6 Benefits of Planning Ahead and Enrolling Early
By: Christophe Chabaudie
It is always surprising to hear our staff receive last minute phone calls from parents or teachers realizing the summer is just weeks away and trying to secure a space on an immersion program for a student. Most serious programs have already closed enrollments with no waiting lists. There are a few things to remember when it comes to enrolling in a summer language immersion program. Planning ahead is extremely beneficial and here is why:
Involvement and support – Studying abroad for a teen is a long term project that should involve both students and parents. A language immersion program is a life changing opportunity for families who understand all of the benefits. Families should discuss their options early in the school year or, even, up to a year ahead.
Crowd-sourcing – Applying early means you have more chances to involve your family members and friends in the financial planning aspect. Use your online networking tools as an asset to rally relatives and friends of the family. Many of them may be happy to help in your efforts, even with small contributions.
Scholarships – Our scholarship requirements are made public every year during the first 2 weeks of September. Applying early to the scholarship program helps your chances to receive financial help that can have a significant impact on your program costs. Scholarship applications require some teacher recommendations and letters so, plan ahead: teachers are very busy people!
Finances – Financial planning is a healthy subject to discuss with students who want to study abroad, even if a student’s contribution is minimal. When students help with funding they realize what these types of expenses can mean for parents. Managed over 8-10 months in small installments, program costs are easier to handle compared to waiting to the last minute.
Screening – The sooner you consider the idea of spending a summer abroad, the more time and opportunities you have to screen your options and make sure you are in touch with the right company for the right language program and content. There are plenty of reputable and not so reputable companies out there. Check their records and talk to past participants.
Airfare – Immersion programs never include airfare to their destination. Securing a space early allows you to be the first in line when summer schedules are made available by airlines. Finding a good airfare to Europe and securing a spot on a chaperoned flight is essential. Alternatively, the benefits of planning early may allow you to travel on a ticket bought with miles that, maybe, even a family member or friends could provide.
Advance planning is the way to go. It is a great project for teens when involved at an early stage. It can help them to start proper planning for a life changing opportunity from which they will benefit from tremendously. A student’s involvement in an adventure of this size is paramount and aside from the language learning opportunity, will also teach organizational skills and positive life lessons. Involving family and friends will definitely make the project very special. Now is the time to start thinking about a language immersion program for summer 2016 and how to make it happen!
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