Hey tumblr! Normally I wouldn’t I ask for donations, but I set up a donation page for my friend Ashley. She has $1500 in medical bills  to pay, and with a minimum wage job, no health insurance, and a roommate who doesn’t pay bills she doesn’t have the money to pay for her medical bills. She’s really stressed, as she feels that she’ll have to file for bankruptcy at 19.

Ashley doesn’t know I’m doing this for her, so I’m hoping to surprise her with any amount of money to help her out (even if there isn’t $1500 donated). 

I don’t have anything to offer as far as rewards, just my appreciation. There’s a little bit more information on the page. And if you can’t donate (which I totally understand, I’m a broke college student myself), please pass it on.

Thank you!

Normally I wouldn’t reblog a lot of personal things to here & you can ignore it but my friend needs help.

Anonymous asked: hi, i'm going to usa in a month, and a got a email from my hostmother the other day, and she told me that i can't use my phone after 7 pm at night? I was wondering if that's a usual thing in america? I use my phone a lot, so this will be new for me, but i'm going on exchange to experience new things, so i guess i have to deal with it.




I’ve heard of strict parents that do that, but it’s not common. You could always try asking her more about it, but since she’s you host mom you do have to listen to her (and your attitude about it sounds good anyways)

This student needs to make sure to have a good relationship with their program volunteer/area rep, because that family is going to make things very difficult and it could affect the quality of the exchange. My first host family was really strict and they were super quick to call the organization with the slightest complaint about me, without ever addressing it with me. Tread carefully and make lots of friends so you have somewhere to go if things don’t work out.

Yes, this. I wonder if they haven’t had teens before? I dealt with a host family that only had young children and their requirements for their student were so over-the-top that my field director spoke with them (as she has way more credibility than me, and a family that strict needed to hear it from her).

I’d advise the student to assume that’s their only quirk for now (ie go in with an open and optimistic mind), and if that’s the case, humor them and go along with the rule for a time and if/when it’s an actual problem you can say you gave their rules a try. If there are more rules, check with trusted peers for their perspectives and let your area rep know. Some families really have no idea how to handle teens, or have no idea how to handle exchange students. I’ve even had wonderful, non- overprotective families double-check that they can leave the student home alone while they go to church.

Anonymous asked: I was looking at your programs tag and wanted to say that ASSE isn't all bad. I went with them on exchange to a country where they were partnered with a smaller program, and while I did have some problems with the organization, ASSE in the US had my back the whole time. ASSE in my area in the US is awesome, too. Very supportive reps. ASSE is a lot cheaper than AFS, too, and has some interesting country choices. It's worth looking into.

Good to know! 

Sometimes a bad experience is just with one particular section of an organization (like my experience with IE. No one else has had problems with them that I know of, it was just my coordinator wasn’t good)

Anonymous asked: What If I'm broke in my country and my natural parents don't give a crap?

I’m assuming you mean if you want to go on exchange.

It’s totally possible for you to apply for a program on your own, but you will have to be responsible for all the paperwork and everything (notes from teacher’s, doctor visit before the trip, things like that). You’ll also have to have a way to get to the airport. I do believe there are some forms and what-not your parents would have to sign to, so that’d have to be willing to do that. (You could also wait and do a gap year, then you’d be an adult and wouldn’t need parent’s consent for anything)

As for money, you could start fundraising, find a job (or do odd jobs), and things like that to save up. You can also find a program and apply for a scholarship, but you’ll still have to save up spending money (for food and and the like) and any other costs the scholarship doesn’t cover. But a scholarship would definitely make it easier.

katiedeacon15 asked: Hey, I'm from England and I'm thinking about becoming a exchange student in America for next year when I'm 17. I was wondering if you know any good Exchange Program's as many say choosing the right one can make or break your year! Also, if I want to go next year how long do you have to apply before you actually go. for example, say you have to apply 5 months before you can leave etc also how much does it normally cost

I have a list of exchange programs and reviews here. AFS and YFU are ones I always recommend, and International Experience does pretty good with programs to the United States as well.

I would suggest applying a year before your program. It gives  plenty of time to process your application, get all your paperwork in, do the interview, and match you with a host family.

Cost depends on the program and how much you plan to spend (food, extra activities, souvenirs, visa cost, plane ticket, and so on). For example, AFS tends to be more expensive (although they do offer a few scholarships). I can’t find the exact cost, but they do have a page about the tuition. International Experience and Rotary are cheaper (I think my exchange was $20,000 or so with all expenses). 

Anonymous asked: What's the best Exchange program to go with, if you're from England?

Besides the programs I typically recommend for everyone (found here), I don’t know any specifically good for England.

Followers, any suggestions?

Anonymous asked: What if my year supply of medications take up like 5 pounds (cream). Should I just ship them to my host country?

See if you can get the prescription in your host country (unless you already have a year supply ordered). That’s what I did for my medication. It can get tricky shipping medication. If that’s not an option, than see the restrictions on shipping medication (for example, my mom tried to ship me ibuprofen and it got confiscated) before you do ship it. Or you could dedicate a carry on to just your medication.

Anonymous asked: I apologize. I meant sta. Does sta only fly students studying abroad?

It’s okay :) I just was really confused, as I’ve never heard of STA before. From their site, it sounds like it’s for all students, not just exchange students, but if someone has more information let me know!