High School

1302 North Street
Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: (360) 596-7000
Attendance: (360) 596-7003
Fax: (360) 596-7001

Olympia High School does not endorse any particular foreign exchange program.


Foreign Exchange Information for OHS Students 




See and experience the world in an affordable way

Enhance your high school transcript

Deepen understanding of a culture, history, traditions, language and food

Develop relationships that will last a lifetime

Broaden student’s worldview

Earn credit while attending high school in a foreign country

Develop independence, maturity, self-responsibility, the ability to solve problems & resilience

Understand a different perspective of the United States

Be exposed to how the rest of the world lives


No guarantee of type or amount of credit earned during an exchange

No guarantee of walk status or graduation unless you plan to graduate a year ‘early’ and participate in the exchange during the senior year.

Applying to colleges during the senior year is VERY challenging: due to adjustment, acculturation, language acquisition, social concerns, homework issues, reliable internet service, delay in communication and stress. Parents will have to do the legwork at OHS.

Will miss all senior activities if gone during senior year

Will need to make up English 11 and US History if gone during junior year NCAA will not accept any foreign credit.

Can get homesick, and gone during holidays, birthdays, family & friend events

Host family placement can be great or not a good match

Can feel disconnected with friends upon return



More options are available if decision is made during sophomore year

STEP 1: Make an appointment with your counselor to discuss your options as well as the pros and cons. Let your counselor know ahead of time that you plan to discuss the options for Foreign Exchange.

STEP 2: Make a second appointment to meet with parents/counselor to create an academic plan for the year you plan to be on the exchange (Junior or Senior). Discuss all options and a timeline for earning credit and completing graduation requirements.

STEP 3: You must have passed all portions of the Washington State Assessment prior to participating in an exchange during high school. Plan may involve taking junior classes during senior year, or doubling up on credit during junior year (in an effort to graduate early) by taking Running Start classes.

The Culminating Project, and High School and Beyond Plan are graduation requirements as well.



Keep in contact with your counselor using email

Keep a detailed account of your studies

Keep a log of subjects taken during exchange

Amount of hours per week in class/per subject

Summary of topic covered during week

Request 2 copies of your transcript before leaving the country. Bring home a sealed transcript of your grades on school letterhead. Take a second copy of your transcript to the local US Embassy to be translated into English prior to returning to OHS. Upon returning to school, bring your daily log, the official copy of your transcript and ‘interpreted’ transcript to your counselor.