Study Abroad FAQs

What can I expect from my study abroad program?

You will be placed with a qualified host family and school who are excited to welcome you in your host country of choice. You will be greeted at the airport and taken to your final placement location by either your host family or Local Coordinator. Your Local Coordinator is your primary support person who is there for guidance. You will be given a student orientation soon after arrival, and your coordinator will check in with you regularly to see how you are adjusting to your new environment. You will attend school and take classes in the local language. Your level of participation will depend on your language abilities and level in the subject matter.

You will participate in daily host family life, engaging in the typical activities and customs of your family and country. These will be different from your customs and home life in America, so you should be open to and accepting of your new environment. We hope you are mature enough to ask questions and reach out for help if you find yourself experiencing culture shock.

Quest works with partner offices in each country. Once you arrive, our partner staff will take over to give you the support and guidance you need.

Why choose Quest Exchange?

All of the Quest Exchange staff have lived abroad, and we know how life changing and valuable this experience can be. Our team’s experience encompasses over 20 years in the educational study abroad industry.

We are proud to provide a level of personalized service and support. Our staff gets to know all of our students and families by name, so there’s no fear of feeling like a “case number” with Quest. We are driven by our mission of providing quality programs that support cultural awareness and international understanding.

Quest offers 20 countries to choose from, competitive pricing and flexible program lengths and start dates!

Do you offer short term programs?

Yes, we offer short term programs both in the summer months as well as during the American school year. Programs run between 2 weeks to 4 months. Please contact a Quest staff member for more information.

Is it safe to study abroad?

Your safety is important to us. Safety practices are discussed in your Pre- Departure Orientation as well as once you arrive in your host country. Students will be given information on safety standards and should ask questions once they arrive. Quest students have a strong support network while abroad, which consists of their host family, Local Coordinator, country program staff, and Quest staff. Parents can rest easy knowing that their child will receive care and guidance from this support network, which is designed to help students adjust safely to their new environment.

I have graduated from high school, can I still study abroad?

Yes! Many of the countries we work with allow a Gap Year program and can accept students who have graduated. Our New Zealand program accepts students up to the age of 19.

What are the grade requirements for acceptance into the Quest program?

Each one of our country partners has different requirements, so there is no real set standard of grades. Our team can discuss this with you and your parents to find the right country for you!

Can I travel or have visitors during the program?

You may do some travel with your school or host family, or you may participate in trips planned by your host country agency. Family and friends who wish to visit may do so only at the end of your program, and they may not arrive unannounced. Visits must be approved by Quest, and your host family cannot be expected to host your visitors.

What if I don't speak a foreign language?

Don’t worry, many of the countries we offer do not have a language requirement. Please take a look on each country page to find out if there is a language requirement. We also have exciting programs in New Zealand and Australia with a variety of program options, including short term programs and choice of city and location. Better yet, contact us for more information about the countries we offer and their requirements!

Do I need a visa?

Most countries require a visa for stays over 90 days. However, we do offer short term programs starting at 2-12 weeks which do not. Visa requirements are different for each country. You will receive the most current information from your host country embassy/consulate to ensure that you have what is needed to start the process. Quest will provide some of the necessary information needed to apply, but you and your family are responsible for gathering all of your personal visa application pieces and submitting your application on time to your local consulate or embassy.

Can I study abroad with a friend?

You can sign up for our program with a friend. However, we do not place our students together in the same school or host family. Thus, you will likely end up in different locations because we want you to have your own experience while you immerse yourself in the culture, language, and customs of your host country.

Can I get school credit for my program abroad?

Maybe, but we cannot guarantee it. This can only be determined by your high school in the U.S., as every school’s policy is different. Speak with your guidance counselor to discuss which classes you should try to take and what documentation is required in order to earn credit. It is the students’ responsibility to take all required exams while studying abroad and to gather the documents needed for credit before returning home.

Am I guaranteed to have certain classes in my host school?

While all schools offer core subjects, you usually cannot be guaranteed specific classes. In some countries, students may select some classes, though this is typically done after your arrival to the host school. If your American school requires classes you are not able to take abroad, ask your school about other things you can do to obtain the credits you will need.

Will my classes be in a foreign language?

Yes, your classes will be in a foreign language in most of our countries except for Australia and New Zealand. As long as you put in a genuine effort, you are likely to succeed in the program even if you do not possess extensive language skills prior to arriving. Teachers and pupils are typically patient when working with American students, and they welcome the opportunity to help international students broaden their horizons. Students can also be set up with tutors and other language support resources in the host country if necessary.

How are host families selected?

Host families are carefully screened and interviewed by a local representative of the partner office in the host country. The local representative visits the home and meets the host family members in person. Other requirements may include an application and background check. In some countries, the host families are volunteers, though, in others, the custom is to pay a small stipend to contribute toward the cost of hosting. Families come from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. Families may or may not have children. They may be retired persons or single parents. Some have never hosted and some will be repeat host families. Host families may live in cities but are typically located in suburbs or rural areas. Living with a host family will not be what you are used to in America. Applicants must be open and willing to learn from their new home environment. Generally speaking, we do not take requests for specific host family profiles, so students should be open to all possibilities.

Can I choose the region or city?

In general, only a few countries (Spain, France, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand) offer regional or city choices. Please contact us for details.

What about my college year ahead?

Colleges value self-motivated students who have studied abroad and who have taken the opportunity to grow in challenging circumstances. So, having a study abroad experience makes for a real standout college application essay! But, make your college plans and research things like the SAT/ACT Test, applications and placement tests prior to your departure. Being organized will ensure that these processes don’t interfere with your valuable international experience.

Who helps me in case of an emergency?

In an immediate emergency, help will come from your support network: your host family, Local Coordinator, school personnel, and in-country office staff. Quest staff and your family back home may be able to help you in certain emergency situations, but most cases are best resolved by the support team you have in your host country. Your host country office will have English-speaking staff who can assist you with any questions or issues that go beyond the Local Coordinator’s abilities. The Quest office (including our 24-hour emergency line) is available to you and your parents throughout your experience.

Are there scholarships available?

We offer small scholarships for select countries and students. Please contact us for more information. We are also partnered with FundMyTravel, which helps students create a professional-looking fundraising platform to raise money for their study abroad experience through crowdfunding. We highly recommend researching this platform as a way to help pay for the program.

Can I speak to a former Quest student?

Yes, we would love to put you and your parents in touch with former students and parents so that you can ask your questions directly to them.

How much does it cost?

Fees for each country vary. Please check the individual country pages on our website for specific prices. A non-refundable application deposit of $200 (included in the total price) is due when you submit your application. We accept U.S. bank check, wire, credit and debit cards.

Students should plan to have funds of approximately $300/month available for personal expenses. These include clothes, toiletries, leisure activities, meals eaten outside of the home, etc. The first month usually involves a few extra personal expenses.