STS High School 14–18 years of age
Empowering young people since 1958!
Live the American Dream!

High School in USA

Host family
Age 15-18

“It’s like a movie!” That’s what we often say when things don’t seem like they are for real. But being a high school student in the USA, no matter where in the country you get to stay, you will learn that some of what you’ve seen in films and on TV is actually true. The school spirit, the cheerleaders, the yellow buses and the football teams for example. They do exist and you will experience it all in real life. But your high school year in the US is about so much more. This is your chance to experience everyday life the American way! Living here and really get to know the people and country from the inside is truly an amazing opportunity.

High School Classic

From $14,400

High School Classic is the traditional high school exchange programme, chosen by most of our students. It is the perfect programme for those who long for a genuine high school experience abroad and who are willing to embrace all the surprises it can bring. Here’s how it works: based on your profile, we find you a suitable host family and school, and the best part is, it can be anywhere in the USA, from the Rocky Mountains to the deserts of Texas to the beaches of California! If you’re open to adventure and are willing to let yourself be surprised by your exchange experience, this is the programme for you.

High School Select

From $15,760

STS High School Select is the choice for you who want to decide which school and city you want to study in yourself. It is definitely the best choice for those who want to be able to influence those parts of your US exchange. STS High School Select collaborates with excellent schools in popular California, sunny Florida and among the university spirit in Massachusetts. Tell us what is important for you – whether it is being able to study media and photography, play hockey or live close to the coast, and we will help you tailor the best possible exchange.

STS works with carefully selected schools offering high-level academic schools across the country. Wherever you choose to stay in the United States, you can be sure to go to a good school and to live with a caring and carefully selected host family. High school in the United States is an important and great part of life for the Americans and the high school life here is like nowhere else. You will experience Friday Night Football, prom and school musicals typical for the country, and as a exchange student you will quickly be a part of the community.

Below is a small selection of American schools that meet many of the most common requests. If these are not what you are looking for, please visit our international page for the full overview of High Select Schools in the USA. We are confident we can find a great school that is right for just you!

Read more about our schools in the USA

Let's meet!

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Become a true American

The USA is a large continent, with six time zones and 50 different states. From Alaska to Hawaii, you will find that all the states have their own traditions and a unique culture. Look for adventures in Colorado, enjoy the sunny beaches of California, visit a ranch in Texas and experience the great lakes of Michigan. Wherever your high school year will take you, it will be a year of your life that will open up your eyes and give you some of that true American belief that you can do it all!

Population: 322 million
Area: 9.8 million km2
Capital: Washington DC
Biggest city: New York City (8,5 million)
Number of states: 50
Currency: US Dollar
Measurement system: British / Imperial Units (inches, ounces)
Country number: +1

Freedom, activities and school spirit!

When you’re an exchange student in the USA, your school will play a central role in your new lifestyle. This is where you will have classes, of course, but it will also be a place for after school activities and hanging out with friends. Whether you’re into American football, drama, music or art, there will be a team or club for you. Teachers and students share a pride of their high school and you will soon live and feel the famous school spirit.

Are you a Junior or a Senior?

The American school system is divided into 12 grades, with high school being grade 9 to 12. High school students are divided into four groups called Freshmen, Sophmores, Juniors and Seniors. Most exchange students will be placed as Juniors or Seniors, meaning year 11 or 12. Your placement depends on your age, grades, level of English and the local school rules.

Choose some typical American subjects

Being a high school student in the USA means a lot of freedom to choose your own educational mix. English, maths and sometimes American history, are usually compulsory subjects. Apart from these, you can select additional classes to fill your schedule. Go for a subject you already like or try something typically American, like public speaking or government. Teachers love it when you’re active. Don’t be shy to raise your hand and ask questions and your high school year in the USA will teach you more than you could even imagine.

Your American host family

Americans are open, friendly and hospitable. And all our host families are carefully selected and motivated. They are looking forward to meeting you and you will soon feel like a family member and experience the culture and traditions from the inside.

Weekend mornings in the shopping mall, a barbecue with the neighbors and activities with the local sports club. Living with one of our carefully selected host families, you will live the life of a typical American. And you will certainly feel welcome. Americans are known for their social and friendly attitude and your host family will make you a natural part of their lifestyle and daily routines. They will bring you to their favourite ice cream bar and burger restaurant and you will meet their friends and relatives at dinners. But you are also expected to help them with the household chores on a regular basis – just like home.

Typical American holidays

Americans are often very proud of their country and its traditions. Whether you will be staying an hour away from New York, on a ranch in Texas, in a huge family in Utah or in a smaller one in Wisconsin, you will be there for the big events. You can count on being a part of the celebrations at Halloween (trick or treat!), Thanksgiving (all the turkey you can eat), Memorial Day (honoring military veterans) and other big occasions when friends and family come together for a great party.

Quick facts

  • Who can go: 15–18,5 years on arrival
  • Departure month: January/July-September
  • Language requirements: Good English skills
  • Visa: Yes. Additional cost
  • Choice of destination: Yes. Additional cost
  • Prep Course: STS Welcome Camp, included
  • School year: August/September–May/June
  • School day: Usually 08.00 – 15.30
  • Subjects: Compulsory and optional courses
  • Popular trips in the country: Hawaii, STS Coast to Coast and more to an additional cost
Nothing says America quite like Football. From High School to College games, fun for everyone! / Sussanah Olssen USA

Life after school

Sports, rhetoric, art, writing, design. In the USA you engage in school activities when the ordinary lessons are over for the day. And you can be sure of one thing: there is something for everybody and every interest! Sports are important in American high schools, but you do not have to take part as a player or contestant. It is equally important to support your friends and school teams from the stands, cheering and sharing the school spirit.

Time for prom night

There is a reason that the prom (a yearly traditional dance) and the homecoming (reunion of old students) are frequent themes in high school movies. These occasions do exist and they usually engage everybody at school. Preparations begin months before and these events are really a highlight everybody looks forward to.

Travel with us in the US

You will, of course, spend some free time out in your new town as well. No matter where you’re staying, there will be plenty of new and exciting things to do. Also, we want to give you the chance to see even more of the country. We offer lots of different trips in the USA. Your list of choices depends on where you are staying, but some popular examples are trips to Hawaii, Washington DC, Florida and California with visits to Disneyland in Hollywood. An exchange year is not only about school, it’s about having fun too!

STS Welcome Camp in New York

Get the best possible start to your high school exchange in North America at our amazing Welcome Camp in New York. Together with exchange students from all over the world, you will get the chance to get over your jetlag as you explore one of the world’s most amazing cities.

Add ons

Gain more control over your high school exchange with our placement guarantees. Choose your location and make your dreams a reality.   

End your year abroad with an unforgettable road trip. Discover the best of the USA from coast to coast or explore some of Canada’s greatest highlights on a Canada adventure. 

What's included

  • Air fares to host family and back
  • Accommodation in an approved host family
  • Full board in a host family
  • School spot in a public high school 
  • Personal assistance and contact person from home country and host country
  • STS Welcome Camp 
  • Pre-departure orientation in your home country
  • Emergency support 24/7
  • Free interview 
  • Meetings and material to prepare you and your parents
  • STS bag and t-shirt 
  • STS Diploma
  • STS Ambassador Club


High School Classic

10 months
August 2020
5 months
August 2020
5 months
January 2021
10 months
August 2021
5 months
August 2021

High School Select

1 academic year
August 2020
From $22,090
1 Semester
August 2020
From $15,760


When do you want to travel?

About you/the student