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America is abundant with stunning views and exciting attractions, ranging from the majestic Grand Canyon to magical Disneyland. With each state offering unique qualities, embarking on an exchange program to America opens a world of limitless possibilities. Spend your afternoons engaging in school sports or joining social clubs and forge new friendships and lifelong connections.

Students on our Classic Programs enter the USA on a J1 Visa.
Students on our High School Choice Programs enter the USA on an F1 Visa.

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Program Summary:

USA Program Options

Classic Exchange Program any location

Choose to be placed with a host family and attend a local school on an Academic Semester or Year program.

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Classic Exchange Program with Area Choice

Choose to be be placed in a specific location for an additional fee on a Semester or Year program.

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High School Choice Exchange Program

Choose from a range of regions, school districts and schools for an Academic Semester or Year program. Your exchange, your way!

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Classic Program

Our Classic program will match you with a welcoming host family and place you in a nearby school. We find the host family and choose the school, and you can enjoy immersing yourself in local culture & community. These programs are perfect for students who:

​* are flexible about location, and the academic experience
​* want to have a cultural experience​ 
​* are interested in joining sports, clubs, and activities
​* want to develop confidence and improve language skills​ 

Girl at the Grand Canyon

Classic Program Information

Age and eligibility

Students must be 15 – 17 years of age at the start of the program. Any student who is currently in their final year of high school cannot apply for a January departure the following year.

Please note some medical restrictions may apply and can be discussed further upon application.

If a perfectly adequate host family placement that is qualified by, and in accordance with, US State Department guidelines is rejected due to personal preferences including geographical, rural, metropolitan or family demographics a AU$1000 fee will be charged to request an alternative host family.

Language criteria

Not applicable.

Program length

Students applying for the Year program departing in January of each will complete two Semesters with the USA summer break in the middle of their school year. Please note, we have limited spots for our January Academic Year and Semester programs.

Students applying for the Semester program will complete between 4 to 6 months based on the semester calendar of the school they are attending. Please note, the September Academic Year program will finish in June of the following year.

We are not able to offer 2 or 3 month programs to the USA due to visa restrictions. 2 & 3 month programs are available to Canada and other destinations.

Please see Short Programs for alternate destinations.


High schools in the USA offer diverse subjects, extracurricular activities, and a supportive environment. Students can explore various fields, join sports teams and clubs, and receive guidance from dedicated teachers. These schools help students grow academically, personally, and socially, preparing them for higher education or careers. American high schools empower students to discover their passions, expand their knowledge, and build a foundation for a successful future. Students on Classic programs will be placed at the local high school in their host community.

Additional fees are needed for school books, activity fees, sports check-up, lunches in the cafeteria.


Students are required to be vaccinated and have received their standard childhood vaccinations for their age group. Your host school in the USA will require additional immunisations for you to be considered up to date with their national immunisation program such as Meningococcal ACWY, TB test within 6 months prior arriving in the USA, etc. Covid-19 is recommended (not compulsory).


All applicants are required to apply for a visa at their own expense. This requires an appointment at the US Embassy, which may involve travelling to your nearest consulate:

  • AUS: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth
  • NZ: Auckland

Students cannot book their visa appointment prior to receiving either the DS2019 form (J-1 Visa).

Please note: USA immigration fees including Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee of USD$220 as well as Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee of USD$185 is charged in addition to the program fee.  These fees form part of the visa application process and are required by the USA immigration authority.

Students traveling on Australian & New Zealand passports, with programs up to 90 days, generally travel as “tourists” and do not need to apply for a visa prior departure. However, for programs extending beyond the 90-day period (including Semester & Academic Year programs), students are usually required to apply for the necessary visa.

Program Coordinators will provide the essential visa documents so students can lodge their visa application. Please note that Program Coordinators are not Registered Migration Agents and cannot represent the applicant. Program Coordinators will provide “guidance” where possible, however the responsibility of lodging the visa falls upon the student/parents. Visa application requirements differ per destination and, on top of the visa documents provided by your Program Coordinator, students will need to provide additional documents such as birth certificate, bank statements, police check certificate, passport photos, letter of parental consent, etc.

Visa application fees (set by the foreign Authority) fluctuate depending on the destination and may vary from $180 to $700. These costs exclude expenses such as translations, official stamps (Notary Public stamp, Apostille stamp), national police certificate, passports photos, express post envelopes, etc. In some cases, students must attend an in-person consulate / visa agency appointment, which may incur additional personal expenses for travel such as purchasing flights (Interstate flight or international flight if no representation in your home country), petrol costs, tolls, accommodation, etc.

The budget allocated for flights to USA is NZ$3,200 of the program price listed below. We may need to charge a flight surcharge if we cannot obtain a flight within this budget. For more information, please see our Flight Surcharge Policy on our Money Matters page.

Classic Program Prices for USA

LengthProgram DepartureProgram fee
Application deadline
Jan 2025$15,950Jul 31, 2024
Jan 2025$16,950Jul 31, 2024
Aug 2025$17,950Mar 1, 2025
Aug 2025$18,950Mar 1, 2025
Jan 2026$17,950Jul 31, 2025
Jan 2026$18,950Jul 31, 2025

Each destination has a budget for flights included in the fee. If flight costs are above this budgeted amount, a Flight Surcharge may apply. Please see our Money Matters page for program inclusions, the flight surcharge policy and other important pricing information.

USA Program dates vary from depending on the location, all states are different as they are determined by the schools. Program start dates are indicative arrivals in the destination & students attending the Soft Landing Camp (if available) will depart earlier. Program start dates serve as approximate arrival dates at the destination and subject to change. We will notify you of your confirmed program dates ahead of time to prevent any confusion or inconvenience.

Scholarship & Early Bird Discount Application Deadlines
October 31, 2024: classic programs departing between April 2025 – September 2025
March 31, 2025: classic programs departing between October 2025 – March 2026
Find out more about Scholarships and Early Bird Discounts.

Area choices

Students applying for the USA have the option to pick the location they would like to live in during their exchange for August departures only. The deadline for applications with Location Options close on December 15, the year prior to departure.

Students will need to complete a separate form if they’d like to select their location/s. This form is then sent with the application form to our overseas partner. If applicants are successfully placed in one of their preferred locations, then an additional location fee will be applied to the normal program price.

r placement on one of these limited spots will be confirmed when your application is received by our office, accepted and your deposit paid.

Please note, eligibility criteria applies for Area Requests:

  • B average or higher
  • No allergies (dogs, cats, nuts etc.)
  • No dietary restrictions
  • No pre-existing medical conditions

Location selection options are subject to availability and are not guaranteed.

Friends at High School Pep Rally in the USA

High School Choice

Students who are looking to go on exchange to the USA have the option to apply for a semester or academic year program and choose from a range of schools or school districts in the USA.

Our USA High School Choice program allows students to enter the USA on an F1 visa. In addition to choosing where they would like to study while on exchange, the F1 visa allows the applicant to attend school on a full academic program. This provides the opportunity to gain study credits and diplomas needed to attend a University in the USA.

New York Soft Landing Camp Fire Station

Soft Landing Camp in New York

Optional at an additional cost NZ$2,150

Please check with your Program Coordinator to see if you are eligible to join this Soft Landing Camp as availability depends on where your host family lives in the USA. August programs only.

Soft Landing Camp:

  • Stay in a double or triple room for three nights
  • Breakfast
  • Important preparatory meetings
  • Networking with other students
  • Camp Leaders assistance you thorough your stay
  • Sightseeing tours at Manhattan
  • All transport between airport, hotel and Manhattan
  • Lunch and dinner is not included, we will make sure to give you information on what’s most affordable

Agenda (example only):

Day 1: Flights from your destination to Newark, check-in at the hotel and arrival information meeting Day 2: Information meeting, Sightseeing
Day 3: Information meeting, Sightseeing
Day 4: Departure to your host family

Please note that the program is subject to change and a flight surcharge may apply.

LIVE Online sessions

If you would like to find out more information on our programs, please attend one of our free LIVE Online Information Sessions to:

  • Meet our staff
  • Hear comprehensive information on all aspects of exchange
  • Ask questions
  • See questions asked by other students and parents

Information evenings run for about an hour.
They are friendly, free and are the best way for us to address your specific questions in person.

Mother and teenage daughter online

Still considering where to go on exchange?

An overview of all programs, prices and application deadlines can be found here.
Please click and scroll across to see our destinations

Enjoy your exchange experience at an excellent high school in warm, welcoming and diverse Canada, the most multicultural country on earth! Extraordinary nature, vibrant cities and respected academic achievements for your future!

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Your high school exchange will show you why France is the world’s top tourist destination: rich historical sites, stunning nature, fantastic food and a vigorous debating tradition in a world language spoken by almost 100 million people!

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Argentina is well-known for its natural scenery, modern cities and fashion but also for tradition and hospitality. It is an ideal destination for exchange.

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Denmark is one of the happiest nations on earth with some of the best quality of life. Enjoy the hospitality along with an outstanding education system.

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There’s something pure in the Finnish air and spirit that’s incredibly vital and exciting; with the trendsetting modern capital of Helsinki counterbalanced by vast forested wildernesses in the north and east. Try something different on exchange on Finland.

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Your high school exchange in Europe’s economic powerhouse is a great opportunity to invest in your future while discovering rich German language and culture, an open, welcoming society and many stimulating experiences!

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The Emerald Isle welcomes you in English and in Gaelic, to great schools, warm families, dynamic cities and close-knit small towns. Ireland has become a hotbed of innovation but remains rooted in rich traditions you will love!

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Spend your high school exchange in astonishing Italy, from beautiful medieval towns to mountains and seashore; discover capital cities of design; enjoy fabulous farm-to-table food, and learn the world’s most romantic language!

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Who hasn’t heard of Amsterdam, the capital of culture, coffee houses and canals? Its mesmerising beauty is hard to overestimate, and yet a surfeit of stunning metropoles are only hours, or even minutes, away by train.

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Experience the adventure of a lifetime with your neighbours! Australia beckons with its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and world-class education. Discover a both similarities and differences, make lifelong friends as a high school exchange student in Australia.

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Norway is, by any standards, one of the most beautiful countries on earth – discover Norwegian traditions and culture on exchange in Norway

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Open doors by studying a great world language in a country with mountains, ocean and medieval villages all within reach, and a laid-back culture where you can learn and enjoy at the same time!

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Sweden’s progressive society also provides an ideal climate for innovation and economic advancement. Your high school exchange here will also reveal why the country is consistently among the world’s happiest!

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United Kingdom

Some of the world’s best schools are in the UK. Combine rich culture and history, beautiful countryside, enthusiastic sports clubs and exciting excursions during your exchange in the UK.

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Being a high school exchange student in the USA is like embarking on an adventure filled with new friendships, diverse cultures, and a world of educational opportunities. It’s a an experience that broadens horizons and creates lasting memories.

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Immerse yourself in the captivating blend of ancient traditions and modern innovation. Engage in authentic cultural experiences, attend Japanese high school, and build lasting friendships. This program offers a unique opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance language skills, and gain a global perspective that will undoubtedly shape your future.

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Worldwide High School Online Brochure

For an overview of our programs, our team will send you our Worldwide High School Online Brochure.

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LIVE Online Info Sessions

Please register here to learn more about Student Exchange

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Interested in hosting?

You can get involved by hosting an exchange student

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Classic High School Programs

Traditional exchange programs in all destinations

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High School Choice Programs

Tailor your high school exchange in the USA or Canada

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