School Year Abroad

School Year Abroad

School Year Abroad is a program which places high school juniors, seniors, and post-graduates in China, Italy, France, Spain, or India for a year. Students learn the respective language and live with a host family. The program provides college counseling services and allows students to take the necessary math and English courses to fulfill their graduation requirements at their home schools. The charter schools for the program are Phillips Academy (Andover, MA), Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter, NH), and St. Paul's School (Concord, NH), although it operates completely independently of these and all its member schools. Its main office is located in Lawrence, Massachusetts.


Starting in 2008, School Year Abroad introduced a one-semester program in India. It is located on the campus of Visakha Valley School in Visakhapatnam (known as "Vizag" by the locals). The program has a focus on economics and environmental science, as opposed to the humanities-based education of its sister schools in China and Europe. Students will take classes in Hindi, English, AP environmental science, AP economics, math, and Indian history and culture. Like the programs in China and Italy, but unlike the French and Spanish programs, there is no language requirement to attend. A full-year program is planned for the 2009 - 2010 school year.


In 1994, the Chinese government allowed School Year Abroad to begin a program in Beijing. It was the first of its kind at either a high school or college level, with students being placed in host families for the full school year. The program operates out of the Second High School attached to Beijing Normal University. Students attend English, Mathematics, Chinese history, Chinese language, and Chinese culture classes. At two points during the school year, students engage in "immersion" activities, and attend class with their Chinese counterparts, first in December for two days, and then in May for five days. The program also arranges for students to travel outside of Beijing, bringing them to many important cultural sites and locations that are often inaccessible to the average tourist in China, such as Tibet and rural parts of southern China. Like the SYA Italy program, students are very strongly encouraged to attend the program for the full school year, but may opt to attend only for the first semester.


SYA's Italian program is housed in a sixteenth century palazzo in the city of Viterbo in Lazio. The Italy program is designed primarily for students interested in learning classics, offering courses in ancient Greek, Latin (language and literature), art history, and Italian civilization. Students are also required to take mathematics, English, and Italian language classes. Like the China program, but unlike SYA's France and Spain programs, there is no language requirement to attend SYA Italy.


SYA France is located in Rennes, the capital of Brittany. It is SYA's second oldest program, founded in 1967, just three years after the founding of SYA itself. Students study French language, history, civilization, literature, and art history in French. English and mathematics courses are taught by American instructors in English. Because most of the program's classes are taught in French, students applying to the program must have studied French for a minimum of two years at the time of application.


The program in Spain is SYA's oldest. The original incarnation was dubbed "Schoolboys Abroad" and consisted of twelve students accompanied by three teachers, who traveled by ship to Spain in 1964 to study. Though originally based in Barcelona, the program was moved to Zaragoza in 1999. Spain is the archetype for all of SYA's programs, students are places in host families and study language, Spanish history, Spanish civilization, Spanish literature, and art history in Spanish while studying English and mathematics under American instructors in English.

External links

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