Education and Cultural Exchange Program

The Education and Cultural Exchange Program (ECEP) is the perfect choice for international students who wish to combine the flexibility of an academic F-1 program with a volunteer host family experience in the USA. Students attend SEVIS-approved public or private high schools, all of which have been carefully selected and screened by ECEP.  ECEP is a great alternative to J-1 programs, which can be limited in scope and availability.

Exchange student Tom Nguyen talks about his exchange year with his ECEP (his agency in Germany is AYUSA).

ECEP offers:

  • The opportunity to study on the F-1 student visa
  • Public and private high schools
  • The opportunity to study in the USA for multiple years (public high schools are only available for one year)
  • Carefully screened volunteer host families
  • A lower-cost alternative to other programs
  • Local Coordinator support throughout the program


Because Education and Cultural Exchange Program strives for excellence, students are carefully selected and screened to ensure they will be successful in their host family and school.

Admission Requirements:

  • Age 13-18 on arrival
  • Grades 8th thru 12th
  • Three years of school transcripts
  • C average with no failing grades
  • Minimum ELTiS 217+, IELTS 5.0+, TOEFL IBT 64+, SLEP 48+
  • Demonstrated maturity and motivation needed to study abroad

Overview of Participating High Schools

Education and Cultural Exchange Program works closely with our partner American high schools to bring global diversity to their local community. If allowed by the state and school, students are able to participate in activities including sports, clubs, music, drama, and graduation.  We are continually adding new schools that are excited about this opportunity.

Schools and host families are selected by ECEP and matched with students based on the information provided in the student application. ECEP is always adding to its program offerings, so interested schools should contact us for further information.

Education and Cultural Exchange Program works with schools and host families in a variety of communities throughout the midwest and southern United States. The majority of Americans live just outside of larger cities, in small towns, and in rural communities.  We believe students should experience these aspects of American culture.