Program Rules

All CIEE High School USA participants must abide by the following program rules:

  1. Obey the regulations of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa and the U.S. State Department.
  2. Abide by the federal, state, and local laws of the United States and host town. Under these laws, consumption of alcoholic beverages by anyone under the age of 21, and the use or possession of illegal drugs is prohibited. These laws may also include local curfews. Be aware of these laws, and be mindful that they may be different from laws in your home country and that violations may lead to serious punishment.
  3. Attend an arrival orientation as assigned by CIEE, including In Community Orientation (ICO) as needed. Students cannot arrive in the U.S. for personal travel prior to orientation.
  4. Accept placement with a family of any race, color, religion, or sexual orientation. Live as a member of your host family, respect your host family and their rules and customs, and accept the responsibilities given to you. CIEE, in its sole discretion, is responsible for choosing a student’s host family placement.
  5. The Applicant is responsible for considering his or her personal health and safety needs when applying for and participating in the Program. CIEE retains the right, in its sole discretion, to refuse an applicant if the applicant’s participation in the program may indicate any risk to the applicant’s own health and safety or to the health and safety of others.
  6. Read and carefully consider all materials made available that relate to safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural and religious conditions in your host town. Be aware of local conditions that may present health or safety risks when making daily choices and decisions.
  7. Respect the host high school’s guidelines and policies, including those with regard to conduct, delinquency, grade levels, participation in graduation ceremonies, and issuance of a high school diploma.
  8. Maintain a C+ average or higher in all courses at the host high school. Courses must include English (other than English as a second language) and an American History course and two other academic courses. Attend school every day that it is in session and follow school policies with regards to absences.
  9. Students may be required to hire tutors, at their expense, if they cannot maintain passing grades through the regular course of study.
  10. Students must maintain monthly contact with their Local Coordinator.
  11. Travel only with adult members of the Host Family, the Local Coordinator, official school, or group organized trips. Students must obtain written permission from CIEE’s national office if traveling by air, travelling internationally and/or if travel results in school absences. Travel with or visits from natural family members are not permitted before January of the ten month program and not at all during a five-month program. Any visit from the natural family must be approved by CIEE before the family members travel to the U.S. Visits from friends from your home country are not permitted at any time during the program. Travel to your home country is not permitted during the program, unless approved by CIEE.
  12. Driving or purchasing a motorized vehicle (car, motorcycle, boat, or any other vehicle requiring a driver’s license) is prohibited. Driving is permitted with the instructor of an official driver’s education course and only during class hours. This is solely for the purpose of obtaining a driving license and does not allow the student to drive after a license is obtained.
  13. Have access to a minimum of $150 to $250 U.S. dollars per month to cover personal expenses. Do not borrow money from your host family. Do not lend money to your host family.
  14. Students who indicate that they do not smoke on their application may not smoke during the program year. Students who indicate that they do smoke must follow any and all guidelines their family and community may have in regards to smoking. In some States, communities, and schools, it is against the law for students under a certain age to smoke or possess tobacco or tobacco related items.
  15. The program terminates within two weeks after the last day of school, and arrangements must be made to return home within this time.
  16. Students should not have previously participated on an academic year or semester high school program in the U.S. in either the J-1 or F-1 category.
  17. Students with Dual U.S. citizenship or who hold a U.S. Passport are not accepted on the J-1 exchange program.
  18. Participation in extra-curricular activities or athletics is not guaranteed. Employment is not allowed on either a full or part-time basis while on the J-1 visa high school program. However, students may accept sporadic or intermittent employment such as babysitting or yard work.
  19. Student’s primary intention for participation in the program, and primary focus during the program, should be the cultural exchange experience and not graduation from an American high school or enrollment in an American college or university.
  20. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 8 hours of community service per semester
  21. Students may not initiate any life-changing decisions or actions while on the program, including changing religions (though a student is free to explore the tenets of any religion), pregnancy or marriage. Students may not alter their body in any way while on the program (for example, with tattoos or body piercings).
  22. Students may be dismissed from the program if they suffer from a life-threatening medical condition or debilitating psychological condition.
  23. Refrain from obscene, indecent, violent or disorderly conduct while on the program. Students shall also refrain from perpetrating any form of sexual harassment, or engaging in any self-endangering behaviors. In addition, students shall refrain from any other conduct likely to bring the U.S. State Department or CIEE into notoriety or disrepute.
  24. Any material that a student publishes on the internet (such as on social networking sites or blogs) that violates Program Rules will be grounds for student dismissal.
  25. Acknowledge that CIEE reserves the right to dismiss any student who fails to uphold any and all of the above rules. In the event that a student is dismissed from the program, the parent or natural guardians are responsible for all additional expenses incurred above those of the regular program costs. In the case of early dismissal, program fees will not be reimbursed.
  26. Acknowledge that CIEE is not acting in the capacity of in loco parentis with respect to you, and that your natural parents still retain all of their rights and obligations and are expected to maintain regular and frequent (once or twice per month) contact with you telephonically, electronically or in person (if possible, after five months of your program start date).

Students who violate program rules will face disciplinary action. For more information, please read our page on program discipline.