• United States of America
Fall, Maymester, Spring
Subject Areas
Arts Music

Program Details

Program Type
Host Family


Starting Price
$5,000 USD
Jan 15, 2019
Aug 22, 2013

About Program

What if you could step back in time to experience the heyday of 1950s American culture? At Rydell High, you can create your own glorious memories of drive-ins, ice cream parlors, shared milkshakes, muscle cars and rock and roll.

A unique cultural studies program based on the 1950s U.S., Rydell gives students a rare glimpse into the life of the American teen in the mid-20th century. You'll be attending class Monday to Friday and will be completing coursework on basic car mechanics/home economics, the hand jive, hair styling and 1950s linguistic studies (with a focus on slang) . Extra curricular and weekend activities include visits to the ice cream parlor, the drive-in, and for the spring and summer sessions, the beach. Supervised drag races and cigarette-smoking 101 are also an option for students 18 years of age.

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Fantasy Programs Abroad.

Video and Photos

Upon successful completion of the program, participants will be invited to celebrate and show off their new dance skills in a recreation of American Bandstand. Top alumni will also receive their choice of a T-Birds leather jacket or a genuine Pink Ladies jacket. Top honors recipients may also choose leather pants like the ones sported by Sandy at the carnival at Rydell. Though please note: you must be 'sewn into the pants,' so do plan wisely. You'll definitely want to don the pants and get your photos before your day of travel rather than opt to wear them on the long plane ride home.

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Program Reviews

8 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 50%
  • 7-8 rating 25%
  • 5-6 rating 25%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 6.3
  • Support 7.5
  • Fun 8.3
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Rydell Forever

I went with the year-long program, and while academics were only okay, the extracurriculars and social scene were a lot of fun. There are a lot of sports to play and ways to get involved and meet people, which can be hard for an exchange student (stay away from those Pink Ladies). Rydell has a lot of school spirit, which was a nice change from my home school. The local ice cream parlor has pretty much the best milkshakes EVER, and if you don't have plans on a Friday night, head to the drive-in movie theater. If you're at Rydell in the spring, definitely do not miss the end-of-year graduation carnival which was the best event of the year.

3 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Shooby doo wop doo wop!

I want nothing more than to go back to Rydell, even if for just another pep rally. My only regret is not getting a hickey from Kenickie.

The end of term carnival was as awesome as I'd hoped it would be. I lived for our spontaneous group outbursts of perfectly choreographed song and dance!

What would you improve about this program?
The guy who won my pinks was a total potz.
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Good times!

My semester at Rydell High was way too much fun. Academics weren't very challenging, which was both good and bad, so I spent my time meeting people and learning outside of the classroom. The social scene is what really made my stay awesome. The school put together a whole bunch of events, like the fair on the last day of classes! Of course I loved the constant sunshine and general great vibes at Rydell.

What would you improve about this program?
Everyone was really into singing, and I don't consider myself a musical person. Kind of a bummer...
2 people found this review helpful.
Anis Salvesen
Yes, I recommend this program

Glorious Memories of Rydell High

My semester at Rydell was one of the most memorable ever. Of course it wasn't without some bumps along the way and I do have a few tips for anyone considering studying abroad here.

First - and this one is pretty obvious in retrospect - don't let Frenchy do your hair. I had spent quite a bit on airfare and a new wardrobe (including the cutest poodle skirt you ever saw), so I was excited to save money on getting my hair done. Plus have you seen the amazing hairdos all the cool kids at Rydell sport? I definitely needed a new look. Well, I got a new look alright. I got lots of looks - and comments - as I walked down the high school's halls. Luckily my host mom has a friend who's a good stylist and fixed it right away. I did have the nickname "Poodle Girl" for a while, which could have referred to my poodle-caught-in-a rainstorm-of-pink-hair-dye look. But I preferred to think it referred to my awesome poodle skirt.

Second - if you're heading to Rydell get yourself two things right away: a can of industrial strength hairspray and dancing lessons if you don't know how to dance. Actually, get yourself dancing lessons anyway. Even if you're considered a good dancer at your current school, you're probably nothing compared to these kids. My mom was a dance instructor, so I knew the basics and am a fast learner, so I did okay. I'm pretty sure some of the moves I learned I can't do back home, but even so I'm still going back a way better dancer than I arrived.

Lastly, don't be too quick to judge people. Rizzo seems as approachable as an upset badger, but deep down she's not so bad. I caught her telling off some out-of-towners who made fun of Jan for being fat once, though she made it clear I'd pay dearly if I told anyone about it. And Principal McGee is actually really laid back when she's not on duty. I saw her at my host sister's wedding and I swear she winked at me when I grabbed a glass of champagne. Sandy, who was also there, said it was because what I grabbed was sparkling cider, but I choose to believe Principal McGee has a wild side.

What would you improve about this program?
This was a great program! It's definitely the ultimate American high school experience.
4 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers