Office of World Languages
Procedures - International Exchange Students

In Baltimore County Public Schools, the Office of World Languages serves as a central screening clearinghouse for exchange student applicants. 

Placement Criteria

In order to be approved, both the student and the organization must meet established criteria.

Student Criteria

  • Student must enter with a J-1 visa.
  • Student must be sponsored by an approved exchange program with a local representative.
  • Student may not be a high school graduate.
  • Student may not be 18 years of age at the time of anticipated enrollment
  • Student must have basic English proficiency.

Host Family Criteria

  • The host family and sponsoring organization must complete a Nonresident Exchange Student application.

Organization Criteria

  • Organization must be listed in the current Advisory List of International Educational Travel and Exchange Programs of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET).
  • Organization must have an identified area representative who monitors students in Baltimore County Public Schools.

The Application Process

Required Documents

The area representative must submit all required papers to supervisor in the Office of World Languages.

  • Application to Enroll a Nonresident Exchange Student, signed by the area representative and host parents.
  • Student’s biographical data.
  • Official transcripts from Grade 9 to the present.  If current grades are not available at the time of application, include a report card or transcript showing grades for work in progress.
  • Health records including a physical examination and immunizations.

Application Deadline

  • The deadline for receipt of an application to enroll an exchange student is July 1.  The applications will be processed as they arrive.  Because many schools have limited spaces for exchange students, it is best to begin the process early.

School Approval

  • Staff from the Office of World Languages will forward all necessary documents to the school.
  • The principal may accept or deny an exchange student.
  • Staff from the Office of World Languages will notify the area representative by mail of the acceptance or non-acceptance of all students.
  • The organization must have the approval of the principal before permitting the student to leave the home country.

The Registration Process

After the student arrives at the home of the host family, the host parents should make an appointment with the school Guidance Office to register the student for the school year.

Grade Placement And Schedule

  • Placement will be determined by the age of the student and the number of years of school completed in the home country.
  • Exchange students should be enrolled in English 11 (American Literature) and U.S. History.
  • Baltimore County Public Schools WILL NOT award a high school diploma to an international exchange student.  Students placed in Grade 12 will be permitted to participate in commencement exercises and be recognized with an International Certificate.

Student Rights And Responsibilities

  • Students will be subject to the same policies, rules of conduct, and attendance requirements as other enrolled students.
  • Students may participate in interscholastic athletic competition provided that all Baltimore County Public Schools’ eligibility rules have been met as well as the requirements of the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association.

Organization Responsibilities

  • The area representative should notify the Office of World Languages of any change in school placement throughout the school year.
  • The local organization should provide tutoring for a student whose proficiency in English is not adequate for success in the school setting.
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