Thank you for your interest in WEP-USA and working with the most amazing youth from Europe. WEP treasures its partnership with schools, and hopes this website provides you and your administrators with enough information to be comfortable and excited about bringing WEP students to your classrooms.

Benefits of having international students at your school

It is hard to say who gains the most when international students decide to study in an American high school. For both public and private schools, the tuition these students pay will increase the school's educational revenue and offset the decline in local student numbers. However, the benefits of having international students are not just economic and financial. They are much longer term. These students get a unique experience in an American school, while living with a caring and loving host family. These same students go back home after their program is over and achieve high-level positions in their countries. As a result of this cross-cultural experience, they have a positive perception of the U.S., which aids the American foreign diplomacy efforts tremendously.  Having international students in your school will provide cultural opportunities for the entire host community and will enrich your classrooms beyond their borders.

WEP Schools

WEP-USA is happy to work with both private and public schools across the U.S. that are accredited by the educational accreditation agencies of their state. All schools have to be SEVP-Approved, which means that they have to be certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue the SEVIS I-20 document to eligible international students, so that they may apply for the F-1 Student Visa at a United States Consulate overseas.

WEP Students

WEP students are boys and girls who are between 15 and 18 years old. They are at least intermediate-level English speakers, have strong academics, and are very excited to come to the U.S.

WEP European offices screen every applicant for leadership potential and maturity to make sure the student can thrive in a foreign environment. The students are selected as part of a three-step process, which includes an extensive written application, in-person interview, and group evaluations.

WEP-USA wants every student to make the right program choice. For this reason, a group of psychologists are invited to the evaluation meetings to assist with the student selection process. Using a protocol developed exclusively for WEP and refined in recent years, WEP-USA aims to better evaluate the different attitudes and motivations of its candidates. A combination of a test/interview and individual psychological assessment adds a broader insight into the student's personality, in addition to the evaluation of his/her educational achievements and language competency.

WEP-USA provides each interested school with a complete student application, including certified transcript for the last three years, full immunization and medical records, teachers' recommendations, and student's essay. WEP students are also available for SKYPE video or phone interviews to confirm their strong command of English and motivation to study in the U.S.

During the program year or semester, most of WEP students live with an approved and fully vetted host family in the school's district. However, there are some students who may choose a boarding option if available. All WEP students come with full medical insurance and their monthly allowance, and are eager to be active members of the school's community.

'WEP Passport' Initiative

WEP students are honored to represent their countries and give back to their host communities. As part of the 'WEP Passport' Initiative, the students celebrate International Education Week in November by making presentations to their classrooms about their countries. The younger students learn to color the country's flags, while the older school children enjoy re-enacting famous history moments, following a traditional recipe, or watching a traditional dance. For Earth Day in April, WEP students organize and share ideas to join cultures on meaningful ecological projects to save our planet, while learning about one's culture and traditions.

 

 

 
 

 

Academic Requirements for Students

article partnershipAs the school policies for international students vary state by state, there is no single approach to student grade placements. If permitted, students are matched with the grade equivalent of their home country for the following academic year, following their academic progression back home. If the school policy specifically indicates either an 11th or 12th grade placements, WEP-USA will focus its selection to find the students matching these requirements. WEP-USA advises all students to respect the school's right to determine their grade level and course selection based on the student's age, transcripts, and school policy.

Students are required to take at least 4 academic courses, which may include English, U.S. History, Government, Civics, etc. Students select their courses depending on their interests and requirements from the high school in their home country. However, WEP students understand that it is up to the guidance office to approve the final selection of their courses based on the school offerings and availability.

All WEP students are expected to maintain at least a "C" average in each class. If they are struggling, the WEP-USA Support Counselor works with the student and guidance office to determine the reasons of the student's struggle and if extra help may be needed. With a teacher's advice, a tutor may be hired at the student's expense.

Extracurricular Activities

WEP students are encouraged and are excited to get involved in a variety of school and community activities, as these are excellent ways for students to make friends and avoid culture shock and homesickness. School sports are also an excellent way for students to become involved and experience the American school life. WEP-USA does not guarantee their participation on the school teams but makes recommendations of what is available based on the student's interests.

Graduation Expectations

It is solely up to the school to decide if a student is allowed to receive a diploma and/or participate in the graduation ceremony. Some schools are pleased to grant high school diplomas to international students who are seniors and meet their state or district graduation requirements, while others only allow students to walk down the isle, attend the prom and receive a Certificate of Completion. WEP students are always informed in advance of the graduation policy of their selected school to prevent possible confusion or/and disappointment.

Program Support

A local WEP-USA Support Counselor in the community will support all program participants, including your school, student and his/her host family. Each Support Counselor goes through a rigorous training process and has to pass an exam to be certified as a WEP-USA support field staff member. Your Support Counselor will also serve as a point person for the WEP-USA National Office.

Partnering with WEP-USA

WEP-USA National Office staff would be happy to talk to you more about its programs and students. WEP Support Counselors in the field are also available for in-person interviews to become better informed on the policies your school has established regarding the enrollment of international students and answer any questions you may have. Once the WEP student is matched with your school and the enrollment is approved, the tuition payment is forwarded to your financial office to start the I-20 paperwork.

If you are interested to work with WEP students but have questions about the certification process to accept F-1 international students, the following links below could be helpful resources:

 

Overview of the SEVP certification process: http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/schools/certification

Train your staff on SEVIS with free WEBINARS: http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/webinars

ICE Web-based training for designated school officials: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/schools/new_schools/

More on the F-1 student visa: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i17/i17_1.htm

 

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