found comfort and happiness in a new home, I found out what it’s like to miss someone, what French sounds like. If I didn’t appreciate these things back then, I sure do now. My day-to-day in Canada included attending school, which played a massive role in making new friends and discovering what it’s like living as a Canadian teen. I was picked up by one of those big yellow school buses and loved every second of it, I even made friends with the bus driver, Ricki, as I was first on the route. My subjects included advanced science (I was a total klutz and asked to be moved to gym class). Ohhh good old gym class...when it was below freezing outside we ran laps in the corridors until we were trained enough to run 5km on the track outside. To be fair I’m not the most physically privileged but my suffering was worth the bragging rights. I attended the school semi-formal and had a blast listening to country music and learning how to line dance, which I never quite got the hang of honestly. Country music is still not my preferred genre but that’s one of the things I learnt to appreciate about the culture I was immersed in. The food, oh my gosh the food! Beaver tails make me salivate just thinking about them, pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, maple syrup frozen on snow, poutine! The list goes on and on and I was in food heaven. I had the opportunity to go skiing for the first time ever and I may or may not have taken a black diamond course and caused excruciating internal bruising on my knee, leaving me on crutches. Another life lesson: to know your limits and to be responsible. I could go on and on about my experiences but I feel they’re of greater value to my nostalgia than to potential exchange students. Hence, I’m giving advice to those who are considering becoming future exchange students, and maybe in particular those wanting to travel to the Great White North!
- Have a strong mental mindset. Travelling across the world on your own personal journey is not for the faint of heart, ask me, the 15 year old who broke down and cried in the middle of Vancouver Airport because she couldn’t find her ticket. Even if you’re timid and unsure, always know that if you reach out, someone will help you.
- Communication is key and you’ll find this is true in many aspects of life, being able to talk openly and freely with someone is quite cathartic and will most likely leave you feeling better. If you’re feeling isolated and alone, you’re only perpetuating it by wallowing in your sorrows, wishing you were somewhere else. Your host family has opened their arms to accept you like one of their own, take advantage of their kindness and talk to them!
- Push yourself! I cannot begin to express how worse off you’d be if you were too shy to introduce yourself to new people! Students at your school may be unaware of how to approach you too, so be that icebreaker! Australians have a cool aura about them that foreigners like, there’s something about being Australian that makes people think we’re mega cool, so take advantage of that too!
- Have photos of your home and memories in Australia to show your fellow classmates and host family. There’s nothing more interesting than learning about the new exchange kid from exotic Australia. I was asked if Australia was all beach, if we had Xbox here, are kangaroos just roaming the streets, do we have cities? The people around me were super intrigued to hear about me and my home. Also, bring some Australian money just to show too!
- Bring small gifts for your host family. It shows good etiquette to give your host family Australian gifts upon arrival. I didn’t buy much or go too out of my way, just simple novelties like an Aussie rules footy, a eucalyptus candle, Vegemite and other small souvenirs.
Ok, so you’re: Adventurous (we know because you’re reading about a WEP student exchange) Looking for the experience of a lifetime Ready to make 2019 a year to remember! So, what's next? Application deadlines for programs departing in August this year are closing VERY SOON, so start your application now by clicking here. August student exchange programs are fantastic because you get to participate in some wonderful included orientation programs! In Italy, there's a four-night orientation in gorgeous Rome, in France there's a three-night orientation in Paris (oui oui) and in the USA there's a three-night mini tour of #NYC (with a speedboat ride on the harbour, shopping on Fifth Avenue and so much more)! Don't miss out, start your application ASAP!