Exchange Student to Scotland
June 11, 2013 5:04 PM   Subscribe

My daughter is interested in studying abroad in Edinburgh for the equivalent of her 10th grade year (fourth year in Scotland). She has an open invitation to live with family friends in Edinburgh. However, there is zero information on how we can do this without help from an official exchange student program. The internets is no help. What are the steps we need to go through to make this happen?

This will happen in two years, when she can still qualify for a Child/Tier 4 Visa. I figure that this is a pretty amazing opportunity that we should seize on - and I feel that given her current track record at school and emotional development, she'd do great. (Plus the host family are friends and she knows them very well. They have kids her age too.) Where I need help is understanding the legal implications for temporary guardianship when she's abroad (and as a minor) (maybe I'm overthinking this), how healthcare/insurance would work, possible problems with her transferring her school work back, and ... any other possible gotchas.
posted by lostinsupermarket to Education (3 answers total)
I did this, but in Ireland. I'll have to ask my mother for specifics, but essentially, I withdrew from my public school for a length of time (about four months) and convinced a school local to my family friends in Ireland to allow me to attend for that period of time. When I returned, I believe someone in the public school I was in reviewed my grades and determined what credit equivalencies I had earned. As for the other stuff you're mentioning, I don't think we bothered with any of it, though of course, the shorter length of time made this possible. This doesn't mean that I don't think it's a good idea to transfer temporary guardianship- it most likely it is. I think most of your answers are going to come just from making phone calls- to a lawyer who specializes in family practice, to your daugher's school, and to your insurance company. Possibly also your bank to figure out the best way to provide your daughter with funds. You're lucky that you have a lot of time to prepare- my time abroad happened somewhat on a whim.

I'm sorry I don't have more practical answers for you, but I also wanted to emphasize that allowing me to do this was the best thing my parents could have done for me as an adolescent. It both changed and saved my life. Best of luck to you guys moving forward- what a great opportunity!
posted by Polyhymnia at 8:33 PM on June 11, 2013

Who are you planning on using as her Tier 4 sponsor? Contact them for advice. If you're looking for a way to send her to a publicly funded school I'm not sure that's possible on a Tier 4 child, but a UK immigration lawyer might be able to find a way if your Edinburgh friends know a good one.
posted by IanMorr at 9:07 PM on June 11, 2013

If your daughter will be under 16 whilst in Scotland, this is a Private Fostering arrangement. You should inform the local social services department, as they have a duty to monitor the arrangement. They should carry out an assessment and then visit your daughter every 6 weeks.

Info about private fostering in Scotland (PDF).

Info about private fostering on Edinburgh City Council's website.

As well as monitoring the arrangement whilst it's in place, the local authority could be a good resource to discuss some of the issues with beforehand - may depend on how many staff they have working on PF and their resources generally. Worth contacting them to see.
posted by sock of ages at 11:03 AM on June 12, 2013

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