Why join EF?
Among all the different divisions of EF Education First, the world's largest private educational institution, EF High School Year is the expert in international exchange. With thousands of staff and volunteers in partner offices all over the world, we are able to coordinate every aspect of the exchange experience, from the selection of students within their own countries to their placement here in Ireland.
Student Selection & Preparation
Our worldwide affiliates employ a rigorous student selection process to ensure our exchange students are well-suited for an exchange experience.
Students are considered on the basis of their character, motivation and ambition. A twenty-minute interview conducted in English gauges their language ability. Our partner offices make the decision to accept a student only after reviewing his or her application—which includes a letter of recommendation, academic transcripts, an essay written in English and a number of short-answer questions about the student’s family life.
Once students are accepted, EF High School Year affiliates help them prepare for life in Ireland. Students are sent regular mailings on Irish customs and traditions, including fact sheets on the area in which they will be living. They also attend orientation meetings to learn about living with a host family, cultural aspects of Irish life, and practical tips about flights, insurance and visas.
While some exchange programmes only require students to maintain a C average in their classes overall, EF High School Year students are expected to maintain at least a C average in every class they take while in Ireland. This stringent academic requirement sends a clear message that we expect students to be focused on academics during their exchange year.
Language & Culture Camp
EF High School Year offers an optional Language & Culture Camps each year for incoming exchange students. At these camps, students have the opportunity to meet other exchange students from all over the world and prepare for life in Ireland. Through a mixture of classes and fun activities, students learn more about the culture, people and daily life of the country where they will live. They also get a chance to speak to the “returnees”—former EF High School Year exchange students—about their experiences. By serving as a fun transition period between home and host family, Language & Culture Camp helps students adjust more easily to their new surroundings.
Students have the opportunity, with permission from their host families and schools, to explore London, discover Edinburgh or even visit some European cities on EF High School Year Discovery Tours. Each optional group tour lasts eight days, is supervised by EF High School Year representatives, and runs primarily during school vacations. New travel itineraries are created every year and announced in the autumn.
More Levels of Support
No other exchange organisation offers the type of extensive support network EF High School Year does. Please see our Network of Support section to learn more.