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International Exchange Program

The Governing Board recognizes that personal contact between students of different countries and cultures promotes global awareness and international understanding. To that end, the Board welcomes and prioritizes the enrollment of international exchange students and further encourages district students to take any opportunities that they may have to participate in such programs and study in another country. BP 6145.6

Process for Requesting Enrollment of an International Exchange Student

1. Eligibility

  • Participants must be at least 15 years of age and not older than 17 years of age by the first day of school.
  • Applicants must not have completed more than 11 years of primary and secondary school (excluding kindergarten), and they must not have previously participated in a secondary school exchange program in the US.
  • Students must participate in an International Student Exchange Placement Organization (ISEPO) program registered with the California Attorney General's Office. The ISEPO must verify that their program is accepted for listing on the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel Program (CSIET).
  • Students must be participants in the International J-1 Student Visa Program. (Under this program, high school students are able to travel to the US and study at a public or private high school while staying with a host family or at a boarding school through the use of a Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
  • The applicant’s International Student Exchange Placement Organization must submit, on behalf of the student, all required LBUSD International Exchange Program documentation along with a non-refundable processing fee of $250. See the admissions process section for details.

2. Admissions Process

  • The applicant’s International Student Exchange Placement Organization must submit, on behalf of the student, all required LBUSD International Exchange Program documentation.
  • Applications may be submitted beginning January 15th for the following academic year.  
  • Completed applications must be submitted to the Laguna Beach Unified School District @ 550 Blumont Street, Laguna Beach, California, 92651. Attn: Instructional Services.
  • Each applicant must submit to the district a non-refundable application fee of $250. Payment can be made online through our partner Acceptiva using a credit or debit card or by mail using a check or money order. The check or money order should be payable to “Laguna Beach Unified School District” and can be mailed to the District address listed above to the attention of the Business Services Office. All Payments must be made in U.S. dollars. Foreign currency will not be accepted.
  • Up to 3 students will be selected for admission each year through a lottery process.
  • In order to be eligible for the admissions lottery, The applicant’s International Student Exchange Placement Organization must submit completed applications no later than March 1.
  • Following the lottery, applicants will be notified by April 1 of their admission status for the following school year.
  • All students who are selected for admission must complete the online enrollment process. For additional information on enrollment requirements visit the LBUSD webpage
  • Students entered into the lottery who were not selected for admission will have priority placement on a waitlist, in the event a spot becomes available.
  • Students submitting applications after March 1 will be considered for admission on a first-come, first-served basis, in the event additional exchange student spots remain for the following academic year
  • No applications will be accepted after June 1.
  • All participants, host families, and sponsoring organizations are required to review and sign the LBUSD Exchange Student Agreement.

Participants shall be admitted for one semester (fall semester only) or a full academic year. The maximum enrollment period is one academic year.

Please note: There is no District appeal process for international exchange students who were not selected for admission. Families or representatives may not appeal admissions decisions related to international exchange students to the Orange County Board of Education.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can I obtain additional information about the J-1 Student Visa Program?
  2. What are the LBUSD International Exchange Program application requirements?
    • To apply for placement as a J-1 Exchange Student at LBUSD, per Board Policy 6145.6, parents/guardians shall select a sponsoring organization from the CSIET website. Through the sponsoring organization, parents/guardians will submit the required documentation.
  3. Are students with an F-1 Visa eligible for admission?
    • International students with or seeking an F-1 Visa designation shall not be admitted to our District program. An “F-1 Visa” is defined as a visa for non-immigrant students that allows foreigners to pursue education (academic studies and/or language training programs) in a SEVP certified school. LBUSD does not have SEVP certification and cannot issue I-20 forms.
  4. Does LBUSD assist with placing students with local host families?
    • No, LBUSD is not responsible for locating host families for students. Applications must work with their sponsoring organizations on all student placement matters.
  5. Is the host family required to reside within LBUSD’s school attendance boundaries?
    • Yes, all host families must reside within LBUSD’s attendance boundaries and must verify residency in accordance with District policy and annual requirements for enrolled families.
  6. How do students pay the $250 application fee?
    • Option 1: Pay Online: we proudly partner with Acceptiva to offer a simple, secure, and smart way to pay fees online.
    • Option 2: Pay by Mail: submit a check or money order payable to “Laguna Beach Unified School District”. All payments must be made in U.S. dollars. Foreign currency will not be accepted. Please mail to:

      Laguna Beach Unified School District
      Attention: Business Services Department
      550 Blumont Street
      Laguna Beach, CA
  7. Are there additional fees beyond the $250 non-refundable application fee?
    • No, there are no additional program fees beyond the application fee.
  8. What is included in the exchange student agreement?
  9. Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
    • You can contact the District office @ 949-497-7700 and request to speak to the Instructional Services Department.