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Nacel International

About

Nacel International's programs bring students together to travel abroad and enhance cultural awareness. We are the specialists of High School exchange programs all over the world!
With in depth language and culture immersion and study programs in multiple countries, Nacel seeks to provide students with the chance to go an adventure. The focus on education through travel is found in all of the organized programs. Numerous programs are offered for high school students and graduates to study, volunteer, travel, and find an internship or job abroad during the summer, semester, or entire year.
Visit the website for more information about application and deadline instructions, and well as financial costs. You will find all details about our student exchange in France, Italy, Germany, Canada or even China! For students looking for a shorter experience, our summer homestay programs in France, Spain or Latin American countries are always popular.

Website
www.nacel.org
Founded
1957
Headquarters

380 Jackson St
St. Paul, MN 55101
United States

Reviews

Aidan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Being forced to use Spanish to communicate with everyone was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. This program didn't group me together with other study-abroad student so I was the only native english speaker in my school/home. I wouldn't have been able to speak in English even if I wanted to, and I think that this is the reason I was able to learn so much. My host family was amazing, the food was incredible, and the friends I made/fiestas I went to were unforgettable. If you want to learn Spanish or are considering this program my advice would be to just do it because you won't regret it.

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Sophia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

When I turned 15, I applied to spend a year among the rich Spanish culture of Asturias through the program of NACEL International. Once accepted, I knew I would be spending the next 10 months studying all core curriculum in Spanish, living with a non-English speaking family and experiencing all parts of another culture firsthand. What I never could have suspected was all the love and support I would receive from both my host family and my coordinators at NACEL, who held my hand in times of need, and were always there to help. Once this life changing experience came to a close, I returned to my country a more well rounded person, a person educated in another language and a person who learned from themselves by counting on others. I now have a heart that is split between two oceans, and because of the people and experiences I came in contact with during my year abroad, I can guarantee success, progress and prosperity in my future.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have benefited from meeting the other students that were accepted into the same program.
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Sheree
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My son Jadon spent half a semester his Junior year in Mexico City with this program.

As a parent I was very pleased with how smoothly everything went. Noelia Vargas was wonderful communicating with myself and my son to make sure we understood everything expected.

My son's experience was life changing. He became so fluent in spanish and has a love for the culture. This experience will help him in college and in the work force.

I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to explore, engage, learn and grow in the knowledge of others.

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Noelia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My first Experience with nacel was 10 years ago when i did my first solo trip to Chile! Back in the days there were no companies that would provide the service of High School Exchanges and I found nacel online. Since day one Nacel was super responsive to me and very professional with the advice about what program would be the best for me. So at the end, even though they were based in France I enrolled in a high school program in Chile for some weeks. My family and I were a bit nervous because all the process was done remotely but i had all of my papers in time to enjoy of my experience.

The time in Chile was amazing and the host family was super lovely. I still consider them as my own family. I hope I can come and visit them sometime. If you are thinking in traveling to Chile, Nacel is surely a great option for your! I highly recommend this program!

Noelia :)

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Joshua
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went for a 6 month program to France with Nacel. During my time in France i loved spending time with a french family and going to school, I got to share with other french students. I was the only english student in the class. I think my time in france was hard at the begining but them it got better, I made friends and also improved the language. I recommend this program to anyone looking for a total inmersion. Thumbs up!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Sophia Rollins

Sophia is currently in her last year of high school in Seattle Washington, wishing to pursue Marine Biology in the future. She spent her sophomore year in the North of Spain, mastering the language before returning to her beloved city. In her free time, you can find her volunteering at the aquarium, bussing tables at a cafe in her neighborhood and speaking Spanish on the regular.

houses

Why did you choose this program?

I chose NACEL International to help me along my year abroad because my family has a lot of trust invested in the program. When my mother turned 16, she traveled to France for six months using NACEL, and so she knew the hospitality and companionship this program was able to provide me. Sure enough, I couldn't have done something as impactful as this without the help of my provider and NACEL coordinators.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

NACEL, for me, was a helping hand during my adventure. I received a phone call once a month during my year abroad to make sure everything surrounding my school and home life experience was enjoyable and prosperous. My coordinator helped me get my student visa, and I handled my grades and social life independently.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

If I were to give someone wishing to embark on an adventure similar to mine a piece of advice, I would tell them to live life in the present. Studying abroad is such a privilege, and the incredible individuals you come in contact with on a daily basis won't always be by your side, so don't take them or the experience for granted.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day consists of waking up with your host family and eating a small breakfast, heading to school until lunch time when students are sent home to eat with their families. The afternoon then consists of homework and tutoring, sports, and hanging out with friends until evening when a late dinner is served, and families spend quality time together until bedtime.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear involving my experience was being away from my family for such an extended period of time. However, my process of learning to overcome this fear was short lived. I had the most supportive family who was always there to talk when I felt under the weather, and my studies kept my mind busy.

What is the one most important lesson you've taken away from your year in another country and culture?

The most important quality I acquired from this trip was how to ask for help without fear of judgment. There will always be someone there to help you if you're struggling, all you have to do is ask for it.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Amanda Burstall

Amanda Burstall works for Nacel International, a French company with over 50 years of experience with educational language travel. She advises students and parents on the study programs that Nacel offers, and organizes individual bookings with local coordinators around the world. Amanda has lived and worked in four countries and traveled extensively. She speaks French, English and Spanish and her 20 years of professional experience have been in the service of education.
Interview with Amanda, Program Manager for Nacel International

What position do you hold at Nacel International? What has been your career path so far?

Amanda: I am Nacel's international Program Manager - my job is to advise students and parents, from all countries (outside France and Spain), who are looking for a study program abroad. This ranges from short homestay programs to high school exchanges, and includes language schools and language courses around the world. Previously, I worked for large publishing companies, such as the BBC in the UK, to elaborate online study programs for schools. I have an in depth understanding of education and a broad cultural background from which I draw from to advise students on the best options according to their requirements.

Did YOU study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

Amanda: I am completely bilingual in French and English thanks to my unique family background, born in France of English parents. I did my primary education in France, my secondary education in England, and my university studies at New York University. I have since worked in all three countries. Also, I have been learning Spanish for the last four years and starting to get the hang of it! I have traveled all over the world, to just about every destination that we offer to our students. I find that the most exciting part of any journey is meeting local people and learning about their cultures. The reason I love my job is because all our programs offer the possibility for cultural immersion.

What does the future hold for Nacel - any exciting new programs to share?

Amanda: The most exciting development at Nacel, in the past year, is that we can now offer our high school exchange programs directly to individual students. In the past, this was only possible through local agencies. This represents a savings to families and we hope it will enable more students to take advantage of these types of programs. We also have an exciting new program in the United Kingdom for the 16 to 19 age bracket; it is a short academic program from 13 to 31 weeks aimed at the discovery of the English education system and culture without committing to a year-long 'A' level or IB course of study.

What about the future of the high school abroad industry? How do you think international education will change over the next 10 years?

Amanda: Globalization has changed how we perceive other cultures. Today's work force is no longer made up of tourists - it requires global citizens, who can relate to their international business partners on a personal level. One of the best ways to become a global citizen is to benefit from cultural and academic exchanges from a young age. The high costs of these programs is a barrier and new methods of financing will need to emerge to develop a workforce capable of relationship building. In Europe, there is a high degree of mobility thanks to the Erasmus funding program, though, similar initiatives are needed worldwide.