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Choosing a Student Exchange Program to Come to the US

Part 35 of our Foreign Student Series looks at programs for high school and college students. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

We continue our Foreign Student Series this week with two questions that we received. Anatolii Artamonov, a university student in Ukraine, would like to know about student exchange programs in the United States. Anatolii would especially like to know about the one called Work and Travel USA. And fifteen-year-old Betty Xu in China wants to know about a program called ASSE.

ASSE is the American Scandinavian Student Exchange. This program was established in Sweden in nineteen seventy-six to organize exchanges with the United States. It expanded to include students in Norway, Denmark and Finland.

Today ASSE organizes international exchanges for high school students in thirty-one countries. The students live with a family and attend school for a year.

Other programs also offer high school students a chance to come to the United States. These include AFS, Youth for Understanding and the Program of Academic Exchange, or PAX.

For college students, there are programs like the International Student Exchange Program, or ISEP. This is a group of almost three hundred colleges in thirty-nine countries. ISEP is an independent organization that was supported by the United States government until nineteen ninety-six.

ISEP is a true exchange program. That means two students from different countries trade places for a semester or a year.

Work and Travel USA is also for college students. But this program is not for those who want to study in the United States. It provides international students with the chance to work for up to four months while exploring American life.

The State Department says they generally work in hotels, restaurants and amusement parks but may also work for other employers. An organization called CIEE administers this program. It says students must understand that the money they earn from their work may not be enough to pay all of their costs.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. Our Foreign Student Series on higher education in the United States is available online, with helpful links to Web sites, at Our series offers all kinds of information and advice for international students who want to attend an American college or university.

To send us e-mail, write to, and please be sure to include your full name and where you are from. I'm Faith Lapidus.