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Each year, parents from around the world seek the best high school in the USA for their child. It’s one of the most important decisions a parent can make. Sending a young child abroad for their education shapes their future in so many profound ways – building their confidence, expanding their international fluency, and setting them up for future academic, professional, and personal success.

What are the most important factors that parents around the world should consider when choosing a high school in the USA? If they do not have firsthand familiarity with the American school system, many look to ranking systems and hope for their child to be accepted to a top ranked school.

Yet parents of international students risk overlooking one of the most important “rankings” – namely, the ability of an organization to care for your child while they are abroad. Most ranking systems for American high school are focused on American domestic students and academics. While academics are important, these rankings do not factor in one of the most critical requirements for international students living far from home – who is responsible for international students’ well-being and living environment, and what kind of process verifies that they are qualified to do so?

International students living and studying in a new language and culture, a different academic system, and far from home, encounter challenges that no American students face, and need knowledgeable support to guide them successfully. But how can parents know how to the evaluate the non-academic support that international students require while attending American high school?

CSIET (The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel), founded in 1984, is the only USA organization that evaluates American High School programs where students live with host families. All J1 and all major F1 organizations are CSIET members.

CSIET sets out an independent accountability process, similar to quality assurance organizations, to ensure that organizations who host international students have transparent processes and standards. 

Many parents do not realize that USA organizations hosting international students on F-1 day school programs are not required to be certified by CSIET. To become certified by CSIET is a serious undertaking, requiring vigorous attention to and continuous maintenance of all aspects of welcoming foreign students to the USA.

However, at Educatius we believe undergoing an annual CSIET review and audit is essential to delivering the highest quality programs. Educatius has been listed by CSIET for 8 consecutive years. And we are honored to say that in 2021 (the most recent year for which there were detailed published records), 25% of all international students in the USA on CSIET listed programs were Educatius students.

Ultimately, the best high school for your child is about more than just academics, it’s about choosing an organization that can provide the highest quality programs and care for your child while they are abroad.

Organizations and CSIET students by the numbers in 2021-2022

Organization    Certification Type2021-2022 student numbers by organization
Cambridge NetworkFull362
PSE – Private and Public School ExchangeFull300
Apex InternationalFull218
DMD Private High SchoolFull165
Ivy InternationalFull153
Student ExchangeNot Certified by CSIETNA
TBI – New OasisNot Certified by CSIETNA
GE EducationNot Certified by CSIETNA
ABC EducationNot Certified by CSIETNA