Secondary School Student Program

The Secondary School Student Program (SSSP) is a unique opportunity for secondary school students from all over the world to travel to the USA and study at an accredited public or private high school for an academic semester or year while living with an American host family or an approved boarding school.

Secondary School Student Program

How Robbie and Eva went to their first high school prom, while studying in
the United States on the Secondary School Student Program

Robbie and his sister Eva had only read about American high school proms — or promenade dances —in Archie comics but they had never dreamed that they would be in one. After all, they lived in Kenya, which definitely did not have proms. And going to school in the United States had definitely not crossed their minds.

One day Joseph, Robbie’s BFF, got a letter from his cousin in Uganda to tell him that she was going to study in the USA for a whole year. She would be going as an exchange student in something called the Secondary School Student Program (SSSP). Anyone could apply, as long as they would between 15 and 18.5 years of age on the first day of school.

Excited, Robbie and Eva asked their parents if they could go. The answer was a surprising yes. In fact, their parents had decided that a year in a US school would be their Christmas present that year. Since all living, travel, tuition and other costs must be borne by the travelers or their families, this was also probably the costliest Christmas gift they had ever received.

They visited their travel agent who confirmed that indeed, the SSSP was one of the 15 categories of the United States Exchange Visitor Program (EVP). Everything worked out perfectly and in a few months Robbie and Eva found themselves in high school in the USA.

It was definitely the most exciting year they had ever had but the best part came at the end — when Robbie in a tux and Eva in a gown attended their first ever high school prom!

The EVP was designed to encourage people of all ages from other cultures to visit the USA and experience an exciting country while studying or working there. The SSSP program offers schoolchildren all over the world a great opportunity to experience the range of American secondary school life for as much as an entire academic year. This includes participation in all school activities, including after-school sports programs provided you meet eligibility requirements.

While there you’d live with a host American family and be a part of their family or live in a boarding school.

Like all programs under the EVP, you need to be accepted by a sponsor agency before you can apply for the SSSP. To make your work easier, though, a complete list of approved sponsors who manage Secondary School Student Program applications under the EVP is available online to get you started.

You can get more information on how to apply for this US visa, including how to find the best sponsors, from the detailed, user-friendly visa guides you get when you buy one of our Visa Plans online with instant access

If you have questions or would like clarifications, please send us an email and we’ll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours with an answer.