"SYA students see the world through a broader lens than most U.S. high school students because they have experienced in person what it means to immerse oneself in another world."
Greetings from School Year Abroad! I’m pleased you are interested in learning more about SYA as you explore the possibilities of learning and living in another country. At SYA we don’t study global education, we live it on a daily basis in China, France, Italy and Spain.
I’m continually impressed with the quality of the faculty and students who participate in our program. For nearly 50 years, SYA has offered language immersion, home stay living and directed study travel for 11th and 12th grade high school students who want more than the traditional secondary school curriculum can offer. Our students spend their junior or senior year abroad and graduate on time with their high school classmates.
In our most recent survey of parents whose children attended SYA, more than 95% agreed that SYA provides “students with a challenging education abroad that inspires intellectual curiosity, fosters personal transformation and promotes global understanding." Our more than 6,000 alumni, who live and work all over the globe identify their year with SYA as one of the most life changing periods in their lives.
SYA is recognized as the premier high school study abroad program in the United States. Our students earn full academic credit for their work overseas and return to apply and be admitted to some of the most selective colleges and universities in the country. SYA host families are carefully vetted for serving the important role of host mom and dad, and the majority of our families have experience hosting for multiple years. SYA students develop relationships with their host families that last a lifetime and cross over several generations in the same family.
I’m often asked, “Why study abroad as a high school student?” The answer is simple. Adolescents are in a critical period of their development, collecting vast amounts of information and experiences that will shape their attitudes and behaviors as adults. SYA gives students, at a formative time in their lives, an opportunity to experience different perspectives, to get “off the tourist bus” and live for an extended period of time in another culture, witnessing first-hand the political, economic, societal and personal norms of society outside of the United States.
When I visit each of our schools, I see overwhelming evidence in classes, at the dinner tables of host families, and when traveling with students of their high language proficiency and quiet self-confidence functioning in a different country and culture. SYA students see the world through a broader lens than most U.S. high school students because they have experienced in person what it means to immerse oneself in another world.
If you are a high school student who wants to explore beyond the traditional high school curriculum, and who understands the fun in mastering a world language so that you can easily function in another culture, then SYA is for you. As a parent, if you want to give a gift to your child that will have a positive impact on his or her life into adulthood, then continue to explore SYA. I assure both students and parents, you will not be disappointed.
Please contact us if you have any questions, and thanks for your interest in School Year Abroad.
Jack Creeden, Ph.D.