Wry Exchange

Age of Exchange Students & School Attendance
09-21-07, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Exchange Program | Tags: , , , , ,

 Colorblind Cupid from one of my favorite blogs asked a question about graduated students attending a 5th year of high school.
It’s a high school exchange program, so they are SUPPOSED to go to high school. 
Inbound Students: In the US, students don’t have a choice.  Their J-1 Visa is dependant on them attending school.  We track their attendance through their report cards.  We prefer to host students who have NOT graduated so they can play sports.  The students who join sports teams make friends much earlier than students who don’t.  Graduated students aren’t eligible to play.   All Belgian students have graduated before they arrive.  Many of the German, French, and Slovak students have 2 years of high school left when they return.  German and French schools do not recognize US school credits.  Most of the South Americans come here halfway through their Senior year.  Their year in the US will count towards their graduation requirements.  Some of the lucky students receive US high school diplomas.  It’s up to each school board to decide if the FES’s are eligible.  The students can take any classes they want if they don’t need credits for their home school.  We do want the kids to take US government or economics so they understand our culture, and see our point of view.
 Outbounds-Students from US:  Younger students attend high school all year.  Graduated students seem to have flexibility.  We try to position this as a ‘gap year’ or ‘finishing year.’  It’s a pretty tough year, our local high schools aren’t as tough as the foreign ones. Also, the other countries don’t seem to let students choose classes too much. (It’s tough to generalize. We exchange with about 20 different countries.) If they’re in a college prep track, they take the same as everyone else. In South America, the kids usually go to high school until Winter break in late November/early December, then audit college classes, travel, or take music or art lessons. It depends in Asia, if they go to Taiwan, they have high school and exchange student classes. In India, it’s mostly cultural classes.   Many times, the students abroad attend private schools paid by the host parents.  I think the hostparents are fine with the students learning in uh, nontraditional ways.


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