I think it is very hard or nearly impossible to prepare someone for an exchange year but Ef really surprised me by doing an awesome job in their pre meets / camp and thought me things about the US I have never heared about before like what the culture differences were and how to behave in certain situations. My parents also told me that they were concerned about sending me away for a year but after all the meets they participated in / e-mails they received, they knew I was in good hands.
I felt very secure in the USA because I knew that there were all of those people that could help me in a case of an accident (IEC's ....) but I think my hostfamily and I did so well together I didn't really need them.
The most lit - awesome school ever. The biggest schoolspirit, the best students and teachers, the best sports literally everything about that school was awesome !!! (We are sooo much better than skyline)
I think the biggest reason why I chose Ef was (the many many good recommendations I got from previous students that I know personally and traveled with Ef) that they guaranteed that every student would get into a hostfamily. When I was looking at all the organizations that offered an exchange year pretty much none of them guaranteed a hostfamily but Ef and with that I felt very secure because an exchange has always been my biggest dream and to travel with some other organization that then says oh sorry we couldnt find a hostfamily for your would have been the worst thing. Luckily many of my friends recommended Ef and told me they make awesome student - family matches and to be honest I couldn't have asked for a better family