If you are seeking academic credit, you must check with your school in your home country and with your Ministry of Education to learn about the procedures to earn academic credit for the classes you may take in the USA.
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Prospective Candidate FAQs
ASSIST has been placing international students in American independent schools for over 40 years. We seek to place students in schools where there is an optimal fit and where the student will be successful. We ask that you trust our organization to make the best placement possible for each individual.
Yes, of course, your friends and family can visit you during your exchange year. However, we strongly recommend that visits take place later in the year, preferably in the spring, long after you have had an opportunity to acclimate to your school and develop friendships.
Candidates apply through the ASSIST Country Coordinator in their home country. If ASSIST does not have a Country Coordinator in your home country, you can apply directly through ASSIST. Please see how to apply from your home country.
ASSIST uses the following primary criteria:
- The academic excellence and achievement of the student.
- The level of English command as measured by a standardized test, a written essay and the interview.
- Other elements of the application (teacher recommendations, essay).
- The ability of the student to contribute to extracurricular activities of the school.
- The personality and maturity level of the student; his or her ability to engage socially.
- The instinct to want to share his or her own culture.
- The candidate’s promise to become a leader in the future.
Of course. After completing their secondary education at home, many ASSIST Scholars have returned for undergraduate or graduate degrees at eminent American colleges and universities. ASSIST and the American school will both help in this process.
You may not. ASSIST scholarships are offered for one year, after which you are expected to return home to share what you have learned with family, friends and teachers.
Beyond the financial requirements for students from your country, your responsibilities as ASSIST Scholars include being good representatives of your country, your family and of ASSIST. ASSIST Scholars should be involved in their American school communities. At the end of the ASSIST year, Scholars must return home to share what you have learned and help develop international understanding and friendships.
Students who have the strongest profiles are awarded a full scholarship to their American school (the school itself fully funds the scholarship). Students who are also very well qualified, but for whom a full scholarship is not available, may be offered a partial scholarship (meaning that the student’s family would pay approximately half of the school tuition).
Students between the ages of 15 and 18.5 years old who have not been exchange students in the U.S. before and who meet the criteria below are encouraged to apply.
There are numerous people in independent school communities on whom students rely to help them during their year abroad, including, but not limited to, academic advisors, dormitory advisors, and the local ASSIST representatives. ASSIST staff members from our main office are also available to provide support and assistance.
For those students placed in day schools, they will be assigned at least one host family for the school year. In some cases, day students will live with more than one host family over the course of the year, allowing them to experience different lifestyles that exist among American families.
Students attending boarding schools may be placed at a homestay family depending on their school start dates.