Broaden Your Horizons
In today's world, it is becoming increasingly necessary for students to be globally minded. Experiences overseas can be beneficial to students of all ages, allowing them to gain a wider perspective and a deeper appreciation of the differing cultures.
The AP Academy currently assists the efforts of non-U.S. students from Korea and China to study abroad in the United States.
Our assistance includes filing paperwork for I-20/F1 student visa, researching available options for schools as well as host families and guardians, and offering steadfast support for students’ academic and extracurricular pursuits.
Students can come to the U.S. for language/culture exposure in three capacities.
F-1 Visa Status
Required by The AP Academy:
Student’s mailing address
Current grade in Korea/China
Grade the student wishes to enter in the U.S.
Copy of school transcript
Copy of health/immunization records
Copy of passport (the page with photo and name)
The AP Academy will interview all possible schools in the area in which the student will stay. Based on the interviews, the school of best fit will be selected and host families will be interviewed for selection. The AP Academy also provides hosting for students in dormitories and houses. The student may also choose to stay with a relative currently residing in the Philadelphia area.
Once a school and residence is selected, the accepting school will issue an I-20 documentation. This documentation is proof that the student will be attending a U.S. school and will need this documentation when applying for the F-1 visa. The AP Academy will mail the I-20 documentation with proper signatures to the mailing address provided.
The student may now apply for an F-1 visa and schedule an interview. Most families prefer to apply through an agency in their country for proper handling and interview training. It is also important that the family provide an official bank statement proving that they have the financial means to afford at least one year’s expenses on behalf of the student traveling abroad.
Once the student passes the interview and is issued an F-1 visa, he/she may purchase a plane ticket and notify The AP Academy of the arrival date. The AP Academy will then notify the accepting school and hosting family so that the student may begin schooling within a few days of his/her arrival in the U.S.
When first arriving in the U.S., most students struggle to follow the demanding curriculum of their new schools. The AP Academy offers a wide range of academic support to ensure students' continuous academic success. If needed, transportation can be provided by the academy after school. Most classes at The AP Academy begin at 4:30 pm on Mondays-Fridays and 9:00 am on Saturdays. Evening classes are also available. Students will attend church with his/her host family every Sunday. Classes and tutoring are not available on Sundays.
Frequently Asked Questions
If a student comes to the U.S. with an F-1 visa, should he/she wait a certain time period before beginning school?
Students learn a new language fastest when there is maximum emersion. Though school life may be difficult in the beginning due to language barriers, it is recommended that a child begin school shortly after arrival in the U.S. As students make new American friends, their English proficiency will improve in a much more natural manner rather than in a strictly academic one. Constant communication with native speakers supplemented by after-school programs is the fastest way to achieve proficiency in the English language.
Should I send my child to an American host family or to a Korean/Chinese host family?
Staying with an American (or English-speaking) family has a big advantage when it comes to learning the language and culture. However, many students have a difficult time adjusting to such a sudden and big change. Some students have a difficult time getting accustomed to the new food and may get sick or won’t enjoy meal times. Other students have a difficult time adjusting to new family rules such as going to bed at 9 pm or 10 pm even when they have tests coming up the following day. Many students have up transferring to Korean/Chinese families. There are advantages and disadvantages with each type of host family, and of which should be considered before making a decision.
How is health insurance provided?
Health insurance can be purchased either in the student's country or in America. It is important that students have health insurance, since hospital fees are extremely expensive in the U.S. One visit to the emergency room can cost up to $3,000.
What is a good age at which my child should begin his/her studies in the U.S.?
Success is maximized and accents are minimized if a student comes between grades 4-7. While some students come earlier and others come later, arrival in the U.S. in grades 11 or 12 are usually too late unless students have already been preparing for the SAT and are ready to take the exam.
How long will it take before students can understand enough English to sufficiently complete their course work in school?
As long as students work diligently, they should be able to handle all coursework within 1-2 years. Some students take just a few months and others take longer. Students who need a longer time period are usually those who are too shy or befriend too many Korean or Chinese speaking friends and too few English speaking friends. Therefore, we highly encourage students to attend schools with fewer Korean or Chinese speaking students, to make the extra effort to speak more English.
My child is currently performing poorly in school. Will my child be given this second chance if he/she were to move to the U.S.?
Students' success in the U.S. depends on the study habits the students have developed over the years. Most students who have performed well in their home countries also perform well in the U.S. Most students who have performed poorly will also have a difficult time in the U.S. In any event, it is a second chance to do well for all students, and with proper support, there is a substantial potential for students to have a successful academic career in the U.S.
What does homestay offer?
This includes guardianships, meals, room & board, and transportation to and from school & activities. Transportation in the U.S. is very difficult because a short drive is considered to be 15-20 minutes one way. Students cannot walk to many places because of the distance. Therefore, it takes a host parent a minimum of 30-40 minutes (in many cases more than an hour) to provide transportation once. This needs to be done several times throughout the day, especially if the students participate in after-school activities (very important in college preparation for top U.S. colleges and universities).