Learn About Bridge Usa Programs
Annually, approximately 20,000 exchange students participate in the Bridge USA
Students come from all over the world to American high schools through U.S. Department of State, Bridge USA programs.
Since its establishment as part of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (The Fulbright-Hays Act), the program has served as a valuable and important diplomatic tool of U.S. foreign policy. Its mission to increase mutual understanding between Americans and people of other countries - remains vital to U.S. national security and building people-to-people connections around the world. The goodwill of American high schools in opening their campuses to these young international exchange students is vital to this program's success.
Benefits to hosting (Enrolling in your school) a UCEUS Bridge USA exchange student
★Hosting one or more exchange students is a great way for you to bring international perspectives into your classrooms and prepare your students to be successful in an increasingly globalized world.
Your exchange students will learn first-hand about other cultures and customs through the eyes of a peer, gain new perspectives on the United States and the world, and their role in both.
Student exchanges open young minds to the importance of understanding other languages and other cultures, and the roles that they will play in their future college and career experiences.
You, your faculty, and your students have an unparalleled opportunity to engage in people-to-people exchanges that benefit your community and contribute to global mutual understanding.
Life-long international friendships are formed during these student exchange programs.
As a school that supports an exchange student, you will be part of a larger mission and vision. These programs have been a part of U.S. public diplomacy efforts since 1949.
Students reach out to sponsor organizations and apply to participate in the Secondary School Student BridgeUSA exchange program.
The students' visa applications go through the U.S. embassies' rigorous consular review process. Sponsors will reach out to your school and ask if you are willing to host exchange students (enroll the students in your school). All students participate in orientations before departing their home country and upon arrival in the U.S. to ensure their success on program.
Students live with an American host family, which helps them integrate into a new community. Local representatives support the students throughout the exchange, serve as points of contact for school administrators and teachers, and monitor students during their exchange program.
Students attend school and participate in family and community activities just as American students do.
Students return home at the end of their program and share their experiences with people in their home country.