While Washington State is known for its lattes, software companies, airplane manufacturing and music scene, it’s home to so much more.
From the world-class vineyards perched above the Columbia River in high-desert eastern Washington to the only temperate rainforest in the lower 48 states on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington has it all.
No other state offers a richness of experience like Washington. In the morning you could be shopping for artwork while dodging flying salmon thrown by fish mongers in the Pike Place Market, then in the afternoon walking along meadows of wildflowers in aptly named Paradise in the shadows of Mt. Rainier. You can kayak near pods of orcas off the coast of the San Juan Islands one day, and sample wine on the banks of Lake Chelan the next.
Featured School: Peninsula High School
“Since I am here, everything was about jumps. I jumped the first time I met my amazing host family, I jumped after noticing that my high school was the most welcoming one, I jumped into the Puget Sound to start the New Year, I jump into the water in all swimming practice and, most important, I jump every single day to improve myself as a human being. Every day, I give all that I have for not losing any second about this experience, because every moment counts and you can learn things from all of them. Washington has given me the opportunity of growing as a student, as an athlete and as a person.
I cannot imagine my life in a better place. Its diversity, its nature, its fauna, its geography... everything is so beautiful. And although the climate is not my favorite, the rain is nothing, if you are surrounded by incredible people that make your life perfect.”
Quick facts about Missouri
- Missouri is located in the midwest region of the United States, and borders eight other states
- Missouri has a wide variety of geographic features, from plains in the northern part of the state, to the Ozark Mountains in the southern part of the state
- Three major rivers run through the state: the Mississippi River, the Missouri River, and the Ohio River.
- St. Louis (home of the famous Gateway Arch) is the largest city in Missouri, home to over 300,000 people
Featured school: Maryville High School
Maryville is the home of Northwest Missouri State University which offers unique opportunities to the MHS students. Maryville is a small community with a population of 11,000. The people are friendly and there is a small-town feel. Everyone is welcoming and it’s common to run into people you know when you go to the local Walmart.
"I love Maryville High School! the people are really nice; teachers are great and very supporting. It’s not too big or too small. It’s just perfect!”
Macia, a Local Coordinator in Missouri says, “Maryville offers international students the perfect American experience. The city is safe and friendly. The school offers a variety of activities for the students to get involved in. The students and staff welcome exchange students and love learning about new cultures.”
- Home to multiple sports teams: Carolina Panthers (professional football), Charlotte Hornets (professional basketball), and the Charlotte Knights (baseball)
- Famous for its beautiful Blue Ridge mountains and its many trees which makes the state ever so colorful during the fall
- Home to The Biltmore Estate in Ashville which is America's largest home, and includes a 255-room chateau, an award-winning winery and extensive gardens.
- Largest producer of sweet potatoes in the nation
- Home to the Wright Brothers who performed the first successful flight
Local Coordinator Renata S. said, "Hickory Ridge is a very welcoming school. It is always looking for ways to incorporate cultural diversity. Exchange students are always welcomed with arms wide open. The school believes that having exchange students contribute a lot to the growth of knowledge, multi cultural perspectives and inclusion."
"I can’t explain how lucky and happy I am to be in North Carolina. My host family is great and my school too. It’s a big school, with 1800 students! I love it because they gave me the opportunity to be a senior, playing powderpuff (which is a football game for girls where every grade is a team, so I was in the senior team) and it was one of the best moments so far. Now I’m in the basketball team, we practice everyday and it’s hard but satisfying. I’m pushing myself like I never did before and I know that the future Martina will be so proud of the 2019 Martina! Life begins at the end of your comfort zone and trust me, I’m really uncomfortable right now! But I love it!"
- Martina, Italy
This month's feature is Michigan - the "Great Lakes" state!
Quick facts about Michigan
- Capital city: Lansing
- Size: 96,716 square miles (250,493 sq. km) - about the size of the United Kingdom!
- Population: 9.92 million
- Time zone: Eastern (UTC -5) in most of the state
- State flower: Apple blossom
- Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline in the world, and anywhere in the state, you're never more than 6 miles from a body of freshwater
- Michigan is known for its friendly, Midwestern attitude towards other people - very open and welcoming!
- There are three distinct season that exchange students will get to experience: Warm summers with opportunities for outdoor activities like fishing, cool fall temperatures to jump into a pile of leaves, and snow sports in the winter.
- Michigan is close to Canada - another opportunity to add a stamp to the passport.
- Michigan is home to many great CIEE Local Coordinators who greatly value students' experiences - and many host themselves!
Featured school: Clarkston High School
Christina, a world languages teacher at the school, says, "Clarkston High School embraces the culture that international students bring to the academic environment. International student experiences are highlighted throughout the school year with special events and celebrations of the diversity that they bring. Additionally, students in Clarkston High go above and beyond to include these international students in their day to day activities, helping them to feel like a regular part of our community. As an ESL teacher, I love learning from the exchange students and hearing about their different perspectives on the world, especially education. Plus, seeing excited international students watch snow fall from the sky for the first time NEVER gets old!"
CIEE students feel the same way!
"Clarkston High School is a great school because it has a welcoming environment, and everyone is willing to help the international students. There are a lot of opportunities for international students, especially in career preparation and education. Lastly, international students have the chance to be in a clubs, which give students a chance to try something new and meet new friends."
- Sabrina, Brazil
JANUARY 15 - PRIORITY DEADLINES
FEBRUARY 1 - PRIORITY DEADLINES
- Fryeburg Academy - Maine
- George Stevens Academy - Maine
- Georgiana Bruce Kirby School - California
- St. Andrews School - Florida
- Tampa Preparatory School - Florida
- The Masters School - New York
- Waynflete School - Maine
- Wilbraham & Monson Academy - Massachusetts
FEBRUARY 15 - PRIORITY DEADLINES
- Seton Catholic College Preparatory School - Washington
Saint Andrew's School
Boca Raton, FL
Key Selling Points:
- IB and AP Courses
- Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
- Nationally ranked sports teams, including swimming, tennis, and golf
- Beautiful campus in sunny Florida near the beach
- The #1 Best Boarding School in Florida
- Only need-based financial aid available
- Accepts all grade levels and countries
Georgiana Bruce Kirby School
Santa Cruz, CA
Georgiana Bruce Kirby School is a small, academically rigorous private day school located in the beautiful coastal town of Santa Cruz, CA.
Key Selling Points:
- Small class sizes mean students receive individualized instruction
- Unique sports and activities including ultimate Frisbee, surfing, mountain biking, and sailing
- Each grade participates in a retreat at the beginning of school; helping students make friends and build community within the first few weeks.
- Extensive arts program
- Scholarships not available at this school
- 9th, 10th, 11th graders interested in multiyear enrollment preferred
- Very limited number of spots available for the 2019/2020 year!
Fryebury Academy is a fantastic boarding school offering unique sports, great arts, inquiry-based academic programs, and industry-leading student support.
Key Selling Points:
- Over 150 course offerings; extensive AP and college level classes
- Nationally recognized Center for International Students that provides outstanding student support and college guidance
- Unique sports and activities, including skiing, mountain biking, and field trips!
- Individualized Tutorial Program; Outdoor Learning and Research Center; Entrepreneurship Program
- Great scholarships available, especially to early applicants! Please talk to your ISC for details.
- Accepts all grade levels (including PG) and countries
Rancho Solano Preparatory School
- Highly ranked private school offering both IB and standard American high school diploma
- Small teacher to student ratio means individualized attention and personalized education
- State-of-the-art facilities; whether students are interested in technology, STEM, arts, music, or community service, there are options available
- Monthly school newspaper run by students in both the upper and middle school
- #2 Best Private K-12 School in AZ
- Incredible early bird price available exclusively for CIEE students. Any fully school ready application submitted by Oct 29th for August 2019 start will be subject to the 2018 CIEE pricing agreement, with discounts of up to 60% for boarding students. Speak with your ISC for details. Discounts vary by country.
- Ideal applicant is 9th or 10th grade
- Strong 11th graders also considered
- 8th grade boarding also available
- Applicants should be interested in a multiyear enrollment
- Up to 3-4 applicants from each country
- Actively recruiting Chinese students
- Please note January applications are not accepted at this school. We are highlighting this option due to the early bird pricing opportunity for August 2019 applicants
Desert Sands Unified School District
La Quinta, California
- Fast application and enrollment process
- Very strong host family placement network in the area
- Strong athletic offerings
- Large population of students translates to wide range of course offerings
- Great option for students looking for the quintessential American high school experience
- Close proximity to LA means access to countless cultural attractions such as film festivals, music festivals (Coachella), concerts, and museums.
- None available, although this district is one of our most affordable options in California
- Accepts all grades from all countries (please note, no diplomas offered)
Pacifica Christian High School
Santa Monica, California
- Rigorous arts program, great option for students considering careers in music or film
- Multimillion dollar renovation project completed within the past year, including state of the art technology for the newly implemented STEM program
- Located in the heart of Santa Monica, within walking distance of the beach and the famous Santa Monica pier
- 10 sports offerings, including beach volleyball in the spring
- School is quite comprehensive, offering opportunities in student govt, spiritual life, community service, and over 18 clubs led and organized by students. Examples include a surf club, and video game design club, a feminist club, and an environmental protection club
- Small discounts off tuition available; case by case basis
- Applicants from all countries considered
- Currently enrolling 10th and 11th graders
Connecticut IB Academy
East Hartford, Connecticut
- US News and World Report Gold Medal School; Blue Ribbon School; ranked as the #2 public high school in Connecticut
- Strong STEM focus
- Several clubs, activities, and service opportunities; small school offering individualized support
- Flexible with low English Test Score students
- Conveniently located beside the city of Hartford, CT; halfway between New York City and Boston
- No scholarships
- Accepts all grades and PG students
- Accepts students from all countries
Lake Mary Preparatory School
Lake Mary, Florida
- Over 20 AP courses, 21 clubs, and 16 sports offered
- Strong international student program, including comprehensive ESL support, mentors, college counseling program, and weekend and break trips
- Great academic, sports, and student boarding facilities
- Exceptional STEM Program recognized by the State of Florida for innovation
- Located in beautiful Florida, only 30 minutes from Orlando
- Scholarships for non-Chinese students - up to $12,400 off tuition for semester or $22,000 off tuition for year
- Accepts all grades
- Accepts students from all countries
Placement Exams and Registration:
Most schools require students to take placement exams in core subjects like English and Math. Some will do this during orientation, while others may do this on their first day of school. Placement exams, although they sound scary, are nothing for students to worry about. They are used by high schools in the U.S. to determine the level of classes students can succeed in. Or, if they’re able to test out of any required classes.
This is important for many reasons: it allows students to take classes that they’re more likely to pass, it surrounds them by peers with similar academic abilities, it boosts their confidence in other areas (socially and emotionally), and it encourages them to keep speaking and practicing their English.
We are often asked, “can students register prior to arriving?” The answer is, few schools will permit this. Schools have the students best interest in mind, so if a school ever pushes back and denies a student a specific course request or demand, there is usually good reason. If your students do need specific courses to fulfill graduation requirements back home, let your International Sales Consultant know as soon as possible. CIEE is happy to check if specific classes are being offered and if any additional testing requirements are required.
Vaccination Requirements and Physicals:
Schools that are diligent will review the Statement of Health Form and any vaccination records that you submitted to CIEE. When schools review your student’s records, there may be additional shots that are required before students can start taking classes. Each state in the U.S. has different requirements, so don’t be alarmed if different students are asked to receive different types of exams or shots.
We know that certain states tend to be stricter, including California, Massachusetts, and Michigan. In most cases, your Enrollment Specialist will hear from the school prior to arrival and let you know about anything that is missing that would interfere with their ability to start school.
In the event your student does need something additional, they should work closely with their host family or contact the CIEE Support Team to book doctor’s visits as soon as they arrive. Try to have your students arrive earlier if several shots are needed in the U.S. As a rule of thumb, it’s always better if students fulfill health requirements before they travel to the U.S. as CIEE insurance is not designed to cover vaccinations. Any shots or exams in the U.S. will be the student's responsibility to cover.
As if taking exams, getting shots, and flying thousands of miles from home weren’t enough, the language, pace of life, and food are all different! All students experience culture shock to some degree, especially those that are younger or less exposed to traveling abroad. Here are some helpful tips to manage those first few months abroad:
- Encourage students to go out with their host families instead of staying in their rooms and going online
- Encourage students to be communicate with their host families if they’re not feeling well, have concerns about food, their room, or anything that affects their comfort level
- Encourage students to limit time speaking with their parents. We know this is tough, especially in the beginning. Limiting their exposure to things that remind them of home will help them acclimate more quickly into their new lifestyle in the US
- Encourage students to sign-up for an activity. Whether it’s a sport, club, or social event, this will increase their odds of making friends and feeling like they “fit in”
- Encourage students to be brave and try new foods, experience different traditions, and learn as much as possible after their new country
- As always, make sure students know they’re supported. They can also call CIEE Support at 1-800-448-9944
Some great articles on culture shock are linked below to pass along as well:
How To Deal With Culture Shock While Studying Abroad
10 Tips For Dealing With Culture Shock and Homesickness
We hope all your students have a great kick-off to their academic year in the U.S.!
The next morning, students enjoy breakfast with CIEE staff before participating in orientation meetings and small group activities. The small group activities help students connect with each other while also providing the opportunity to ask questions, practice English, and discuss program expectations. Then students hit the road for a tour of NYC. This tour includes Central Park, the 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, and more. After students take their photos and get a feeling for the city, they enjoy dancing and a buffet dinner as they cruise down the Hudson River, around the Statue of Liberty, up the East River, and back again. There’s no view more stunning than New York City’s skyline at sunset!
The diploma has six parts: AP Seminar, AP Research, as well as four other AP courses of the student’s choice. Students typically take AP Seminar in grades 10 or 11 followed by AP Research. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing receive the AP Capstone Diploma. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research but not on four additional AP Exams receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.
Once a student completes their AP Seminar coursework, they may enroll in AP Research. AP Research allows students to design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest, documenting their process with a portfolio. This class is graded in two ways: an academic paper of 4,000 to 5,000 words and a presentation with an oral defense. Schools still enrolling that have the AP Capstone Program: