- What: Scholarship to an American high school
- Age: Post-Year 13 students
- Price: £400 + expenses (bursaries available)
- When: Two or three academic terms.
The ESU’s Secondary School Exchange offers students the opportunity to spend a gap year at an American high school at the end of Year 13. It’s a fantastic chance for students to spend time abroad broadening their horizons, making new friends and continuing their education free of exam pressures.
Alumni include singer-songwriter and musician KT Tunstall, comedian Dawn French, journalist and novelist Rosie Millard OBE and writer and director Dick Clement. Feedback is overwhelmingly positive, with students reporting increased confidence, a better understanding of diverse perspectives and the sheer joy of being fully immersed in another culture.
‘I have benefitted immeasurably. I have made new friends and memories to last a lifetime. I took part in a new sport, learned theatre skills, took up subjects that my school back home could never offer, and had the opportunity to develop socially, personally and academically. In the process I met amazing people from all around the world, and visited some of the world’s greatest cities.’
Calum Stewart, SSE alumnus, 2017-18
What students receive
- Scholarship (worth $45,000 to $65,000) to a private US high school
- Full board and lodging plus access to all of the school’s facilities and activities
- Opportunity for independent travel in the holidays
- Once-in-a-lifetime experience that builds self-confidence
- Exposure to other points of view and a different way of life
- The chance to study different subjects and subjects taught from a different perspective and to participate in new sports and pastimes
- Chance to take part in spring break, prom and graduation
- A more discussion-based approach to teaching, setting them up for university
- Positive life experience that is often a differentiating factor in university and job interviews
- Means-tested grants of up to £4,500 are available to applicants, as is one full award to cover additional costs
100% of SSE participants over the last two years strongly agree or agree that ‘The SSE has increased my confidence’