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Complement your Australian high school studies with a short term, semester or year living and studying overseas in a country of your choosing. A WEP student exchange or study abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime!

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Complement your Australian high school studies with a short term, semester or year living and studying overseas in a country of your choosing. A WEP student exchange is the opportunity of a lifetime!

Being an exchange student is more rewarding than simply being a tourist, you’ll live like a local and make on-the-ground connections. As a WEP exchange student, you’ll join a global network of like-minded young adventurers and you’ll return with memories and skills for life.

At A Glance:

  • Live with a local host family
  • Attend school fulltime
  • Experience your host country’s cultures and customs first-hand
  • Learn a language (for non-English speaking countries)
  • You do not have to host a student in return however, WEP Australia is always looking for welcoming volunteer host families



Study Abroad programs offer a very similar experience to Student Exchange programs, with placement in a host family and enrolment in a local school. However, host families are receiving a payment or a subsidy from our overseas partner organisation and tuition fees may be charged by the host school.  

Study Abroad Programs are not registered and supervised by our Regulating Authorities in Australia, as they do not meet the requirement of a volunteer host family and a volunteer host school applying to Student Exchange Programs. However, WEP requires the same level of screening and quality of placements from the overseas partner organisations, and program rules and expectations of our students are the same. 

WEP offers Study Abroad programs for the destinations of the UK and Canada. 



“I would 100% recommend doing student exchange with WEP. I had the best time of my life and shared so many amazing experiences with my Canadian host family and friends. It was truly amazing and I learnt so much about the amazing culture. If you’re thinking about going on exchange just do it because I promise you won’t regret it!” – Kasey

The chance to experience the world as a WEP exchange student is only available to students aged 15-18! So, don’t delay. Do your research, find out more and embark on the journey of a lifetime!

Got questions? WEP is here to answer them!

In fact, support is provided to our students from the moment they enquire with us, all the way through to program completion. We maintain contact with students while they are overseas (and constantly bug you for photos!) and we facilitate communication through the rest of your support network; your parents, our international partner organisation, your coordinator, your host family and host school. This ensures you will have the best possible student exchange experience.

All over the world, WEP host families are interviewed and screened to ensure they will provide safe and caring home environments for our exchange students. Your host family will select you, will be welcoming and probably impatient for your arrival, and will be interested in learning about you and your life in Australia. Before you depart from Australia, you will also be advised about the host school that has accepted you. Students and teachers in host country schools are always interested in hearing about life from our unique part of the world. If you choose a non-English speaking country you will have the fantastic opportunity to learn a new language and speak it everyday. While this can be a daunting prospect initially, the long term benefits of being able to speak another language will stay with you for the rest of your life.


After having thought carefully about why you want to be an exchange student, convinced your parents of the idea, spoken to your teachers and completed our application form, you should be assured that your chances of being accepted are high! Provided you meet the academic and personality requirements and are physically and emotionally healthy, there is usually little reason for us to prevent you from following your dream and becoming an exchange student.

Generally, students must be between the ages of 15 and 18 when they begin their program. However, some countries have different age restrictions and accept students under the age of 15. Mature 14-year-olds may apply for limited destinations (contact WEP for further information).

You must be enrolled at a school in The Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria to apply for a WEP student exchange program. In order to be accepted into the program, you need at least a C grade average at school. If applying for an English speaking country you are required to maintain these grades whilst overseas. However, in non-English speaking countries you are simply expected to display a concerted, conscientious approach to your schoolwork while you master the language. Irrespective of language skills, students are expected to participate in all assessments (exams, tests, etc).

Language experience is not necessary for most countries. Some countries do have a language prerequisite and you will need to have prior experience learning the language before you apply.  Intensive language courses may, in some circumstances, meet language prerequisites. WEP strongly recommends language preparation prior to departure as language knowledge is of enormous benefit in assisting you to quickly adapt to your new family, school and life.

Of course, there are English-speaking destinations available if you are not interested in learning another language.

Positive personal characteristics are important! Students should be effective communicators, independent, confident, adaptable, resilient, realistic, respectful, accepting of cultural differences, tolerant, motivated and have a history of making wise choices.

High school student exchange is a challenging program and it is essential for the student to be physically and emotionally healthy in order to successfully complete their program.




This may be one of the most difficult decisions you will have to make! Or do you already know where you want to go? To help you make the right choice, visit our country pages to learn more about our destinations, speak to an experienced staff member or request a referral from a returned WEP student.

Short-term program (approximately 2 – 3 months)*

WEP’s short-term programs are a great way to boost your language skills over the summer holiday period, make friends overseas and experience life as a member of an overseas family. You’ll attend school like a local, live like a local and witness a different culture first hand. Students depart from Australia in either November or December and return in late January, in time to commence the next school year.

Term (approximately three to four months)

Long-term programs:

Semester = approximately four to six months
Year = approximately nine to twelve months

Our long-term programs allow you to completely immerse yourself in a new culture and allow you to experience life as an overseas teenager for up to a year! Whether you choose a semester or a year, you will develop stronger ties with your host community, gain an even deeper understanding of that culture and learn to see the world from a new perspective. Students, who choose non-English speaking countries, often return with outstanding conversational skills in a second language. Departures for semester and year programs are twice a year, from January to May and July to September, depending on the country of choice.

Contact us with any questions you may have and to receive a student information pack in the mail. You can also download our program material and get started now!

*Depending on program duration, some short-term programs are classified as cultural experiences. These are approximate program durations only. Program durations vary depending on host country and school start and end dates overseas.



  • International learning and knowledge propels students towards acceptance and understanding of an array of different cultural and community perspectives.
  • Language acquisition is achieved through practical immersion.
  • Awareness and adoption of alternative, multi-faceted approaches to learning.
  • Analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Enhanced interest in global issues as well as a broader general knowledge.


  • Self-development and awareness leading to enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem. This is often the most noticeable change in returned students.
  • Maturity and social poise, fuelled by the necessity to confront challenges outside a familiar support network and comfort zone.
  • Integration into another family as well as the development of life-long friendships, fostering an appreciation of home and family.
  • A tremendous sense of accomplishment upon completion encourages students to develop independent opinions, make informed decisions and strive to attain fresh goals.


  • Students who go on to tertiary studies find themselves more comfortable in ‘foreign’ environments.
  • Prospective employers in almost every field look favourably upon experience gained while living overseas and knowledge obtained of another language and culture.
  • Increased pressure to communicate and relate to others develops an awareness of group dynamics and personal sensitivity towards others.
  • Successful program completion represents an excellent measure of personal flexibility, encompassing an ability to reach compromise, focus and succeed through challenging times.



As student welfare is of paramount importance, World Education Program (WEP) Australia actively maintains child safe environments for all program participants and adheres to commonwealth and state regulations governing the safety of children. Our organisational culture nurtures a commitment to child safety through a comprehensive code of conduct, screening, supervision, training and effective leadership, activities for educating and empowering children, and processes for identifying, responding to and reporting suspected child abuse.

At WEP we ensure that exchange students are supported by a network of responsible, caring people who welcome students to the host country and assist them should the need arise. When you are overseas, you will have the support of your host family, a local coordinator, the staff at our partner organisation and, of course, the staff at WEP in Australia.

In the first instance, your host family will support you in your day-to-day life overseas as your own family would do here in Australia. They will provide a welcoming and friendly face when you first arrive, share the highs and lows with you, open your eyes to family life in a new country and provide a caring, warm and supportive environment in which to live.

Your local coordinator is an extra support person whose role is to assist you in settling in to your family and school and in making the most of your exchange program. They are impartial representatives who you can approach with issues you do not feel comfortable raising with your host family. Coordinators generally have a great deal of experience with exchange students and understand the challenges you may experience, so they are excellent sounding boards when you need someone to talk to.

WEP Australia only works with reputable and proven partner organisations. The organisation overseas will provide you with an arrival orientation to improve your understanding of the culture, life and expectations of families, schools and the general public in your chosen country. You will receive 24-hour support whilst overseas – there is always someone to call who speaks excellent English.
Not only will you have regular contact information for your host family, coordinator and overseas partner organisation but also the emergency contact details for your host organisation and for WEP Australia.

Likewise, in Australia, WEP provides full support to your parents and is available to discuss all program-related matters prior to, during and after your program. WEP Australia staff respond to all emergency situations 24/7.

get in touch!



Want to know more?

Get in touch with our friendly team and/or attend one of our free information sessions or returned student Q&As



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