United States of America

The playwright Arthur Miller once said that the essence of America was its promise. For newly arrived immigrants and jet-lagged travellers alike, that promise of America can take on near mythic proportions. America is a land of dazzling cities, towering coast redwoods, alpine lakes, rolling vineyards, chiselled peaks, barren deserts and a dramatic coastline of unrivalled beauty. And that’s just California!

My exchange was life altering. There were unbelievable highs – memories burnt into my brain forever. My schooling was a blast. So many friends, the cafeteria, the nickname inevitably was given – “Hey Australia!” I loved my host family and we still keep in touch, because we went through/experienced so much together. It was a journey of self-discovery.

Johnathan Porthill – Year program to the USA

Program Options to the USA

You have 3 program options available for your student exchange to USA:

  1. Standard Exchange Program – Choose to be placed with a host family and attend a local school on a Semester or Year program.
  2. Standard Exchange Program with Location Options – Choose to be be placed in a specific location for an additional fee on a Semester or Year program.
  3. High School Choice Exchange Program – Choose from a range of regions, school districts and schools for a Semester or Year program. Fully participate in athletics, clubs and other extracurricular activities whilst on exchange.

Scroll down to see the next available departure dates, a list of available school districts and to understand the differences between these programs.

Please note:  A metropolitan placement guarantee is available for an additional $1,700. 


Standard Program Prices & Departure Dates

Next available departures for USA

Length Departure Fee Application deadline Early Bird deadline Scholarship deadline
LengthSemester DepartureAug 2024 FeeAU $12950 Application deadline31/03/2024 Early Bird deadline31/10/2023 Scholarship deadline31/10/2023
LengthAcademic Year DepartureAug 2024 FeeAU $14450 Application deadline31/03/2024 Early Bird deadline31/10/2023 Scholarship deadline31/10/2023
LengthSemester DepartureJan 2025 FeeAU $12950 Application deadline31/07/2024 Early Bird deadline31/03/2024 Scholarship deadline31/03/2024
LengthAcademic Year DepartureJan 2025 FeeAU $14450 Application deadline31/07/2024 Early Bird deadline31/03/2024 Scholarship deadline31/03/2024

Important Program Information

USA Soft Landing Camp in New York (optional, August arrivals only)

Additional AU$1995 / NZ$2150 pp

The trip includes

  • Stay in a double or triple room for three nights
  • Breakfast
  • Important preparatory meetings
  • Networking with other students
  • Camp Leader assistance for your stay
  • Sightseeing tours in 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

Day 1: Meet and greet at the airport, transfers and 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.  

Additional Program Notes

  • Optional Program Extras such as tours are available at additional cost.
  • We can NOT offer 2 or 3 month programs to the USA due to visa restrictions. 2 & 3 month programs are available to Canada and other destinations. Click here to view the list of destinations.
  • Students are eligible to go to the USA if they have NOT completed more than 11 years of primary and secondary study, exclusive of kindergarten.
  • Students must be at least 15 years of age, but not more than 18 years and six months when their program starts.
  • Students applying for the USA need to have school grades that are consistently above average.
  • Any student who is currently in their final year of high school cannot apply for a January departure the following year. The USA does not accept recent graduates or GAP Year applicants.
  • 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.
  • Students applying for the Semester program will complete between 4 to 5 months based on the semester calendar of the school they are attending.
  • There is a separate application form for the USA, including an online portion that can be accessed from our downloads page. Please contact us using the form below if you would like one emailed to you.
  • 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.
  • 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 $1000 fee will be charged to request an alternative host family.
  • Please note some medical restrictions may apply and can be discussed further upon application.  

Location Options

Pick your preferred location in the USA

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.


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. 

Providing you meet our usual eligibility criteria, your placement on one of these limited spots will be confirmed when your application is received by our office, accepted and your deposit paid. 

Location selection options are subject to availability and are not guaranteed. Click here for Location Choice pricing

USA High School Choice Program

Choose the school you would like to study at during your exchange

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.

Click here to find out more about USA High School Choice (F1 visa).

See above for our standard USA Exchange Program (J1 visa).

High School Choice Departure Dates*

  • Year Program - August/September
  • Semester Program - August/September or January

*Departure dates may vary depending on choice of school district.

The full USA High School Choice Program cost is the combined total of the School and Accommodation Price, the Program Management Price, the Insurance fee ($800USD year / $400USD semester) and Application fee ($200-$500USD). These costs will be invoiced separately, and the Schools and Accommodation Price, Insurance Fee and Application Fee is invoiced directly from the USA, in US dollars.

Note that SEANZ reserves the right to make adjustments to Program Prices should circumstances beyond SEANZ's control warrant such a change. SEANZ also reserves the right to change or alter travel plans, program dates, program components or other arrangements including cancellations of programs or groups. Late applications may be considered. Some program destinations are subject to availability. Cancellation Penalties do apply.

Find out more - Attend one of our Info Sessions

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

  • Meet our staff
  • Hear comprehensive information on all aspects of exchange
  • Ask questions
  • Listen to questions asked by other students and parents
  • Meet other students who are considering going on exchange

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