Model School Policy on International Student Exchange
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:
At 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. Learn more about the Model School Policy on International Student Exchange by visiting the information below.
Our Student American International representatives provide ongoing support for SAI students and their host families, and as such, are key to the SAI support network.