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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!
My 15 year old son would like to spend his exchange year in the U.S.
Can you advise about the best States in terms of education system?
Also I would like to personally get in touch with families who might be willing to host an Italian student for a few months!!

Can anybody give me some tips or suggest where I could search for the info I need?

Thanks a lot for your support!!

Claudia from Italy
 

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You may want to start with this page from the US State Department regarding student visas. I think what you'd need for your son is a J visa, and from what I have seen, you need to go through a qualified program that arranges educational exchanges.

Start here: https://j1visa.state.gov/programs/secondary-school-student/ and then click on the link marked Find a Program Sponsor for a list of the approved sponsor programs.
 

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You may want to start with this page from the US State Department regarding student visas. I think what you'd need for your son is a J visa, and from what I have seen, you need to go through a qualified program that arranges educational exchanges.

Start here: https://j1visa.state.gov/programs/secondary-school-student/ and then click on the link marked Find a Program Sponsor for a list of the approved sponsor programs.
Yes, I know about the procedure as I work in the same area here in Italy! I would still want to go through an organization to help me with all the paperwork but I would like to get personally in touch with host families in order to make sure they could be a good match with my kid!!
 

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You realise that many schools in many States are closed to campus learning due to Covid? I doubt whether families are going to be open to a student from anywhere staying with them at the moment. When is his exchange year?
 

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Yes, I know about the procedure as I work in the same area here in Italy! I would still want to go through an organization to help me with all the paperwork but I would like to get personally in touch with host families in order to make sure they could be a good match with my kid!!
The Agency which organises the exchange will give you the names and telephone numbers of the intended exchange families.
 

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The Agency which organises the exchange will give you the names and telephone numbers of the intended exchange families.
When I was still involved with this, the organization randomly distributed the exchange students' files to their area representatives unless one paid extra to be guaranteed a specific state (California and Florida were especially expensive), then the area representatives would contact schools in their area and the schools would approach families that they knew were interested in hosting/the school thought would be a good fit.

Of course, there are many such organizations and each might work differently.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I was still involved with this, the organization randomly distributed the exchange students' files to their area representatives unless one paid extra to be guaranteed a specific state (California and Florida were especially expensive), then the area representatives would contact schools in their area and the schools would approach families that they knew were interested in hosting/the school thought would be a good fit.

Of course, there are many such organizations and each might work differently.
Yes, yes I know too well how this works because I am myself an Area Rep here in Italy!! But as you said the files are distributed "randomly",so it's not always a successful matching!!!
I would like to find a host family by myself and then pass their contact to the organization!! And I hoped to find some possible tips here in this forum!
 

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The problem you may find is that in the US, these types of exchange arrangements pretty much have to be handled through an agency (due to immigration and other concerns) so people aren't used to arranging exchanges independently. I believe the agency is supposed to do some level of background check (if only to avoid the worst sorts of abuses of a program like this) and they may not accept applications from a family that has already pre-arranged an exchange.
 
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