Orientation

We want all High School USA students to feel prepared and informed as they embark on their American high school experiences. That is why we put so much time and effort into our orientations. We want you to have a wonderful, enriching education and a life-changing cultural adventure.

For more information about our orientations, please read below.

Pre-Departure Orientation
Before you leave your home country for the U.S., you will attend a pre-departure orientation with your CIEE international representative. Please read our pre-departure checklist for more information.

Orientation in the U.S.
Upon arrival in the U.S., you will attend a CIEE High School USA orientation. This will either be a group orientation in New York City or, depending on when you arrive, a local orientation in your host community. Recipients of High School USA grants will attend a separate orientation in Washington D.C.

No matter what orientation you attend, you will receive helpful and important information about life in the U.S., the host family experience, making friends, program rules and expectations, and more.

  • New York City Orientation
    If attending the group orientation in New York City (NYC), you will be welcomed at the airport by a CIEE representative. This person will accompany you to the hotel at which you will be staying for the duration of the orientation.

    A large portion of this orientation will be devoted to group discussions led by CIEE staff. These discussions will encourage students to think about and plan for their exchange experience and will also facilitate discussion about the challenges students may face while on program. This is a great opportunity to talk about your fears and your expectations, as well as ask any questions you may have.

    The NYC orientation is also a lot of fun, as you get the opportunity to explore one of the world’s most famous cities: New York! Typically, students will visit Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and more. However, specific tour itineraries may differ from year to year.

    At the conclusion of the orientation in NYC, you will be escorted to the airport and fly to your host community.
     
  • In-Community Orientation
    If you will not be attending the group orientation in New York City, then you will have your own orientation upon arrival in your host community. In-community orientations are conducted by your CIEE Local Coordinator. In most cases, this orientation will take place at some point during your first two weeks in your host community.

    Your Local Coordinator will meet with you and go over the same information that is reviewed during the New York City orientation. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your Local Coordinator and ask any questions you may have about the program, your school, your host family, and your new host community.

    ​Please note: In-community orientations do not include a city tour or a hotel stay.