School Year Abroad (SYA) is the only high school study abroad program which allows students to live with a European or Asian family for an entire academic year while earning U.S. high school graduation credits and preparing for selective U.S. colleges and universities. Founded in 1964 by Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, SYA is supported by a consortium of 45 top independent schools across the country.
Each year each one of our high school study abroad programs in China, France, Italy, and Spain enrolls approximately 65 students to complete their junior or senior year of high school. Students come from public and private high schools across the United States.
The central elements of SYA – the homestay and an academic program emphasizing foreign language acquisition – ensure that students return home with real mastery of a second language. At the same time, instructors from U.S. schools guarantee that they do not lose ground in their core American courses: math and English. Extracurricular activities and organized travel round out the year.