School Year Abroad (SYA), founded in 1964, has year-long, academic programs in China, France, Italy, and Spain. They also offer five-week summer homestay programs. As a member school, LFA clearly demonstrates its commitment to global education. Our students, who can participate over the summer or during their sophomore, junior, or senior year, improve not only their language skills, but also their ability to adapt and thrive both educationally and personally in another culture. Interested students and families should contact Kristine Von Ogden, our SYA Coordinator at LFA.

This year, Audrey Taillon '19 is taking part in SYA France. Check back to learn how this incredible experience unfolds for her!

School Year Abroad

This program, founded in 1964, is sponsored by the three charter schools of Exeter, Andover, and St. Paul's. The heads of these three schools serve as permanent members of SYA's board of trustees. In addition to these three charter schools; SYA's association includes a consortium of other top U.S. independent schools that have demonstrated a strong commitment to foreign and classical language instruction as well as international education. Admission to these programs is competitive. The total enrollment in each program is about 60 students.

The programs are conducted during the school year in Beijing (China), Rennes (France), Viterbo (Italy), and Zaragoza (Spain). Its courses have been fully accredited by LFA and other schools within the consortium. The purpose of these programs is for students to participate in a full academic year as well as to reap the benefits of living in a foreign culture while achieving a level of real fluency or skills virtually impossible to attain at their home schools. Since some of LFA's graduation requirements (e.g., US History or science) cannot be fulfilled in Beijing, Rennes, Viterbo, or Zaragoza, interested students should develop as early as possible a long-range plan of studies that will assure their eligibility.

In each program, students live with host families and participate fully in their lives. They join athletic and cultural organizations with their Chinese, French, Italian, or Spanish counterparts and travel both on several school-sponsored trips as well as independently. Academically, each student pursues a minimum of five courses selected from a curriculum especially designed for School Year Abroad students. Standard junior and senior English and mathematics courses are taught in English, generally by teachers from the charter or member schools. Subjects such as literature, language, history, civilization, and art history are taught in the target language by native instructors. The classes are rigorous and reflect the standards of the sponsoring schools. All College Board examinations are offered.

The programs in France, Italy, and Spain are designed for students going into their junior or senior year who have completed two years of French, Latin, or Spanish. The program in China is for students also going into their junior or senior year, but no previous study of Mandarin is necessary for students who wish to spend their junior, senior or post-graduate year in Beijing. Each of these programs offers a full year of residence and study in the respective country. The program in China offers the option of a fall term as well. The cost of each program does not differ significantly from the cost of a year as a boarder at LFA. Financial aid is available. Catalogs and further information on application to the program may be obtained from our SYA coordinator, Ms. Von Ogden.

Contact Us

1500 West Kennedy Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 615-3210

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