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About Us » Foreign Exchange Guidelines for Foreign Students

Foreign Exchange Guidelines for Foreign Students

The Exchange Student’s primary responsibility is to learn to be fluent in English. Activities that encourage this growth are highly recommended. Activities that inhibit this are discouraged and you should seek the assistance of the classroom teacher and Principal Nauditt. Exchange Students should become an integral part of their St. Mary Host Family.


Family Vacations: Exchange Families should talk with the Host Families as soon as they have been paired together. An immediate area to discuss is whether or not the Host Family has any family vacations planned and how you and/or they want to handle those times. If Exchange Students are to be included in family vacations that have been planned far in advance, then it is up to the Exchange Student and his/her family to accept the invitation. If they accept the invitation the cost of the trip is to be considered and the student should pay for their portion of this trip. If they choose not to attend, then arrangements should be made for them to stay with another member of the school community while this vacation is taking place.


Food Costs: The normal food costs are included in the suggested room and board rate of $850.00/month. (Negotiable between Host and Exchange Family, but should be decided prior to arrival) If the Host Family is going out to dinner then this is part of the room and board fee. If the student chooses to go out to dinner with a different family, or to the movies or other such entertainment as part of their own social life (not those of the Host Family) then these cost assumed by the Exchange Student and his/her personal funds.


Chores: American children often have to do chores to earn money for extra things – the Exchange Student is expected to take his/her place in the Host Family and follow the norms of the family.


Communications in Spanish: Exchange Students are allowed to have electronic devices, (ie:  personal computers, iPods, cell phones, etc) at the Mexican families expense.  If an Exchange Student does decide to bring them, please discuss with the Host Family their rules for use and read the school handbook for school policies and rules.  All policies and rules must be strictly followed or consequences will occur.  Conversations with home or with other Mexican friends via an electronic device and/or other social media should also be limited to once a week. These are HIGHLY discouraged. Boundaries should be established that encourage the Exchange Student to speak English.  You are spending valuable money to have your child experience and speak in the American culture – any time in their native language is detrimental to learning the language fluently.


Social Outings: Exchange Students must follow their Host Family decisions on events or activities outside of the home. In addition, they are not to associate with only other Exchange Students except on a limited basis.

A normal adjustment time for an Exchange Student to feel comfortable in their new home is about two months. Should it take much longer than this, the Host Family should contact Principal Nauditt and have a conference. But be patient—time heals many things. Get them as actively involved as possible.


Homework and Schoolwork: The Host Family is not to give more or less attention to helping the Exchange Student. The Exchange Student is responsible to go to the teacher or Principal Nauditt to get additional help if needed academically. The Host Family’s own son/daughter should help at first but after a normal ‘break-in’ period, about two months, the Exchange Student should be independent and working the same as the other children and taking ownership of their grades.


Visits from Home: Visits from Exchange Student families is highly discouraged—yes, even at Christmas and Easter.


Spending Money: Exchange Students should not be spending more than what would be expected in your own home from your own children on activities and a social life. Granted, if they are buying gifts or souvenirs, these would be exceptions.


Athletic Activities: Exchange Students are very welcome to participate in the school extra-curricular activities. They are provided at no cost except for certain equipment that may be needed. Programs outside of the school are a decision that the Host Family and the Exchange Student have to discuss. The costs of these programs are the responsibility of the Exchange Student, but the travel to get them might be a great concern for some host families. This must not put an undue burden on the Host Family and the Host Family has the final decision as to whether an Exchange Student can participate in these additional programs.


Boy Sports

American Football

Cross Country



Track and Field


Girl Sports


Cross Country



Track and Field

Cheerleading (6-8th grade only)


Behavior Expectations:  Exchange Students at St. Mary Catholic School carry the responsibility of representing not only their family but their Host Family. They also carry the responsibility of maintaining high behavioral conduct because they create, by their attitudes and actions, reputations that can greatly influence future students being welcomed as well as the ability to obtain host families for future students.


Disciplinary action will be taken with Exchange Students the same as for domestic students.  These rules and procedures are found in the Parent Handbook and listed under Discipline.  An Exchange Student who requires disciplinary action draws, whether rightly or wrongly, undesirable attention to themselves, their Host Family, and a tendency by others to judge cautiously future decisions about hosting Exchange Students.


An Exchange Student who requires disciplinary action by either the Host Family or the school is subject to withdrawal and return to their home. The cost of this withdrawal and return is the burden of the Exchange Student’s family. No refunds after the school year has begun will be granted because of a removal of a student for disciplinary reasons.