“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:
- Learn first-hand about other cultures and customs
- Create life-long friendships across cultures
- Gain new perspectives on our country and the world
- Begin to understand how tightly connected the peoples and countries of the world are to each other, something our world seriously needs
- Open young minds to the importance of understanding other languages and other cultures, particularly with respect to career and personal opportunities
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.”
CSIET, a national non-profit foundation, is dedicated to promoting quality international youth exchanges that enrich local high school communities. The Model School Policy on International Student Exchange can be found at csiet.org and 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).