International Student Exchange

  • The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools embrace the cultural and academic diversity that international exchange students bring to the district. All students reap benefits from international exchanges, including broadening cultural understanding, enriching 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.

Exchange Students

  • International exchange 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.

    Students visiting from another country and residing with a family friend or relative are not considered exchange students and are not eligible for enrollment. The student and parent or legal guardian (with court-ordered custody) must be domiciled within the boundaries of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. See Board policy 4120 for details.

    The district does not sponsor F-1 student visas for international students.

Placing an Exchange Student at CHCCS

  • The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will accept international exchange students only through approved exchange programs. Applications to the district must be submitted by the exchange program prior to July 31. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Decisions are typically given in 5-7 business days.

    The number of slots reserved for international exchange students will be a max of six (6) per school* plus the number of slots made available by CHCCS students who leave the district to participate in an exchange program during that same time period.  

    *Schools may not be open to new students based on caps put forth by the Office of Enrollment and our Board of Education.  This changes each year based on projected enrollment. 

    The Placement Process

    1. The program representative should email the student's application to the registration office (, 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 before August 31)
      • 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 SLEP test (students must have a scaled score of 50 or higher)
    2. After the student placement has been approved, the host family should pre-register the student for school.
    3. When the student arrives, the host family should come to Lincoln Center with supporting documentation.
    4. After the registration is complete, the host family should make an appointment with the student's guidance counselor to choose courses.

CHCCS Students Planning an Exchange

  • To receive CHCCS credit for courses taken as an exchange student, the student and his/her parents should follow all rules and guidelines set by his/her guidance counselor, the school administration, and Board policy 3570.

    In general, credit can be given for courses which have substantial equivalency to a CHCCS 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.

Approved Exchange Programs