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Exchange Is a Cost-Saving Way to Spend a Year at a U.S. College

I’m Barbara Klein with the VOA Special English Education Report.

Over the past year we offered advice to foreign students who want to attend an American college or university. Today we tell about a way to study in the United States for less time and less money.

The International Student Exchange Program was started in nineteen seventy-nine. ISEP is a group of colleges and universities around the world. They cooperate to provide international educational experiences for their students.

Two hundred sixty schools in the United States and thirty-five other countries are members of the program. More than twenty-four thousand students have taken part.

Students can study for up to one year in the United States or any of the other countries involved. Students do not have to go through the usual application process to get into a school. And they pay only what they would have to pay for a term at their own school at home.

To take part in the ISEP program, students must attend a member college or university. Each school has an ISEP coordinator. This person helps students apply to the ISEP office in Washington, D.C.

To be accepted, students must have good grades. They must also provide TOEFL scores. TOEFL is the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Students are asked to list up to ten choices of American schools they would like to attend. Officials at the ISEP office then place students in the openings offered in colleges and universities.

ISEP officials say students who want to study in a foreign country generally do so during their third or fourth year of college. Students are advised to begin preparations at least one year before they want to experience the program. Applications must be sent to Washington by February of each year. The students accepted can then begin their year in the United States in September.

ISEP officials also have advice for high school students who think they would like to take part in the program during college. Be sure to attend a college or university that offers the International Student Exchange Program.

Internet users can get complete information about ISEP at its Web site: We will have a link at, where you can find all of our reports. To find our Foreign Student Series, enter the words "Foreign Student" in quotation marks in the search box.

This VOA Special English Education Report was written by Nancy Steinbach. I’m Barbara Klein.