MODEL SCHOOL POLICY
on
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT EXCHANGE

Introduction

The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), in partnership with the secondary-school community, has developed the following document to assist American schools in the process of administering successful international student exchange programs. CSIET, a national non-profit foundation, is dedicated to promoting quality international youth exchanges that enrich local high school communities. The CSIET Model School Policy was developed with valuable input from individual high school administrators, exchange program managers, and national advocates for youth exchange. These suggested guiding principles will provide a foundation for local school policies and encourage every U.S. school to engage in international youth exchange programs.

Current events clearly show how much more interconnected all of us are to the whole world. This gives schools ever more impressive reasons for accepting international exchange students enthusiastically and using them as resources to broaden student and community perspectives on the world.

Youth exchanges provide foreign exchange students with an American experience, giving them a more balanced understanding of our country. They encourage new perspectives for the school's own students that open their minds to the world. More importantly, these 'connections' help teenagers on both sides of exchange grow and gain maturity.

The concept of exchange programs began more than half a century ago with the Fulbright-Hays Act. High-level officials have supported international student exchange every year since. These cross-cultural experiences offer unique opportunities for American schools to help their students and communities:

A t the same time, schools have a right to expect that international exchange students and student exchange programs to adhere to guidelines that will minimize problems and make success more likely. In all international exchange programming, the human dynamic may sometimes complicate matters for administrators. However, the critical element is the ongoing relationship between the exchange program and the school - as well as the responsiveness of the exchange program. Once this relationship is formed and articulated, problems can usually be managed effectively and ultimately resolved.

International exchange students offer an exciting resource. Many schools have created special events and programs to encourage all students to get to know these guests from other cultures and expand their own horizons and interests. Such efforts also help exchange students feel comfortable in an all-new life by taking full advantage of their opportunities.

International youth exchange programs internationalize American high schools - one exchange at a time. Thank you for your support of these seminal programs. You are helping to mold our next generation of world leaders.

This Model School Policy on International Student Exchange has been endorsed by: National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP); National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and American Association of School Administrators (AASA).

MODEL SCHOOL POLICY
ON
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT EXCHANGE

NUMBER OF INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE STUDENTS

American high schools should strive to accept international exchange students each year. The number of international exchange students that a high school will accept and the timing/deadlines for the process vary. These guidelines suggest a middle ground that recognizes the needs of schools and exchange programs, taking into account the increasing difficulty of securing early student applications and host family commitments. Ideally, schools should work toward a goal of 1% of the total student population being comprised of exchange students. Acknowledging that school conditions vary locally, it is important to set a personal goal that best fits each school community.

TIMING OF PLACEMENT PROCESS

SELECTING STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAMS SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS OF STUDENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM

All schools should reserve right of final approval on all student placements. Additionally, schools should require that each individual student exchange program must:

SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS ON J-1 VISA SPONSORSHIPS

SCHOOL RESPONSIBILITIES

Created by high school and organization members of CSIET, Fall 2002. To review current CSIET Standards click here. To review J-Visa federal regulations visit: http://exchanges.state.gov/education/jexchanges/resources.htm

 

CSIET:  212 S. Henry Street; Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703/739-9050; Fax: 703/739-9035; Email: mailbox@csiet.org