->"Imports are ''nice''!"
-->--'''Monique''', ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''

Is your work set in a school, or at least has some scenes there? Do you want to introduce a new character to your steadily expanding cast, but the NewTransferStudent isn't ''exotic'' enough?

Don't get your panties in a knot, that's what the Foreign Exchange Student is for!

The Foreign Exchange Student, officially there to experience the setting's culture, will often be beautiful (often subject to their home country's PhenotypeStereotype) and mysterious (due to their foreign background). Their home country varies, but it's often from the United States (if the setting is Eastern) or Asia (if the setting is Western). Exchange students from Europe also pop up every once in a while.

Common plots will be the existing characters having quite a culture shock upon the foreign exchange student's arrival due to preconceived assumptions about what the exchange student would be like (and vice-versa) or finding the exchange student interesting and exotic, which might rocket them to the top of the PopularityFoodChain. The exchange student will also have trouble with the language/customs of the area and how they fit into the existing TrueCompanions dynamic.

Personalities vary in fiction, but making the exchange student a ShrinkingViolet, a NiceGuy, or a DefrostingIceQueen seems fairly common (the last one especially). Moral alignment also differs as their "air of mystery" can mean either shyness or pure evil, but they're generally nice kids.

Naturally, the Foreign Exchange Student will commonly be the LoveInterest of at least one character (which might cause complications when they have to leave). Unless, of course, they're around to cause trouble...

See also NewTransferStudent. May overlap with FunnyForeigner or ForeignPeopleAreSexy depending on how this trope is played. If the exchange student is European, EuropeansAreKinky is often used, especially if she's female. In this case, their comparative sexual liberation will be PlayedForLaughs, with everyone else feeling uncomfortable.


!!Examples

[[AC: Anime and Manga]]
* Sue Hopkins in ''Manga/{{Genshiken}}'' is technically neither an ''exchange'' nor a ''transfer'' student, just a freshman who came from America, but nevertheless is a source of confusion and comical situations, with her limited knowledge of Japanese language (majority of her lines being [[SpeaksInShoutOuts quotes from manga and anime]]), [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} eccentrically extrovert]] (although good-hearted) personality, creepy child-like face and exotic looks (long blond hair and blue eyes). And, of course, being an OccidentalOtaku.
* Sharna Alamgir in ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'' is an exchange student from India. Her main task in the series is to serve as CloudcuckoolandersMinder to Fumi Hibino and provide snappy comebacks.
* The Stanley siblings, Rachel and Ethan, in ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple''. Also Boris (a Russian). Tirawit (a Thai) also technically counts, but in his case there is little or no racial gap, and the cultural gap is not so prominent.
* Patricia Martin in ''Manga/LuckyStar'' is an American exchange student and otaku who came to Japan to learn Japanese culture. Unfortunately most of what she know [[{{animeland}} is based on manga and anime]], which doesn't always match the reality.
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'': According to Cho, "the Sword Hunter", Kamatari became one after the remaining Jupon Gattana disbanded. [[spoiler: In truth, it was because Cho lied to Kamatari, by saying Shishio had wanted the Jupon Gattana to spread word of his deeds, in case his plans failed. It was Cho's way of keeping [[AmbiguousGender him/her]] from committing suicide]]. It's also implied that Kamitari was aware of it.
* ''Manga/MakenKi'':
** Akaza Chacha is one of several foreign students enrolled at Tenbi Academy. But while her [[http://readpanda.net/Maken-ki/44/8/ tanned complexion]], {{green eyes}}, and [[DarkskinnedBlonde white hair]], are a dead giveaway, her nationality is never specified.
** All the members of [[http://readpanda.net/Maken-ki/8/13/ the Venus unit]] also hail from different countries. However, the only ones whose nationalities are specified are Yan-Min ([[AnimeChineseGirl China]]) and Celia ([[EagleLand America]]).
* ''Manga/MidoriDays'': Lucy Winrad is a foreign exchange student, from America, and is an {{expy}} of [[VideoGame/RivalSchools Tiffany Lords]], who ''also'' happens to be an exchange student from the same country (seen further below).
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' introduces four new characters in the 3rd season, each a champion from a different duel academy.
* ''Manga/TonariNoKashiwagiSan'' has Tina, from Germany. She lacks just about all inhibitions most Japanese people have.
* In ''Manga/AssassinationClassroom'', Asano Jr. gathers four foreign exchange students from around the world to gain an advantage in the Bo-taoshi match against the boys of Class 3-E. All of them are gigantic, muscular 15 year old guys who excel in different physical sports and can easily annihilate anyone in their age group in challenges involving strength.
* Chris Portman from ''Manga/{{Ojojojo}}'' is an heir born to a British noble family who transfers to the school in Chapter 20. As one of Haru's suitors, he originally came to Japan for a marriage interview but didn't take it well when she refused to have the arranged marriage.
* ''Babibubebobubobu!! Sapp-kun'' by Hidemitsu Shigeoka features Wrestling/BobSapp as a foreign exchange student who becomes a giant when angry and fights aliens.
* Nozomu from ''Manga/NurseAngelRirikaSOS'' passes as a transfer student from England. In reality, he isn't even from ''Earth''.
* In ''Anime/HungryHeartWildStriker'', Jojyou Highschool has ''two'' of these: the Brazilian Rafael Rodrigo del Canto and the [[MixedAncestry half-Swede, half-Japanese]] Sakai Jefferson Kouji. Both of them make it into the soccer team and become friends with TheHero, Kyosuke Kanou.

[[AC:Films -- Animation]]
* Squirt the baby sea turtle actually becomes one at the end of ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo''.

[[AC: Film -- Live Action]]
* Areola in ''Film/NotAnotherTeenMovie,'' who was a parody of ''Film/AmericanPie'''s sex-liberal Czech exchange student Nadia.
%%* Long Duk Dong from ''Film/SixteenCandles''.
%%* ''Film/PorkysRevenge'' has Inga, from Sweden(?)
%%* ''Film/BetterOffDead'' has Monique, from France.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* Fez from ''Series/That70sShow.'' The name "Fez" is short for "foreign exchange student", despite the difference in spelling, which the series' official web site describes as "poetic license". His friends know Fez' real name but consider it unpronounceable.
* Sunshine Corazon (from the Philippines) and Rory Flanagan (from Ireland) in seasons two and three of ''Series/{{Glee}}''.
* ''James At 15''. In the episode "The Gift", James lost his virginity to a Swedish foreign exchange student. It was in this episode that the series title changed to ''James At 16.''
* ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'': Charlene Sinclair went to pre-historic France while a foreign bird moved into the Sinclairs. HilarityEnsues when Baby ate the bird and Earl tried to deceive the foreign family with a stand-in. Fran told Earl parents always know but he dismissed it as a rude generalization and stated foreigners were all the same. Fran was proven wrong when the foreign family pulled a similar stunt and Earl fell for it despite the real Charlene and her stand-in having different ''colors''. Fran even showed a photograph of the real Charlene and Earl, once again showing he's TooDumbToLive, still said the two girls were a lot alike.
* Season 12 of ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'' introduces several junior pro hockey players from the US and other parts of Canada who live with host families and attend school on a similar basis to exchange students.
* Nina, Eddie and KT from ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'', all coming from the United States.
* Faymen from ''Series/NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'', from Brazil.
* Samantha Woo in ''Series/CaliforniaDreams'', who is introduced three episodes into the second season as this, having come from Hong Kong (although her [[NotEvenBotheringWithAnAccent accent is more Americanized]]). She started out living with the Garrison family, arriving in the episode after that which set up original main character Jenny's departure, but moved in with the family of new character Lorena Costa the following season after Matt Garrison was written out of the series.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** "Inca Mummy Girl": The boy Buffy and her mom were supposed to host was killed by the titular mummy girl, who did end up flirting with Xander, although she almost killed him as well before she was stopped.
** Cordelia also had a brief fling with a Swedish exchange student named Sven.
* On ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', Earl recalls that he picked on a French exchange student named Pierre [[KidsAreCruel back in elementary school]]. (Who, understandably, did not care much for Earl either.) Earl writes Pierre a letter and encloses a plane ticket asking him to come back and give America another chance. Pierre arrives, punches Earl in the face, and plans to leave (all the while grousing about what a terrible place America is). Earl steals Pierre's passport and credit cards, forcing him to stay, and attempts to show him what a great place America really is. (Which, being that he's presenting ''Camden'' and the {{Lower Class Lout}}s that live there, doesn't go as planned.) Eventually, Earl helps Pierre use his accent to woo their now-grown female classmates (and their now-elderly [[HotForTeacher teacher]].) [[spoiler: Unfortunately, [[FrenchJerk Pierre]] [[YourCheatingHeart has a wife back home...]]]]
* In ''Series/NightAndDay'', Jane’s French penpal Francoise Jardin descends on Greenwich for a sustained period near the beginning of the show, before mysteriously disappearing, just like Jane did. It becomes clear that Francoise knew more about Jane and her secrets than many of her friends and family.

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'', one of the social links that helps augment the player character's power is with French foreign exchange student Andre Laurent Jean Geraux ("Zey just call me Bebe!").
* ''VideoGame/RivalSchools'' has the Americans Roy Bromwell, Tiffany Lords, and Boman Delgado posing as a team of American exchange students, while investigating the attacks on each of the schools. Tiffany even gains an expy, in the form ''Manga/MidoriDays''' Lucy Winrad.
* Sakuya le Bel Shirogane of ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend'' arrives both French and wealthy. In the manga when asked to introduce himself he huffs that he has no name to give to fools, which backfires instantly as the teacher calls him Name To Give To Fools.

[[AC: WebOriginal]]
* In ''Webcomic/DemonThesis'', the four main characters attend [=MacPhee=] University in Canada, which is noted to have a rather large number of transfer students attending from different countries. Sure enough two of the four main characters (and both of the female main characters, coincidentally) are exchange students. Val is from [[{{Eagleland}} America]], while Clady is Danish.
* In ''The School For GIFT'd Filmmakers'', Ali a new staff member from England. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6r08H77qg68

[[AC: {{Webcomic}}]]
* ''Webcomic/MagickChicks'': Gabrielle speaks with [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench a thick]] [[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/papier_beats_roche French accent]], but wasn't revealed to be an exchange student until her cameo appearance in ''Webcomic/DangerouslyChloe'', where she was shown to be [[http://www.dangerouslychloe.com/strips-dc/our_wonderful_gabrielle boarding with Naomi's family.]]

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Bart became a FES in France while the Simpsons family got Adil, from Albania, who turned out to be a spy.
** Also, Uter, the exchange student from Germany.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BonVoyageCharlieBrown'', Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, and Marcie go to France for two weeks as students. In the meantime Babette and Jacques come to the US to their school.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' one episode has a Hungarian transfer student coming in to be Sam's RomanticFalseLead. [[spoiler: Turns out that he was an American guy putting on a show just to mess with Sam.]]
* Dexter of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' was a foreign exchange student in Japan in one episode. The Japanese kids were drawn [[{{Animesque}} anime-style]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'': Yope, who came from Norway in one episode (and left in the same episode).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresofJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'', there is foreign exchange student named Bolbi Stroganovsky.
* Mike Mazinsky of ''WesternAnimation/MikeLuAndOg''.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/CowAndChicken'' has Cow falling in love with FES Slappy [=McCracken=], who comes from a foreign ''county''.
* [[SupremeChef Gustav]] from ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'' is a [[NorseByNorsewest Scandinavian]] exchange student that stays with the Diazes in one episode, whose odd behavior leads Star to believe him to be a [[ImAHumanitarian cannibal]]. [[spoiler: He turns out to be a subversion, being an American pretending to be various nationalities in order to test out various ethnic dishes on his unsuspecting hosts.]]
** Star herself is (after her parents provide a hefty bribe to the principal) accepted as a foreign exchange student in the series premier. She's [[HumanAliens a lot more foreign]] than the usual examples.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Witch}}'' involves a Swiss exchange student arriving at the school. Her [[SignificantGreenEyedRedhead looks]] make her an instant DudeMagnet from the moment she steps into the cafeteria. The main characters get jealous of her for her personality and behavior (being able to [[FashionDesigner make her own clothes]], her complaints that Taranee didn't read ''Literature/WarAndPeace'' in Russian, etc). [[spoiler:It turns out she's a Fauxreigner who buys her own clothes and doesn't even know Russian.]]
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