Academic Year Program
Have you been dreaming of spending a school year in a foreign country? Are you looking for the adventure of a lifetime? Do you love meeting new people and having new experiences? Then look no further! CHI’s Academic Year Program (AYP) is your chance to spend an academic year (10 months) or a semester (5 months) living with a volunteer host family in the US. Study at an American high school, share your culture with a family and their community, travel on trips with your local administrators, meet other exchange students, and help to make the world a more peaceful and understanding place!
Best of all, you’ll build meaningful, lifelong relationships with your hosts, friends, and coordinators, and have a lot of fun along the way!
Although we find you homes and schools, the process actually begins in your home country! We work with foreign partner agencies from over 30 countries who send your applications to us so that we can make your program happen.
Contact a partner agency in your home or a near-by country. We can also send you a list of partners near you. They will set you up with an application and let you know what you need to submit in order to be considered.
Our Admissions Department reviews and accepts your application.
We issue and send your agency the Form DS-2019, which is the official US Department of State document that allows you to apply for and receive your J-1 visa. Once you receive the DS-2019 you can make your visa appointment. Once the visa is complete, you are all set to travel to America.
Meanwhile, our Field and Operations staff work hard to find you the perfect family and school as soon as possible! As soon as we find the right host family for you, you can start to get to know your family by email.
Your agency will book your flight according to your school start date.
When you arrive, we will give you a student orientation and introduce you to other exchange students and the surrounding community.
Soon after arrival, school starts and you will begin the process of the cultural exchange! The school is where you’ll have the chance to get out there, meet people, and participate in fun extracurricular activities.
After you arrive, your job is simply to do well in school, get involved in activities, and do your part to become a new member of your host family. That means spending time with them, cooking them food from your culture, and showing them how much you appreciate their willingness to host you.
After the 5 or 10 months of your program, you must return to your home country. It is always hard saying goodbye, but remember that your program allows you to meet and live with people who you will know for the rest of your life and who you would have never been able to meet! As we say in America, it’s not really goodbye - it’s “see you later.”