The CSIET Advisory Board — comprising nine secondary and post-secondary school trade organizations— delivered a set of standards that shines a light on the F-1 student recruitment process

August 27, 2019 – Alexandria, Va., USA – The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) Advisory Board announced today it has completed its year-long effort to establish Model Standards to guide F-1 secondary student recruitment efforts.

The standards, available here, center on four areas: Stewardship, Transparency, Engagement and Partnership. Developed for third-party, non-U.S. based F-1 international student recruitment agencies, the standards outline best practices for collaborating with U.S. organizations and represent the qualities the Advisory Board understands to be essential for successful F-1 international student enrollment. Agencies that adopt these standards commit to acting with transparency, integrity and accountability; specifically, they abide by such criteria as conducting defined training processes and disclosing ownership and business practices.

“The lack of regulation and consistency for the recruitment and enrollment of F-1 international students at U.S. secondary schools has raised serious ethical concerns,” said Chris Page, executive director of CSIET. “International students and their families deserve a clear understanding of the process ahead of them, and they deserve reassurance that those organizations involved in recruitment are coordinating. Simply put, they deserve the best possible fit for enrollment in a U.S. secondary school.” 

Without standards in place, international students embarking on study in the U.S. may lack clarity in the process or have mismatched expectations when working with third-party recruitment agencies. In response to these concerns, the CSIET Advisory Board developed the new Model Standards.

The Advisory Board calls on non-U.S. based third-party recruitment agencies and U.S. secondary schools to adopt CSIET’s Model Standards so all stakeholders in the student exchange process — students, schools and agencies — become more comfortable, informed and in agreement on the expectations throughout the recruitment process.

“In creating the Model Standards, we have added another mechanism to safeguard students through global mobility and exchange,” said Lindsay Addington, an Advisory Board member and director of global engagement at the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “It is our hope that U.S. schools begin to expect partnering agencies to adopt the qualities laid out in the Model Standards, and that agencies become motivated to live up to these standards.”

The Model Standards will help U.S. schools enrolling international students better understand best practices in the student exchange industry. In addition to being more informed of the recruitment process, schools will be able to ask their recruitment and admission partner agencies if they are certified by CSIET as compliant with the Model Standards. This will give the organizations an extra layer of verification to prove their good standing to U.S. schools.

“Knowing who to work with in this field can be challenging for schools,” said Clare Sisisky, an Advisory Board member and executive director of Global Education Benchmark Group. “By providing this incredible tool, schools will be able to identify ethical student-focused agencies to help them with their international student enrollment.”

The Advisory Board comprises representatives from leading organizations serving secondary and post-secondary schools, including: 

  • AIRC – The American International Recruitment Council
  • AISAP – Association of Independent School Admission Professionals
  • CSIET – The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel
  • EMA – The Enrollment Management Association
  • GEBG – Global Education Benchmark Group
  • NACAC – National Association for College Admission Counseling
  • NAIS – National Association of Independent Schools
  • NAFSA – Association of International Educators
  • TABS – The Association of Boarding Schools

 “The new Model Standards will succeed if they are met by a willingness among U.S. schools to adopt these recruiting practices. With the help of our trusted and influential partners in the secondary school community, we are confident we can make widespread adoption of these principles a reality,” said Page.