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working directly with thousands of international students

Located in Nashville, TN, Global Educational Concepts, Inc. (GEC) runs High School in the USA as a designated sponsor of the U.S. Department of State’s cultural exchange programs. GEC fully supports and believes in the public diplomacy opportunities these exchange programs offer our participants, host families, and local coordinators.

We seek to provide the best service and support possible to the young people who participate in our programs while adhering to the regulations that govern these programs. Our program participants can be found all across the U.S.

We INVEST in building people. We INSPIRE people to achieve their goals in life. We positively IMPACT the world.

As a proud member of the Southwestern Family of Companies, founded in 1855, our mission is to invest in purpose-driven people who are inspired to build principle-guided businesses that impact the world. We help people develop the skills and character they need to achieve their goals in life. Ultimately, we strive to positively impact the people and communities we serve worldwide.





High School in the USA

Ellen Hoggard has been working in the field of international educational exchange for over 35 years. She was a high school exchange student herself at 14 to England and at 16 to Romania. Those 2 experiences were life changing and led her to major in International Relations at Duke University. Since that time, Ms. Hoggard has been a passionate supporter of exchanges, especially high school exchange programs. She has received the Award for Distinguished Service from Sister Cities International, the Exemplary Leadership Award from the Alliance for International Exchange where she served as Treasurer for 3 consecutive terms and held 4 consecutive board positions. She is proud to have been a pioneer in the creation of the first long term high school exchanges between the USA and the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the 1990s. She was also honored to be chosen to represent the entire field of youth exchange of the United States of America at the Department of State sponsored European Union - USA Summit in 1996. She has worked for numerous organizations in the field of international educational exchange including AFS, Amideast, Sister Cities International, OPEN DOOR Student Exchange, AYUSA, STS Foundation/STS Global Studies, Au Pair Foundation and HSUSA. She has served as President/Managing Director in the 4 most recent positions.

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Cathy Galli-Vaneveld

Program Support Manager

High School in the USA

Cathy has been in Student Exchange for over 14 years. She worked with Ayusa as a Regional Manager for the West and Northwest Region for over 10 years. She then was with Pan Atlantic Foundation as Regional Director for a year and half. She has supported thousands of students and families over the course of her career. Throughout her years in student exchange, her greatest passion has been the support for the families and students in order for them to have a life changing experience. Cathy moved to the role of Program Support Manager for High School in the USA in 2022. This has allowed her to make a true difference and allows her to help others work through difficult times and move to a successful year. In this role, she has been able to build strong relationships with Overseas Partners to build support and cooperation with natural parents as well. Cathy has personally hosted 6 Academic students and has had more than 10 students in her home for shorter periods of time. 

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Heather Wells

Southern Regional Manager

High School in the USA

Heather has been in student exchange for more than 14 years. She worked in varies positions with Ayusa & STSF, including Cluster Leader for 12 years then moving up to the Regional manager role in both organizations. Student exchange is a passion of Heather’s and allowed her to homeschool her daughter with many different cultures being around the exchange students. Heather has a bachelor’s in business management and learning is a lifelong journey for her. Being able to meet people from all over the world and watch them grow during their exchange year and beyond is the most rewarding job anyone can have. Heather also helps to manage our CRM system and works with others to help develop/maintain our training for the local coordinators. She also works with the YES and FLEX Grant programs. Heather is looking forward to being a part of the growth and development of the Southern Region with both local coordinators and host families in building wonderful relationships.

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Angela Goetz

Northern Regional Manager

High School in the USA

Student exchange has been a passion for Angela for well over 30 years. As a middle school child, her parents first hosted several Japanese youths on a summer homestay program, which then grew into hosting a full academic year student from Germany her senior year of high school. This was the spark that developed into hosting as an adult with over 23 international students calling her host mom for a few days to an academic year. She has served in the capacity of a Local Coordinator for 13 years, Cluster Leader for 9 years, and recently started year number two as Regional Manager for High School in the USA. In her role, Angela writes “The Exchange” newsletter, creates flyers, social media posts, and student profiles for marketing, as well as manages a piece of the website. She is excited to grow the Northern Region supporting additional Local Coordinators, welcoming new host families into the international family, and whereby creating a lifetime of memories with  our amazing HSUSA students.


Stephanie Bates

Exchange Visitor Program

Support Coordinator

High School in the USA

Stephanie Bates is the Exchange Visitor Program Support Coordinator. She has worked in student exchange for about 6 years. Starting as Local Coordinator she has helped place more than 100 students. Stephanie has a master’s degree in education. In her role, she supports the team to make sure things run smoothly, writes contracts for partners, reviews student applications, coordinates flights for students, payroll, and all other administrative tasks that are required.

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Coordinator France

+33 769 416 866

Email: [email protected]

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