High School Exchange
You can choose to start your programme in January (1st semester) or July (2nd’semester) of each year. Our programme length options for high school exchange run for either 6 or 11 months.
Programme requirements for high school learners
- You must be eligible for the programme in terms of the sending partner requirements
- You are required to submit a fully completed application with full consent of parents / guardians
- You must be 15 or 16 years old at the beginning of your placement
- You must currently be enrolled at a secondary / high school
- You must have adequate travel insurance for the entire duration of your trip
All participants are placed with a preselected and inspected local family. We do all necessary checks to make sure that accommodation is safe and within suitable areas. The host family will usually consist of a mother and / or father as well as children that are attending schools. (This is not always guaranteed however) You will either be accommodated in your own room or share a room with a host brother or sister of the same gender as you.
Most South Africans eat a small simple breakfast like toast and jam or cereals. Lunch usually consists of a light sandwich or two and dinner is usually the main meal of the day. Preparing of meals are usually a shared experience where everyone pitches in and helps where they can. Occasionally breakfasts will consist of eggs or fruit and yoghurt (these however are the exception and not the rule). Breakfast and lunches are usually self service (everyone helps themselves to breakfast and prepares their own sandwiches for lunch which they take with them to school) Dinner usually consist of a tasty cooked meal containing meat, vegetables and rice or pasta and are usually prepared by the host mother but members of the family help out where required. Any special dietary requirement must be indicated at time of application. It is important to note that meals vary from host family to family, but generally food in South Africa can be different to what you experience at home and it is important to be flexible and experience the different flavors of our local cuisine.
We arrange a comprehensive, fun orientation programme for all new participants on the programme. This gives everyone a chance to get to know each other, the new surroundings and to get introduced to the local way of doing things. The orientation programme will cover all aspects which is important for participants to have a stay as safe and comfortable as possible. It will include an introduction to South Africa, customs, rules and expectations, safety, optional activities and information on your school and the surroundings. There will be plenty of time to get to know fellow students and to swap contact details for optional activities arranged by us. The orientation will be offered on a weekend so that you will not miss any school and this will usually happen in the first week that you are in South Africa.
A typical orientation schedule:
|Day 1 – Thursday:||Arrive at Cape Town International Airport. Your host family will meet and welcome you at the airport and take you home to settle in and get ready for the start of your South African high school experience.|
|Day 2 – Friday:||Today will be spent being orientated by your family in your local area, you will have the opportunity to shop for any school books, uniforms etc that you will need and manage to rest and recuperate from you flight.|
|Day 3 – Saturday||Today your host family will transport you into the city for a morning walking tour followed by a comprehensive safety orientation arranged by Ama Africa Experiences followed by a light lunch.|
|Day 4 – Sunday||This will be a day of rest for you and an opportunity to get ready for school|
|Day 5 – Monday||You start your first day at the school and get introduced to your classmates and your school surroundings. (Schools don’t always start on a Monday – orientation could differ depending on dates.)|
A typical week in the life of a high school student:
- Rise and shine with the family
- Help yourself to porridge / cereal or toast (whatever is available at the time)
- Prepare a sandwich (or this will be prepared for you by your host mom) which you would take to school
- After breakfast you will be transported to school
- Your school day finishes generally at about 3pm depending on the school you will be attending and whether or not you will be taking part in any afterschool activities where possible
- You will be transported back home and have some time to relax and do some school homework before dinner time
- Depending on the arrangement at your family, you will spend the evening watching television with the family, reading, or enjoying interaction with the family after dinner.
We encourage you to share your experiences by forwarding your best pictures and videos to us, or you could enter our photo competition. We can also arrange many optional activities and tours in and around the city for certain weekends. You will receive more information about this during your orientation programme. Kindly note that certain activities will require your parents to complete an indemnity form, prior to taking part in that activity.