1. What are the personal benefits of a study abroad program?

We are glad you asked! Living and studying abroad will prepare you for life in ways that cannot be provided by any other experience. This isn’t just a trip to a foreign country—it’s a life enriching experience that will help you learn about yourself and the world. In this increasingly competitive college admission and scholarship climate, students who have studied abroad during high school are stand-out candidates who can demonstrate their first-hand knowledge of world cultures and their desire to expand their horizons. You will not only gain a network of international friends, but you will have a better appreciation of other cultures as well as your own.

 2. What about my college year ahead?

Participating in a high school program abroad during high school can give you an advantage when applying to college. Elevated language skills acquired while abroad often result in testing out of college language requirements. An international living experience before college can also enhance a scholarship application. Colleges value self-motivated students who have taken the opportunity to grow, expand their knowledge, and succeed in challenging circumstances. Admission panels are often interested in applicants who:

  • Have first-hand knowledge of world cultures and global relations
  • Demonstrate leadership skills
  • Challenge themselves to overcome obstacles
  • Show a commitment to community service
  • Speak a foreign language

 3. Where will I live?

You will have the choice to be placed with a host family or attend a boarding school. In conjunction with our foreign partner, we match students with quality, caring host families who provide lodging and meals. Our host families are carefully screened and interviewed by a local coordinator, and in most countries they are volunteers. In some programs, it is customary to provide the host family with a small stipend to cover the cost of food and transportation. Host families are of a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and may consist of families with or without children, retired persons, and single parents. Host families may live in an urban, suburban, or rural environment. However, we ensure that all families chosen to participate in the program share the desire to engage in a true cultural exchange with our students.

 4. What are the requirements to study abroad?

Students must be between the ages of 14 -18 years old and cannot have graduated from a U.S. high school. Admission to our program requires a demonstrated academic interest, and students must carry at least a C average in all subjects. This program can be challenging, and we therefore seek mature students who exhibit a genuine interest in learning a new language and a willingness to adapt to new customs.

 5. Do I need to speak the language?

While speaking another language is not a requirement in many countries, you must be willing to study the native language of your placement-country while enrolled in the program. Students must be highly motivated and open-minded. Teachers and pupils are very patient when working with American students, and they welcome the opportunity to help international students to broaden their horizons. In some countries, there will be an opportunity for students to participate in an intensive language course or an immersion week before starting the program. The following locations require previous language training of at least 1 year:

Canada (if placed in a province where French is spoken)

 6. What kind of support will I have?

During your time abroad, your support system will include local and regional coordinators, who assist you with your adjustment period, answer a multitude of questions, work with you on problems, and encourage you throughout this challenging experience. These coordinators will contact you, your host family, and your school regularly to ensure that you are making the most of your experience abroad.

 7. Do I need a visa?

Quest will assist with information for processing your visa. Visa application requirements differ for each country. Quest will obtain the most current information from the embassy to ensure that you have what is needed to start the process.

 8. Will my airline ticket be included?

Travel is not included in the program fee. Students and natural families will be provided with departure dates and destination cities and will be responsible for all flight arrangements.

 9. What are the program dates and application deadlines?

There are, generally, two start dates for programs that run for a full academic year. In the northern hemisphere, year programs typically begin in August/September and end in June/July. Year programs in the southern hemisphere generally begin in January/February and end in December. Semester programs generally begin in August/September, January/February, and June/July. Students may apply for the Quest High School Abroad program at any time during the year, but we do recommend that they apply at least 6 months prior to the desired program start date.

 10. How can I apply?

After filling out an Outbound Program Student Request Form, please contact us for a complete application packet. It is important that you are very serious about the program prior to submitting your complete application documents, as there is a non-refundable application fee. The application is quite extensive and requires a full medical examination. Please note that we need as much time as possible prior to your departure to obtain the necessary documentation and to get your placement completed.

Application Documents Include:

  • Quest Application (includes basic information, family, interests, preferences, hobbies )
  • Teacher’s Recommendation
  • School Transcripts (last 3 years)
  • Medical History, Immunizations and Physicians Release
  • Personal Essay, Photo Album
  • Copy of Birth Certificate

Our staff in San Francisco will review your application documents and set up an interview with you. We will forward our interview report and completed application to our foreign partner for review. Once we receive an acceptance letter from overseas, we will notify you and help you start the visa process.

You will be given materials pertaining to your program, which includes a student handbook, country information, and rules that you must abide by. Quest is available to you throughout the application process and is happy to answer all of your questions.

11. How much does it cost?

Fees for each country will vary, as will the optional add-on choices we have available. Quest will create a contract of services and fees for you based on your length of program, country chosen, added options, etc. A non-refundable application deposit is due at the time of submitting the completed application, 50% of the balance is due after you have been officially accepted into the program, and the remaining 50% of the payment due three months prior to your departure. We accept U.S. Bank Check, Wire, Visa, Mastercard and Pay Pal.

Taking the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program is a BIG investment in a student’s future. A recent study completed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture determined that the average cost of a middle-class family raising a teenager in the U.S. is about $13,500 per year. Now, compare this statistic with one of our year programs:

$13,500 ($37/day) Average yearly cost of raising a teen in the U.S.

$9,250 ($30/day) Approx Cost – Year program in Spain (10 months)

If the costs of raising a teenager in the U.S. are more than what it would cost to participate in one of our more expensive programs, why not choose a Quest experience? For a very similar financial commitment you can embark on an adventure abroad, become fluent in another language, and gain an invaluable global experience.

 12. Can I get school credit from my study abroad?

Maybe, but we cannot guarantee it. The amount and type of credit you receive is determined by your high school in the U.S., and every school’s policy is different. It is very important to talk with your guidance counselor before you apply to this program. We recommend that you discuss classes you must take while abroad and documentation required in order to earn credit. We recommend that you keep a copy of any formal grades or transcripts you receive from your host school overseas. It is your responsibility to obtain any written information about your attendance and grades in your host school before you return home.

 13. I’m over 18 or a high school graduate. Are there other Quest programs for me?

Absolutely! Quest offers programs that allow you to experience a new culture by either participating in a language immersion program or volunteering with a community service organization. If you seek language immersion programs, opportunities abound with highly customizable program options. We also offer University Study Programs that are open to high school graduates.

 14. How Do I Get Started?

For pricing and country specific information, please email us at info@questexchange.org or call to speak with one our team members, so that we can send you a Student Information Request Form. This form is the first step in letting us know more about the experience you are seeking so that we can help find the program that best fits your needs and budget.

After receiving the Student Information Request form, we will send you and your parents a complete application packet and contract. You may apply for a Quest High School Abroad program at any time during the year, but we do recommend that you apply at least 6 months prior to your desired program start date. It is important that you are very serious about the program prior to submitting your complete application documents, as there is a non-refundable deposit due with your application.