Dujon Christopher Smith, a senior at Evanston Township High School, will attend School Year Abroad’s (SYA) new school in Hanoi, Vietnam, this semester. He will study with approximately 16 other students in an academically rigorous high school and second-language-immersion program while living with a Vietnamese family.  SYA Vietnam will share fundamental characteristics with its sister schools in China, France, Italy and Spain — rigorous classes, college counseling and testing, second-language acquisition, home stay, educational travel and careful attention to health and safety. In addition, however, the academic program in Vietnam will include economics and environmental science.

SYA was established in 1964. Since its inception the program has educated over 5,700 students. SYA’s goal is to give 11th- and 12th-grade students a deep understanding of another people, their language and way of life through near-total immersion in a foreign culture while providing full academic credit for the year abroad and maintaining a high level of preparation for admission to competitive American colleges and universities.  The central elements of SYA — the home stay and an academic program emphasizing foreign language acquisition — ensure that students return home with real mastery of a second language.  SYA’s other schools are located in Beijing, China; Rennes, France; Viterbo, Italy; and Zaragoza, Spain.

SYA is a consortium of 35 U.S. independent schools, led by Phillips Academy (Mass.); Phillips Exeter Academy (N.H.); and St. Paul’s School (N.H.), dedicated to offering students from any accredited U.S. independent or public secondary school the opportunity to spend the school year immersed in another culture.

For more information about School Year Abroad, call 978-725-6828 or visit their website at www.sya.org.