High School Program
United Kingdom (UK)

ICES High School program in the United Kingdom offers international students the life-changing opportunity to experience studying in a British school and is built upon our values and ethos. International students aged 16-18 participate in the same classes as British students and stay with a host family close to their school, following the same classes and living a truly British student life.

Come join the thousands of high school students who have had an amazing experience in the United Kingdom!


Living and Studying in The United Kingdom

The UK is a staggering mix of the old and the new; historic castles, Roman ruins, mysterious Celtic and Nordic and prehistoric sites can all be seen alongside dramatic modern buildings and architecture. Its landscapes feature stunning, windswept beaches, scenic lakes and mountains and charming villages. The beautiful towns of Oxford, Weymouth and Hastings will transport you to the British past with their historical buildings. Then there are modern cities like London, Brighton, and Portsmouth with their cool street art, buzzing nightlife, unlimited choices of entertainment, dining, and happening cultural scene. England is also blessed with typical English traditions, a rich treasure trove of museums, art and a delicious culinary scene – British food used to have a bad reputation but that has all changed.

The UK is one of the world’s most popular destinations to visit for study, with more than 500,000 international students coming each year. UK schools, colleges and universities are among the very best in the world and our qualifications are recognized by employers and academics worldwide. The UK is an amazingly exciting place to come to. With a rich, multicultural society, a great historic mix of cultures, food, strong transport links, famous festivals and sporting events, there really is something
for everyone.

Undertaking a British learning experience means that students get the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and critical thinking to build a successful future career whilst having a life experience that they will never forget. Many of our centers are based in the most historic and beautiful parts of the UK. Visiting the UK means becoming a part of a rich history, culture and traditions that have defined the world for the last couple of centuries.



Your Host Family in the UK

Each host family will do everything they can to make students feel at home and will always be there for them. Many of our exchange students come to see their host family as their second home and go back to visit many times after their exchange is over. Feeling at home in their host family is an essential part of the exchange experience and is very important for us. Since the host family is such a big part of a student’s time abroad, we always do our utmost to find the right family for each student.

GIE host families are all unique. They may live in the city or in the country, have teenage children or toddlers, be single parents or part of large families. The one thing they always have in common is a great commitment to young people and an interest in different cultures.

The well-being, safety and welfare of young people who study with us is our first priority and it is vital to ensure that they have a great experience. We adopt clear policies for the welfare of all students and these standards apply to all staff and Host Families that we employ. Child safeguarding forms an integral part of staff training. All of our staff, including our Head Office senior management team, local staff, and host families undertake DBS criminal background checks before working for us. In addition to this, everybody is thoroughly interviewed, and Host Families have their accommodation carefully checked before hosting students. Our highly motivated senior management team has experience in the delivery of high school programs for young people from across the world, and our dedicated Safeguarding team makes sure all welfare policies are followed through.


Your High School in The UK

Our program has been designed for students who would like to choose their location and college. We have developed partnerships with 12 colleges, each one offering something different, whether it be location, facilities, range of subjects, or price range.

Our team of experienced Placement Managers will guide you through the process of finding the college that best matches your academic needs. As part of each High School Program, students will have their own dedicated ‘Local Guardian’ who will provide support and ensure that they reach their full potential whilst studying in the UK.

Download UK High School Program Brochure

The UK School System

Children in the UK start school in Primary School which generally lasts for seven years until the age of 11, followed by Secondary School until the age of 16 which culminates with GCSE examinations. If students wish to continue their studies, they can then move on to Further Education for two years, typically taken between the ages of 16 to 18. Students have a number of options when it comes to the qualifications they can study through Further Education years. The most common is the A-Level program which is a linear, two-year qualification where students typically study 3 to 5 subjects. Other qualifications include the BTEC, which can be vocational in nature and offers hundreds of options for students wishing to focus on one subject. Students can study these qualifications on a single year basis. In the UK, compulsory education ends at age 16 and students wishing to move on to University or Higher Education use these qualifications to prepare. A-Level exams are both an exit exam from school and an entrance exam for university.

Students on the ICES UK program will be between 16 and 18 years of age and will study at the Further Education level. They will mostly be enrolled at 6th Form Colleges on A-Level or BTEC courses.

The Academic Calendar

The school year in the UK is divided into three terms. The year begins at the end of August and the first term ends just before Christmas. The second term starts in early January and goes on until Easter. The third term starts after the Easter vacation and goes on until the end of June. Students on the ICES High School Program in the UK can attend for a full academic year, 1 term starting either at the beginning of the academic year or in January, or a semester starting in early September and lasting a maximum of 6 months.

Autumn Term 1:    August to December

Spring Term 2:    January to Easter

Summer Term 3:    Easter to June


Student Program Requirements

  • AGE:   16 – 18
  • ACADEMICS:   A minimum of a C average in all course taken over the past three years. School transcripts from the last three years.
  • ATTITUDE:   The maturity to deal with the inevitable challenges of adapting to another culture and communicating in a foreign language.
  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS:   Intermediate (B1) or higher. Students applying for the full academic year will be required to take an IELTS test and score 5.0 – 5.5 depending on the course they are applying for. Students should also be competent in using English conversationally to follow course work and socialize.
  • INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY:   An open mind toward learning the ins and outs of another culture, such as its social customs, as well as concrete experiences such as food and fun.

Quick Facts

Why choose the United Kingdom?

  • Study in the birthplace of the English language
  • Vocational and Academic options
  • Possible to study for 2 years
  • City locations available
  • Always a choice of school

Who can study in the UK?

  • 16 – 18 years old
  • All nationalities

Program duration

  • Academic Year – September to June
  • Semester – September to February (Maximum 6 months)
  • 1 Term Fall Start – September to December
  • 1 Term January Start – January to April

Are you ready to embark on
an adventure of a life-time?

What is included in the program fee?

  • Local orientation upon arrival
  • Assistance with visa application
  • Host family accommodation
  • Assistance and support including monthly contact
  • 24/7 emergency telephone contact
  • Selection of suitable UK school
  • Placement and registration in school • Regular visits
  • Progress reports

What is not included?

  • Visa
  • Flights
  • Transfers (Assistance with arranging transfers is provided)
  • Books
  • Study Material
  • Uniform
  • Special Diets
  • Pocket Money
  • School Trips
  • Public Transport