Model School

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).

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

  • The school asks that organizations contact the school each year to indicate an interest in placing exchange students. Exchange organizations should provide schools with advance notice of their intent to place.
  • The school is to be notified as soon as Student and Host Family match-ups are confirmed.
  • Recognizing the timing of school staffing and resources, exchange organizations should submit Student and Host Family applications as early as possible or up to two weeks prior to the school's start date. However, acknowledging the difficulty of securing Host Family commitments, the school will try to accept applications until school starts. (Note: The U.S. State Department federal J-visa regulations permit the placement of exchange students up to August 31 of each year.)

Selecting Student Exchange Programs

  • The school reserves the right to work with exchange organizations that have proved their commitment and responsiveness.
  • The school will also be open to new organizations that demonstrate a serious commitment to the school and community.

School Responsibilities

  • Students on U.S. State Department-sponsored programs (J-1 visas) generally pay no tuition, but they are expected to pay all normal expenses, including standard course and extra-curricular activity fees. The school has no obligation to provide any special services, tutoring, supplies or equipment.
  • International exchange students have all rights and privileges accorded to community students - EXCEPT the right to a diploma.
  • The school will make every effort to integrate international exchange students into the school's social fabric. In turn, schools shall encourage international exchange students to participate enthusiastically in school activities, to make friends, to make a personal contribution to the school - and to help spread the word about their country and themselves, informally and by making presentations in classes and to community groups and talking to media when asked.


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:


Want to be an Exchange Student?
Student Trips

SAI relies on local contacts across the United States for placement, supervision and direct contact with all of our students, host families and schools.

Our Representatives

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.

Jane Oklahoma Experience: 10+ Years Jane is a local contact in Oklahoma who works with a small number of students every year on a vet personal level.
Donita Nebraska Experience: 25+ years Donita is considered by the SAI organization to be the poster child for the perfect representative.

View all our Representatives

Our Students

Meet our students and decide if you'll be the loving host family to bring the world closer together for an exchange student.

View our students