About the Board Board Meetings Policies & Protocols Archives
Office of the Superintendent About the District Mission Statement Our Schools Departments Map & Directions Business Services Human Resources & Administrative Services Student Services Special Education Instructional Services Student Nutrition Services
General Information Registration Packet Material 2017-2018 504 Accountability Plans Athletics Black Parents Association College and Career Planning Common Core English Learner Development Gate Parents Graduation Requirements News, Events and Resources for Parents & Students Restorative Justice Program Safety & Well-Being Resource Guide Special Education Student Assessment and Testing Student Health Student Nutrition Services Student Voice and Newspapers Summer School Title IX: Legal Protection Against Harassment Later Start Time Exploration LGBTQ+ Resources
Assessment Field Trips Curriculum Services Professional Development Technology Support Teacher Resources Coaches Forms
Community Community Events of Interest D-Tech Exploration of Employee Housing New District Office Coming in 18/19 Rental of Facilities Stadium Hours Stadium Lights

International Exchange Program

International Student Exchange Program

International Exchange BP 6145.6
The Board of Trustees recognizes that personal contact between students of different countries and cultures promotes global awareness and international understanding.

With Board approval, a district school may establish a sister-school relationship with a school in another country.

International Student Exchange Programs

To enroll in a district school, an international exchange student must be participating in an exchange program registered with the California Attorney General’s Office, designated by the U.S. Department of State and accepted for listing on the Council for Standards for International Educational Travel’s Advisory List.

When necessary because of overcrowding within district schools or limited district resources, the Superintendent or designee may limit the number of international exchange students to be accepted at any district high school during any school year.

The district shall not incur any financial obligations when sending and/or receiving international exchange students. Program sponsors shall provide assurance of their responsibility for health/accident/liability insurance, the student's home placement, and the resolution of any related personal difficulties which may arise.

District Students Enrolling in International Study Programs

District staff shall provide relevant counseling to district students who wish to study in a foreign country. Students seeking district graduation credit for courses successfully completed in the foreign country must provide evidence of academic progress.

(cf 6146.11 – Alternative Credits Toward Graduation)

Legal Reference:
35160 Authority of governing boards
35160.1 Broad authority of school districts
51225.5 Honorary diplomas; foreign exchange students
12620-12630 International Student Exchange Visitor Placement Organizations
62.25 Secondary school students, exchange visitor program

Management Resources:
WEB SITES California Attorney General’s Office: http://www.caag.state.ca.us
California Interscholastic Federation: http://wwwcifstate.org
Council on Standards for International Educational Travel: http://www.csiet.org
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs: http://exchanges.state.gov
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: http://www.ice.gov

International Exchange AR 6145.6
International Exchange Programs have two major purposes:

1. To improve the international student’s knowledge of American culture and language through active participation in family, school and community life,

2. To improve American knowledge of international culture and to contribute to international understanding through personal experiences in school and communities.

The district is supportive of and participates in recognized student international exchange programs which meet the following criteria:

1. The organization shall be a nonprofit organization registered with the California Attorney General’s Office, designated by the US Department of State and accepted for listing on the Council for Standards for International Educational Travel’s Advisory List.


1. In order to approve the admission of an international exchange student, the Superintendent or designee must receive a written request for enrollment no later than May 1 of the preceding school year.

2. No students will be accepted who have entered the United States assigned to a ‘temporary home.” This includes international exchange students placed with families in any surrounding districts and were subsequently redirected to the San Mateo Union High School District due to change in sponsor and/or move of the sponsor within the district.

3. The sponsoring organization shall have a Northern California representative (within 150 miles of the district) to provide direct assistance to students, parents, and school officials.

4. The organization shall be responsible for securing a J-1 visa for the prospective student.

5. The sponsor shall provide written verification of appropriate host family placement for the entire academic year.

6. No more than one international student shall be placed with any one host family at any one time.

7. The district will accept no more than two international exchange students per school per academic school year. School of assignment will be determined by the residency of the sponsoring family.

8. To ensure that district facilities will not be overcrowded, the district reserves the right to refuse admission to any or all international exchange students to an oversubscribed school. Student/sponsor may request placement to another school within the district upon approval of the Superintendent/designee.

9. International exchange students will only be eligible to enroll in classes that will not displace district students.

10. The sponsoring organization shall screen and only recommend students who will be successful in the district’s high schools.
a. The student shall be between the ages of 15 and 18 years of age
b. The student shall be a current secondary student and have not completed their senior year in their home country
c. The student shall be fluent in communicating in English (reading, writing and speaking). No language assistance will be provided.
d. The student shall meet state and district immunization requirements
(cf. 5111.2 - Nonresident Foreign Students) (cf. 5141.22 - Infectious Diseases)
(cf. 5141.31 - Immunizations)


International exchange students shall be eligible for participation in interscholastic sports in accordance with state bylaws of the California Interscholastic Federation as well as applicable section bylaws.

(cf. 6145 - Extracurricular and Cocurricular Activities)
(cf. 6145.2 - Athletic Competition)


International exchange students shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the school and may be disciplined in the same manner as other district students.


International exchange students are required to follow the compulsory attendance laws of the state and the district.

Transcripts and Diplomas

The district will not translate or analyze foreign transcripts of students participating in an international exchange program.

Upon completion of the exchange program, international exchange students may request a transcript which lists those courses taken at the high school within the district.

International exchange students are not eligible to receive a district diploma nor will they be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.

International exchange students may participate in end-of-year senior activities at the discretion of the site administration.

District Students Enrolling in International Exchange Programs

To avoid any misunderstanding, a student wishing to enroll in an international study program shall review his/her academic standing with his/her counselor and discuss all academic implications of such international study. The International Exchange Student Graduation Worksheet (Exhibit) shall be completed and signed by student, parent, and counselor before the student begins the international study program.

The school/district will not be responsible for students who elect not to notify their counselor or site administrator.

Transfer of Credits Earned by District Students While Participating in an International Exchange Program

District students, who seek graduation credits for academic work completed in an international exchange program, must provide the Superintendent or designee with official transcripts, translated into English, which include:

1. A brief description in English, of each course’s content and the amount of class time (minutes per session) and the number of class meetings per week.

2. A written evaluation, in English, of each course, which states whether or not the student successfully met the requirements of the course.

3. A descriptive or numerical evaluation of the student’s academic performance.

Based upon these narrative reports, the Superintendent or designee will determine the number of credits to award for each course and the graduation requirements fulfilled. At his/her discretion, the Superintendent or designee may assign pass or fail grades whenever the above transcript provides descriptive evaluations rather than letter or numerical grades.

For more information, please contact the Gregoria Granados at Ggranados@smuhsd.org or 650-558-2207.