Why study abroad?

Student Frequently Asked Questions

  • My American Year
    1. What role does My American Year play in the exchange experience?

    2. My American Year acts as intermediary between the exchange student and their high school and host family. We arrange and guide the student through the entire application process: from matching the student with a host family to arranging and supporting a successful academic year for the student. For more information on the process, please see program information here. [LINK]

    3. When is the application deadline to study abroad?

    4. June 15th is the final application deadline to study abroad for the following school year. However, because each American high school has a limit on the number of international students they may enroll, we strongly encourage students to apply early.

    5. How do I select the program that best suits my needs?

    6. My American Year is unique in the fact that you can personally select the state and even the region in which you would like to study. Given your preferences, our counselors will guide you through programs available, matching you with the school that's best for you.

    7. What level does my English have to be to study in the USA?

    8. We expect you to be able to understand classes and complete homework assignments in English with limited assistance. My American Year will assess your English language level before you go abroad. If we determine improvement is necessary, we offer additional English lessons in preparation.

    9. Will I receive orientation before I go abroad?

    10. Yes, students participate in a preparatory orientation program organized by My American Year. During that orientation, we will provide you an overview of the experience and answer any questions that you or your family may have.

    11. How do I find out more about My American Year?

    12. E-mail us anytime at contact@myamericanyear.com. We will get back to you as soon as possible to answer your questions or schedule an appointment.

  • Travel
    1. Since I will be abroad for a significant amount of time, will it be possible to have my friends and family visit?

    2. Yes, friends and family are welcome to visit as long as their stay does not interfere with your school or extracurricular participation. There may be certain school holidays that would be particularly suitable for visitors, so you should work closely with your host family and local coordinators when planning for visitors.

    3. Will it be possible to extend my stay into the summer months so that I can attend vacation with my host family?

    4. Yes, in most cases, F-1 student may be granted a grace period to stay in the U.S. after completion of the school year.

    5. Will I be able to come home to visit on a school holiday?

    6. Yes, with the F-1 visa, you are permitted to leave the country to return home during the school year. However, it is very important that travel plans don't interfere with school or other commitments. If it is important for you to make a trip home during your study abroad experience, work closely with your host family and local coordinator to plan an appropriate time.

  • Culture
    1. How should I deal with culture shock?

    2. Culture shock is normal for anyone who travels to a new place. When you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important to talk to someone, such as your host family, a faculty member at school or one of our international student coordinators. They will be able to help you adjust to your new surroundings.

    3. How do I deal with homesickness?

    4. Homesickness is also normal during your first time away from your family. Before you leave, we recommend bringing a few things with you to remind you of home. We also suggest that students keep a journal, both to document their experiences and to express any challenges that arise. Most importantly, we encourage students to stay active: getting involved with a club or team at school will ease your entry into new surroundings and help you meet more people.

  • Social Norms
    1. What is acceptable clothing to wear to school?

    2. Student dress code in the United States varies by school. We will provide more details on a case-by-case basis.

    3. What are some of the personal hygiene practices in America?

    4. Americans care greatly about personal hygiene. It is common for both males and females to bathe, use deodorant and brush their teeth daily. We can provide more information during the orientation.

  • Visa
    1. Can I leave the United States while I have an F-1 visa?

    2. Yes, in most cases, it is fairly easy to travel outside of the United States. It is important to consult an expert regarding any international travel questions, though.

    3. Will I have insurance while I am abroad?

    4. Yes, you are required to carry insurance from your home country that will cover you abroad. Please check with your home country insurance provider and your counselor to discuss your options.

  • Host Families
    1. What food is my host family expected to pay for?

    2. The host family is responsible for all meals eaten at home, all meals eaten out as a family and sack lunches. If you are interested in extra snacks or meals out with friends, you will most likely be expected to pay for those yourself.

    3. If I don't like the food that my host family provides me, what should I do?

    4. Your host family is expected to provide you with healthy meals, but they aren't required to cater to every food request. If you are having a problem with the food served to you, you may speak to someone in your host family. Or, if you feel more comfortable discussing it with your coordinator, he/she will always be there to assist you.

    5. What can I do to ensure that my application stands out to potential host families?

    6. Including a good-quality photo of yourself gives a good first impression to potential host families. Make sure that you look presentable with a friendly, clean appearance. An unprofessional appearance including piercings, untidy clothing or hair, and an unhappy disposition can appear negative to potential host families.

      In addition, it is critical that the information you provide on applications be honest and thorough so that we can provide complete and accurate information about you to host families.

    7. How do I know that My American Year will find a good family for me to live with?

    8. My American Yearpicks host families through a rigorous screening and interview process, including a visit to the homes by one of our international student coordinators. Beyond finding a suitable family and home, though, we aim to find a good match for each student's lifestyle and interests.

    9. Who do I speak to if I have concerns about my host family?

    10. We hope that if you have questions or concerns regarding your host family that you would feel comfortable talking to them first. If this isn't the case, we ask that you speak to your local student coordinator as early as possible. They will work with you and your host family to help resolve any issues.

    11. Can a family friend living in the United States host me?

    12. Yes, with the F-1 visa, a family friend may host you as long as English is the primary language spoken in the home and the family has been approved to host by our international student coordinators. If you are interested in having a family friend host, please contact us.

  • School
    1. Are there any academic standards that I need uphold while studying abroad?

    2. The minimum standard for our students to is a 2.0 GPA (C average). In most cases this average is too low for university entrance, so we hope that you would commit yourself to higher academic goals.

    3. Are there any specific class requirements for exchange students in public schools?

    4. No, students will be expected to take the same classes as their fellow American classmates. However, if your home country or desired university requires that you take any specific classes, it is your responsibility to enroll in them. As always, though, our international student coordinator is available to assist you.

    5. Is it guaranteed that I will graduate?

    6. There is no guarantee of graduation. The U.S. school has final say in all student matters. However, the school will make graduation requirements clear to you.

    7. How long is the study abroad program?

    8. Per the conditions of our students' F-1 visas, they may study in the United States for one school year. At the end of the school year, however, many students opt to apply for a second visa, though this may only be used to study at a private school.


Choosing where to study abroad is an important decision to make. We hope that your questions are answered in our FAQ section!