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FAQs

Can I get academic credit for my time abroad?

It depends on your home school. If you’re seeking academic credit, you must check with your school in your home country and with your Ministry of Education (or your country’s equivalent) to find out what you’ll need to do to ensure the credits for classes you take in the USA will transfer.

Can I request a placement in a particular school, state, or region?

Not typically. ASSIST staff is experienced in placing students in schools that fit their interest and needs the best so you’ll have tailored opportunities to be successful. Though you can tell us your preferences, we ask that you trust us to make the best placement possible for you.

Can my friends and family visit me during my year abroad?

Yes! Your friends and family are more than welcome to visit during your exchange year. We strongly recommend, however, that visits take place later in the year (preferably in the spring). This gives you plenty of time to get used to your new school, schedule, and classes and to make new friends.

How do I apply for an ASSIST scholarship?

You can apply directly through ASSIST, or contact your home country’s ASSIST Country Coordinator.

How does ASSIST select scholars?

We base our selections on the following:

  • Academic achievements
  • English proficiency, as measured by a standardized test, a written essay, and an interview
  • Teacher recommendations
  • Personal essays
  • Ability to contribute to a school’s extracurricular programs
  • Personality, maturity level, and ability to engage socially
  • Your willingness to share cultural differences
  • Your promise to become a future leader
What is the timeline for the application process?

September – January:  Application and Interview Season

Deadlines for submitting applications vary by country. Interviews are scheduled beginning in October and concluding in late January. Please click here and follow the link for the Application Instructions within your country.

March:  The ASSIST Class is complete

Students have accepted their scholarships and made a deposit to secure their place in the program.

March - May:  School Placement and Payments

School placement takes a great deal of time to accomplish successfully and is complete by the end of May. Your final ASSIST program fee payment is due as stated in your Parent Placement letter. You may pay your program fee at any time before the deadline.

June - July:  Submit ASSIST Paperwork

July 1st is the deadline for submitting all information forms, permissions forms and medical forms to the ASSIST office in Suffield, CT.

June-July:  Pre-Departure Orientation

Your Country Coordinator will schedule and notify you of the Pre-Departure Orientation in your country.

August:  ASSIST Orientation

Scholars will arrive in Boston, MA, and are transported to The Pomfret School in Pomfret, CT, for a 4-day orientation of classes, games and a tour of Boston, MA. Orientation culminates with the "Traditions of Our Cultures" evening, and Scholars depart for their ASSIST schools to embark on their scholarship year. Orientation dates for 2018 to be determined.

Will I have the option to stay at my American school for a second year?

No. ASSIST scholarships are only offered for one year. After completing your year in America, you are expected to return home to share your experiences with family, friends, and teachers.

What would my responsibilities be as an ASSIST scholar?

Beyond the financial requirements for students from your country, your responsibilities include:

  • Being a dependable, responsible representative of your home country, your family, and ASSIST
  • Becoming actively involved in your American school community
  • Sharing your culture while learning from those around you
  • Returning home after your year to share what you’ve learned, and to enrich your community with your new wisdom and perspective
What is the difference between a full and a partial scholarship?

Students with the strongest profiles are awarded a full scholarship to their American school, which includes full room and board for one year.

Students who are also very well qualified, but for whom a full scholarship isn’t available, may be offered a partial scholarship, which covers about half the cost of room and board for one year. In case of a partial scholarship, your family would pay about half of the tuition cost.

Who is eligible to apply to ASSIST?

We encourage students between the ages of 15 and 18.5 who have not been exchange students in the U.S. before to apply for a scholarship.  Find out more about the application process here. 

Will I be assigned a host family?

If you’re placed in a day school, you will be assigned at least one host family for the school year. In some cases, day students live with more than one host family over the course of the year, which allows them to enjoy different perspectives on American family lifestyles.

If you’re placed at a boarding school, you may be placed with a homestay family for shorter periods of time—like before the school year starts officially, depending on start dates, or during school breaks and holidays.

Who will support me while I’m in the U.S.?

You’ll have access to a wealth of resources during your year in the U.S., from academic advisors and dormitory advisors to local ASSIST representatives. ASSIST staff members from our main office are also always available to help with any challenges you have.

Can I return to the U.S. to attend college?

Of course! After completing high school in their home country, many ASSIST scholars return to the U.S. to earn undergraduate and/or graduate degrees at prestigious American colleges and universities. Both ASSIST and your American school will offer support if you choose to apply to American colleges or universities, as well.