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After tenth grade I decided to spend a year in the USa. I chose Fee Sorachreisen, a German exchange organisation. The preparation for the year abroad was quite good. We had a meeting with organisators and fellow student who were about to spend a year abroad and others who had already done so. I was also able to exchange letters with my future host family a few months prior to my stay which was very helpful. With Fee you can choose the region where in the _US you would like to stay. THere is no guarantee you will actually get there but is is very likely. If you want to stay in Florda or California you have to pay an extra fee but are guaranteed a host family in that region. THat much for the advantages. THe negative part was the poor assistance in the USa itself. Even though you are promised a local representative who would assist and meet you frequently I only saw her twice during my whole stay: the first time upon my arrival ..and the second time for an interview about the exchange programme with a local newspaper.. so she would have her photograph on the front page. If you feel you need the assistance of a local representative then I certainly wouldn't recommend Fee. But if you are independant and think you can handle the new environment without such a representative it is certanly o.k. I personally didn't have any problem with the lack of local representatives.