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FAQ - High School Exchange Program

1. Can anyone apply?

To apply for the ICES Cambodia’s High School Exchange Program, you must be a full-time student between Grade 9-11. Students must also meet the age requirements of the host country (typically between the ages of 15-18 upon arrival in the country) and have a minimum grade of C in all major subjects for the past 3 years.

2. When do I have to apply?

The application deadline varies depending on the host country but typically students can apply 5-12 months prior to the start of the program. ICES Cambodia encourages students to apply as early as possible to have ample time to prepare.

3. What is the language requirement?

All ICES Cambodia exchange students must speak basic conversational English and be able to comprehend, read and write in English. All participating students are required to take the ELTiS (English Language Test for international Students).

4. Can I still apply if I graduated from high school?

No. You must be currently enrolled in high school to be eligible for the program.

5. What is the interview process like?

There is no need to worry about the interview. When you visit the ICES Cambodia office, our consultant will arrange a short interview and English proficiency test. The interview is for us to share more information about the program and to find out more about you and if the program is a good fit for you.

6. How do I apply for the visa?

ICES Cambodia will assist everything you need for the visa application and interview process. The approval of the visa is the embassy’s decision, but ICES Cambodia will provide support and guidance throughout the process. We have experience with exchange visitor visas. 

7. Do you offer scholarships?

No. ICES Cambodia is not a scholarship program. 

8. What is included in the fees?


  • High school placement
  • Host family (provides accommodation, meals and coordinate transportation)
  • Health insurance
  • Visa assistance
  • Participating Student handbook
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Welcome orientation 
  • Monthly progress report
  • 24-hour emergency hotline

Not included:

  • Airfare
  • Visa fee
  • Vaccination fee
  • Personal Expense 
  • Other expenses outside ICES program

9. How long do I stay and study?

Students can stay and study for 1 academic year which is two semesters/10 months upon departure.

10. When do I leave?

The date of departure depends on the host country and school and host family. Usually, students arrive one week prior to the school start date.

11. How do I travel to the host country?

ICES Cambodia helps with booking flights (round trip). On the date of departure, our representative will assist with the check-in at the airport.

12. What do I do if I need help during the exchange program?

ICES Cambodia works with partners with more than 30 years of experience to assist students at all times. There are local and regional coordinators in the host country who are on call 24 hours a day to ensure efficient communication.

13. Can I choose the city and state I want to study in?

Due to the nature of the program, students cannot choose a particular city/state however you can select a preferred state or region with an additional fee. Please take note that these are available on a first come first served basis and although ICES Cambodia tries our best to accommodate, we cannot guarantee the placement of preferred locations.

14. Can I be placed with my friend?

It is possible for friends to be placed in the same city or state for early applicants. However, it is very rare for friends to be placed in the same school or neighborhood. Please remember that one of the main objectives of the exchange program is to broaden your perspective, make new friends, and build experiences.

15. Can I graduate from high school during the exchange program?

Some high schools allow students to participate in the graduation ceremony, however ICES Cambodia cannot guarantee this. Schools have restrictions on graduation for exchange students, the decision is up to the school rules.

16. Can I transfer my scores when I return to my home country?

Schools in Cambodia may accept the period of study for exchange students. It is at the discretion of the school principal whether all the grades are applied as stated in the transcript. Before going abroad, please consult with the principal of the school you’ll be returning to and our ICES Cambodia team.

17. Who do I live with?

When you join the exchange program, you live with a host family. Host families provide room and accommodation. Most importantly, host families open their homes with genuine love and support that a young person needs. Student’s safety and well-being is a top priority for ICES Cambodia and all host families go through a careful application and assessment process. 

18. When do I find out about my host family?

As soon as your application forms and supporting documents are received, ICES Cambodia works with partners to find the host family that best suits your needs. Normally, students will receive information about the host family 2 months to 3 weeks before departure.

19. Can I reject my host family and live with my relatives instead?

Students cannot reject the selected host family based on the city or area of residence. ICES Cambodia works diligently with partners to select the best host families based on information provided in the application. All host families are screened and interviewed carefully to ensure students’ safety and well-being throughout the program.

20. Can my parents visit me?

ICES encourages lifetime friendship between host families and natural parents. Natural parents and relatives can plan to visit students after May 15. It is important that natural parents and relatives’ visit is not disruptive to the exchange experience and that students do not miss school. 

21. Do I have to help with house chores?

This is based on the host family. In case the host family has child(ren), you may be asked to share a room with their child(ren) of the same sex and over the age of 12. If the child(ren) expected to share a room is under 12 years of age, ICES Cambodia will seek the student and parents’ permission in advance.