Greenheart and Spain’s Get Ready Join Forces for a Successful International High School Fair!

Greenheart Exchange has been a sponsor of the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa since 1985. In our first year, we helped seven Spanish students find host families and attend high school in the U.S. on the J-1 visa. Now, we welcome over 1,000 participants each year who live with American families and study in high schools all across America.

International High School Fairs is one way Greenheart and partner organizations promote cultural exchange for high school students. In the following lines, Jeffrey Lake, Program Support Coordinator at Greenheart Exchange, tells us about his recent experience at the annual International High School Fair in Spain!

Get Ready is one of Greenheart’s partners for the J-1 secondary student program. I work as Greenheart contact in Program Support, supporting Get Ready’s students that are currently on the program.

Get Ready’s first annual International High School Fair was held on Saturday, January 20, at the NH Madrid Paseo de la Habana Hotel in Madrid, Spain. There were booths set up for high school programs in the United States, Canada, and Ireland, representing Get Ready, their sister company Midleton, and partners. I joined Get Ready’s booth with four members of their team: Eva, Javier, Alejandra, and Lucía, as well as four Spanish students who participated in an exchange year in the United States last year with Get Ready. Over 300 families had expressed interest in learning more about high school programs abroad prior to the fair.

It was an enriching experience being able to meet and interact with prospective students and their families. We discussed the students’ excitement, fears, goals, and motivation for spending a year of high school abroad. Students expressed their dreams of living in the United States and thoughts on what makes the American high school spirit so special. We also discussed host family placements typically being in a suburban or rural areas, and the process of locating and vetting volunteer host families. While most of the day was spent at the booths, there were also two presentations held to provide additional information on the J-1 secondary program in the United States.

The fair was a great opportunity to collaborate with Get Ready in-person and give prospective students and their families multiple perspectives of the program. Our hope is to see many of these students on the program with Greenheart one day in the future!

“90 families visited us and Greenheart support to inform parents and to talk to the students was an extra. It was very nice to count on Greenheart during the workshops. We are so thankful and happy because Greenheart joined us for the full day!” – Get Ready representative.

Thank you Jeff for sharing your experience!  

Greenheart Exchange is currently looking for families to host international exchange students.  If you are interested in hosting a student from Spain or another country, please visit to apply.