FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When is the right time to apply to UP Global program?
Good time to start the process is end of summer/beginning of fall in the year before the trip. Then you make sure that you have enough time to complete the application process.
What are the differences between a traditional exchange student program and the UP Global program?
The traditional programs are based on voluntary host families, which get to choose the student themselves. That means that the student will not know the location, the quality of the school, or what the family is like, in advance. In the UP Global programs, students can affect on many things: the housing options, the location, the choice of school, the courses, sports, hobbies, and activities.
Do I have to be an athlete or have active hobbies to be able to participate UP Global exchange student programs?
You do not have to be an athlete, nor have specific hobbies. In addition to athletes, the UP Global programs fit well for everybody, who wants to experience more than a traditional exchange year could offer.
How many times will I meet the other students who are in the program?
In the fall, a year before the departure, you will meet other students in the language test, and in January you will see them and the schools’ representatives in Helsinki. If you have taken the UP extra service package, you’ll see the other students also in the orientation in May. The students going to the US will also see each other in the group visa interview. Shortly, answer is 2-4 times.
Can I apply to several different locations at the same time?
Yes, you can. The decision about location and the wished school will be made in February or in March.
Can I go to a same place with my friend?
Yes, you can. It is possible specially in Homestay programs, and also in Boarding School programs in some occasions.
How old do I have to be to apply?
The UP Global exchange student programs are designed for 14-18-year-old students. There are also some boarding school options for students 18 and over.
Is it possible to live with a host family?
Yes. You can choose yourself, whether you want to live on campus (Boarding School) or with a host family (Homestay).
Can I go for just one semester?
Yes, you can. Especially in Homestay programs you can find a lot of different options, even 3-month programs.
How good do my language skills have to be?
Many of our partner schools specialize in teaching international students, so you can start your studies at a level that fits for you. Don’t worry too much, you will learn the language surely!
What does a boarding school mean?
A Boarding School is a private school, where students live in the dorms on the school’s campus. The boarding school campuses are very similar to university campuses in the US, except they have fewer students. On campus, there is everything students need in their daily lives: dorms, class rooms, dining rooms and cafeterias, library, and facilities for sports and other activities.
Is it possible to get scholarship money to cover the tuition?
Yes, it is. Read more about boarding school scholarships here.
How hard is it to study at a boarding school?
You can affect the level yourself by choosing different courses. Of course, there are a lot of different schools out there, and the goal is to find an appropriately challenging school for everyone. In addition, the quality level of teaching, small class sizes, study hall, and tutors all support different students to learn and do well academically.
Can I continue studying abroad after one exchange year?
Yes you can. In every UP Global program, it is possible to finish the studies and graduate.
When does the exchange year begin, and when does it end?
The departure times vary depending on the destination country and the length of the chosen program. In most cases, students departure in August or in September. The academic year usually ends during June. For students who leave for only one semester, the departure time is in August, September, or in January.
Is the image of boarding schools as constricted and tense places correct?
Just rumors. Actually, the boarding schools are just as relaxed places as are any other schools. The students at boarding schools come from many different backgrounds, but they all want to make new friends, learn and experience new things, and develop as students.
Do boarding school students wear school uniforms?
At some schools, they do wear uniforms, but most schools only have “a dress code”. A dress code gives students a guideline for how to dress. School uniforms are not worn at Canadian Homestay schools.
Can my parents visit me during the exchange year?
Yes, they can. You just have to settle it with the school first.
If I graduate abroad, what possibilities do I have to continue to a university elsewhere?
With a North American high school diploma, you can apply to universities also in Europe and other parts of the world as well.
How do I book my flights?
After your final destination, school, and possible host family are selected, you can book your flights yourself, look for best offers, and use your possible travel points. In addition, UP Global cooperates with KILROY travel agency, that will help you with your travel arrangements if you want.
What is a Game Plan?
Using its experience and expertise, UP Global selects a list of schools that meet your plans and hopes and fits best just for you. That list is the Game Plan.
Can I visit home during the exchange year?
Boarding School students are able to travel home during the holidays (Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, and Spring break).