Share Your World


Since 1982, ISE has provided U.S. Department of State-designated high school exchange programs for exchange students around the world.




Wondering how to become a host family with ISE? Let us take you through the process of hosting a foreign exchange student. Bring the people of the world together and help make a student’s dream come true


Curious about how to become an exchange student? Our study abroad program is for American students looking for a short-term, summer, academic, or gap year program abroad.


Looking for a rewarding role you can do from home? ISE Area Representative position allows you to work with high schools, families, and exchange students to promote cross-cultural friendships.

Sharing Worlds. Sharing Lives.


International Student Exchange (ISE) is a proud sponsor of the J-1 Secondary School Visa. This visa program was introduced after the world wars to prevent such conflicts from arising in the future. Since 1982, we have remained dedicated to encouraging positive relations between people from different cultures through high school exchange programs. Our mission can be broken down into two distinct goals:

Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders

ISE exchange students bravely leave the comfort of home to experience a new culture and way of life in America. It is our belief that this experience encourages personal growth, increases understanding, and reinforces dedication to service and cooperation. Through the high school exchange experience, students become more well-rounded citizens of the world.

Breaking Down the Barriers to Friendship

We believe that in-person, authentic interactions with people from different walks of life encourage more peaceful interactions worldwide. This is why we so greatly appreciate our network of volunteer host families who open their homes to our exchange students. Through their hospitality, friendships are formed across the globe contributing to positive international relations.


Our High School Exchange Programs

Academic Year 10 Months August to June
Academic Semester 5 Months Starts in August or January
Calendar Year 12 Months January to December

How the ISE Exchange Program Works

We provide a twelve-month, ten-month, first-semester, or second-semester high school exchange program for foreign students.

After students have been carefully screened for English language proficiency, grades, and overall suitability for the program, we provide placement in public, or upon written request, private high schools.

While on our program, exchange students live with a volunteer host family and attend their local high school. Each student is assigned a personal ISE representative to provide supervision and assistance during their stay.

*Depending on individual school schedules, actual program duration may vary.

Volunteer Today


The ISE high school exchange program is made possible by the volunteer host families and individuals who open their hearts and homes to our exchange students.

What is a Host Family?

A host family is a family or individual that volunteers to provide room and board to an international exchange student. Host families represent all walks of life and come from all corners of the U.S.. They treat the students they host like members of the family, provide a room (which can be shared with another child of the same gender and age range), a quiet place to study, meals, and support. In return, exchange students enrich their homes and communities with international perspectives and renewed energy. As a result of the exchange, host families and students each create lasting relationships that span the globe.

Host Family Responsibilities

  • Treat your exchange student like a family member, not a guest.
  • Ensure the student’s well-being by acting like their “American parent.”
  • Provide a room that meets ISE and DOS safety standards
  • Provide 2-3 meals per day (depending on school lunch arrangements.)
  • Cooperate with ISE by adhering to program regulations, guidelines, and policies (progress reports, home visits, etc.)


ISE Area Representatives are community-minded individuals who help secure placements in their local high schools for exchange students. They do so by recruiting volunteer host families in their communities. Area Representatives also provide support and guidance throughout the year to exchange students and host families.

We’re currently hiring Area Representatives nationwide. Apply today!

Our International Partner Network

We’re partnered with trusted, long-standing international exchange agencies in over 90 countries. These partnerships allow us to reach high school students around the world and connect them with American host families. We offer constant communication to all of our partner agencies so that they and the students’ natural families back home can remain fully informed and updated throughout the course of each exchange program.

Our program’s success is due in large part to the close cooperation with partner agencies and the commitment to our shared responsibility to build bridges of friendship around the world. If you’d like to bring the ISE program to students in your country, consider partnering with us. For more information on rules and requirements, get in touch with us today.

ise international agency

Our Commitment to Community Service

Project Help

Every ISE student participates in our Project Help community service initiative. When it comes to educating the leaders of tomorrow, reinforcing the value of service and volunteerism is incredibly important. For our high school exchange students, volunteering is not simply about checking off a program requirement. It’s about personal development, giving back to the hosting community, and building meaningful and lasting connections.

You can read more about Project Help in our blog.

ISE Gives Back

ISE Gives Back,  our philanthropic program, is designed to provide support to those crucial organizations at home and abroad that create opportunities and lend assistance to children in need. ISE believes that all students deserve access to the resources that allow them to grow, participate, and thrive in the global community.


Global friendship starts with local action. Volunteer to host a student today!


Change the world, one family at a time. Apply to become an ISE Area Representative!


Explore a new culture and experience a new way of life. Become an exchange student!


facebook (1)
twitter (2)
instagram-sketched (1)
pinterest (1)

We Are Proud Members Of...

These organizations stand for excellence, knowledge, standards, and tradition. We stand with you, and together we are creating a world in which opportunity and education are accessible to all!