Language Exchange Programs

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Language learning has come to focus more on the application and use of the language than on its structure.  Consequently, programs of instruction that place students and teachers in areas where the target Language is spoken, on an everyday basis sometimes called "language exchanges" or "cross-border programs"), have become increasingly important.  Such programs provide experiences that assist students in learning appropriate pronunciation, idiomatic phrases, meaning grounded in real life, and current usage. They also provide immersion, for a time, in a culture that is associated with everyday use of the language being learned.  In addition, cross-border programs, as noted in a recent report by the U.S. National Academies in the USA, usually lead to an enhanced appreciation of the culture to which the student is exposed. Language Exchange Programs may be organized to serve both students and  teachers (either separately or together). The Strategic Plan for English and Other Languages promotes these programs that encourage the student's learning of words, phrases and usage.

APEC published a report in May 2010 titled Measuring Students’ Intercultural Adaptability and Constructive Interaction in Other Societies that determines student attitudes toward intercultural adaptability, comparing such factors as foreign language capabilities and time spent working or studying in a foreign exchange program.

As background information for foreign language learning, the APEC website for youth is updated with the latest information on all 21 member economies.

Selected Exhange Programs Sponsored by APEC Members




Program Title


Australia Send

Endeavor Language Teacher Fellowships

Scholarships than enable teachers of the most studied foreign languages to study culture and enhance the language abilities abroad.

Canada Send

Foreign Government Awards Program

Competitive exchange program for Canadian graduate students to study abroad. Administered by the Canadian Bureau of International Education.

Chile Host

Programa de Voluntarios Angloparlantes

(English-Speaking Volunteer Program)

Brings native English-speaking volunteers to Chile to interact with English as a Second Language teachers and to assist with curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and instruction.


Semester Abroad for Future EFL Teachers

Established by presidential order to send future English as a Foreign Language teachers in undergraduate study abroad to an English-speaking country to enhance their own language skills.

China Host & Send

China Scholarship Council

Sponsors programs that exchange Chinese and foreign teachers and scholars.

Chinese Taipei Host

Huayu Enrichment Scholarship

Scholarship program to encourage international students to enhance their Mandarin studies in college and university-affiliated centers around Chinese Taipei and to bridge local culture with that of others.

Hong Kong


Native-speaking English Teacher Scheme

Brings native English speakers to teach English language and assist local schools with teacher/curriculum development.



Indonesia English Language Study Program

Awards scholarships to Indonesian undergraduate students for intensive English language study in the United States. Administered by the U.S. Department of State.

Japan Host

Japan Exchange and Teaching Network

Brings native English speakers to Japan to assist local English language teachers and to promote cultural exchange.


Regional and Educational Exchanges for Mutual Understanding

Sends secondary-level teachers abroad to teach Japanese language, improve their own second language, and enhance international awareness.



English Program in Korea

Brings native English speakers to assist Korean English language teachers in classroom/curriculum development.

New Zealand

Host & Send

Approved Exchange Scheme Organisations

List of organizations that meet the pastoral care standards of the government's Code of Practice. 


Language Immersion Awards

Lists overseas immersion opportunities available through the Ministry of Education and other providers.  Includes links to additional websites for further information



Becas Internacionales

Collection of international exchange programs to a variety of countries, including several APEC members.

United States

English Language Fellow Program

Sends English as a Second Language teachers abroad to enhance ESL programs and teacher and curriculum development.


Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program

Offers grants to bring foreign English language teachers to the United States to study English and teach courses on their native language.


Fulbright Student Teaching Assistantships in English

Provides grants to send native English speakers abroad to assist local teachers in English language education.


Indonesia English Language Study Program

Awards scholarships to Indonesian undergraduate students for an intensive English language study in the United States. Administered by the U.S. Department of State.


Office of English Language Programs

Employs language officers and specialists based in embassies and consulates abroad. Assists local educators in developing English language instruction and administers exchange programs.

Smithsonian Journeys

These three-week summer programs offer students an immersion experience where they can learn language skills under the tutelage of top teachers, experience the culture through classroom settings and meetings with local students and visit important cultural sites during weekend excursions.

Selected Exchange Programs Pertaining to Multiple APEC Members

The following table contains samples of exchange programs relevant to APEC members.

Participating Economies

Program Title 


China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore

Orient Yourself

Online catalogue of study abroad opportunities in various member Economies.  Developed by the Ohio State University's National East Asian Languages Resource Center.

Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam

SEAMEO Regional Language Centre

Offers English and Mandarin courses and other languages for business. Although not an exchange program per se, does attracts attendees from around the region.

China, Indonesia, Thailand, United States, Viet Nam

Volunteers in Asia

Sends U.S. volunteers to Asian members to teach English language and brings Asian university student to the USA for language and cultural study.