Going abroad as a foreign exchange student will give you a big leg up, whatever your future goals.
Other programs request a full application from the beginning and then schedule interviews. Are they easy to get a hold of if you have an emergency? Some programs require students to pass a standardized test for English language comprehension prior to being accepted into a program taking them to the United States.
Escape the bubble of AP classes, pep rallies, and humdrum locker room talk and start learning about life and about yourself in the real world.
Students from a completely different culture  can also encounter homesickness for a longer period of time. Moreover, students will find it hard to find a job, even part-time since most exchange visas do not allow students to work and it is difficult to obtain one that does.
The experience will lead to improved self-confidence and self-esteem.