J-1 High School Program

Study and live in the U.S. as a foreign exchange student under the J-1 High School Program.

J-1 High School Program
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    • Live and study in the U.S. on Greenheart Exchange's J-1 High School Program.
  • Perhaps you’ve dreamed about becoming an exchange student since you were old enough to go to school. Maybe you had a sibling or a friend who studied abroad and shared their experience with you. Whatever your reason for being here, we are excited for you and your future. You are about to embark on a journey that thousands of others just like you have done before and many thousands will do after.

    Greenheart Exchange has been a sponsor of the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa since 1985. In our first year, we helped seven Spanish students find host families and attend high school in the U.S. on the J-1 visa. Now, we welcome over 1,000 participants each year who live with American families and study in high schools all across America.

    J-1 High School Program Basics

    • Attend public high school on the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa
    • Live with an American host family
    • Have a strong command of the English language (acceptable score on the ELTiS)
    • Be between 15 and 18 years of age upon arrival
    • Willing to accept a placement anywhere in the continental U.S.
    • Healthy and above average maturity to be able to succeed on an intellectually and emotionally rigorous program

    Chicago Welcome Weekend

    The Chicago Welcome Weekend is an optional add-on for J-1 high school participants. It’s a one-week orientation in Chicago with sightseeing and volunteer activities.

    Get Started

    First, complete the “Get Started” inquiry form to let us know you’re interested. We don’t accept direct applicants to the J-1 high school program; we work with established international partners who help us recruit and promote our program. If we have a partner in your home country, we will send you their contact information to get you started.

    The Department of State implemented a toll free number (1-866-283-9090) for secondary school students, which was effective August 1, 2009. The toll free number can be used by host families, exchange students and the public to report circumstances impacting the students’ health, safety and well being during their exchange visitor programs. You may also email the Department at jvisas[at]state[dot]gov.