Long-Term Outbound Standards

Glossary

Agent/Agency

Individual or organization authorized to represent or act on behalf of the organization in administering one or more aspects of the program, for example, an overseas partner.

Organization

Entity that sponsors international student exchange activities.

Program

Organized international student exchange activity that begins with participant recruitment and selection, includes the components outlined in the standards that follow, and terminates when the participant returns to his or her point of origin or otherwise severs the relationship with the program sponsor. Organizations applying for CSIET listing must have a minimum of one current international student exchange participant in each cycle that is being evaluated.

Volunteer

1. A representative who is compensated for out-of-pocket expenses only. If a representative receives regular compensation, such as a per student placement fee, this individual cannot be considered a volunteer. 2. A host family that provides room and board gratis to a student.

Governmental Waivers

The CSIET Board of Directors has ruled that if the State Department (or an agency of the US or foreign government) requires an exception that may affect compliance with CSIET standards, the Organization may be granted a waiver by CSIET for that exception upon written receipt of the relevant governmental regulations. Such regulations must be submitted upon application for CSIET listing.

CSIET Standards for Long-Term, Outbound International Student Exchange Program
  • Outbound Student Registry: Programs must register U.S. students traveling abroad with the U.S. consulate or embassy.

These standards are intended for use in evaluating outbound secondary school-based trimester, semester or yearlong international student exchange programs.

STANDARD 1: EDUCATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

A. Programs shall be designed to fulfill educational purposes related to an international experience.

B. The organization sponsoring the program shall have clearly established goals and learning objectives to fulfill the educational purposes of its programs.

STANDARD 2: ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE

A. The structure and administration of the organization shall be clearly defined.

B. The organization shall have the personnel needed to administer its programs effectively.

  • The organization is accountable for the full scope of the programs it administers, including actions taken and representations made by its agents/agencies, and maintains responsibility for its students abroad.

C. The organization shall be organized under the laws of one of the 50 states of the United States or the District of Columbia. D. The organization shall demonstrate success in international student exchange through at least one full year since its incorporation.

Supplemental Guideline:  Date of Incorporation The CSIET Board of Directors has determined that the intent of this Standard is to ensure that  programs have participants on international student exchange for CSIET Staff and the Accreditation Committee to review in the current cycle.  Accordingly, compliance with Standard 2D could be demonstrated if the applying organization documents one year of incorporation by the final Accreditation Committee meeting of the current cycle. 

STANDARD 3: FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

A. The organization shall be capable of discharging its financial responsibilities to all participants.

B. The organization shall have sufficient financial backing to protect all monies paid by participants and to ensure fulfillment of all responsibilities to participants.

C. The organization shall have an independent Certified Public Accountant annually prepare an audited or review financial statement.

STANDARD 4: PROMOTION

A. The organization’s promotional materials shall professionally, ethically, and accurately reflect its purposes, activities, and sponsorship.

B. The organization shall not promote or recruit for its programs in any way that compromises the privacy, safety or security of participants, families or schools. Specifically, organizations shall not include personal student data or contact information (including address, phone or email addresses) on websites or other promotional materials. It is permissible to use a photograph or video of a student, a first name, age, country of origin, and a composite or generic listing of interests in an advertisement in order to demonstrate the personal nature of the program and the types of interests that students have. It is not permissible to identify that specific student as needing a home, nor is it permissible to refer to a student’s athletic ability or accomplishments. Written consent must be obtained for the use of any student photographs or videos.

C. All promotional materials/activities shall distinguish the program and the sponsoring organization from others operating under:

  1. affiliated or related corporate structures
  2. the same or similar names or symbols.

D. The organization shall fully disclose all fees, including school tuition, host family reimbursements, and other required or optional costs to prospective students and their natural families before enrollment. (If host families provide room and board gratis to the students, promotional materials should state that fees cover “selection and placement in host families” and not imply in any way that the fees paid by the students cover “room and board.”)

E. Neither the organization nor its agents/agencies shall promote its programs as providing opportunities for school athletic participation, high school graduation, driver’s education instruction, household domestic service, child care, employment, or other activities that might compromise the student, program, or school. Standard 4E specifically prohibits the organization and its agents/agencies (this includes foreign partners) from promoting its programs as providing any of the aforementioned activities. The word “promote” as it is used in Standard 4E includes any specific focus on or prominence of photographs and/or text depicting these activities. No prominent photographs and/or text will be considered to be in compliance.

F. The organization shall not state or imply in its promotional materials/activities that persons who are compensated other than out-of-pocket expenses are volunteers.

STANDARD 5: STUDENT SELECTION AND ORIENTATION

A. The organization shall screen and select student participants on the basis of criteria appropriate to the program.

B. Screening procedures shall include personal interviews with student applicants.

C. Selection shall be completed sufficiently in advance of the student’s departure to ensure adequate time for preparation and orientation.

D. Students shall be given a suitable orientation before departure and after arrival in the host country. Information shall include (but not be limited to) intercultural learning, cultural adjustment, relevant school policies/procedures, and strategies on how to prevent, identify and report cases of suspected student abuse.

STANDARD 6: STUDENT PLACEMENT

A. For programs that include a homestay, the organization shall ensure that the agent/agency:

  1. selects host families on the basis of criteria appropriate to the program.
  2. conducts interviews of all prospective host families in their homes.
  3. matches students and host families on the basis of criteria appropriate to the program.
  4. completes placement arrangements sufficiently in advance of the student’s departure from home to ensure adequate time for preparation and orientation of the host family (Whenever possible, a student should be placed with a host family who has made a long-term commitment to host the student prior to the student’s departure from his/her home country. In cases where this is not possible, a student may be placed with a short-term host family until long-term arrangements can be made. All short-term families must be selected and oriented according to the same criteria as are long-term families. The short-term nature of the host family placement must be fully disclosed in advance to the student,and his/her natural parents. Short-term families may, of course, also be utilized when a host family placement has not worked out and a new family must be found).
  5. provides suitable orientation and training to the host family (When a family expresses an interest in hosting a student and a representative makes the initial home visit to explain the program, this is not to be considered the “host family orientation.” CSIET recommends that host family orientation include information about the placement organization’s support structure and emergency reporting procedures, the cultural adjustment process, and expectations of students and host families during the program, e.g. rules, logistics, orientation and contact requirements.

B. For programs that include accommodations other than a homestay, the organization shall ensure that the agent/agency:

  1. arranges accommodations on the basis of criteria appropriate to the program
  2. ensures the adequacy of the accommodations with respect to location, cleanliness, safety, nutrition and supervision
  3. confirms the accommodations sufficiently in advance of the student’s departure from home.

C. The organization shall:

  • secure written, student-specific acceptance from the school principal or other designated responsible school administrator prior to the international exchange student’s departure from his or her home country.
STANDARD 7: OPERATIONS

A. The organization and its agents shall ensure adequate care and supervision of students.

B. Local representatives of the organization or its agents shall maintain regular personal contact with students and host families. (Contact should be initiated by the organization’s representative or its agents at least once a month be it by telephone, a visit to the home, personal contact at a gathering or other means. Regular contact, which should be monthly, is to include separate communication with the student and the host family in order to provide each with the opportunity to discuss issues they might not raise in the presence of the other. CSIET expects that there be formal documentation of this contact such as a monthly form, written journal, written log, etc. This is not to imply that representatives have to record every interaction. Rather it is to provide a record for the organization’s office of the pattern of student and host family adjustments, activities, and relationships through at least monthly contact with each student and host family.)

C. The organization shall notify the student, host family, and/or other supervisor of accommodations regarding the travel itinerary sufficiently in advance of the student’s departure from the home country.

D. The organization or its agents shall provide adequate support services at the local level to assist with program-related needs and problems, for example, counseling services, travel, medical care, language problems, changes in host family, emergencies.

E. The organization shall maintain an effective system of screening, selecting, training, and supervising US based program representatives; likewise, the organization shall ensure that its agents/agencies maintain such a system for its non-US based program representatives.

F. The organization shall provide all students with an identification card that includes the student’s name; the host family’s name, address, and telephone; the agent/agency emergency contact information; the address and telephone of the organization’s appropriate national office.

G. The organization shall provide an opportunity to the student, host family, and school to participate in a post-exchange evaluation.

H. The organization shall have in place adequate plans and procedures for dealing with emergencies that may arise during the program.

I. The organization shall respond in a timely and appropriate fashion to complaints received from students, families, schools or others concerned with the program and its quality.

J. For programs utilizing electronic or automated program databases to demonstrate compliance with CSIET Standards, such entries must identify the date and user recording the data. Programs shall also maintain a backup system. To prevent online access to sensitive student information by unauthorized persons, program database users need to be secured by an initial screening prior to issuance of a unique username and password.

STANDARD 8: STUDENT INSURANCE
A. The organization shall guarantee that every student is covered with adequate health and accident insurance. Such insurance shall:
  1. Protect students for the duration of their program
  2. Provide for the return of the student to his/her home in the event of serious illness,
B. The organization shall provide students, host families, and appropriate supervisor(s) with detailed printed information regarding the terms and limits of insurance coverage and procedures for filing a claim.
C. Compensated officials and employees of the organization shall not receive compensation from the sale of insurance to its participants.
STANDARD 9: ADHERENCE TO GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS

A. The organization shall guarantee that every student is covered with adequate health and accident insurance.

Such insurance shall:

  1. Protect students for the duration of their program
  2. Provide for the return of the student to his/her home in the event of serious illness.

B. The organization shall provide students, host families, and appropriate supervisor(s) with printed information regarding the terms and limits of insurance coverage and procedures for filing a claim.

C. Compensated officials and employees of the organization shall not receive compensation from the sale of insurance to its participants. Supplemental Guideline:

Program Transparency Programs shall inform CSIET if they:

  1.  Cease operation
  2. Merge with or become acquired by another organization

As revised by the Board of Directors, October 2018