Becoming an exchange student is a complete cultural experience. Living with a carefully selected local family in a safe home, you will enjoy many opportunities to explore your community with your host family and the friends you make at school. On the weekend, imagine eating out at a local restaurant with your friends or walking a local nature trail with your host family. Living in the USA will allow you to get to know Americans and their country from the inside. What an amazing opportunity to experience the American dream.

The amazing thing about studying abroad is that the experience is different for everyone. What you get out of  an international exchange is unique to you:

  • Discover and develop personal strengths like self-reliance, resourcefulness and confidence

  • Gain a new, global perspective and gain a sense of social responsibility

  • Increase proficiency in another language

  • Meet remarkable people and build lifelong friendships

  • Build better decision making, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills

  • Develop independence of thought and adaptability in dealing with the unexpected

  • Gain a real advantage on college applications

  • Enhance global career opportunities

Every HIGH SCHOOL IN THE USA student will have a genuine American high school experience, live with a caring host family, and benefit from an industry-leading support.



Develop your cultural openness, your maturity, your independence, your ability to adapt, your ability to solve problems, your sense of leadership, your self-confidence, and so much more.

High school students running in hall landing.jpg


You will make friends with other American teenagers. Social life may be different from your home city, but you’ll be able to make rich friendships with local students that are fun and supportive.

home abroad.png


You will gain a second family, your family away from home. As an exchange student, you will not only learn English, but you will also become familiar with the culture, and traditions of your host country.



Students often use their exchange year as a stepping stone to further their studies abroad, gain a competitive advantage at university, and start an international career. 


At HIGH SCHOOL in the USA, We carefully select candidates in our program, simply to ensure each participants experience a great personal experience


We consider English ability, academic performance, maturity, flexibility, and willingness to adapt to a new culture in our selection process.  We look at the “whole picture” for each applicant and select those students whom we believe can successfully navigate an academic exchange year in the U.S. while being away from family and friends back home.

* Be between 14 and 18 years of age when you arrive in the USA


* Be in good academic standing


* Be enrolled in a secondary school when you apply and not completed high school before you arrive


* Successfully completed HSUSA's 'Two Thumbs Up' Cultural Assimilation Modules



With an extended network across the US, we have the scope and experience to offer authentic, immersive ways for young travelers to study and live in the USA. We offer an ALL-IN-ONE package to facilitate and enhance the experience for the participants and their families

Recruiting Host.png

Selected Host Family

Host families are volunteers  and who have gone through our extensive application and selection process. They provide room,board and basic transportation.

School Enrollment.png

School Enrollement

Participating High Schools are carefully handpicked by our experienced expert staff to ensure it provides the educational op- portunities and support to succeed.


local Mentor

These experts will be guiding you through the  application process and preparing you for the departure. Once in the USA, they will act as the second layer of support after your host.

Pre Orientation.png

pre-departure training

HSUSA leads the student exchange industry in helping students prepare for their exchange helping them understand the challenges of assimilating to a new culture. 



As an official designated visa sponsor by the US Department of State, we will issue & provide  documents & guidance you need to get through the J-1 visa application process.



The program Tuition fee includes your flight to the USA and back from your closest local international airport through our partner travel agency.



HSUSA provides an extensive health insurance for all High School USA students customized to the unique needs of international exchange students. 



Every High School USA student has the opportunity to join us in your new home communities for our orientation to get a full  intro to life in the U.S.


The U.S. is the FOURTH LARGEST COUNTRY BY AREA IN THE WORLD — only China, Canada, and Russia are larger.

The U.S. is made of FIFTY STATES ( each with its own lifestyle, & government): 1 federal district & 14 territories

The U.S. is the THIRD MOST POPULOUS COUNTRY IN THE WORLD — after China, & India with 330 million inhabitants

The Continental U.S. spans OVER FIVE TIME ZONES— with additional time zones in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the various Islands

Lake Superior is the LARGEST OF THE GREAT LAKES — and is considered the largest freshwater lake by area in the world




The health, safety, and well-being of our students are our top priority. Through our 3-layer support system, a coordinated effort between our regional teams, HSUSA office staff, and host families, we ensure every student is safe during their time in the U.S.A.


We exceed the host family selection requirements of the U.S. Department of State with a very strict vetting process for our host families. The process includes extended interviews with several members of our leadership team, background check as well as several referrals from esteemed members of the community.


HSUSA selects open-minded, welcoming families who wish to invite a new member into their family and share cultures. We consider the relationship between a student and host family to be the most important of your exchange year as they become your second family. They will be there at each and every moment of your exchange year and will be your first point of contact while in the U.S.A. 



The Local Coordinators also are subject to a very scrupulous selection process. We absolutely want to be certain of the staff we work with and ensure top-quality support for you or your children. In the same way as host families, they do go through an extended screening process as well as need to present strong referrals from respected members of the industry.


Our Local Coordinator is highly trained in intercultural communication, mediation, and support, and will be a mentor and friend to you. They are available 24/7. The Local Coordinator will welcome the students to the host community, introduce them to the host family, and complete regular supervision reports for the parents at home.



Our experienced support team in Nashville, TN is available by phone to support all program participants in the event of an emergency from the time you or your child step foot on a plane to their day-to-day experience in the U.S.A. 

They all went through qualified support training to provide all participants with the best support they need to live a top experience with HIGH SCHOOL in the USA.



It takes more than classroom knowledge alone to achieve our goals in life. 

For over 150 years, our sister company, Southwestern Advantage, has trained college students on the principles of leadership and community impact. These principles are now being shared with students through a nationwide community called LE∆D.


LE∆D is a program designed to help young people gain the skills and character they need to achieve their goals in life. The program spotlights life skills, emotional intelligence, academics, and making a difference in the community — preparing students for success both before and after graduation.





From your initial request for further information to the very first moment you set foot in the USA (and beyond!), our experienced staff will be guiding you all the way to you step-by-step.

Here is a quick summary of each step with you, the future participant on the left, and we, at HSUSA, on the right!



NYC Skyline BW

'I really enjoyed my time with my host family who totally became a second family to me. I had new brothers and sisters and I felt totally part of the family. I am also so grateful to our Local Coordinator who was regularly in touch and check upon me! It made me and my family so relieved to know the organization was looking after us so well. This experienced changed my life!’ 

Hind Mchrag

From Morocco >

Central High School

Phoenix (AZ)

NYC Skyline BW

'Today, I am a Project Manager in a leading worldwide shipping company based in France. Thanks to my exchange year, I gained maturity and confidence. I am now managing different teams from all over the world. I am 25 and already lived in 5 cities in 3 different countries. That exchange year made me the person I am today, and I am so grateful for that.’ 

Manon Esch.png
Manon Esch

From France >

Fluvana County High School

Fluvana (VA)

NYC Skyline BW

'Being an exchange student back in 2012, has led me to embark on a personal growth journey. It was one of the most life-changing experience. It made me brave, courageous and motivated to take new opportunities in life. Linda, our local coordinator was always ready to help and assist me in every difficult situation I faced. I will always be thankful to Linda and the team.’ 

0a44a867-47bf-4d48-9ed8-3242701d36c8-photo (1).jpg
Adea Gafury

From Kosovo >

Deer Valley High School

Phoenix (AZ)

NYC Skyline BW

'I didn't really know what to expect upon my arrival in America. Emotions totally took over but it was so worth it!. I was picked up  by my amazing host family. Their smile and welcome committee totally reassured and the rest is history... I  do recommend spending a year in high school in the USA: it is unique, rewarding and character-building. ’ 

 Georgi Daskalov.png
Georgi Daskalov

From Bulgaria >

Orange County School

Orange (CA)

Because it sometimes makes more sense to hear it all from some of our former participants!


Check this out! This interactive map gives you an instant look at where our former participants lived and studied. We also added in the extracurricular activities so you can see what your HIGH SCHOOL in the USA experience might look like!

Yellow pins represent small towns; Green pins represent medium/large town or city; Blue pins are for big cities

Purple flags show states where we currently have a Local Coordinator*; Purple balloons show states where we are expanding this year,


Click on a pin to see more info about a specific placement/place. If you scroll down, you will also have access to photos of the town and the local high school!


* Local Coordinators are HSUSA staff who will be the point of liaison between you and your host family. 



How long will my exchange program last?

Your exchange will last for one semester (January to August) or one academic year (August to June)- approximately 10 months. J-1 exchanges are limited to a maximum of one academic year in length.

How are the placements with host families determined?

HSUSA places a high value on finding the best possible family for each exchange student. When a family applies to host, we interview them in their home, check their references, and review the students application to make sure the student and family are a good match. We match by interests and major themes you’d have in common as well as making sure the home environment doesn’t conflict with allergies or lifestyle circumstances you may have.

Can I chose which city in the USA I’m placed?

HSUSA doesn’t allow applicants to chose the location of their placement. Students are often inexperienced in knowing where a good place to live would be. For 99% of students, New Your City is far better place to visit than live. Our experience shows that having a good host family and school match is a far superior factor to a successful exchange year than location.

What does the preparation look like?

HSUSA leads the exchange program industry in training for cultural assimilation. We have seven video modules of training that you’ll process with our sending partners or our staff in our Nashville, Tennessee, USA office. We will also go through a 2 hour orientation with you before you leave and after you arrive in the USA.

Will I have host siblings? What will my host family be like?

Host families come in all different shapes and sizes. Most host families are made up of a mother, father, and children, but that can vary by country. It is not guaranteed that your host siblings will be your age

When will I be notified of my acceptance?

Acceptances are made on a rolling basis, so early submission is highly encouraged. Students who apply to certain programs earlier will be notified earlier. Full Year program applicants will be notified of their status no later than May. Semester program applicants will be notified no later than November.

May I play a sport or participate in an activity?

USA high schools often conduct tryouts for sports and there are teams at varying skill levels. Your sport may or may not be popular at your high school and it may be available at the club level. While HSUSA can’t promise participation on a high school sports team, with few exceptions anyone can try out for the sports they carry. It’s common for students to participate in after school activities and an exceptional way for exchange students to make friends and participate in the USA high school experience.

Can I graduate from my high school abroad?

Each host school and school district has its own requirements. Student can receive an official transcript of their grades at the completion of the school year by requesting for one from their host school.

Will I receive credit for my school year in America with my home school?

Your home school may or may not receive your credits. You’ll have to ask with your home school.

Can I get my drivers license while I’m abroad?

Exchange students aren’t allowed to drive while on their exchange program.

Can I travel to other places while on program?

Yes! You will be able to travel with your host family, as long as you have approval from your natural parents as well as your local coordinator of the program.

How do I get credit for semester or year programs?

Only your high school can agree to accept your international credits upon your return home. HSUSA does not guarantee credit transfers from your international school to your local high school for semester or year programs.

it is natural at this point to have a ton of questions! While we are more than happy to answer them all personally, here is a short list of Frequently Asked Questions.