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International Student Exchange Program

Introduction to International Student Exchange

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools embrace the cultural and academic diversity that international students bring to the district. Both international students and students enrolled in the school district reap benefits from international exchanges, including broadening cultural understanding, enriching students' learning experiences, and enhancing the relationships among countries of the world.

Board of Education policy 3570 outlines the process by which programs are approved, students are placed in our district, and current students can participate in a student exchange. 

Based on policy 3570, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District will accept international students only through approved exchange programs. The district will not sponsor F-1 student visas for international students. International students are defined as students whose citizenship is with a country other than the United States of America who enroll in our district for one year through an organization certified by the Council on Standards for International Travel (CSIET) and whose host family resides within the boundaries of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.  

International students considering student exchange to the CHCCS  

We accept students only through approved student exchange programs. Applications to the district must be submitted by the exchange program prior to July 31. 

Below are the approved programs for CHCCS:

Current CHCCS students considering an exchange to another country

In order for a student to take courses abroad and receive high school credit for them in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System, careful planning based on outlined procedures is essential. The result should be clear expectations on the part of the student, his/her parents and the school administration. In general, credit can be given for those courses which have substantial equivalency to a Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools' high school course in content and in hours. A syllabus from the school being attended will serve as documentation.

For more information on the responsibilities of the student, see the last section of policy 3570

Organizations that would like approval to place students in the CHCCS

All organizations operating international student exchange programs must receive approval of the program from the school district prior to placing a student in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

There are a number of program requirements an organization must fulfill to be approved. We strongly recommend you review sections A and B of policy 3570 before submitting an application for your organization. 

To apply for program approval, click here to complete the online application.

Organizations already approved to place students in the CHCCS 

1. Email your application to Catherine Mau (cmau@chccs.k12.nc.us), Coordinator of Student Enrollment, before the July 31 deadline. An electronic copy of the student's application must be attached and should include: 
  • Student Application to Program (student must be 16 years of age or older)
  • Personal statement from student
  • Student transcript (student cannot have graduated from high school)
  • Copy of ELTiS Test (students must have a standard score of 222 or higher) or copy of SLEP test (students must have a scaled score of 50 or higher)
2. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first served basis. There are 6 slots at each of our three comprehensive high schools. Decisions are typically given in 5-7 business days.

3. After the student placement has been approved, the local representative should make arrangements to have the host family register the exchange student in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Registration takes place at Lincoln Center anytime between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. The host family is responsible for the following documents:
  • Proof of Residency
  • Photo ID for at least one host parent (Driver's license or passport)
4. After the registration is complete, the host family should make an appointment with the appropriate guidance counselor at the student's prospective high school. Arranging this appointment in advance will help the exchange student when he or she arrives.