Frequently Asked Questions

By Students

    Should I try to get my exchange year accredited by my local high school? Will I have to repeat the school year? 
      Only your current school has the authority to accredit your exchange year. Many students are concerned that they will have to repeat a school year if they opt for a full-year academic exchange with Amicus. We encourage students to understand that even if they do repeat a year, it is not a “lost” year. There are many benefits of improving English fluency and having completed a successful year of study abroad. Your year abroad will improve your opportunities for acceptance into top-rated universities, obtaining competitive internships and greater job marketability. We encourage students to think of the exchange year as an investment in their academic, social, relational, spiritual and professional development. Your Amicus year is an investment that can pay huge dividends!
    Can I go to the U.S. for less than a complete school year? (Maybe for only 3 or 6 months?)
      Amicus offers only a complete year as we are convinced that time is needed to adjust to a new culture and language and to feel comfortable in a new environment, family and school. We find the second semester of the program brings much more fulfillment because of the adjustments made in the first semester.
    Does Amicus offer help in finding places for internships of any kind?
    Does Amicus offer au pair families?
    What is the minimum age requirement for participation in the Amicus Program? 
    According to the U.S. Department of State, applicants for the J-1 Visa (which includes all Amicus participants) must be between 15 years and 18.5 years on the day they arrive in the U.S. for the beginning of their exchange year. The U.S. arrival date is usually about one week before the local high school begins which varies from school to school.
    How many countries send Amicus students to the U.S.?
    Since our beginning in 1980, we have helped more than 1,500 students from 33 countries complete a successful academic year in the U.S.
    Does Amicus send students to countries other than the U.S.?
    Amicus does not provide an outbound academic program, however, short-term overseas trips can be arranged through the Young Life Expeditions program.
    How are the placements in host families determined? 
    Amicus places a high value on finding the best possible family for each exchange student. Our U.S. Reps oversee the placement process which includes carefully reviewing the student’s application, interviewing potential host families, and securing enrollment in the local high school. Interests and needs of the students, families, and schools are taken into consideration to ensure the best possible experience for all.
    Is it possible for me to chose where I would like to go to in the U.S.?
    Amicus does not allow applicants to choose the location of their placement. Amicus relies on the relational networks of our local Reps to find the best families. One of the most important aspects of the Amicus experience is living with your host family. You can spend a year on the beach somewhere, but have a miserable experience with the wrong family! That said, we choose to place Amicus students where they are likely to have the best host family and school experience.
    Where in the U.S. are Amicus students placed?
    Amicus students have recently been placed in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Locations vary from year to year.
    How is Amicus related to the organization Young Life?
    Amicus is one of many programs of Young Life. Young Life is an international, non-denominational Christian youth organization, active in more than 1000 communities in the United States and over 100 countries around the world. Young Life has a trained and qualified adult staff of 31,000+ leaders in the U.S. and around the world. A community-based organization, Young Life is largely supported through the efforts of local volunteers, individuals and families. This expansive network of adults and families is a rich source of friendship and support for Amicus students during their exchange year and often when they return to their home country.
    What is the likelihood that I will be accepted? 
    Amicus considers English ability, academic performance, maturity, flexibility and willingness to adapt to a new culture in our selection process. We look at the “whole picture” for each applicant and select those students whom we believe can successfully navigate an academic exchange year in the U.S. while being away from family and friends back home.
    Are there other costs?
    Outside of the program fee, the student is responsible for the cost of airfare from and back to their home country, and spending money while in the U.S. We recommend students plan 200-300USD per month for school activities, spending money, sports events, entertainment, etc.
By Host Families
    What is Amicus?
    Amicus began in 1980 and is one of many programs of Young Life, an organization offering friendship to teenagers around the world. Amicus families from across the United States have hosted more than 1,500 exchange students.
    What are the expenses of hosting an Amicus student?
    Host families provide room and board, basic transportation and family activities. Students pay for their own school supplies and expenses, clothing, entertainment, shopping, and extracurricular activities. Due to Department of State regulations, host families are not paid but are rewarded with an experience of a lifetime.
    What about insurance?
    Amicus provides illness and injury insurance for each student while they are participants in the exchange program. Coverage exceeds the minimum required by the U.S. Department of State.
    Do I need to make any special arrangements in my home?
    It is best for exchange students to have their own room for privacy and rest as they adjust to a new culture, language, family and school. 
    How long will the student live with my family?
    The exchange year is about ten months. Students arrive approximately one week before school begins and depart mid-June for Young Life camp and a final session in Washington DC.
    Will there be a language barrier?
    No. Amicus students have had a minimum of three years of English, and most have had six or seven. The students are very motivated to improve their conversational English. Some have a transitional period before English becomes spontaneous, so it is helpful to speak more slowly in the initial months.
    What kind of families work best for the Amicus program?
    The best host families are flexible, faith-filled, have a love for teenagers, and a desire to reach out and share a home and life with others.
    Do I need teenagers in my family to host? 
      No. All kinds of families can and do host. Some are families with teenagers, young kids or college-aged students. Even empty-nesters enjoy hosting an international teen

Young Life Amicus | 420 N Cascade Ave Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3325

Phone: (719) 381-1823

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