The following are guidelines for accepting foreign exchange students at Forest Hills Northern High School. These guidelines are clearly communicated to every foreign exchange coordinator when we begin discussion regarding possible students. Northern High School is eager to accept students from other countries. The experience benefits all students and staff at Northern High School.
- Foreign exchange students must not have graduated from their form of high school in their home country before enrolling at Forest Hills Northern. Students must either require further education upon returning home or use a Forest Hills transcript in their home country to earn their high school diploma. A transcript from the student’s school to verify records and grades is required before acceptance is determined. Auditors from the Kent ISD come two times a year and talk individually to all of the foreign exchange students to determine that they have not graduated from their form of high school. The State of Michigan will not fund education for students who have already graduated. It is the responsibility of the program coordinator or director to make this determination before the students enter the United States. Coordinators are told during initial conversations that neglecting this guideline will result in our not placing students from their program in this building for at least one year.
- Students must have a reasonable command of the English language. A written letter from the student is required to ensure language ability before acceptance. They will need to communicate in the academic arena, socially, and with the auditors while in the United States. Northern High will use writing samples, English teacher recommendations, and a skills test, if provided, to determine English proficiency. It is not the intention of Northern High School to provide ESL services to Foreign Exchange students.
- Northern High School prefers students representing a variety of countries rather than two or more from the same country.
- Foreign exchange students will be placed as sophomores, and not as juniors or seniors. Since our seniors are finished with classes before the underclassmen, and because we want a full experience for foreign exchange students, coordinators should support the school in this when the students enroll. In addition, foreign exchange students will not receive a Forest Hills Northern High School diploma. For this reason, Northern High prefers to accept students who are 16-17 years old rather than 18.
- Coordinators will work in tandem with the Registrar and host families to Northern High, for finding host families. It is recommended that coordinators live within a reasonable driving distance from the high school. Coordinators and host families will receive by mail information regarding their students, including progress reports, newsletters, and report cards.
- Foreign Exchange students must have received all required immunizations set forth by the Michigan Department of Health before attending Northern High School.