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Studying Abroad

UHS offers opportunities for students to study around the world, both through the SYA program and other exchanges.


School Year Abroad (SYA) is a secondary-level program which allows students from public and private schools across the United States to live with a European or Asian family for an entire academic year while earning U.S. graduation credits and preparing for selective U.S. colleges and universities.

Founded in 1964 by Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, SYA is now a consortium including top independent schools across the country. UHS has been a member of this consortium for many years, and many UHS students have taken advantage of the opportunities that SYA provides.

Currently, SYA operates schools in Beijing, China; Rennes, France; Viterbo, Italy; and Zaragoza, Spain. At each site, every year, approximately 60 students come together to participate in a program that combines rigorous academics with a meaningful homestay experience. Students also participate in extracurricular activities and in organized travel.

Through the immersion experience of SYA, students can achieve real fluency and accuracy in a foreign language and gain a deep understanding of another people and another way of life. As they face the challenges of living abroad, they also have opportunities to grow in responsibility, in self-reliance, and in tolerance.

While providing high-level preparation for American colleges and universities, SYA also enables students to become comfortable and competent members of a global community.

For more information about School Year Abroad, see Gvantsa Apkhazava (Languages Department), UHS Coordinator for SYA. You can also visit the SYA website at