NorthWest Student Exchange
Welcome, NWSE 23-24 Exchange Student Participants!

PLEASE NOTE these important pre-arrival and early program reminders:
Students who have been placed with their host families should already be in contact with their host families on a regular basis, to plan for your arrival (we know a few of you have already arrived early, so welcome!) and make final arrangements.  

Students who have not yet been placed will receive their placement notification between now and the August 31 placement deadline.

Below are important action items for you to help you prepare for your trip to, and exchange in, the U.S.

All students, after arrival, should have a US phone number or have a phone number on a reliable cellular network at which your host family, your American friends, and your Area Coordinator can contact you.

NWSE has worked with
StudentSIMS to provide discounted SIM cards to our students. You may also want to consider selecting other carriers, as there are many providers. Please discuss this with your natural parents and decide. NOTE: Host families shall NOT add their exchange students to- or pay for - their phone plans.

Once you have your new phone number, NWSE needs you to share it with your host parents, and your NWSE Area Coordinator. Why? Because NWSE coordinators must be able to reach our students, for many critical program-related communications. When called or texted, students are required to reply in a timely manner.  A student's failure to communicate with NWSE personnel compromises a student's "health, safety and welfare", and is therefore in violation of NWSE program participation rules.


The school registration process is an essential step for your enrollment at your U.S. High School.  Your host family will likely pre-register you online, OR you will register in-person at your school after you arrive in the U.S. All schools have different registration procedures. Be patient!

If possible, please visit your US high school website and, if offered, review the course/class lists and electives. Make sure to have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice options if some classes are already full.

PLEASE NOTE: NWSE does not guarantee specific class selections, grade level enrollment, or participation in sports teams, etc. Varying options may be available depending on your host school district.  


When departing your home airport, please confirm with your host family that you have departed or if there are any delays. Use WhatsApp or email. If you experience airport problems, or a missed flight, please contact your host family immediately and immediately call the NWSE emergency line: +1 206 683 3100

Be sure to bring your passport, original J-1 visa, and stamped DS-2019 form with you when you travel. We also recommend you make a copy of these documents in case you lose them.

After arrival in the US, be sure to text, email or call your natural parents and your NWSE Area Coordinator to let them know you have safely arrived and met your host parents. 

(Host parents - please take pictures and send WELCOME photos to so we can share the happy occasion!) 

Shortly after you arrive in the US, your Area Coordinator will contact you to schedule your post-arrival Student Orientation. You MUST attend either an NWSE in-person or Zoom orientation in order to meet this requirement.

In the first few weeks after you arrive in the US, a nominated NWSE representative will briefly visit your host home to ensure you have settled in well. You MUST be present for this visit. Your host parents will let you know when this visit will occur.
Cross-Cultural Success and Diversity Lesson: Gratitude!
Please take a moment to watch the video below to help prepare you for your exchange. Expressing gratitude and thanks in the US looks and feels different than in your home country. In the US and in American homes we often express our thanks on multiple occasions daily. Saying "Thank You...", "I appreciate that" ...etc. is customary and important. You should feel good about expressing to your family and friends that you feel grateful. We are sharing this Cultural Lesson because we want both students and host families to gain a better understanding of how gratitude is expressed around the world. 

Students should expect to follow host family rules. Host families should expect to explain their family rules to their students clearly, and expect their students to follow those rules. 

Just a little reminder... NWSE Rules
Take a moment now to watch this entertaining (and informative) animated video for tips on how to have a successful exchange program. By now, you should already be exchange program rule experts: You have received NWSE rules and program information in your participation contracts, on the NWSE website, from your orientations and handbook materials. If at any time you have any questions, we expect you to call or email your Area Coordinator or NWSE Program Coordinator. We are happy to help you!
Stay tuned for our 2023/2024 CONTESTS
...details coming soon!

NWSE Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest
NWSE Photo and Video Contest
CSIET Art Contest
We want to hear from you!
In each NWSE newsletter, we feature a unique story, news piece, or profile about at least one of this year's students and/or host families! Send us your photos and stories to or post them on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #nwse or #nwse_exchange.

Remember to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to find program photos, student videos, news articles, contests, NWSE announcements, and more!  
Best wishes,
Your NWSE Team