J1 United



About the program

This is a program of the U.S. Department of State that allows high school students from other countries to come to the U.S. The program is considered grass roots diplomacy, providing the opportunity for volunteer host families, schools, and communities to share their America with students from around the world, while learning about other cultures. The program brings the world to thousands of communities every year across the U.S., building bridges with relationships that can last a lifetime.

Why choose us for Study and Travel Program?

We are dedicated to developing the next generation of global leaders and world citizens. By connecting extraordinary international students with host families in the U.S., we cultivate leadership skills, develop intercultural awareness and enhance global knowledge not only through education, but through experience.

What are the available programs?

  • J-1 Visa High School Program(cultural exchange program): Attend a public school in one of many locations across the U.S. while living with a welcoming American host family. You’ll improve your English, make friends and gain leadership skills as you serve as an ambassador of your culture. You can choose either a semester program or an academic year.
  • F-1 Visa High School Program (academic program): This program allows you to choose a specific geographic location and even choose the school you’d like to attend. All F-1 participants live with local host families. Program lengths vary from 3 months (one trimester) to all 4 years of high school. At select schools, you may also be able to graduate with a high school diploma within one year.
J-1 visa:
  • Be between 15 and 18 years of age upon arrival
  • Attend public high school on the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa
  • Live with an American host family (volunteer)
  • Have a strong command of the English language (acceptable score on the IELTS)
  • 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
F-1 visa:
  • Be between 14 and 18 years old
  • Average grades (C) or better
  • Intermediate to advanced English
  • Live with an American host family (paid)
  • Social maturity and flexibility, willingness and capability of becoming a fully participating member of an American host family

Are you interested in an international program that focuses exclusively on American culture and home life, while greatly improving English language skills, the Individual Homestay Program is the right choice.

Individual teens and adults (15 and older) become members of an American family and get to know U.S. culture firsthand through a true immersion experience. Participants are placed with a carefully-screened, volunteer host family that provides a safe environment. This program is suitable for mature participants who are comfortable traveling to the host community on their own and having unstructured time throughout their stay. Programs may be two to eight weeks in length.

You should be prepared to spend quality time with host families, partaking in family activities and eating meals in the home. How fun!

What is Included?

  • Room and board with volunteer American host families
  • Transfer to and from the nearest airport
  • Support letter for a tourist visa (if required)
  • Certificate of completion, upon request
  • Support of a Sponsor Local Coordinator

What Is Not Included?

  • Airfare
  • Accident and medical insurance (may be added at an additional cost)
  • Meals and entertainment outside of the host family home
  • Pocket money for personal expenses
  • Optional activities or program add-ons

Program options: 

High School Visit 

Sample the American high school experience! Three to five days per week, participants observe classes at a school in their host community. This program is not available in Alaska, California, or Hawaii, and is for a maximum of four weeks, between September and May. 

Language Buddy 

Share your own culture and language with your host family! During the program, international participants will set aside three to five hours each week to tutor a host family member in their native language. Participants must be at least 18 years old or this program, and can also extend the program for up to 12 weeks. 


Make a difference while practicing your English and making American friends! Participate in a volunteer experience with environmental, humanitarian, or educational organizations while living with an American host family.

Group Homestay Programs are an ideal way for students aged 13 to 17 to discover American culture and create memories with their peers. Each program can be specially designed to meet the needs of your organization or school group and can be arranged for any time throughout the year.

Dynamic English language and American culture classes provide opportunities for participants to improve their English skills in an informal environment, while homestays with American host families complete the cultural immersion. Various destinations are available, each offering a unique array of exciting excursions and activities.

What Is Included in a typical Group Homestay Program?

  • Room and board with volunteer American host families
  • Transfer to and from the nearest airport
  • Support letter for a tourist visa (if required)
  • Certificate of completion, upon request
  • Full- or half-day excursions one to three times per week
  • Welcome and farewell parties
  • 12 hours of English language and American culture classes per week with certified ESL teachers, and all necessary materials (alternate programming is available)
  • One Sponsor volunteer activity with an environmental or social service project
  • Activity coordination, orientation, transportation, and support of a Sponsor Local Coordinator

What Is Not Included?

  • Airfare
  • Pocket money for personal expenses

While each program has its own unique schedule, check out an example of the schedule here

Sample calendar

If you wanted to see what the various for our Group Homestay Program, check out these destination packets.

Who are the host family

Sponsor carefully selects host families and provides participants with loving an welcoming homes. These volunteer families undergo an extensive application process, including personal references, in-person interviews, and background checks. Host families provide hospitality to our students for many reasons, including getting to know their culture and perspective, broadening their awareness of the world, and sharing the family’s own lifestyle and values.


Give your child the gift of a global perspective