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The Georgetown School Committee supports the inclusion of international exchange students according to the guidelines outlined in this policy.

 Youth exchanges provide foreign exchange students with an American experience giving them a more balanced understanding of American culture.  They also encourage new perspectives for our students so that they may:


·         Learn firsthand about other cultures and customs.

·         Create life long friendships across cultures.

·         Gain new perspective on our country and world.

·         Begin to understand how tightly connected the people and countries of the world are to each other.

·         Open young minds to the importance of understanding other languages and cultures with respect to career and personal opportunities.



Number of International Exchange Students

The number of students that will be accepted may vary from year to year.  Principals, after reviewing the circumstances will have authority to make final decisions on the number of exchange students that will be allowed.

Timing of the Placement Process

 ·         Organizations that want to places students in the schools must contact the school well in advance of, or within sufficient time, for the School Principal to make a determination if placement is possible.  The school should be notified as soon as the student and host family match-ups are confirmed.

·         Recognizing the timing of school staffing and resourcing, exchange organizations should submit applications to the school at least one month before the start of the school year.  From time to time, the Principals may waive this time line if he/she determines the circumstances warrant it.

·         Exchange students will only be accepted at the start of the school year.


Selecting Student Exchange Programs

 ·         The school reserves the right to work with exchange organizations that have proven their commitment and responsiveness.


·         The school will also be open to new organizations that demonstrate a serious commitment to the school and community and are able to produce required documentation in a timely and thorough manner.


School Expectations of Student Exchange Program


Schools reserve the right of final approval on all student placements and all exchange programs must:

·         Be listed in the most current Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) Advisory List (www.csiet.org)

·         Maintain a network of qualified and trained local representatives living in or near Georgetown with responsibility for each student and provide orientation and on-going support for the host family and the school.

·         Provide continuing hands-on monitoring and responsiveness from the local representative to the national headquarters including student selection and preparation, selection & screening of host families, on-going and regular contact with the host family and student, communication with the school and responsiveness to school needs.  Screening of students should include level of proficiency with the English language, prior legal and/or disciplinary issues and health information (physical & mental) that would make the success of potential exchange students difficult for themselves and the school.  Failure to do so would jeopardize future dealings with the individual and/or organization.

·         Receive school authorization for placement each year PRIOR to contacting potential host families and follow school policy on timing and requirements.

·         Arrange host family placements before exchange students leave their home country.  Exchange students are expected to be in their host family and school placements by the first day of classes.

·         Refrain from knowingly placing exchange students based upon their athletic abilities.

·         Provide the school with a complete application which includes the following:


·         Personal letter from the student

·         Detailed information on the student and their family

·         Proof that the student has proficiency with the English language sufficient enough to function well in the American classroom

·         Original transcripts of the students high school grades with English translation (and this must meet school requirements)

·         Necessary medical information including proof of immunization, and medical/physical issues and restrictions and a recent physical exam

·         Previous disciplinary record 


School Expectations for Students on J-1 VISA Sponsorships


·         Each exchange student must be qualified to participate in regular classes and maintain a typical schedule – this means an acceptable level of proficiency in the English language, a commitment to treat coursework as important, and the social skills to enjoy participation in social and extra-curricular activities.

·         International exchange students must be aware that participating in interscholastic athletic teams means they must comply with district and state athletic eligibility regulations, and that many teams require tryouts.

·         The school appreciates the difficulty of a student’s adjustment into a different language/culture/institution, but exchange students are expected to attain passing grades by the end of their first semester.

·         Exchange students enrollment eligibility will be for one-year only – exchange students and host families are expected to know and must follow all school policies and rules.

·         Exchange students must have medical and accident insurance that meets or exceeds U.S. Department of State guidelines.

·         Since there is wide variation of graduation policies in the United States, exchange students will understand that they are not guaranteed ability to graduate or be granted diplomas.

·         While students on J-1 VISA generally do not pay tuition, they are expected to pay all normal expenses including school fees.  The school has no obligation to provide any special services, tutoring, supplies or equipment.


 Adopted on:    March 14, 2013