How Does it Work?

Students from all over the world come to the United States to participate in the Academic Year / Semester Program, a J-1 Visa program designed just for high school students! United Studies works with organizations across the globe to find outstanding students who would like to participate in an international exchange program. Our dedicated team of area representatives work hard to match students with carefully selected host families. Not only are students able to experience learning in a new and exciting environment, they have the opportunity to make life-long friends and expand their horizons.

Learn more below


Who Can Participate?

Students age 15-18 who are currently enrolled in secondary school and have not yet graduated are welcome to apply for the Academic Year Program. Students who are getting ready to graduate and will be enrolling in college, can check out information on the Summer Work and Travel Program. Contact us for more information about the Academic Year Program acceptance and how the process works.

Where do Students Attend School?

Students are matched with host families across the U.S. and generally attend public schools, with a few attending private schools as well, in cities and rural areas. School selection is based upon the district in which the selected host family resides. Some schools have large exchange programs where there may be many exchange students, while other schools only have room for a small number of exchange students. America is vast country that encompasses an amazing array of diversity. Students are not given the choice to choose where they wished to be placed. We believe that every area of America has worth and lessons to be learned and that no area should be overlooked.

How Are Host Families Chosen?

United Studies has a team of local coordinators whose mission is to find warm and welcoming homes for our Academic Year Program students. We search across the U.S. for coordinators who are actively involved in their communities and schools and they search their own neighborhoods for loving and supportive families who are excited about sharing their home with international students. The best way to prepare for this experience is to have an open heart and an open mind and be ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

If a Student Has a Problem Who Can Help?

United Studies​ local coordinators are the key to a successful exchange experience. ​All students live within a close range of the local coordinator who matches them with the host family. This means that the coordinator is close by should students have any needs or concerns. While we hope all students have an amazing experience, we know that troubles can arise and adjustments may need to be made during the course of the program. If students need assistance or want to discuss an adjustment in the program, they can call the local coordinator!  We’re on call 24/7.​

Want to become a participant?

International students who are interested in applying to become a United Studies exchange student can request information and begin the application process.

See Incoming Students