Helpful info for our accepted Outbound Students

You are about to embark on an amazing journey of a life-time, spending an entire school-year abroad and living with host families in another country.

But your adventure already starts now that you have been accepted into our program. Over the next few months there will be three orientation sessions and your attendance at all three is mandatory.

Country Reveal

At our first orientation meeting in January you will find out which country you are going to be traveling to. Make sure you know the flags of your top three choices on your application - we will give you the flag of the country that you were assigned to….



The amount of preparation you put into this exchange-year will have a huge impact on your success. If you read up on the country you are going to and study the culture and language in advance, your experience there will be so much more meaningful and your language skills will get so much better, than if you waited until you got there.

online Language Learning

Once you know your destination country, it is time to start learning the language. Use the next six months well and try to learn as much of the language in advance, as possible. If you do that, the full immersion experience in your destination country will then raise your language skill to total fluency!

There are three major online language course providers that you should know about, and most of them offer the courses via web browser on your laptop or tablet, or as an app for your phone:

  1. Babbel

  2. Rosetta Stone

  3. Pimsleur

Babbel is the most modern one of the three, and this is the one that our Rotary District team recommends. It is also the cheapest of the three providers at a cost of $49 for a 6-month subscription.

Rosetta Stone is perhaps the most well-known of the three products and is very much based on a visual learning approach. But their approach is about 25 years old (it originally came out on CD-ROM), and in a recent test we conducted, we found Babbel to be superior.

Pimsleur is the oldest of the three providers. It is audio-only, so quite a different experience, but they have the largest selection of available languages. So if your language is not available on the other two platforms, please make sure you check out Pimsleur.

Language Tutor

In addition to these online courses, we also recommend taking a few hours with a tutor, especially after you’ve already made some progress with the online courses.

For some languages you will be able to easily find a tutor in the North Shore area, but for others it may be more difficult. There is also a fairly new online language tutor platform available, called Verbling. They offer a huge number of languages and will connect you with a live tutor in another country for an online video chat session. The cost per hour varies by language and typically ranges from $10 - $29.

Additional Information

The following links contain other useful information that might be helpful for you: