Administering Youth Exchange Guide

Third Edition

The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) is pleased to present the 3rd edition of Administering Youth Exchange for U.S. high schools to help you in your work with international youth exchange programs.

This handbook will help you to better understand how international youth exchange programs operate, what you can expect of reputable exchange programs, and tips on making exchange students feel welcome in your school.  We also explain the functions and differences between CSIET, a private nonprofit which sets standards for exchange, and the U.S. government agencies which regulate these programs.

This publication is intended for principals, assistant principals, school administrators, guidance counselors, and for foreign language and social studies teachers.  We intend it specifically as a resource for the individual in your school or school system, who is responsible for working with exchange students, but it also can serve as a reference guide for educators and administrators who take an interest in exchange and how it operates.

Many schools and school districts have established policies to assure consistency in how international exchange students and the programs that sponsor them are considered for admission and the guidelines that govern those students participation in various school activities.  These policies vary, sometimes widely, from locality to locality.  To assist you administering youth exchange programs and developing school policy for international student exchange programs, we have developed the CSIET Model School Policy.

We at CSIET are very interested in your comments about the usefulness of this handbook and any suggestions for future editions.  The handbook will be updated periodically.  CSIET continues to update the Advisory List each year as an indispensable tool for U.S. high schools for identifying reputable exchange programs.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you, administrators and educators at U.S. high schools, for your outstanding participation in international youth exchange you are helping to mold our next generation of world leaders.

Christopher B. Page
Executive Director

Key Definitions:
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Program –  a non-immigrant visa category designed to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through bona fide educational and cultural exchange
  • F-1 academic student program – a non-immigrant visa category intended for use by nonresident aliens whose primary purpose for visiting the United States is to study full-time at an approved institution
  • Short Term Program exchange programs with an in-country duration is generally eight weeks or less
  • Long Term Program – exchange programs with an in-country duration of eight weeks or longer
  • Inbound – a program that brings students into the United States
  • Outbound – a program that sends American students out of the United States