Board of Education Policy 7133: Admission of International Students

The Board recognizes the cultural enrichment derived from welcoming international students into the education program.  Thus, the Board encourages the attendance of international students in the district’s high schools.

Non-immigrant international students who possess a valid J-1 or F-1 visa to study in the United States may be admitted to the district’s high school cultural and educational exchange programs.  The Superintendent or his/her designee retains the sole discretion to deny admission to any student not meeting all the requirements set forth in this policy and regulation. 

The District assumes no responsibility for the Visa status of any international exchange or other international student.

Cultural Exchange Students (J-1 Visa)

The Board encourages district participation in a foreign exchange student program.  International exchange students will be admitted to the district high school for a one-year academic program.  These types of exchanges are generally referred to as “cultural exchanges”.

a) The district recognizes only those organizations designated as “Exchange-Visitor Programs” by the United States Information Agency, pursuant to federal regulations, as sponsoring organizations for the exchange of students.  Any organization must supply proof of designation prior to recognition.  Examples of these organizations are AFS, Rotary Club, Open Door, NWSE, etc.

b) No international exchange students subject to this policy and regulation shall be brought into the district by an international exchange student program unless he or she has been accepted in writing as a student by the high school building principal or a designee.

c) International exchange students will be allowed to attend school.  When an international exchange student is accepted for admission pursuant to the policy and regulation, the letter of acceptance shall include a statement that tuition is waived for the student.

The Board may terminate the approval of an international student or program when it would be in the best interests of the district to do so. 

Educational Exchange Students with F-1 Visa

F-1 Visa students apply directly to the International Scholars’ Program for acceptance to a yearlong study program in Niskayuna High School, and are generally referred to as educational exchange students.  If accepted by the ISP Admissions Committee, F-1 students may be admitted to the high school through the International Scholars Program for one academic year upon the payment of tuition.  The amount of tuition charged shall reflect the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of providing educational services to the student.  No F-1 students will be admitted into grades K-8. Attendance for students who have an F-1 Visa may continue beyond one year if a student is dually enrolled in the International Scholars Program and an institution of higher education.

F-1 students may opt for the American High School Diploma Option.  These are students who have been accepted into the International Scholars’ Program and have expressed the intention of graduating with the senior class of Niskayuna High School.  Students choosing this option must show proof of 22 high school academic credits, successfully complete five required NYS Regents exams, maintain a full academic schedule and keep an academic average of B. 

Credits, Graduation and Diploma (J-1 Visa Cultural Exchange Students)

Educational exchange (F-1 Visa) students who are seniors and successfully complete the graduation requirements will process at Graduation and receive the appropriate Niskayuna High School diploma.  These students will be responsible to cover the same graduation expenses as their fellow classmates (i.e. cap and gown, graduation announcements, senior photo, yearbook, etc.)  If the student fails to successfully complete the graduation requirements, they will not be allowed to process at graduation.  

Immigrant Students

All school aged immigrant children who have abandoned their residence in a foreign country and established residence in the district will be admitted to the districts’ schools without payment of tuition.


All F-1 and J-1 international students will receive membership in the international student’s homeroom, food services (breakfast and lunch based on Board approved pricing for reimbursable meals), transportation services per district transportation policy, and technology services.


Education Law §3202

Adopted April 4, 2023