The Mission of School Year Abroad (SYA) is to provide challenging educational programs abroad that inspire academic excellence, facilitate second language mastery, deepen cultural awareness and global understanding, and offer exemplary college preparation.


We believe that SYA creates a life-changing experience within and outside the classroom for students by having them live and learn in a different culture. Our students are encouraged to challenge assumptions, explore the unfamiliar and in the process develop self-reliance, resourcefulness, adaptability, respect for difference and self-confidence.

We believe that our students will take from SYA a humble appreciation for the complexity of the world’s challenges, and a genuine awareness that cultural values and national traditions lead countries to approach those challenges differently.

We believe that our students will experience an emotional attachment to a new culture, the result of immersion in their host family, city and country, and for those who fully embrace the experience, they will be personally transformed.

We believe that our students will work hard to master another language, for some perhaps a third or fourth language, while adapting to life in a host family, and that the skill and the self-confidence they gain from the effort will allow them to function competently and comfortably in cultures different from their own as they continue their educations and continue through life.