Connections through Understandings

Student American International (SAI) is a Connecticut based, not-for-profit student exchange organization. The organization was founded in 1996 by Melissa Polos, President. SAI is State Department designated and has been granted a full listing with CSIET for the 2009 - 2010 Advisory List. Please review both sets of standards located on this website.

Student American International was established as an outgrowth of friendships made during first hand exchange experiences. The President, Melissa Polos, has been involved in exchange at all levels. She was an exchange student several times, a host parent, a Local Representative, a Regional Director, and has managed SAI since its inception in 1996.

SAI's mission is to promote the idea that we can help make the world a more peaceful place if we recognize the differences between various cultures, and work to understand and celebrate those differences, person to person. Through its academic home-stay program, students, host families, schools and communities learn about one another's differences and similarities. SAI believes that as generalities and stereotypes give way to real people, participants are able to see beyond ethnic, racial, religious and cultural differences to establish relationships based on understanding and acceptance.

An SAI exchange student comes to the United States to live with an American family and to attend an American high school, experiencing American life first hand. Every excahnge student selected to participate in our program has been personally screened by our overseas partners. Each exchange student's application is then personally examined by Melissa Polos, before any student is accepted for placement by SAI. An exchange student must meet high standards for academic and personal achievement in order to qualify for our exchange program.

We have overseas partners in many different countries, including: Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway South Korean, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and Turkey.

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SAI relies on local contacts across the United States for placement, supervision and direct contact with all of our students, host families and schools.

Our Representatives

Our Student American International representatives provide ongoing support for SAI students and their host families, and as such, are key to the SAI support network.

Billy Arkansas Experience: 16 years Funny, caring, organized, popular with the students, raised as a host brother, now a host father.
Kim South Carolina Experience: 7 years Fun, easy going, high energy, very involved with all students, organized.

View all our Representatives

Our Students

Meet our students and decide if you'll be the loving host family to bring the world closer together for an exchange student.

View our students