The purpose of this program is to foster mutual understanding between adolescents from other countries and the American people while providing these youths an opportunity to grow in academics and character. Under the program, exchange students study at an accredited public or private high school and live with an American host family. In rare cases, an exchange student could also reside in a boarding school.
According to the rules of the U.S. Department of State, you should:
o Be a secondary school student in your own country.
o Not have completed more than 11 years of education(including elementary school, middle school and high school) after kindergarten; OR not be more than 18.5 years old as of the program start date;
o Be mature and have good character and scholastic aptitude;
o Not have participated in this program before;
o Have never attended an American school in F-1 or J-1 visa status.
Forte usually recruits our exchange students through authorized partners in other countries and regions. Currently we have partners in Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Ukraine, Thailand, and Vietnam. In an effort to diversify our student population, we are trying to identify accredited organizations in more countries and areas.
If you live in one of the countries or regions mentioned above, please contact us to obtain our partner information. Then you should contact the partner agency and submit your application to them. You should complete our application package, which includes:
o our application form;
o an official transcript for the past two school years from your school(s);
o a personal essay;
o medical records;
o two recommendations: one from your English teacher and the other from your math teacher;
o photos that demonstrate your personal and family life;
o your parents’ and your signatures on our agreements.
We would suggest that you think seriously before committing to the program. Forte does provide comprehensive health and accident insurance to our exchange students (some of our partners choose to provide their own insurance, which is approved by Forte and which has sufficient coverage). As a general practice, this insurance does NOT cover pre-existing conditions.
Moreover, as you can expect, studying and living in a foreign country can be very stressful. This stress may worsen your symptoms and the symptoms in turn will create more stress. This may be too much for a teenager.
To be practical, we recommend that you wait until your health conditions have improved.
If you are allergic to dogs, cats or other pets, you should understand that the vast majority of our host families have pets. Pollen is also everywhere in America, even in big cities, so if you are allergic to pollen that can be a problem. Host families usually hesitate to host students with allergies because it would be a liability to them. In order to make your stay in the U.S. better for everyone, you should ensure that your allergies are mild enough that they do not affect your everyday life and you have the medication to control them.
If your allergy is serious, life-threatening, or cannot be controlled by medication, we strongly recommend that you wait until your symptoms have mitigated.