The obvious benefit of spending one academic year studying in the United States is the mastering of a second language thanks to full linguistic and cultural integration in the chosen country.
Although studying for one academic year at school in the United States is still a minority option in Spain, the number of students opting to do their high school studies (Spanish Baccalaureate) abroad in order to improve their English, has gradually increased in recent years.
In the United States there is no national system of education. Each of the 50 states has its own Department of Education, which sets the rules for the schools of that state.
In the United States education is obligatory for all students up until the age of 16. A student graduates when they have passed exams in all required courses.
The American school system is divided into 12 levels. Secondary education in the United States is divided into “Middle School” (or “Junior High” in some states) (first cycle) and “High School” (second cycle). The latter, called “High School”, is equivalent to the second cycle of compulsory secondary education, 3rd and 4th year of the Spanish school leavers certificate or ‘ESO’ (9th and 10th grade), and the 1st and 2nd year of the Spanish Baccalaureate certificate ‘Bachillerato’ (11th and 12th grade).
The validation of one academic year at a school in the United States, for the corresponding studies of the ‘ESO’ or the ‘Bachillerato’ in Spain, is carried out directly (without any special exams) in accordance with the regulations set out by the Ministry of Education and Science.
Only courses equivalent to the 4th year of ‘ESO’ or higher levels of study require validation through the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. This means that, in the case of the United States, grades 10, 11 and 12 must be validated following this regulation. See: United States Embassy, Spain
To find information about the homologation and validation of foreign studies and non University foreign certificates, click on the following link to visit the web page of the Ministry of Education and Science.