The exploitation of foreign exchange students in the United States has recently been on the rise. This has resulted in the rise of the CSFES non-profit organization which fights for the protection, safety, and welfare of foreign exchange students globally. It educates school administrators, exchange students, and their parents about the safety measures that they discuss whether instant checkmate is a scam and should undertake. CSFES outlines some measures that should be noted by both parents and foreign students such as:
• The students should not leave their homes to a foreign country without a good background check of their new host family.
• They should both be aware of the type of school they will be attending as to whether it’s a private or public one before departure.
• They should be keen enough to not be placed in homes of felonious hosts.
• They should have a notice of High School Completion from their former school before leaving their home.
• They should not live in an unclean home.
• They should always have contacts of the U.S Department of State just-in-case of an emergency.
• The students should be fully notified of their rights as visitors in the country.
• They should be well educated on all child safety and protection instructions.
• They should have an accompanying review process before being sent home early.
Cases Where CSFES Guidelines Have Been Violated
According to Caroline Aoyagi-Storm, there has been a Japanese girl who has been placed in a felony convict home by Foundation for Academic Cultural Exchange F.A.C.E based in Gainesville, FL. Although they violated the measures outlined by the Committee for the Safety of Foreign Exchange Students (CSFES) of not residing in a home of an ex-convict, the latter argued that the student was safe. They said that they have been permitted by the 16-year old girl’s parents and U.S. State Department.
Sexual Background Checks VS Criminal Background Check
U.S. State Department aided F.A.C.E to breach CSFES guidelines regarding foreign exchange students. This raised eyebrows regarding the safety of the children, forcing the U.S. State Department to come up with guidelines enforcing background checks of sexual crimes of possible hosts. However, some parents and CSFES were not satisfied by this and demanded that a thorough criminal background check should be conducted on the hosts.
What’s more is that the potential host may be faced with other criminal charges apart from rape like in the case of the Japanese girl host. The girl’s host has a criminal record of burglary and had spent three years in prison in Georgia. At the time, he was hosting a student while he was serving parole. In this case, CSFES argued that is not safe to keep students in the same house with convicts.
Learning in a foreign country is meant to be a handful of good memories after school. For this reason, foreign exchange students should always be protected and be taken to safe homes with legally clean hosts. Furthermore, they should be empowered to always raise their voices in-case of mistreatment and be given a chance to be heard by organizations and groups to ensure their safety.