Wry Exchange

CSIET-Not Important? Grr
04-18-08, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Exchange Program, Inbounds Inbounds | Tags: ,

 We’ve dropped out of CSIET.  (Council on Standards for International Educational Travel) CSIET is a nonprofit program that oversees exchange student programs.   My program won’t be listed as an approved program next year.  To me, CSIET is a seal of approval that we meet the standards of a well-run program.  I’m not happy about it.  
In this state, FES programs must be a member of CSIET for FESs to play varsity sports.  The kids almost all play varsity sports in the Fall, it’s a fantastic way for them to make friends.  Sports help our students get exercise, find friends, and give them something to do in the beginning.
Even better, we didn’t discuss the decision.  A few of the older men made the decision, then told the rest of us at a meeting.  It’s too late to do anything about it.  They explained it would cost too much money and time in order to comply.  I realize it’s a lot of work to compile all the information CSIET requests, but we’ve always thought it was very important for our students.   No wonder we argue all the time, we don’t work together as a committee focused on the kids.
This decision will impact our future exchanges.  We’ll lose some exchanges because the kids can’t play varsity sports.  The argument that the kids can play JV or just practice isn’t strong.
 Please see my previous CSIET post.


4 Comments so far
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Is this just your local area or a national decision to opt out of CSIET? Won’t the same requirements/paperwork be necessary to continue to meet DOS rules for program designation anyway? It sounds like some people are being a little short sighted about this. I’m not convinced that having CSIET approval means an exchange organization IS doing the right thing, but NOT having it can cause people to wonder why the program “lost” it’s approved standing and be wary of it.

Comment by ARHostmom

Just us. We are our own organization, with about 30 kids out and 30 in annually. Our program is a small, independant 501(C)3. We are responsible to the State Department, and to our larger parent umbrella. The State Department looks to CSIET, and if we comply with CSIET, it makes everything much easier. Not having CSIET won’t hurt our outbound recruiting, as we have an excellent reputation.
My personal belief is a few of the people are trying to run our program into the ground so we ‘have’ to join another, larger group.

Comment by Wry

CSIET Standards are great, however enforcement of them does not exist unless it comes from the DOS. New policy does not allow CSIET to accept complaints against any of its members unless if comes from the DOS after the DOS has sanction an agency. Sanctions are few and far between, UNLESS there is national press or TV coverage, and then it is usually “probation.” School systems think the standards are enforced by CSIET – they are not. It is simply a trade organization for exchange agencies.

Comment by Richard J

I care about the sports. Our state athletic association won’t permit the kids to play varsity unless the program is a CSIET member.
I’m also pissed that we didn’t discuss or vote on dropping out. One or two people made the decision for everyone-students, counselors, and committee members. Lazy and arrogant aren’t a good combination.

Comment by Wry

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