International High School Students in USA

International Students in US High Schools

Many youngsters from around the world have attended high school in the US under the aegis of Exchange Programs sponsored by the Department of State. The J-1 High School Exchange Program allows students to experience American culture and also life at school while they spend time with host families. A lot of public schools have begun to welcome international students under the F-1 visa program.

There are a few similarities between the two programs but also many differences. It mostly depends on the student’s goals in visiting – in which case one program may be better than the other.

The Similarities Between the J-1 and F-1 Visa Programs Are

  • School participation is limited to one calendar year.
  • Students can participate in sports and join various clubs.
  • Home stay with local families.

The differences are:

    • The J-1 visa requires students to return after a school year and cannot return to the US on any other student visa for 2 years. F-1 Visa allows students to continue their studies and then go on to University without changing their visa status.
    • Students in the J-1 Program come through an organization that is specially licensed and only a limited number of students can get in every year. This is a very competitive process which has to be started a year before they start school.
    • The fees for the programs vary – J-1 is cheaper than the F-1 program. This is because the J-1 Program is paid for by the US government and students go to school for free. They also stay with volunteer families. The only costs that the student has to bear are airfare and placement fees to be paid to the J-1 Office for placement. Students on the F-1 Program pay their way through the whole program with their own funds.
    • J-1 Students have no choice in schools or location. F-1 Students get to pick where they want to study – school, city etc. This of course, will depend on their qualifications and whether they can get a seat.
    • J-1 applications are long and can be complicated with strict rules. F-1 programs are simpler and require less documentation. This gives students more time to process the paperwork and get to their schools sooner.
    • J-1 students cannot graduate or receive their diplomas in spite of getting all the requisite credits. There is no such restriction of F-1 students.
    • F-1 Visa lets students stay and continue their education in the US. J-1 Students can only apply after 2 years to come back for higher studies

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