International Exchange Students (formerly Foreign Exchange Students)

The term "Foreign Exchange Student" is now known as "International Exchange Student." An international exchange student is a student who comes one country, but spends time in another country earning credits for their education. 


The term “Foreign Exchange Student” is now known as “International Exchange Student.” An international exchange student is a student who comes one country, but spends time in another country earning credits for their education.  This term generally applies to high school students. International exchange students generally live with a host family while attending school.  Sometimes more than one student participates in the exchange, for instance, a host family may send their student abroad to live with another host family while they host an international exchange student during the same time period. You do not have to have a student involved in an exchange program to host an international student. There are several programs that exist to facilitate international student exchange.  The United States Department of State maintains a list of approved international student exchange programs.


  • There are two types of exchange youth we refer to in Indiana: Indiana students studying abroad and International students studying in Indiana.
  • Hosting an international exchange student provides an opportunity to learn from someone who lives in another country and/or culture, to potentially be exposed to a different language and culture, while introducing someone to yours.  It may also allow you to make relational ties with a student, family and/or community from another country.
  • Becoming an international exchange student provides students with the opportunity to learn about our global community, experience immersion in another language and/or culture and to make relational ties with a family and/or community outside of your home country.
  • For an Indiana student: When the student returns to an Indiana school, credits are determined by the local school corporation. They made ask to see course desciptions, material, textbooks, etc., to determine what type of credit can be given/if credit can be given.
  • The local school system is responsible for the final determination of what credits to grant and how to interpret the transcript of any transferring student.
  • The J-1 visa is specifically for students participating in the U.S. Department of State designated exchange visitor programs. International students may also study in the U.S. under an F-1 visa. This is a student visa under the administration of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). (



  • An international student attending high school after graduation:
    • We have had multiple students from the PAX program from Spain do this.  They have graduated in Spain but are here for the experience.
    • We have a foreign exchange student who is here with us this year and wants to return to us next year. She is going home in early May to take her graduation exams in the Ukraine so she will already have a diploma. The current plan is that she will come back to us but she will earn a Certificate of Attendance in June of next year.
    • Once they have graduated from a secondary settings, I don’t think we can bring them back and in.
    • I do not think there are issues with this.  If I recall we had a student come after they had completed their program.  It will be a matter of her obtaining the correct visa and getting approved.
    • We’ve had quite a few students come to us through exchange programs with a J-1 visa who had completed their formal schooling in their home country and were here for a gap year. She’ll need proper documentation  (J-1 visa) and she will not be able to participate on any athletic team.
    • We have foreign students come for six weeks or a month for an experience every year.  We do not report them to the DOE as students or give them an STN #.    It’s a little tricky because they aren’t in our student system so we have to custom create schedules for them.
    • My school would say no because she’s already achieved a high school diploma. People try this all the time …to come here to learn English even though they already graduated from their home country.
    • I am not 100% sure, but we did have a student come under a similar situation.  We have a student who had graduated in their home country and attended for a semester for the experience.  This student came through the foreign exchange program PAX.
    • Yes, it is allowable. There might be some things to consider as far as accountability; for example, when she enrolls as a student at your school you will be accountable for her performance measures, etc. *This response is from Georgina Schneider from IDOE.


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