Types of exchange: discover which one is right for you


Have you decided that you want to study abroad and have already started researching the main cities in Australia and New Zealand to hammer out your destination, but still haven’t been able to decide between the types of exchanges you can undertake? Don’t despair, you’re not the only one!

This process of indecision is quite common and is experienced more often than imagined by those who dream of being an international student. For this reason, it is important to do a self-reflection exercise and assess how studying abroad experience will benefit you both personally and professionally.

From there, you should evaluate the existing programs and check which one best fits your needs. And it is precisely to help you in this process that we have gathered some of the main programs in this post. Follow it to the end and stay on top of the different modalities!

General english course

The first one is the general English course, which is undoubtedly one of the best known and most popular. The main objective for those who choose to do so is to gain greater mastery of the language. After all, you spend a season in another country, live with natives and have classes that can be full-time.

These aspects boost (a lot) your abilities to read, write, understand and speak in another language. To top it off, this program does not have a minimum fluency requirement and can be taken by both youth and adults.

Other than that, there is still a lot of flexibility to choose from, as you can choose to take the course from two weeks, up to a year or even longer. It is worth mentioning that for courses of up to 12 weeks in New Zealand and Australia, you will enter the countries on a tourist visa. If the study period is longer than 3 months, you will need to apply for a student visa.

High school

Another type of exchange is the high school, which has increasingly attracted young people up to 18 years old who want to study in Australia or New Zealand while they are still in high school or shortly after finishing it.

This modality can last for 3 months, 6 months or 1 year and also allows you to have the opportunity to experience what schools in both regions are like in practice. It is also possible to attend high school at an institution abroad. After all, both countries are known for quality education, maximum infrastructure and great freedom that they provide to students – since they can build their own curriculum, with optional subjects with which they most identify.

Vacation exchange

The vacation exchange takes place, as the name suggests, in the months of July, December and/or January and there is a greater demand for young people at school. It is a mix of English classes – which can be from basic to advanced levels – with complementary activities that are carried out outside school (tours, trips and cultural programs, for example).

In this way, in addition to learning a second language, the international student has a more dynamic, interactive and complete experience while on vacation in the chosen destination. To do this, it is recommended, of course, that you are on break from school or even on vacation from work or another activity.

Preparatory course

The preparatory course, on the other hand, is more specific than the previous options. That’s because it aims to familiarize you with the format of the application of the main proficiency exams in the world, such as IELTS and Cambridge.

In this way, you are able to prove your knowledge and mastery of the language. It is not by chance that in order to take a higher education course in another nation, it is necessary to present the certificate in one of them – according to the preference of the chosen educational institution.

To perform them, it is essential to have at least an intermediate level in English. In addition, it is necessary to be aware of the duration of each one. This is because certain schools may set a period of the year, while others may require a minimum of weeks (in IELTS, for example, there are 2; in Cambridge, between 8 and 12).


For those who have completed high school, are over 18 years old, are fluent in English (with a certificate of proficiency attesting to this) and want to pursue an international degree, you can choose between two paths.

In the first, you can choose to do a sandwich degree and study one or two semesters in another country. Remembering that for this you must be regularly enrolled in a college and have already attended at least two semesters of it.

In the second, you complete a bachelor’s degree abroad, lasting between three and five years. However, be aware of the differences in the curriculum between Australian/New Zealand and your own country.

The reason is that, because of this, the institutes of both countries will ask you to complete a specific entrance program, a preparatory course or even a technical course before starting your degree. Therefore, it is extremely important to read the notice and specifications of each educational institution!

Oh, and there’s more: if your course requires more technical knowledge, as is the case of Architecture and Urbanism — in which students need to make graphic sketches — it will be necessary to take a specific skills test and/or submit a portfolio for evaluation. of the institution. So be smart, as this is valid for both degree options.

Postgraduate studies

Finally, there is the graduate program, which is the program sought by those who want to continue their training and specialize even more. To do so, in addition to being fluent in English and being over 18 years of age, an undergraduate degree is required. Within it, you can choose between three options:

the MBA (with a maximum duration of 2 years), which focuses on those who already work professionally and aim to occupy management/administration positions in companies — including, work experience is a requirement to enter it;

the master’s degree (with a maximum duration of 3 years), which is aimed at those who want to become a professor and teach in an academic environment;

the doctorate (with a maximum duration of 4 years), which is aimed at those who plan to be a professor and/or to deepen in the area of ​​scientific production.

As you can see, there are different types of exchanges that you can do. Therefore, it is essential to have a clear objective when deciding to study abroad, in another country. With this, it will be much easier to choose a program that actually helps you achieve what you want.

Be sure to count on the support of a good exchange agency, as it will be of great help in the visa process, in the purchase of tickets, in the organization of documents and in the choice of institution and accommodation at your destination.

And if you are interested in knowing more about any of the modalities mentioned in this post, please contact us!

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