Olympia High School does not endorse any particular foreign exchange program.
Foreign Exchange Information for OHS Students
EXPERIENCE OF A FOREIGN EXCHANGE DURING HIGH SCHOOL
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
WHEN CONSIDERING AN EXCHANGE
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.
WHILE ON THE EXCHANGE:
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.