ASSE was established in 1976 as the American Scandinavian Student Exchange by the Swedish Government to organize student exchange programs. Countries included in the exchange are Sweden, the United States, Norway, Finland and France just to name a few.
ASSE works closely with the Canadian provincial education ministries and is approved by the Ministry of Education in New Zealand. ASSE maintains 38 offices in 31 countries and accommodates more than 30,000 high school age students and host families annually in its programs in the participating countries.
To qualify, participants must be no younger than 15 years old nor older than 18.5 years of age upon departure. Additionally participants must be mature enough to adjust to the different values, lifestyle and attitudes of a foreign country. Students must also be a student in good standing with a minimum B grade average (C for summer programs), be in good health and have excellent character references.
Participants are not required to know the language of their host country, although it is certainly helpful. ASSE programs provide language assistance such as preliminary language/culture programs or tutoring during the initial weeks of the program.