Tag Archives: #Regulations

#meetoo in student exchange industry

In his article of February 2, 2018 Andrew Binion, journalist with the KitsapSun, writes about 73 year old Larry Iversen who was sentenced to five days in jail for abusing a 17 year old student.

According to the court, Iversen did not use any “power to persuade or coerce the teen”. The student was an exchange student with Rotary’s youth exchange program over which Iversen was Youth Exchange Officer for East Bremerton Rotary and also worked to establish safety guidelines for exchange students in USA.

In these #Meetoo times it shouldn’t be too much to ask that judges see things for what they are. At least Rotary International had the decency to ban Iversen from any and all Rotary clubs.

Her host family discovered the relationship, but not until the exchange student left their family. They had lent the exchange student their smart phone. On it they found nude photos of the exchange student along with messages to and from Iversen. It may well be that the student intended that the predatory  behaviour be discovered as no attempt had been made to delete the pictures that were found on the phone.

Host family nudism

Exchange students are expected to adapt to their host-family’s culture and try to follow house rules, however, there are limits. Some exchange student representatives do a terrible job when vetting a potential host-family. Or, perhaps, they are lied to.

In this example an exchange student asks what to do in the case of host-family nudism. Answers range from disbelief to telling the exchange student to get out of there as soon as possible. I tend to agree with the person who thinks that the host-family should put their nudism on hold while hosting. If they are unable to do that, then they should not be a host-family. Oddly enough, nudism is an issue that turns up with host-families and/or exchange students. When in doubt, always use caution in how to share your personal culture. Nudism is rare in most countries.

I am staying with my exchange student and her family in Germany. She and I are both 16 and she has a 9 and 21 year old sisters and both her parents. All her family are nudists. I told them that I don’t feel comfortable with them being nude all the time but they said that it is unhealthy to be insecure about your body. The dad is at work most of the time so they say it’s all okay because we’re all girls.

They don’t have locks on the bathroom doors and when I’m having a shower they just walk in to brush their hair or clean their teeth and they see me naked. My exchange student and I have to share a bed and of course she sleeps naked. They said they are borrowing another bed from their friends but they are still waiting another week. They only wash clothes once or twice a month because they only need them for going out. I have to wear the one dress to school for a whole week because of it.

They’re really nice people and everything but I am staying with them for three months and don’t want to feel uncomfortable staying with them for so long. I don’t want to report them to my supervisor teacher or anything like that because I don’t want them to get in trouble. What else can I do to stop having to feel so uncomfortable around them?

2006 Feb 22: Student Exchange Programs an Unregulated Industry

©Gloucester County Times | By REESA MARCHETTI Staff Writer

Guzel of Sterlitamak, Russia, 15 years old, plays basketball and enjoys running. She likes music, literature and dancing and is in the choir. She has two younger brothers. Her teacher says, “She is rather modest, kind, polite and ready to help others.”

As described in a foreign exchange student agency brochure, inviting a youngster like Guzel to stay in your home may sound like a wonderful way to promote international goodwill and expand your cultural awareness.

But recent problems encountered by a host family in Pittsgrove Township have led many people to wonder who regulates the agencies that bring in these students — and what is the cost, to the families, the students and the school districts.

Gitte Hommelgaard, 18, of Denmark has become the object of controversy since she arrived in Pittsgrove last month to stay with the Pokrovsky family and attend Arthur P. Shalick High School there.

Because the school had recently changed its exchange student policy to require 90 days notice to register a foreign student, Hommelgaard was denied admission. Her host mother, Sandy Pokrovsky, appealed the school board’s decision to the state department of education and won emergency relief to enroll the Danish teen at Schalick.

According to the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), the agency that placed the Danish student should have secured written acceptance from a school official before sending her to the Pokrovsky’s home.

The CSIET, however, is a strictly voluntary system of self-monitoring to which exchange agencies may apply. Adhering to such standards is not legally required in order for an organization to place students from other countries in U.S. schools — and homes.

There are no regulations that control how or when foreign exchange students attend New Jersey’s public schools.

Rich Vespucci, a spokesman at the N.J. Department of Education, said those issues are handled by local boards of education.

“It is a local decision,” Vespucci said. “There aren’t any state regulations that apply to it.”

Nationally, exchange agencies are self-regulated via several voluntary programs. The United States Information Agency (USIA) designates non-profit organizations that meet their requirements, and authorizes them to issue applications for one-year student visas.

The national Association of Secondary School Principals’ CSIET sanctions both non-profit and private agencies who voluntarily submit to their guidelines. Many agencies, such as the Cultural Academic Student Exchange (CASE), which placed Hommelgaard in Pittsgrove, are designated by both the USIA and the CSIET.

Legally, agencies do not have to register with either one in order to arrange student exchanges. Students do not need an agency to get visa applications — they may obtain the visas for themselves, or school principals here or abroad may arrange for the student to get them.

The USIA has a booklet with more than 40 pages of regulations, and operating and financial criteria, that organizations must meet in order to become USIA-designated.

So how does this federal agency monitor its 1,100 exchange programs, of which approximately 70 deal exclusively with high school students? USIA public liaison Bill Reinckens said the only way his office can regulate them is when a complaint is received.

“It is handled on a case by case basis until the situation is resolved,” he said. “We don’t have the staff and resources to be pro-active in our monitoring.

“However, we do a lot more than respond to complaints. We handle the general administration and procedures involved in conducting these exchange programs. As part of this effort, there is constant dialogue and a regular relationship between the USIA and the program organizations we designate.”

Reinckens stressed that contrary to what many of the agencies imply in their advertising, they cannot issue student visas. They are only allowed to supply the application forms.

“The USIA issues application forms that the organizations complete for the participants,” he said. “Then the participants take them to the U.S. consulate in their home country. The students pursue the visas in their country.”

Reinckens suggests that people thinking of hosting an exchange student check with their local better business bureau or department of education. Unlike New Jersey, he said that some states have adopted laws governing exchange agencies.

Various states, among them Washington, Minnesota and California,” he said, “have passed laws and regulations regarding these kinds of organizations.”

According to Reinckens, 23,000 to 25,000 foreign students attend public school in the U.S. annually on J-1 visas, assisted by USIA-designated agencies. One of the provisions of J-1 is that there are no repeat visits allowed.

“Students on a J-1 can be here for a minimum of one semester to a maximum one-year stay,” he said. “There’s another kind called an F student visa, where a student can stay as long as a high school issues an I-20 form. The high school is responsible for issuing that form.

“Another kind of visa is a B-visa, which is a visitors visa for short-term visits. For example, a student may enter the U.S. on a B-visa if they are just going to attend a class for a few weeks.”

* * *

Some of the methods used by exchange agencies to locate and screen host families for foreign students can cause problems for all parties involved.

Robert Bender, the superintendent of the Carneys Point-Penns Grove district said he has been troubled to see ads for host families on telephone poles just prior to the start of the school year.

“That caused part of the problem,” he said. “They didn’t find families until late in the summer. I think it’s a worthwhile program, but they need to find host families first before bringing the students over.

“Once they do that, it will eliminate a lot of concerns the schools have.”

Bender said that although having a foreign student can be a benefit for the school, it is difficult for administrators to prepare for the student’s needs on short notice.

“A foreign student is a living social studies lesson right in the classroom — there’s so much to be gained by our own students,” he said. “But at the end of summer where you have transfer students coming at the last minute, exchange students make it a little more difficult. We need to review their transcripts and find out where they should be placed.

“You want them to be successful when they’re here. If you only have a day or two, that’s not the way we like it to be. It’s better to do this in time to properly place them.”

Danish student Hommelgaard recently got a lesson in the problems school officials have to deal with when placing a student from another country. Although she is 18 and is taking mostly Grade 12 courses, she had to be placed in junior level history when she started classes at Schalick on Wednesday.

“It’s a bit difficult when you don’t know it,” she said. “I know more Danish history than American history.”

According to Bender, a girl from Russia who attended Penns Grove High School last year didn’t work out and ended up going back home.

Penny Tarplin, the Pittsburgh area CASE director, said that it is not unusual to have to place a child as late as August.

“Sometimes a placement falls through,” she said. “In May, the father of a family here had a heart attack and died.

“Or sometimes a student cancels. I’ve been doing this for 24 years and we learn everything the hard way.”

Ads seeking host families by the Pittsburgh CASE organization can be found in locations as diverse as local newspapers to a page on the Internet.

Tarplin said that except in the few states that require police background checks for host families, her organization is not allowed to request them. Instead, she said she relies on her instincts at an in-home interview with all family members, and three letters of recommendation obtained by the host parents.

“A police check has not been necessary so far,” she said.   “We expect the references to take care of that —  someone will spill the beans if there are problems.

“I went to visit a potential family once, and all over their wall, they had guns. Needless to say, we did not place a student with them.”

Ellen Battaglia, who is the president of the national CASE organization based in Middletown, agreed that CASE representatives have to use their “professional experience” to find a safe, compatible match between a student and a host family.

“If a student calls and has the slightest qualms about a family, we take the student out,” she said. “We’ve never had any sexual or physical abuse from the host family.”

John Doty is a member of CSIET’s board of directors, as well as the director of Pacific Intercultural Exchange, a West Coast-based student exchange organization. He agreed that being able to do police checks on potential families would be ideal, but not possible in most cases.

“I would feel more comfortable if we had access to criminal background checks,” he said. “We would love nothing more than to tap into a database to find this out.”

According to Doty, even in areas where host families are required by law to agree to a background check, the cost and length of time it would take — up to six months — can be prohibitive.

“Our program’s application form asks if anyone in the family has ever committed a felony,” he said, “but if you ask and the answer comes back no, what good is it? We have to assume that it’s answered correctly.”

Doty said his agency checks with the schools, as well as asking potential host families for personal references.

“If the school says, I wouldn’t place a student with that family, we listen,” he said. “Our program brought in 20,000 students in the past 20 years and never had any reported abuse.”

Tarpin said that to facilitate the student and family getting along, she holds an orientation meeting within 10 days of the student’s arrival in the United States.

“There usually are little things that are cultural that they have to get used to,” she said.

As a local representative, she is expected to stay in close contact with the student and the family, by phone and in person, to help them through any problems during the student’s stay.

Battaglia said that CASE workers are independent contractors who receive $20 a month for each student they supervise.

* * *

The CASE organization is currently under scrutiny by the USIA and the CSIET for its actions in placing the Danish student with the Pokrovsky family.

“We look for patterns of concern,” said Anne Shattuck, CSIET director of operations. “Is this an isolated incident or is this a pattern? Our standards require written acceptance from the school prior to assigning a student to a family, but there may be extenuating circumstances where a phone call worked.”

Because each organization must reapply annually to be CSIET-designated, the incident will not be considered until the CSIET board’s regular meeting in January, Shattuck said.

Doty said that the majority of companies placing foreign students are not regulated at all.

“The USIA has stringent rules, but for-profit agencies are not regulated,” he said. “There are problems of screening issues because programs don’t have to comply with any standards.”

Doty said that when he helped push for legislation in his home state of California, one of the biggest problems faced was identifying organizations that are not designated by the USIA or CSIET.

“It’s impossible to know how many programs are out there,” he said. “Some are here today and gone tomorrow.

“Part of the problem comes from schools being unaware of the nature of this business. If the schools were more selective and knew what to look for in an exchange program, I think they would be diminishing their potential for problems.”

Doty said that non-designated, for-profit agencies are not necessarily bad.

“Some are excellent and have wonderful reputations,” he said.

Woodstown High School Principal Steve Merckel said being a non-profit agency doesn’t exclude everyone involved in it from making money.

“Non-profit doesn’t mean that the people who head them up don’t get big salaries,” he said.

To some school administrators, the addition of a foreign exchange student to the class rolls can be a culturally enriching experience for the entire student body, but others don’t accept them.

Kathleen Carfagno, administrative assistant to the Gloucester County Superintendent of Schools, said districts differ in their views on exchange students.

“We’ve talked about it with the local principals group. There are some schools, by policy, who say that we are not going to accept them,” she said. “Others say it’s a good opportunity to learn from someone from a foreign country.”

Merckel cited good experiences with students placed by both the 4-H and the Youth for Understanding organizations in the school district.

“They do an excellent job of monitoring students and working with families,” he said. “They usually take families known within the organization. I’ve worked with agencies before that don’t screen the kids or families well, and don’t give support when you have problems.”

Merkel said the school’s foreign exchange student policy, which was revised to limit exchange students to four per year, has helped the district avoid problems.

“Limiting the number you have in one year,” he said, “allows you to better give assistance to the students.”

* * *

The expense to the school district for enrolling a foreign student for a year is difficult to determine, but appears to be minimal. Henry Bermann, the board secretary and business administrator for the Pittsgrove district, said that the cost per student to attend Schalick is budgeted at $6,500.

“But we won’t know the actual audited cost until the following year,” he said.

One of the reasons the cost can’t be determined immediately is that state aid, which is granted per student enrolled, is often based on enrollment figures for the previous year. So in many cases, having an exchange student could result in increased state funding to a district.

An average of four or five exchange students a year may attend Kingsway Regional High School in Woolwich Township, according to Superintendent Terence Crowley.

“The biggest thing in my opinion,” he said, “is that it allows our kids to meet with other students from other countries.”

Crowley said there is another benefit to the exchange programs — Kingsway students have had the opportunity to study in other countries including Japan, Brazil and Ecuador.

Staff writer Cynthia Collier contributed to this  report

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Color added by editor | Aside from USIA being replaced by Department of State, the same issues raised in this article keep on occuring today. John Doty’s Pacific International was taken off CSIET’s approved list as late as 2012 due to severe breaches. This is not by any means a naive or innocent industry.

2010 May 22: McClintock sentenced for abuse

An exchange student testifies in the trial of James McClintock of Junction City on misdemeanor charges
By Jack Moran |The Register-Guard
>Appeared in print: Saturday, May 22, 2010, page B1

A Lane County jury concluded Friday that a Junction City man sexually abused a female foreign exchange student who lived with his family last fall.

After about four hours of deliberations, the three-man, three-woman jury unanimously found James Franklin McClintock, 51, guilty of four misdemeanor counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one misdemeanor count of private indecency for illegal sexual contact with the 17-year-old girl from Europe.

Those charges stemmed from the girl’s claims that McClintock touched her inappropriately on four separate occasions, and exposed himself to her once.

McClintock was found not guilty of a fifth count of third-degree sexual abuse, as the jury did not find sufficient evidence to conclude that he forced the girl to touch him after he exposed himself to her.
McClintock was arrested in February after an investigation into the allegations. He will be sentenced Wednesday. He faces one year in jail on each of the charges.

McClintock, a contractor who has served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Junction City High School football team, took the witness stand Thursday in the third day of his trial and strongly denied charges that he abused the girl in a garage on his property where he set up a workout area that the teen used under his supervision.

He did admit asking the girl if she’d had sex before, but claimed to have done so only out of concern for her well-being.
Earlier in the trial, the victim testified that she didn’t resist McClintock’s advances because she “was afraid of what would happen if I tell (him) no.”

In January, the girl told a Junction City High School teacher about being sexually abused at McClintock’s home.

The teacher reported it to authorities, and the girl was moved to another home.

“It was weighing on her,” Lane County deputy district attorney Erik Hasselman told the jury Thursday during his closing argument. “She thought she needed to tell somebody. She has, and it’s being dealt with.”

McClintock was arrested a few days later, and spent about a month in the Lane County Jail before he was released on bail.

He remains on house arrest and will wear an electronic monitoring bracelet around his ankle until he returns to court for sentencing.
Hasselman and McClintock’s attorney, Shaun McCrea, both declined to comment Friday on the jury’s verdict.

2009 Jun 19: Jack sentenced for sexual abuse

By Tim Novotny | Published: Jun 19, 2009 at 5:57 PM PDT

COQUILLE, ORE – A prominent member of the Coquille community is going to jail, after admitting in court to a single charge of Sex Abuse in the Third Degree. In exchange, two other charges were dropped.

53 year old Curtis Jack entered a Guilty plea Friday morning before Judge Richard Barron, charges of Sex Abuse One and Sex Abuse Three were dismissed.

Coos County Deputy District Attorney Karen McClintock said the charge stemmed from a May 12th incident where Jack subjected a 17 year old girl to sexual conduct, by touching her breast. The teen, who said the contact was unwanted, was a youth exchange student living with the family.

Jack, the owner of Coquille Supply and President of the Coquille Lions Club, was sentenced to 90 days in jail, three years of supervised probation, and a fine of $6,250.

He must also complete a Sex Offender program and refrain from associating with anyone under the age of 18, except under specific, court-approved, circumstances.

KCBY spoke with his Attorney, John Trew, who said their only comment was that Jack “admitted to the crime and took full responsibility for it.”

2013 Aug 23: ISE: Bringing Jesus to the exchange student

I remind you of US regulations that forbid any form of missionary work.

“In 1994, LaJuan and her husband went on a mission trip to Russia. She repeated the trip five times. During her last visit, a teenage boy with blonde hair and blue eyes lamented that she wouldn’t come back. “They always say they’ll come back, but they never do,” he said. Mrs. Dixon began praying on her way back home that God would provide some way for her to bring those children to our country. Her hope was for them to be introduced to Christianity here, and take it back to their home countries with them. She was asked to work with a foreign exchange program and her mission expanded to include the sharing of cultures. She began working with International Student Exchange in 2012, and at the age of 72, she shows no sign of giving up the hard work. “God is big enough for me to find homes for these children,” she says.”

2013 Interview with Lajuan Dixon ISE

2014 May 04: The Californian nightmare of an exchange student / Der kalifornische Albtraum eines Austauschschülers

Von: Andreas Leisi | 04.05.2014

Bei der Gastfamilie unerwünscht, von der Koordinatorin als «Dreckskerl» bezeichnet: Der 16-jährige Konstantin wurde bei einer Schüleraustausch-Organisation zum Spielball von Geldinteressen.

Die Abschlussfeier an einer Highschool ist ein Höhepunkt – Konstantin hatte an seiner Schule nur Ärger. Foto: S. Demiroz (Getty Images)
Die Abschlussfeier an einer Highschool ist ein Höhepunkt – Konstantin hatte an seiner Schule nur Ärger. Foto: S. Demiroz (Getty Images)

Mit der Firma EF Education First reisen jährlich Millionen von jungen Erwachsenen ins Ausland. Die Angebote von EF verheissen unter anderem das hautnahe Kennenlernen anderer Länder und Kulturen, kombiniert mit dem Erlernen der Sprache. Beworben wird beispielsweise das zehn Monate dauernde High School Year in den USA von EF so: «Bist du bereit für das grosse Abenteuer? Während deines EF High School Years hast du die einmalige Chance neue Herausforderungen anzunehmen, viele nette Menschen kennen zu lernen, eine Fremdsprache zu erlernen und erwachsen zu werden.»

Ein Abenteuer und viele Herausforderungen hat zwischen September 2012 und Juni 2013 der damals 16-jährige Austauschschüler Konstantin im nordamerikanischen Kalifornien tatsächlich erlebt. «Es begann mit Verzögerungen, obwohl bei der Buchung bei EF Schweiz für den August ein Platz in einer Gastfamilie garantiert war», sagt die Mutter Franziska Stöcklin, die in Zürich lebt und für den USA-Aufenthalt ihres Sohnes 13’500 Franken bezahlte. «Konstantin konnte dann erst im September, drei Wochen nachdem die Schule bereits begonnen hatte, nach Kalifornien reisen. EF sagte uns, man habe früher keine Gastfamilie gefunden.»

Das Zuhause als Kontrollhölle

Die Probleme hielten an. Konstantin war in seinem neuen Zuhause von Beginn weg mit Vorwürfen konfrontiert: «Meine Gastmutter baute ein Kontrollsystem auf, verbot mir auszugehen, drohte mir mit Konsequenzen bei Alkoholkonsum und nahm mir mein Laptop und mein Handy weg», so der Austauschschüler im Rückblick. «Zudem behandelte sie mich kalt, und ich hatte nie das Gefühl, willkommen zu sein. Später erfuhr ich auch, dass sie mich beschuldigte, 500 Dollar von ihr gestohlen zu haben.»

Die Gastmutter und die Hauptkoordinatorin von EF in Kalifornien, Sandra Woods, standen dabei in permanentem Kontakt miteinander. Nach diversen Vorwürfen an die Adresse des Schweizer Austauschschülers drohte die Kündigung des EF-Programms und die frühzeitige Heimreise. Mutter Stöcklin sagt über ihr einziges Telefonat mit Woods: «Sie sagte mir, in Amerika würden Kinder nicht selbstständig Entscheide treffen. Hintergrund war, dass er nicht sofort gemeldet hatte, dass Konstantin nach der Schule nicht umgehend nach Hause ging.»

«She is very driven by money»

Es kam der Verdacht auf, dass die Hauptkoordinatorin von EF sehr daran interessiert war, Konstantin wegen Regelverstössen frühzeitig nach Hause schicken zu können, um einen anderen Schüler in der Gastfamilie platzieren zu können und mehrfache Provisionen einzustreichen. Diese Vorgehensweise wird durch den Ex-EF-Koordinator William Alexander bestätigt, der sich nach seiner Kündigung an das Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in Washington wandte.

Alexander wies darauf hin, dass Sandra Woods aus Profitgründen mehr Austauschschüler ins Land geholte hatte, als Plätze in Familien zur Verfügung standen. Sandra Woods sei eine «sehr unethische Person», die nicht mit jungen Austauschschülern arbeiten sollte. Und: «She is very driven by money.»

Zudem bestätigt Alexander, dass Woods gegenüber Konstantin eine persönliche Aversion hatte. Das ging gemäss Alexander so weit, dass sie einen anderen Schüler anstiftete, den Schweizer Schüler an eine Party mit Alkoholausschank einzuladen, um dann die Polizei anzurufen, den 16-Jährigen anzeigen zu lassen und ihn wegen dieses Vergehens nach Hause schicken zu können. William Alexander war es schliesslich, der für Konstantin eine neue Gastfamilie fand, in der er – diesmal glücklich und durchaus anpassungsfähig – sein EF Highschool Year zu Ende bringen konnte.

«He’s a punk»

Hinter den Kulissen erreichte der Fall nach verschiedenen Interventionen der Mutter eine höhere bürokratische Ebene. Danielle Grijalva, Direktorin des Komitees für Sicherheit der ausländischen Studenten in Kalifornien, wandte sich im Mai 2013 ebenfalls an das Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in Washington mit einer Beschwerde gegen Sandra Woods. Darin wird neben der allgemeinen Bemerkung, dass ausländische Austauschschüler immer wieder ausgenützt und schlecht behandelt würden («Abuse of foreign exchange students remains rampant») aus der SMS-Kommunikation zwischen Sandra Woods und William Alexander betreffend Konstantin zitiert. Darin äussert sich Woods unflätig über Konstantin: «I wish we could just send his ass home.» («Ich wünschte mir, wir könnten diesen A… einfach heimschicken. Er wird mir das ganze Jahr Probleme machen.») Oder: «He’s a punk.» («Er ist ein Dreckskerl.»)

In einem Artikel des «K-Tipps» gibt Grijalva zudem Folgendes zu Protokoll: «Das Problem von EF und ähnlichen Organisationen ist, dass sie nicht genug passende Gastfamilien finden. Deshalb werden die Kinder ständig hin- und ­hergeschoben.» Und: «Wenn es zu Problemen kommt, heisst es immer, die Schüler seien selber schuld – aber nie die Gastfamilie, der Betreuer vor Ort oder die Vermittlerorganisation.»

Grijalva kritisiert zudem das Besoldungssystem für EF-Betreuer, die auf Provisionsbasis arbeiteten. Pro Austauschschüler gebe es mindestens 300 Dollar. Je mehr Schüler EF-Betreuer unterbringen würden, desto mehr Boni bekämen sie. Und desto höher wird auch der Bonus pro Schüler.

Keine finanzielle Entschädigung

Zwischen der Mutter Franziska Stöcklin und der Zürcher Stelle von EF gab es am 19. März 2013 – ebenfalls erst nach diversen Interventionen der Mutter – ein Gespräch, bei dem EF Schweiz gemäss Stöcklin eingesehen habe, dass im Fall von Konstantin die einem von EF vermittelten Schüler zustehende Betreuung nicht funktionierte. «Zuvor wurde ich von EF Schweiz immer als Mutter behandelt, die einfach nicht einsehen will, dass sich ihr Sohn nicht an die Regeln hält. Eine tatsächliche Überprüfung vieler klarer Falschinformationen aus den USA machte EF nicht.» EF Schweiz habe bei dem besagten Gespräch auch akzeptiert, dass ihr Dienstleistungsversprechen nicht eingehalten wurde und die Kommunikation von Sandra Woods inakzeptabel sei. EF Schweiz hat in der Folge jedoch weder auf die Forderung der Mutter nach einer offiziellen Entschuldigung vor Konstantin reagiert, noch offerierte die Firma eine finanzielle Entschädigung.

EF schweigt

Im Rahmen der Recherche für diesen ­Artikel nahm Mario Tschopp, Programmleiter EF High School Exchange Year, folgendermassen Stellung: «Der Fall ist uns bekannt, und wir haben die angezeigten internen Schritte unternommen. Wir bitten Sie jedoch um Verständnis dafür, dass wir aus Gründen des Persönlichkeitsschutzes zu Angelegenheiten, welche individuelle Kunden- und Arbeitsverhältnisse betreffen, in der Öffentlichkeit keine Stellung nehmen.» Damit bleibt unklar, ob Sandra Woods weiterhin in Kalifornien als Hauptkoordinatorin von EF tätig ist und Schweizer Austauschschüler betreut.

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Google translation:

With the host family undesirable designated by the coordinator as a “bastard”: The 16-year-old Constantine was at a student exchange organization at the mercy of money interests.

Traveling with the company EF Education First year millions of young adults abroad. Offers by EF promised, among other things, the skin-like learning about other countries and cultures, combined with learning the language. Applied, for example, ten-month high school year in the United States of EF as: “Are you ready for the big adventure? During your EF High School Years you have to accept the new challenges unique opportunity to learn many nice people to learn a foreign language and to grow up. “

An adventure and many challenges has actually experienced between September 2012 and June 2013, the then 16-year-old exchange student Konstantin in North America California. “It started with delays, although when booking at EF Switzerland a place in a host family was guaranteed for August,” the Mother Frances Stöcklin, who lives in Zurich and paid 13,500 francs for the US whereabouts of her son says. “Constantine was then only in September three weeks after the school had already started to travel to California. EF told us that they had earlier found any family. “

The home inspection as hell

The problems continued. Constantine was gone confronted in his new home from the start reproaches: “My host mother built a system of control, forbade me to go out, threatened me with consequences of alcohol consumption and took my laptop and my phone away,” says the exchange student in retrospect. “In addition, she treated me cold, and I have never felt so welcome. Later I learned that she accused me of having stolen $ 500 from her. “

The host mother and the main coordinator of EF in California, Sandra Woods, therefore were in constant contact with each other. After several criticisms of the address of the Swiss exchange student threatened termination of the EF program and the early departure. Stöcklin mother says of her only phone call with Woods: “She told me that in America children would not independently make decisions. The background was that he had not immediately reported that Konstantin not immediately went home after school. “

“She is very driven by money»

It came on the suspicion that the main coordinator of EF was keen to send Konstantin by rule violations home early to place another student in a host family can be brushed and multiple commissions. This approach is confirmed by the ex-EF-coordinator William Alexander, who turned in his resignation to the Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in Washington.

Alexander pointed out that Sandra Woods had brought more exchange students into the country for profit than there were in families. Sandra Woods was a “very unethical person” that should not work with young exchange students. And: “She is very driven by money.”

In addition, Alexander confirmed that Woods against Constantine had a personal aversion. So much so that they instigated another student to invite the Swiss students at a party serving alcohol, then call the police to display the 16-year-olds and to send him home for this offense according to Alexander. William Alexander was finally who found a new host family for Constantine, in which he – could bring his EF High School Year to end – this time happy and quite adaptable.

“He’s a punk»

Behind the scenes, the case reached a higher layer of bureaucracy after various interventions of the mother. Danielle Grijalva, director of the Committee for Safety of foreign students in California, turned in May 2013 also at the Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in Washington with a complaint against Sandra Woods. This is in addition to the general remark that foreign exchange students would always exploited and mistreated (“Abuse of foreign exchange students remains rampant”) quotes from the SMS communication between Sandra Woods and William Alexander concerning Constantine. In it expresses Woods foul-mouthed about Constantine: “I wish We could just send his ass home.” (“I wish we could just send home this A … He will make me all year problems..”) Or, ” He’s a punk. “(” He’s a bastard. “)

In an article in the “K-Tips» Grijalva are also following the record: “The problem of EF and similar organizations, that they can not find enough suitable host families. . Therefore, the children are constantly back and forth “And:” If there is a problem, it always means the students are to blame – but never the host family, the Service Representative or the intermediary organization “.

Grijalva also criticized the system of remuneration for EF-workers, who worked on a commission basis. Per exchange students there were at least 300 dollars. The more students would accommodate EF-workers, the more bonuses they would get. And the higher is also the bonus per student.

No financial compensation

Between the Mother Frances Stocklin and the Zurich office of EF took place on March 19, 2013 – also after the mother various interventions – a conversation in which EF Switzerland according Stöcklin have come to see that in the fall of Constantinople the one mediated by EF students attributable care not work. “Before, I was always treated by EF Switzerland as a mother who just will not accept that her son does not follow the rules. An actual review of many plain misinformation from the United States did not make EF. “EF Switzerland have said at this week accepted that their service promise was not kept and the communication of Sandra Woods was unacceptable. EF Switzerland, however, has reacted subsequently either on the mother’s call for an official apology before Constantine, still offered the company a financial compensation.

EF is silent

As part of the research for this article, Mario Tschopp, program director EF High School Year Exchange, position as follows: “The case is known to us, and we have taken the next internal steps. However, we ask for your understanding that we take for reasons of protection of privacy on matters relating to individual customer and working conditions in the public no comment. “So it remains unclear whether Sandra Woods continues in California has been working as general coordinator of EF and Swiss exchange student care.

2003 Apr 26: AISE reprimanded by US Department of State

This article has been removed from the original site

By Leslie Wolf Branscomb
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

April 26, 2003

A venerable San Diego-based student exchange organization has been reprimanded by the State Department for violating federal regulations that protect students visiting from abroad. The punishment was based on complaints filed by three foreign students who lived in San Diego until recently. They complained of being shuttled from home to home, forced into overcrowded and dirty houses, and – in the worst case – one was sexually molested by his host.

The State Department confirmed this week that American Intercultural Student Exchange of La Jolla, or AISE, has been formally sanctioned, put on probation for a year and required to implement a corrective plan.

“It comes as a wake-up call,” said Anne Ring, president of the organization, which she helped found in 1981.

The nonprofit organization bills itself as the nation’s third-largest student exchange program.

“It means they’re going to obviously be watching us closely, which is fine,” she said. “We’ve always had such a good reputation. I hope, and I know, that it won’t happen again.”

Ring said two employees – a local area representative and the regional coordinator for the Western states – have resigned under mutual agreement with the company.

The organization has hired a new U.S. director of field services, who will be in charge of ensuring that all employees are trained and the paperwork is done, she said.

The sanctions were based on the accusations of students from Thailand, Denmark and Germany who at one point lived in the same Tierrasanta home.

Through a classmate at Serra High School, they met a lawyer, Sally Arguilez Smith, who alerted the State Department to the problems the three were experiencing.

“Exchange students bring so much to our country, and they should be treated well, and know that the laws protect them,” Smith said upon learning of the sanctions. “AISE has acted atrociously, and they deserved more serious sanctions.”

One of the students is living with Smith. Another has moved to Los Angeles County and the third has gone home.

Denis Sladkov, an 18-year-old from Germany, said he lived in five homes in five months. “It seems like they just want to take as many exchange students as possible and, then, when they get here, find a home,” Sladkov said.

At his first home in Twentynine Palms, Sladkov said, there were fire ants in his bed and the house smelled of dirty dogs. Then, he said, he was placed with a couple that had marital and drug problems.

He was eventually moved to a Navy housing complex in Tierrasanta, where he lived with Racheal Rivera and her husband, their four young children and two other exchange students.

The situation was tense, Sladkov said, and the students spent most of their time doing housework and child care for the hosts, who seemed to not have the time or money to feed and care for the teenagers.

Sladkov said that he, like the others, was threatened with deportation by various employees of the organization when he complained.

Unhappy and tired of moving, Sladkov dropped out of school and returned to Germany in January.

The State Department identified Racheal Rivera as one of the program’s employees who violated federal rules by having more than one student per home and not keeping complete files on the students.

Rivera said this year that the organization kept dumping students on her. “They said it was my job, and if I didn’t take them they would have no place to go,” she said.

One home to another

Mary Vattanasiriporn, a 16-year-old from Thailand, lived with four families in as many months.Her first hosts, the Holts, lived in the northern Montana town of Havre. They had nine children of their own, and Mary shared a room with a student from China.

Mary said the house was filthy. They had no door locks, no privacy and the family’s teenage boys sometimes barged in while they showered. The girls held the door shut for each other when they used the bathroom and slept in their clothes.

Upon hearing Mary’s complaints, her parents tracked down a Thai girl who lived with the Holts the year before. She e-mailed them her photos of the Holt house, which showed rooms piled high with debris and walls with exposed wiring and insulation.

American Intercultural Student Exchange representative Penny Velk was sent to take the two girls from the home. Velk said she had to call the police when the host father became angry, and she was fired from the organization as a result.

Roger Holt said afterward that his house is “pretty shabby” and might seem “chaotic” to an outsider. But Holt said his family would rather take students sightseeing than clean house.

“We’re not into cars and clothes and fancy houses,” Holt said.

He contends the exchange students were spoiled and misled by recruiters. “AISE sells a package to the kids that doesn’t bear a whole lot of resemblance to reality,” Holt said. “Everyone thinks they’re going to Hollywood or Disneyland, then they end up in the hinterlands.”

Velk took the girls to the home of Kelly Toldness in Havre. Toldness recalled that Mary seemed surprised to find clean drinking glasses in her kitchen, and it pained her to think of what the girls’ first impression of America had been.

Toldness wanted to become their host, but said a student exchange representative who was a friend of the Holts accused her of kidnapping and called her home “a hostile environment.” The girls were removed by the organization 10 days later.

Mary ended up with the Riveras. There, she said, she slept in an unheated garage with newspaper covering the windows and was sick all winter.

Smith asked Mary to come live with her.

Smith said Rivera agreed. But it made Smith angry that no one from the exchange organization interviewed her or inspected her home for a month.

“You don’t just hand a kid over to a total stranger in a foreign country,” Smith said.

A student exchange representative at one point sent Mary an e-mail asking where she was and requesting her new host’s name and address. Mary later received an anonymous phone call warning her to stop complaining about the organization.

From Denmark

The boy from Denmark also lived with Smith briefly, before his parents sent him to live with family friends in Pomona.His father said their son dreamed of playing high school football in America, so they enrolled him in the student exchange program.

“It’s quite a glossy, shiny literature which assures us that our children will be taken care of, that it’s safe and they will have a good experience in the U.S.,” said the boy’s father.

The teen’s parents were concerned when their son was placed with a 53-year-old single man in Riverside, but student exchange officials vouched for David Goodhead.

“They said he was a wonderful man who really would give your children a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” the father said.

The boy was in the United States for three weeks when Goodhead molested him while camping in Yosemite. (It is the policy of the Union-Tribune  to withhold the names of minors who are victims of sexual assault.)

Because Goodhead insisted that the student speak English when calling home, the boy surreptitiously sent a text message in Danish on his mobile phone to inform his parents about what had happened.

His parents said the student exchange organization did not respond to their frantic phone calls for 48 hours, despite assurances that emergencies are handled around the clock.

Goodhead was arrested and the boy removed from his custody. But, the father said, nearly a week passed before the exchange organization told them where his son was taken.

Goodhead was charged in U.S. District Court with two misdemeanor counts of engaging in unsolicited sexual conduct. On Feb. 11, he pleaded guilty to one of the charges, and is scheduled to be sentenced next month. He could receive up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Goodhead is free on bail and maintains a Web site with photos and descriptions of his nine previous exchange students. All are European boys, most of them blond like the student from Denmark, whose picture has been removed.

Laurel O’Rourke, the organization’s director of counseling, said the company does not do background checks on potential hosts, but did check on Goodhead after his arrest.

“He has hosted before and there had never ever been any sort of sexual innuendo,” she said. However, O’Rourke said, “He won’t have another student of ours.”

The Danish boy’s new host mother, Nancy Osgood, said she expected the exchange organization to inspect her home thoroughly.

But, she said, the inspection was cursory and the representative didn’t even ask to see where the boy would sleep. “It seems like they’re moving these kids around like chess pieces,” she said later.

Penny Velk, the former Montana representative, said she wasn’t well-screened before hosting her first student. “This woman just came in and glanced around and said, ‘Fine,’ ” Velk said. “She said she had to place three kids, and anybody who wanted a kid, she was going to give it to them.”

Velk said her daughter was an exchange student with the program last year in Australia, and she was moved three times. She said her daughter’s first host father was an alcoholic who made passes at the girl, and the second family spoke only Portuguese.

“There’s a total lack of communication,” Velk said of the program. “They just place kids and if they’ve got their money, they don’t give a damn.

“Now our son wants to be an exchange student, and I just can’t see spending $10,000 and you don’t know if you’re going to end up in a really rotten home or a nice home,” Velk said.

Thousands of students

The three students who complained to the State Department said their families paid between $7,000 and $10,000 for the exchange program.Student exchange spokeswoman Doris Lee McCoy said the company collects about $2,000 per student and still must raise funds to pay for advertising and staff.

The remainder of the fee, she said, is collected by the overseas agencies that recruit the foreign students.

Host families are not paid.

There are now about 32,000 high school students nationwide enrolled in foreign exchange programs with 75 agencies, according to Stanley Colvin, the State Department’s coordinator of foreign exchange programs.

“With that many students, there’s going to be an occasional dust-up,” Colvin said. “By and large, high school exchanges are not problematic.”

The State Department typically receives up to 10 complaints a year, he said. So for three to come from one organization was notable, and that’s what prompted the investigation, Colvin said.

The organization said it has arranged exchanges for more than 30,000 students. “The vast majority have wonderful experiences, thanks mainly to the hospitality and generosity of the American families,” said Ring.

American Intercultural Student Exchange officials said they usually bring about 3,000 foreign students to the United States a year, but that number has dropped to fewer than 1,000 this school year.

They attribute the decline to parents’ unwillingness to let their children travel overseas after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Former employees say Americans’ fear of foreigners has made it increasingly difficult to find host families.

The organization’s officials declined to discuss individual students, citing privacy concerns.

However, counselor O’Rourke said most student complaints can be attributed to homesickness, culture shock or the teens’ misconception that all Americans live like the rich celebrities they see on TV.

Student unhappiness peaks right around the holidays, O’Rourke said, but most problems are soon resolved with counseling and “tender loving care.”

Organization spokeswoman Doris Lee McCoy said teen-agers tend to be volatile, and some situations are made worse by language barriers and unrealistic expectations. “We have had some students that were pretty pampered” in their home countries, she said.

“Yes, there can be a few glitches. We’re dealing with human beings and they’re not perfect,” McCoy said. “But I know that by the end they will be homesick for their American families, and they will have learned more in that one year than ever before.”


Leslie Branscomb:
(619) 498-6630; leslie.branscomb@uniontrib.com

2009 Oct 29: How did indicted Hamilton, sex offender, get away?

Gale Curcio By Gale Curcio

Posted on Oct 29,2009

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Parents of John E. Hamilton’s victims came to the Fairfax County Courthouse the first week of October looking for justice and closure. Instead they got another blow when they realized that the former Alexandria Little League coach indicted with sexual crimes against as many as 10 children wasn’t going to show for his plea hearing.

Hamilton, 37, failed to appear for a scheduled court date on Wednesday, Oct. 7. As a result, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest and nationwide extradition has been authorized. Fairfax County police detectives are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Hamilton, who’s believed to be somewhere in Europe.

The parents of Hamilton’s victims, who agreed to speak with Local Kicks only if they were not identified, are now questioning why bail was set so low; why he was not sent back to jail when his bond was revoked, and why his passport wasn’t taken away.

“I never realized how important closure was,” one of the victims’ mothers said. “It’s sad that this man was allowed to leave the country. The bond was set so low – the legal system is discouraging.”

Her son was one of three boys scheduled to appear at Hamilton’s sentencing; it would have been their chance to finally confront him for what he had done. She didn’t know that her son had been victimized until the news came out and her son shared with her what had happened to him.

That same mother also asked, “How could this have happened? Why didn’t they take his passport? I feel like they failed me.”

The investigation into Hamilton’s sexual misconduct began in late February, when a 24-year-old victim of a sexual crime came forward after 12 years. Detectives from the Fairfax County Police Child Investigations Unit, assisted by FBI agents, conducted the investigation that led to the arrest of Hamilton.

According to the affadavit given by the male victim, who was 12 years old at the time of the offense, Hamilton engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with him periodically from March to July 1997. Hamilton was a Little League baseball coach for the Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association at that time.

During the investigation, detectives learned that Hamilton currently had a 16-year-old, foreign exchange student living with him. That student was removed from the home by authorities.

In May, Fairfax County police charged Hamilton with six felonies involving sexual crimes against children. Following his arrest, Hamilton, was initially held without bond. However, he was later released from jail on $32,000 bond.

In June, a grand jury indicted Hamilton and bond was set. It was revoked when he contacted one of his alleged victims, but he was not sent back to jail. Hamilton was scheduled to enter a guilty plea two weeks ago, but he failed to appear.

The victims’ parents are not only asking about what they see as the court’s failure to keep Hamilton from running, but also wonder how he was able to get away with what he did for nearly 20 years.

“He was a regular figure in the sports community, and there were plenty of people who questioned, suspected, wondered and thought something was odd, but when all was said and done, nothing was done about it,” said one aggrieved parent.

Not only did Hamilton coach baseball and Little League for many years, but he was also a coach at West Potomac High School for one season and Bishop Ireton for another season. He was allegedly let go from Bishop Ireton amid allegations of inappropriate actions towards minors, said one of the parents.

One of the mothers, whose two sons played Little League and baseball for years, told Local Kicks: “We got to know him, but he seemed creepy to us – he was always mentoring a kid. He used to invite kids over to spend the night. There were always rumors, but nobody ever confronted him.”

Even 2nd Lt. John Brennan, a Fairfax County police officer for more than two decades, said, “I’d like to say I saw something, but I didn’t.”

Brennan’s son played under Hamilton’s tutelage for one Little League tournament. He added: “We had a great group of kids. I saw nothing.”

Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks <br /> <br />Indicted child sex offender John Hamilton's mother is the owner and operator of Wick's Sport Lettering in Alexandria. His brother works there as well. Police say they suspect that the two may have aided in Hamilton's escape from the country. He was last seen at the Frankfurt International Airport in early September with his mother. Photo by Gale Curcio/Local Kicks

Indicted child sex offender John Hamilton’s mother is the owner and operator of Wick’s Sport Lettering in Alexandria. His brother works there as well. Police say they suspect that the two may have aided in Hamilton’s escape from the country. He was last seen at the Frankfurt International Airport in early September with his mother.

When asked about how Hamilton could escape the clutches of the legal system, Brennan responded: “Once the police department investigates a case, it goes into the legal system. The bond is set by a magistrate; the bond reduction by a judge. Once we’re done with the case, it’s out of our hands. If police had anything to do with bonds, there would be no bad guys on the streets. I tell my guys – just do the right thing. What happens in court happens in court.”

Brennan said that Detective Jeremy Hinson, who worked the case, did as much as he could and by securing Hamilton’s indictment “did great” by all the victims.

“If it weren’t for Hinson, Hamilton never would have gone to a plea deal,” Brennan said. “He is a good cop and digs into his cases. Hinson did everything that he could.”

When Hamilton failed to appear for his hearing, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ian Rodway asked Judge Randy Bellows to issue an expedited bench warrant for Hamilton’s arrest.

Bellows agreed and issued the bench warrant. He also recommended that when Hamilton is found and re-arrested, that he be held without bond. Nationwide extradition was also authorized, but it has now come to light that Hamilton has left the country

A police source told Local Kicks that Rose Hamilton, the owner and operator of Wick’s Sporting Goods located on Route 1 in Alexandria, helped Hamilton to escape.

The global police network, INTERPOL, said in a statement that Rose Hamilton and her son John went to Frankfurt, Germany in September; she returned but apparently he did not. INTERPOL has now joined the worldwide manhunt. Hamilton was last seen on Sept. 8 at the Frankfurt am Main International Airport in Frankfurt, Germany.

While he could be anywhere, the police source said they are focusing on Germany and Denmark. He said they feel that Hamilton could easily blend in Denmark, given his 6’2” frame; it’s also the home country of one of his alleged victims.

The parents of victims expressed outrage that both Hamilton’s mother and his brother allegedly helped Hamilton leave the country. Rose Hamilton is owner and operator of Wick’s Sporting Goods and David Hamilton works there as well. The police said they suspected that each of them gave him $10,000 to flee to Europe.

Ironically, Wicks has supplied custom decorated sports apparel to just about every sports team in the Greater Alexandria area. On Wednesday, approached by a reporter, none of the store clerks or Rose or David Hamilton would speak with Local Kicks, declining comment unless both were present and consented.

On Wednesday, William M. “Bud” Walker, Jr., a Fairfax County Police Spokesman, said that there were no new developments in the case. Walker urged that the public contact them if they have any information about Hamilton’s whereabouts.

“It would go a long way if she would come forward,” said one of the parents, who asked not to be identified. “There should be consequences for what the mother supposedly did. John had no money; he never would have been able to leave the country if his mother hadn’t given it to him.”

Yet another woman said, “We did a lot of business with them; Rose Hamilton seemed normal to me.”

Brennan and others are concerned that the abuse might continue overseas.

“My greatest fear is that John Hamilton is going to set up shop somewhere else,” he said. “This guy’s got to pay for this.”

The mother of one of the victims said, “He will do this again – he can’t help himself. He won’t stop. I want him caught.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637. You may also call Detective J. Hinson at 703-246-7523 or the Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131. 

While 10 abuse survivors have come forward, law enforcement officials say they know there are more. The investigation continues and additional charges are possible. America’s Most Wanted plans to film a segment in November; they are asking for anyone who knows of Hamilton or his activities to please call 1-800-CRIME-TV.

(differences added by me)

——————————————————-

2009 Jun 5: Additional Victims Emerge In John Hamilton Sex Offense Case

US Regulations re religion

“Would you be willing voluntarily to inform the exchange visitor
in advance of any religious affiliations of household members? (Y/N)
Would any member of the household have difficulty hosting a
student whose religious beliefs were different from their own? (Y/N)
Note: A host family may want the exchange visitor to attend one or more religious services or programs with the family. The exchange visitor cannot be required to do so, but may decide to experience this facet of U.S. culture at his or her discretion.”

(75 FR 65975)

2014-2015 Minnesota State High School League Official Handbook

Purpose: The following bylaws are intended to provide a uniform body of rules from which school administrators will certify a student’s eligibility.

2. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

A. Transfer eligibility for foreign exchange students and international students is not appealable.

B. FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENTS — Cross Reference: Bylaw 106 (Graduates of Secondary Schools).

Foreign exchange students shall be limited to one calendar year of high school participation commencing with their first day of attendance.  A foreign exchange student who is enrolled in and attending a Minnesota high school will be eligible to participate in varsity competition provided that the student meets all of the foreign exchange student blind placement conditions listed below.

(i) The student must be under the auspices of, and be placed with, a host family by an international student exchange program that has been approved for listing by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) and be recognized by the U.S. Department of State.

(a) The foreign exchange program must assign students to host families by a method that ensures that no student, student’s parents, school, or other interested party may influence the assignment for athletic or other purposes (blind placement).

(b) The foreign exchange student may not be selected or placed on any basis related to their athletic interests or abilities.

(ii) A foreign exchange student is considered to be placed with a host family when written notice of placement is provided by the exchange organization to the student and the student’s parents, and to the host family.

(a) Neither the school the student attends nor any person associated with the host school shall have input into the selection of the student.

(b) No member of the school’s coaching staff, from any sport, paid or voluntary, shall serve as the host family. If a member of the school’s coaching staff does serve as the host family, then the student is only eligible for competition at the junior varsity or lower level.  (See Other International Students below)

(iii) The foreign exchange student must possess a current J-1 visa issued by the U.S. Department of State.  The foreign exchange student must comply with all League eligibility requirements. A completed Foreign Exchange Student Registration Form must be provided to the high school principal and then kept on file at the high school. The electronic transfer document must be submitted and then and approved by the League office before the student is eligible for varsity competition.

  1. Foreign Exchange Students who have completed the terminal or final grade of high school are not eligible for participation in League-sponsored athletic programs at any level.

C. OTHER INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS.

International students shall be limited to one calendar year of high school participation commencing with their first day of attendance.  An international student who is enrolled in and attending a Minnesota high school and who is not under the auspices of and placed by a Council on the Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) listed exchange program is ineligible for varsity competition.  An international student will be eligible for junior varsity or lower level competition provided that the student meets all of the conditions listed below:

(i) The student must possess a current F-1 visa issued by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

(ii) The student must provide the principal of the school the student attends an official untranslated transcript, as well as a transcript that is translated into English by an acceptable agent or agency, that indicates work taken in all grades in which the student was enrolled.

(iii) The international student must pay tuition to the high school the student attends as prescribed in Section 625 of U.S. Public Law 104-208.

(iv) The international student must comply with all League eligibility requirements, and a completed International Student Registration Form must be provided to the high school principal and approved by the League office before the student is eligible for junior varsity or lower level competition.

2006 Jan-Mar: Federal government seeks to eliminate sexual abuse and exploitation

FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENTS: FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO ELIMINATE SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION

Since the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, the U.S. Department of State has been active in promoting educational and cultural exchanges, especially at the high school level where some 1,450 program sponsors facilitate the entry of more than 275,000 foreign exchange students each year. The students are secondary level students. Most of the students are 17 or 18 years of age, but some participants are as young as 15 years of age and often are away from home for the first time.

The Department of State has amended 22 C.F.R. § 62.25, effective May 4, 2006, in an attempt to provide greater security for foreign exchange students. For Program Sponsors, their personnel must be “adequately trained and supervised” and that any person who has “direct personal contact with exchange students” must be “vetted through a criminal background check.” Program Sponsors also cannot make student placements “beyond 120 miles of the home of a local organizational representative authorized to act on the sponsor’s behalf in both routine and emergency matters…” An “organizational representative” cannot serve as “both host family and area supervisor for any exchange student participant.” In addition, there must be, at a minimum, monthly schedules of personal contact with the student and the host family. The school must have contact information for the local organizational representative. § 62.25(d).

Prospective foreign exchange students must be secondary students in their home country and not have completed more than eleven (11) years of primary and secondary study (kindergarten excluded), or be at least 15 years of age but not older than 18 years and six months of age as of the program start date. § 66.25(e).

The Sponsor must “secure prior written acceptance for the enrollment of any exchange student participant in a United States public or private secondary school.” § 66.25(f)(1). In addition, the Sponsor “must provide the school with a translated ‘written English language summary’ of the exchange student’s complete academic course work prior to commencement of school, in addition to any additional documents the school may require. Sponsors must inform the prospective host school of any student who has completed secondary school in his/her country.” § 66.25(f)(4). Also, Sponsors “may not facilitate the enrollment of more than five exchange students in one school unless the school itself has requested, in writing, the placement of more than five students.” § 66.25(f)(5).

Sponsors are also required to better prepare exchange students, especially “how to identify and report sexual abuse or exploitation.” The exchange student will also receive a “detailed profile of the host family” as well as a “detailed profile of the school and community” where the student will participate. The exchange student will be issued an identification card, with contact numbers should there be an emergency. § 66.25(g).

Host families must be screened, which must include “an in-person interview with all family members residing in the home.” A host family must have a good reputation and character. This must be supported by at least two (2) personal references “from the school or community attesting to the host family’s good reputation and character.” Each member of the host family who is 18 years of age or older must undergo a criminal background check. Also, “[e]xchange students are not permitted to reside with relatives.” § 66.25(j).

Sponsors must report immediately to the Department of State “any incident or allegation involving the actual or alleged sexual exploitation or abuse of an exchange student participant.” This would be in addition to any State or local reporting requirement. § 66.25(m).

Tragedy In Wisconsin

Although the Department of State did not indicate any precipitating event for the amendment of its regulations to require more direct involvement of Sponsors and the closer scrutiny of host families, the case of Kristin Beul, a 16-year-old German exchange student, and her tragic placement in a dysfunctional Wisconsin family had to be a primary motivation.

In Beul v. ASSE International, Inc., 233 F.3d 441 (7th Cir. 2000), the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a jury verdict of $649,000 against a non-profit corporation that operates international student exchange programs. Beul paid ASSE a $2,000 fee in order to secure a year in the United States. She was placed with the Bruce family in Wisconsin. The family consisted of Richard, the father (40 years of age); his wife; and their 13-year-old daughter. The Bruce family was selected by Marianne Breber, ASSE’s Area Representative.

As a Sponsor, ASSE was subject to regulations by the Department of State, U.S. Information Agency, that require Sponsors to train their agents, monitor the progress and welfare of the exchange visit, and require a regular schedule of personal contact with the student and the host family. Violations of these regulations are evidence of negligence as they define the duty of care a Sponsor owes to an exchange student. See 22 C.F.R. §§ 62.10(e)(2); 62.25(d)(1), (4). 233 F.3d at 444-45.

Beul arrived in Wisconsin from Germany in September of 1995. She was met at the airport by the father of the host family, Richard Bruce. Breber did not go to the airport to meet her. In fact, from September to January 21, 1996, Breber met only once with Beul and that was at a shopping mall for a brief orientation. Berber gave Beul her telephone number. Breber did call the host family a few times and spoke once or twice with Beul during these conversation, but Breber made no effort to ensure her conversations with Beul occurred outside the presence of members of the host family. Breber never spoke with Mrs. Bruce, who had concerns her husband “seemed to be developing an inappropriate relationship with Kristin.” Id. at 445-46.

Beul had “led a sheltered life in Germany. She had had no sexual experiences at all and in fact had had only two dates in her lifetime.” Id. at 446. In November of 1995, Bruce entered her bedroom and raped her. This began “a protracted sexual relationship.” In the following months, Bruce would call the high school Beul was supposed to be attending and report her ill. With his wife at work and his daughter at school, Bruce and Beul could continue their sexual relationship. By February of 1996, Bruce had reported Beul as ill 27 times. He showed Beul a gun and told her that should she tell anyone about their relationship, he would kill himself. Id.

In January, Bruce called Breber and told her that his wife “appeared to be jealous of the time” that he spent with Beul. He invited Breber to dinner on January 21, 1996. During this time, Breber did not meet privately with either Beul or Mrs. Bruce, and she did not observe anything out of the ordinary. In February, Mrs. Bruce told Breber that she and her husband were getting divorced, and Breber found another host family for Beul. Beul did not want to leave the Bruce residence. Breber brought a sheriff’s deputy to the Bruce house to remove Beul. During this time, the deputy asked Beul–in front of Bruce–whether any inappropriate sexual activity had occurred. Beul answered “no.” Breber learned that same date of Beul’s many absences from school when Breber called to indicate Beul would be living with a different host family. Id.

Beul lived with Breber for a few days until the new host family situation could be finalized. During the period, Breber never inquired about a possible sexual relationship between Beul and Bruce. Breber advised the host family that Beul was not to contact Bruce for a month, but Breber never informed Bruce he should not contact Beul. They continued to communicate. Beul “decided that she was in love with Bruce and considered herself engaged to him.” Id.

In April, Mrs. Bruce discovered some of Beul’s love letters to Bruce and alerted law enforcement. A deputy interviewed Bruce. Bruce had a previous conviction for having sex with a sixteen-year-old girl. The day after the interview, Bruce killed himself, leaving a suicide note expressing fear of jail. “It is undisputed that the events culminating in Bruce’s suicide inflicted serious psychological harm on Kristin[.]” Id.

The 7th Circuit rejected ASSE’s argument that Beul’s determination to conceal her relationship with Bruce negated any failure of ASSE’s agent–Breber–to maintain closer contact with Beul, the Bruce family, and the high school. There is no causal relation between ASSE’s negligence and Beul’s harm, ASSE argued.

But it is improbable, and the jury was certainly not required to buy the argument. Suppose Breber had inquired from the school how Kristin was doing–a natural question to ask about a foreigner plunged into an American high school. She would have learned of the numerous absences, would (if minimally alert) have inquired about them from Kristin, and would have learned that Kristin had been “ill” and that Richard Bruce had been home and taken care of her. At that point the secret would have started to unravel.

Id. at 447. The 7th Circuit opined that the high school would not be liable for the consequences of Bruce’s sexual activity with Beul, even if the high school should have reported her frequent absences to Breber. The criminal sexual activity and resulting suicide were not foreseeable by the school.

But part of ASSE’s duty and Breber’s function was to protect foreign girls and boys from sexual hanky-panky initiated by members of host families. Especially when a teenage girl is brought to live with strangers in a foreign county, the risk of inappropriate sexual activity is not so slight that the organization charged by the girl’s parents with the safety of their daughter can be excused as a matter of law from making a responsible effort to minimize the risk. [Citations omitted.] Sexual abuse by stepfathers is not uncommon [citation omitted], and the husband in a host family has an analogous relationship to a teenage visitor living with the family.

Id. at 448. The court also found that ASSE was “standing in the shoes of the parents of a young girl living in a stranger’s home far from her homeland and could reasonably be expected to exercise the kind of care that the parents themselves would exercise if they could to protect their 16-year-old daughter from the sexual pitfalls that lie about a girl of that age in those circumstances. ASSE assumed a primary role in the protection of the girl.” Id.

In Indiana

Indiana has a statutory reference to foreign exchange students. It can be found at I.C. § 20-26-11-10(b). The relevant language is reproduced below.

I.C. § 20-26-11-10 Tuition for Children of Certain State Employees and Foreign Exchange Students

* * *

(b) A foreign student visiting in Indiana under any student exchange program approved by the state board is considered a resident student with legal settlement in the school corporation where the foreign exchange student resides. The student may attend a school in the school corporation in which the family with whom the student is living resides. A school corporation that receives a foreign student may not be paid any transfer tuition. The school corporation shall include the foreign student in computations to determine the amount of state aid that it is entitled to receive.

In essence, a foreign exchange student placed with an Indiana host family through an approved student exchange program has “legal settlement” in the public school district where the host family resides and may attend the public school without payment of transfer tuition. The statutory provision does not address a host of other concerns, such as whether a foreign exchange student who completes all graduation requirements (including passing the Graduation Qualifying Examination) can receive a high school diploma (the student can); who determines whether a foreign exchange student has met all State and local graduation requirements (the local public school district does); and who is responsible for providing to the public school district a translation of the student’s transcript from the student secondary school program in the student’s home country (under federal regulations, it is the Sponsor’s responsibility, see supra).

The Indiana Department of Education also maintains information for schools, Sponsors, and students at its web site. See http://www.doe.state.in.us/opd/studentexchange/stu_exch.html. The web site contains a Question-and-Answer document on various issues as well as links to pertinent federal agencies involved or interested in foreign exchange students.

1999 Jul 29: Former exchange student who had affair suing program

BEUL v. ASSE INTERN., INC.No. 98-C-426.

233 F. 3d 441 – Kristin Beul, et al. v. Asse International, Inc., et al.

Red highlight added by me

2010 Sep 09: Foreign exchange student goes home to Kazakhstan (PIE)

Maryland Community Newspapers Online

Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010

Mix-up prevented her from being enrolled in Frederick High School
by Katherine Heerbrandt | Staff Writer

A foreign exchange student who was denied entrance into Frederick County Public Schools this semester returned to her home country of Kazakhstan last week.

Taissiya Kryazhova had hoped to be a student at Frederick High School, but a mix-up with her entrance paperwork and other complications prevented her enrollment.

She was a scholarship student in the Future Leaders Exchange Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Pacific Intercultural Exchange, based in California.

Her host family, Gerry and Peg Marose of Frederick, tried to enroll her in Frederick Christian Academy, but she was sent to a host family in Massachusetts instead.

According to John M. Doty, president of the Pacific Intercultural Exchange, Kryazhova asked to return to her home country while in Massachusetts. Kryazhova had expressed her unhappiness with the situation in several e-mails to the Maroses.

In an e-mail to the Maroses, Doty called the situation “one misunderstanding after another,” and thanked them for the advocacy and care they provided Kryazhova during her brief stay in Frederick.

The Committee for the Safety of Foreign Exchange Students, a nonprofit also based in California, reported the Pacific Intercultural Exchange organization to the U.S. Department of State, saying the organization violated regulations by not having Kryazhova enrolled in school before she came to the U.S.

Doty countered in an e-mail that he had addressed the allegations with the Department of State, and that interpretations of his organization’s role in the fiasco are “inaccurate.”

The Maroses said in an e-mail they were “extremely saddened” that Taya was sent to Massachusetts.

“This has been an experience that none of us will forget,” the Maroses said in the e-mail. “We are grateful for the community response to the needs of the wonderful student and especially to those in the media that have championed on Taya’s behalf.”

The Maroses said they have been in touch with Yerlan Kubashev, counsel of the Republic of Kazakhstan in New York, who requested contact information for those involved in Kryazhova’s stay in the U.S.

The Maroses assured Kubashev they are happy to assist.

“Taissiya worked all her life to earn the right to the FLEX scholarship, and I am appalled that we were not able to truly welcome her to America with open arms.”

kheerbrandt@gazette.net

—————————————————————————–

Pacific Intercultural’s downfall

Kinder Surprise Eggs prohibited in USA

I discovered this today. You will be taking the chance of getting fined for US$ 2500 for EACH egg you bring into the USA. What a nice surprise that would be??

http://cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Kinder-Eggs.jpg
Image courtesy Wikimedia: A. Kniesel

Kinder Chocolate Eggs are Prohibited

Kinder chocolate eggs are prohibited as an export to the U.S. because the toy surprise hidden inside poses a choking and aspiration hazard in children younger than three years of age. The Kinder eggs are hollow milk chocolate eggs about the size of a large hen’s egg and are usually packaged in a colorful foil wrapper. The toy within the egg is contained in an oval-shaped plastic capsule and has small parts that require assembly. Each egg contains a different toy.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has determined that this product fails to meet small parts requirements for children less than three years of age. Additional information regarding unsafe toys and product recall announcements can be found at the CPSC website. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the CPSC work jointly to ensure the safety of imported goods by examining, sampling and testing products that may present substantial hazards.

2003 Apr 04: Swiderski denies sex charges

News-Herald | By Tracey Read
Posted: 04/30/03, 12:00 AM EDT | Staff Writer

A retired teacher accused of molesting a foreign exchange student he hosted said he hopes his experience doesn’t stop others from welcoming exchange students into their homes.

Frank Swiderski, 69, of Eastlake, appeared Tuesday in Willoughby Municipal Court on charges of multiple sex offenses involving a teen-age male who began living with the suspect in August.

Swiderski remained in jail on $50,000 bond.

The never-married suspect, who taught foreign language and audiovisual classes at North High School in Eastlake before retiring 20 years ago, denied the allegations to news reporters after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing.

“There has never been any impropriety,” Swiderski said. “I hope other people will still take exchange students into their houses.”

Swiderski, a onetime Eastlake Chamber of Commerce “Man of the Year,” said he never even asked for the boy, who is now 18, to live with him.

“The family and the school who had him fell through,” he said, adding, “He was the one who chose me.”

Swiderski was arrested last week after the student asked a teacher if the suspect’s interactions with him were normal American customs.

The suspect said the alleged victim appeared happy the day before the allegations came out when the two enjoyed dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant.

“He’s a hard-working young man who does more than people realize,” said the suspect. “I tried to relieve his stress by taking him wherever he wanted to go.”

A Lake County grand jury must now decide whether there is enough evidence to indict Swiderski on eight counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of pandering obscenity involving a minor.

If convicted on all nine counts, he faces a maximum 131/2 years behind bars.

Meanwhile, Eastlake police said they are still talking to at least four other former exchange students from countries including Holland, Germany and Sweden who may have been molested by Swiderski.

The suspect has admitted on tape to being a predator of young children since 1968, Detective Chris Bowersock said.

“It’s an ongoing investigation, and the evidence will speak for itself,” Bowersock said.

However, Swiderski denied that he ever told police he has a history of inappropriate conduct with minors.

Swiderski, who was also involved in Boy Scouts and was under contract as a news correspondent for The Plain Dealer before the arrest, remained in jail Tuesday on $50,000 bond.

“We don’t think he’s a flight risk,” Eastlake City Prosecutor Judd Hawkins said.

As a condition of allowing the suspect to be released if he posts 10 percent of the bond, Judge Larry Allen ordered Swiderski to turn in his passport and not go near schools or minors – especially the alleged victim.

Swiderski’s attorney, Paul H. Hentemann, said the suspect will have no problem abiding by those restrictions.

“We recognize that this is a sensitive case,” Hentemann said. “My client will mind his own business and have nothing to do with anyone under the age of 18.”


2005-Ohio-6705, State v. Swiderski

USA Regulations

§ Sec. 62. 25 Secondary school students.
(f) Student enrollment.
(2) Under no circumstance may a sponsor facilitate the entry into the United States of an exchange student for whom a written school placement has not been secured.

Documentary and articles about Finnish exchange students

I remind you once again to take pictures of the condition of your home, that you record conversations with the exchange organization (cell-phones can do this today) when you need to complain and that you forward copies of complaint emails and sms’s to your family at home.

Documentary by MOT on Finnish YLE about what an exchange year should not be was sent 10/07/2013. The program first part of the half.

The second half of the documentary is also to be found on You Tube.

You can also read articles about this case at these links:

Valtaosa vaihto-oppilaista tyttöjä

Yhdysvaltoihin 9000 eurolla

Vaihto-oppilaiden surkea kuluttajansuoja

Vaihto-oppilas heitteillä: käsikirjoitus

Surkea vaihtovuosi

USA: Religious fervor among exchange organization representatives and host-families

Following are links to stories relating to the apparent religious fervor of host-families and exchange organization representatives in the USA. Please note that I have not listed these in any particular order with regard to alphabet or year. I believe the earliest story is from 2004 and the newest from July of 2014.

“Would you be willing voluntarily to inform the exchange visitor
in advance of any religious affiliations of household members? (Y/N)
Would any member of the household have difficulty hosting a
student whose religious beliefs were different from their own? (Y/N)
Note: A host family may want the exchange visitor to attend one or more religious services or programs with the family. The exchange visitor cannot be required to do so, but may decide to experience this facet of U.S. culture at his or her discretion.” (75 FR 65975)
——————————————-

Link to stories about host-families who thought it OK to do missionary work

Girl converting to Mormonism while exchange student

Spreading Christianity on the Sly: Chinese Students in U.S. Get Unexpected ‘Bonus’ of Church Teachings

Chinese Atheists Lured to Find Jesus at U.S. Christian Schools

Polish Exchange Student in US: My Half-Year of Hell With Christian Fundamentalists

Theres an atheist exchange student from North Korea in my class how can i convert her to god?

Exposing the Blind Side: A Reverted Catholic Looks Back

Does anyone have an opinion/scripture about taking in Foreign exchange students of a different faith?

Exchange student accepts Christ, disowned by family

Become a foreign missionary in your own home

Become a foreign missionary in your own home

Exchange student from Finland converted to Mormonism

Exchange student brought to Christ

Baptist families view exchange student hosting as ministry

Should I intervene with missionary efforts

Three exchange students baptized

Wayne Chen: Foreign Exchange Student baptism

German exchange student baptized before return

I baptized an exchange student from another country

by God’s grace I ended up living in Greenville

Chinese girl will be baptized in June

Exchange student from Monique baptized

Missionary lessons to German exchange student

Russian student baptized

Korean exchange student commits to Christ

Regional Manager LaJuan Dixon (ISE) wishes to bring students to Jesus

Representative Sherry Drummond (CASE) recommends hosting as missionary effort

Representative Lucy Urban with (ICES) recommends hosting as missionary effort

Investigation of EF Education programme in Arkansas

By Rob Moritz, Arkansas News Bureau,

Posted on 21 December 2007

LITTLE ROCK – The Legislative Council on Friday endorsed a proposal to study placement of foreign exchange students with host families in Arkansas.

Sen. Sue Madison, D-Fayetteville, said she proposed the study after receiving complaints that some foreign exchange students were being placed in homes with families ill-equipped to take care of them.

Madison also noted recent reports that the U.S. State Department was investigating complaints about where a Massachusetts company had placed some foreign exchange students arriving in Arkansas.

That investigation, involving the Education First Foundation for Foreign Study and its Fayetteville coordinators, involves allegations that exchange students stayed at the homes of the coordinators.

Federal regulations prohibit employees of a foreign exchange company from serving as both a host family and area supervisor for a student.

Madison’s proposal asks the Senate Interim Committee on Children and Youth to study the issue and report its findings to Legislative Council.

“Some parents came to me about problems they’ve seen in Northwest Arkansas,” Madison said Friday, also noting problems she heard of in Clarksville and Hot Springs.

In Clarksville, Madison said, a student from Korea was placed with a family living in low-income housing. The student would write home asking her parents for money to help feed her host family, she said.

“At that point, she asked to be moved to another family and representatives from the company set up a table outside a Wal-Mart to recruit her another family,” Madison said. “They found her another family and this time the male of the household was arrested on a drug charge.”

The State Department, which currently has oversight authority, does not have adequate staff to oversee the foreign exchange program, Madison said. California has enacted a law that gives its attorney general’s office some oversight authority, she said.

The California law requires any person or group that arranges the placement of foreign exchange students in California elementary, junior high or high schools to register with the attorney general’s office before making the placement.

Copyright © Arkansas News Bureau, 2003 – 2006


EF Education First Arkansas

2007 Dec 9: Exchange group gets probe after teens complain

2008 Jun 03: Agency dumps coordinators of foreign teens

2008 Jun 17: Lawmakers question foreign exchange procedures, legislation in the works

Use appropriately / give credit where due

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