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I want to graduate from a U.S. university

Michaela, from the Czech Republic, decided to come back to the U.S. for another year with CIEE so she could pursue her goal of attending a U.S. university:

Why did you decide to come back to the U.S. for another year?

I decided to come back to the U.S. because I wanted to graduate from an American high school, and eventually continue my education in the U.S. with attending an American college. 

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What is the best part of coming back for another year?

The best part of coming back to U.S. is that I experienced two very different families, and lifestyles. First year in Missouri with older couple with three adult daughters who didn't live with us, plus one more exchange student from China. Second year in Michigan with young family with two little adorable girls. You'll never know what the second year has prepared for you, and I encourage you to give it a chance, and do another year, I can guarantee that you will not regret!  

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Why would you recommend this to another student?

This is a great opportunity not only to improve your English, but also challenge yourself because not everything will be easy there, get new experiences you've never known you will ever experience, and meet new people. 

 

Want to come back for another year in the U.S. like Michaela and get $1000 off your program fee? Click here to learn more

I wanted to improve my English

Nutthakamon from Thailand is in her second year with the CIEE High School USA program, and will be coming back for a third this upcoming year! When asked why she decided to come back to the U.S. for another year, this is what she said:

"I decided to come back to the U.S. because I wanted to make my English better, I love American people, and I wanted to graduate in the U.S. I decided to come back with CIEE because they always give all information that I wanted, give advice when I needed help and I already have an experience with CIEE so that makes me know that CIEE is the best program and trust in all CIEE staffs!

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I recommend CIEE because I have been with CIEE for 2 years and next year will be my third year with CIEE so I know that CIEE will always be with you when you have problems, and always help us solve the problems.

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The best part since I came back to the U.S. is having a new experiences. Last year I stayed with small family that has four people in the house, but this year I stay with 8 people so this makes a lot of different feeling but I am happy with it. Also school: I am in private school this year so it is different from last year when I was in public school. In this school, we have lots of international students from different countries around the world so that makes me have a lot of friends from different countries like from Thailand, Vietnam, Rwanda, the U.S. and so on. And another thing that I like is foods!"

Want to come back for another year like Nutthakamon and get $1000 off your program fee? Click here to learn more

Three Great Years With CIEE

Bang, from Vietnam, is a veteran CIEE student. Over his years in the U.S., he’s entered our contests, impressed us with his spring roll recipe, made friends, and has come back for a third year in the U.S.! As an experienced CIEE student, we thought Bang would be the perfect person to ask about coming back to the U.S.!

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After his first year on the High School USA Exchange program, Bang decided to come back on our Choice program. “I had always desired to learn about the American culture. I wanted to study in America whose education system is among the best in the world.”

Now in his third year with CIEE, Bang is currently attending Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School in South Carolina, where his favorite class is Comparative Government, "because it broadens my knowledge about the various political systems in the world.”

Why did you decide to come back to the U.S. with CIEE?

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I decided to come back with CIEE because of the tremendous amount of support that I had during my exchange year. My local coordinators were really engaging and organized events for us throughout the year. My host family were so welcoming and wonderful that I felt like I was at home. I came back with CIEE because I knew that I would have an amazing experience again.

Why do you recommend this experience to another student?

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As an international student, I know that this experience can be overwhelming at times, and CIEE’s host families have really provided me with the help and support I need to make my time abroad better. I would recommend this to another student because of the exceptional support system, including the host families, local coordinators, and the support team, who are always available and willing to help the students.

What has been the best part of coming back for another year in the U.S.?

The best part of coming back has been being able to meet new people and experience a different culture within the same country. Despite sharing a similar American identity, the culture within the U.S. are definitely not the same, and having the opportunity to experience those differences have been the best part of my experience.

Interested in coming back for multiple years like Bang? Click here to learn more about our options, and how you can earn $1000 off your program fee just for coming back.

Find Your New Story About Your Life In The U.S.

Pimpatha is from Thailand, and is in her second year in the U.S. with CIEE. This year, she is attending Clarksville High School in Arkansas.

Pimpatha told us she decided to come back to the U.S. for several reasons, but what stood out to us was this: find your own story about your life in the U.S.

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“I wanted to grow up, step out from the comfort zone, improve my English and exchange cultures. I realized that my first year of exchange student was incredibly amazing. Everything what I had been expecting before I came here was different. In my opinion, it is worth it for me.

I get to know my second family who loves me like my home family, friends around the world that I won't forget, learned new cultures, try new food, and become more mature than before.

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The best part of coming back is when I spend time with my friends. You never know if you can see them again after the program or not. I learned something from it, new perspectives, new attitude and I become a person who I truly want to be now. Best year ever.

I recommend everyone to come back, you will be surprised this is not only one year but this is your second life. I could tell you my experiences but everyone is different: different family, different story, experiences, different life. So, I recommend you to find your new story about your life in the USA. You won't regret it.”

You can come back to the U.S. for another year with CIEE like Pimpatha. Click here to learn more, and how to get $1,000 off your program fee. 

"I Wanted to Live The Experience Again"

Every year, we give students the opportunity to come back to the U.S. on another CIEE High School USA program. Coming back to the U.S. allows students to improve their English skills, continue to learn about, and explore, American culture, and advance their academic goals.

Meet Almudena, from Spain. Alumdena is on her second year in the U.S., and told us she decided to come back to the U.S. to live the experience again with a new perspective.

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Why did you decide to come back to the U.S. with CIEE for another year of high school?

I decided to do another year as an exchange student with CIEE because my first year was amazing and I wanted to live the experience again. Last year, everything was new to me but I wanted to live it again in a different way. I wanted to see how it would be in another year, with a completely different point of view. I already knew English. I already had that first impression, so I wanted to enjoy it differently, better, in a new state, in a new family. And I’m really glad I made the decision.

"I wanted to see how it would be in another year, with a completely different point of view."

Would you recommend coming back to another student?

I definitely recommend to other students to coming back to the United States with CIEE. A second year gives you plenty of opportunities to live the experience the way you want. Different state, with different goals and achievements. It gives you the chance of trying new things. It is not living the same year two times, it is living two completely different experiences the best way possible.

Second photoAlmudena making paella, a native Spanish dish, with her host dad

What has been the best part of coming back for another year in the U.S.?

The best part of coming back for another year has been meeting my now sister Bam (she is from Thailand), with whom I´m doing a double placement. And of course, meeting my host family. They make everyday fun and I'm really lucky to have them.

First photoAlmudena and her host sister, Bam, from Thailand.

Thanks for sharing your story, Almudena!

You can come back to the U.S. for another year with CIEE too, and receive $1,000 off your program fee. Click here to learn more.

SHARE YOUR HOST FAMILY LOVE WITH CIEE AND WIN!

Storytelling around the kitchen table. Soccer games in the local park. A helping hand when you need it most. You and your host family share so much – show us what they mean to you for a chance to win!

Enter the CIEE “Share the Love” contest!

How to enter

  1. Take a fun picture or video of you with your host family – the more heartfelt or funny the better!
  2. Submit your entry HERE with a description of how much your host family means to you.
  3. Share the photo or video on social media and don’t forget to tag us on Facebook and use #CIEEBestYearEver.

Enter by February 27th and you could be one of three people to win a giftcertificates.com gift card, to use on a night out with your host family!

Contest details and rules can be found HERE.

Grab your camera and good luck!

Meet your Support Coordinator: Kristen

As you know, your Support Coordinators are here to help you with any questions or concerns you have throughout your exchange year.

What you may not know is that each and every Support Coordinator has also spent time living in a different country! We have all experienced many difficult and wonderful challenges while living abroad.

Check out the interview below to find out about Kristen’s experience studying abroad:

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(Kristen and her host family in France)

Where did you study abroad?

I spent one semester studying in Tours, France and another studying in Pontlevoy, France. Both of those semesters I stayed with a host family. I also taught English for a year in Gaillac, France.

What was the hardest part about making friends in a new country?

For me, not feeling comfortable with the new language in the beginning made it difficult to connect with new people. It is especially hard to tell jokes and be funny in a new language.

What was one thing that you did that made the process easier?

I made sure to only speak with my family back home once a week. Sunday is the day of rest in France, so I had free time every Sunday to talk to my family in the U.S. Throughout the week I made an effort to talk with my host family and friends in French. After some time and hard work my French began to get much better and I could even tell a few jokes!

What would you give as advice to current students about making friends in a new country?

It can be really intimidating to be in a new place where you don’t know anyone. I cried my first night in France. I had missed the train on the way to meet my host family and I just felt so overwhelmed by the new language. But after a few weeks of speaking the language and making friends, things got easier. My advice would be:

  • Don't be scared to introduce yourself to someone new. Or be the first person to say hi. A lot of kids in the U.S. might be hesitant to approach you. They are nervous too!
  • Be really open to new people and experiences

Even though it is difficult to be somewhere new, it can also be really amazing. While in France I got to explore a mushroom cave, go to a goat cheese farm and ride on a private jet!  I am still in contact with my host family today, many years later, and consider them to be a second family.

I had a great experience studying abroad and I hope you all do too!


 

Remember, you can reach Kristen and the rest of the Support Team at 1-800-448-9944.

As they say in French: “À la prochaine!”

Welcome!

Welcome from your Support Team at CIEE!

We hope that you are enjoying your year so far!

CIEE’s Support Team lives and works in Portland, Maine. Combined, this dynamic team speaks 10 different languages, and have all had experiences being exchange students in various countries around the world. The Support Team is here to help students, host families, and Local Coordinators with any questions or concerns that they may have; so contact us any time! We are also in contact with students’ agencies in their home countries regularly. 

If you have not already please call Support at 1-800-448-9944 and let us know how your program is going so far. The Support Team is here to help support you to ensure that you have a successful time being a part of the USA High School Program!

Watch our video below with more information about the Support Team!

Meet the Support Team from CIEE Support on Vimeo.

 

Additionally, check out our Facebook page and group for more information about your program!

Sad to say goodbye? Sign up for an EXTRA year in the U.S.!

Do you ever wish you could stay longer in the United States? Do you feel like you can't wait to come back? CIEE makes it easy to extend your stay.

CIEE's F-1 Visa Program is the key.

We can guide you through the F-1 visa application process, take care of school and host family placements, and offer awesome incentives for returning on our program! Together we'll unlock an extra year of amazing opportunities.

Here are a few ways we reward returning students:

  • $1,000 Returning Student Program Discount
  • 24/7 emergency support and placement services
  • Comprehensive health insurance coverage
  • Supervision and support from our amazing regional LC and RD network
  • Support and translation services for students and their families
  • CIEE branded gear as a special gift!

Above all else, we ensure that you receive the same high level of support and security during your extended American High School experience.

Next Step: Contact your LC!

Want to sign up or learn more? Simply contact your local coordinator (LC) to check if you're eligible!

A representative will follow up with you and your family to answer questions and find the right school and location to meet your needs.

Hope to see you next year!

The CIEE USA High School Team

6 WAYS TO LEAVE A POSITIVE IMPRESSION WITH YOUR HOST FAMILY AND SCHOOL

The end of your high school exchange year is approaching... Can you believe it? It is easy to get wrapped up in preparing to return home. Remember to try to stay in the present moment, and continue to show those around you that you care for them and value the experience that you have had in the U.S.

Ask yourself, ‘what kind of impression did I make on my host family and teachers in the U.S.? ’Here are 6 great ways to leave a positive impression and show those around you that you’re grateful.

  1. Show gratitude. A simple way to show your gratitude is to simply say, ‘thank you’ to your host family and teachers; let them know that you’re grateful for them helping to make your experience in the U.S. a positive one.
  2. Stay engaged. Stay present and try not to get wrapped up in returning to your home country and your future plans. Do the best you can to stay engaged with your host family and school, and continue to immerse yourself in the people and culture around you.
  3. Write a letter or make a card. Sometimes it can be challenging to express 9 months of feelings and gratitude face-to-face with someone. Spending some time to write a thank-you letter or card to your host family or teachers may be a good way to express your thoughts.
  4. Write a list of things that you’re grateful for. Make a list of things that you love about your host family, or things they’ve done for you that you appreciate.
  5. Frame a photo. Do you have a favorite photo of a memorable experience in the U.S. with your host family or school? Print and frame it to give as a gift and keepsake. A picture is worth a thousand words!
  6. Make a traditional food to share with your teachers and classmates. Make a treat from your home country to bring into school and share with your teachers and classmates to show them that you are thankful.