Search terms: exchange student program, AFS, short term exchange programs
I'm writing a story to take place the summer before the start of my character's senior year of high school. For a variety of reasons, she's had to give up on many of her goals. Then, as the story goes on, she'll turn things around so that once again has the opportunity to do the things she was planning.
What I hope to incorporate as one of the things she wants to do is a short-term international student exchange. I'm having a hard time finding out whether there are programs that offer short-term exchanges during the school year. All the information I'm finding is for semester- and full-year exchanges, or summer short term. It would work best for my story if her exchange took place January through March (or so) of the coming school year. Does such a program exist? If yes, when would she have had to apply in order to be on her way January? How long would it take to get an acceptance? Also, are there any countries in particular that are more likely to be involved in a short-term vs long-term exchange?
The way I was hoping to set it up is that she already applied in January of her junior year before the story started. Then she'll get the acceptance in July or August telling her which country she's been selected for along with her January through March itinerary. Once she receives this, she'll have to decide whether to back out or move forward with her plans. Is this time frame plausible?
(By the way, her leaving for the actual trip will not happen in the story. I just want to use it as one of the complications and motivators for her during this summer.)
Thank you for any insight you can offer!