Information for US High Schools

Council for Educational Travel, USA (CETUSA) is a not-for-profit international student exchange organization. As a US Department of State Exchange Visitor (J-1 visa) sponsor organization and a member of CSIET with full advisory listing, you can be assured that we will provide the best service to our students.

Learn more about CETUSA here and the J-1 exchange visitor program here.

Why Work With Us

  • We uphold a high standard of customer service, working only with a dedicated and well-trained team.
  • We work with partner organizations around the world to identify students with exceptional English skills and maturity to participate in the program.
  • Each host family and school works directly with a devoted Local Coordinator and students have access to a 24 hour assistance line.

CETUSA Students will have:

  • Completed a written and oral English exam
  • Three or more years of English
  • A devoted Local Coordinator who will check in with the school monthly
  • A fully-vetted volunteer host family in your school district
  • A dedicated student services advisor


CSIET is the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel. CSIET sets standards of excellence and evaluates U.S.-based secondary school exchange programs based on these standards, seen here. CETUSA is a member of CSIET and has full certification for J-1 inbound programs.

CETUSA’s Advisory List Page

CSIET also provides school resources to help schools work with international exchange students. You can see more below.

School Resources from CSIET

FAQs for Schools That Want to Work with Exchange Programs

June 2020 Model School Policy, designed to provide schools with detailed information on how to work with international exchange students and programs; the new practices also provide guidance on acceptance of international exchange students.

COVID-19 Information

CSIET Letter of Support to Schools (3/13/2020)

CSIET Benefits of J-1 Youth Exchange Letter to Schools (4/23/2020)

Letter from CSIET Regarding Exchange Programs Following the June 22nd Presidential Proclamation (6/29/2020)

Statement from CETUSA

A student exchange program is a profound and positively transformative experience – not just for the exchange student but also for American families, schools, and communities. Around the world, exchange students are still eagerly looking forward to their experience at an American high school.

2020 has been a challenging year for America – between COVID-19 health concerns, economic challenges, physical distancing, and most recently civil protests. An important step in healing is the opportunity to connect and communicate with those who are different from us.  And we believe that student exchange programs, at times like this, are more invaluable than ever to all involved. 

Welcoming young people from different cultures, backgrounds, and languages restores hope in and bridges with our global community, demonstrating that America is and always has been a place to celebrate diverse communities.  

Amidst the current uncertainty, we know that many things will be different in the coming 2020 academic school start. Safety is paramount now and nothing is more important to us than working together with your school to ensure the health and security of CETUSA’s students, their American classmates, and teachers, host families, and communities.  Many of our exchange students are coming from countries where they have long practiced behaviors that have helped mitigate the effects of the disease.  

These are the steps we will be taking to optimize our students’ health and their impact on their schools and communities.

  • All students will be required to sign a health contract which outlines expectations and requirements for healthy behavior while on the program. Failure to comply can be cause for dismissal.
  • Students will be required to use masks, gloves, and sanitizers for their inbound flight.
  • Where available before departure, students will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. If they are antibody positive, they will be provided with documentation of the results; something we expect to be available in the coming months.
  • If the student has not tested positive for the antibody test, students will be requested to get a “Fit to Fly” medical confirmation within 72 hours of flying to indicate that the student is asymptomatic.
  • Students who are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 illness when scheduled to depart will have their flights rescheduled for a later date; not less than 14 days.
  • Students should remain in home isolation when possible for 2 weeks upon arrival in the USA if they do not test positive for their antibody test. Students will join online classes, where available until their 2 weeks have passed.
  • Host families will reinforce physical distancing rules outside the home
  • Host families will be encouraged to keep students home from school and social activities if students display any symptoms of illness.
  • Students, host families, and our staff will commit to following current national and local requirements.
  • Students will be informed that school structure will likely be different this year to adapt to physical distancing and hygiene requirements.
  • Our students’ mandatory health insurance covers any illness related to COVID-19.

Further, we commit to continue following the latest information and feedback that we receive from local authorities and from you, our partner school. If you have a safety requirement that is specific to your school and region, we of course will adhere to that.

We know what a positive impact the diversity of exchange students brings to your school and community. We commit to collaborating with you to ensure the health and safety of all.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or further suggestions.


inbound HS Rebecca Emery