Principles of Good Practice: Education of International Students in Independent Schools

View this PGP as a PDF file.

Preamble: The following principles provide common ground for interaction between independent school professionals and their many constituents (parents, students, colleagues at other schools, and the public). The NAIS Principles of Good Practice for member schools define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of school operations to guide schools in becoming the best education communities they can be, to embed the expectation of professionalism, and to further our sector’s core values of transparency, excellence, and inclusivity. Accordingly, membership in NAIS is contingent upon agreement to abide by the spirit of the PGPs.

Overview: Independent schools value the presence and full engagement of international students in their educational communities. NAIS considers international students those who undertake all or part of their education experience in a country other than their home country. The following principles provide guidelines for the recruitment, residential life, education, and support of international students in independent schools.

Principles of Good Practice:

  1. The school engages in an equitable recruitment, admissions, and enrollment process for international students and provides information that accurately depicts the school’s programs, practices, policies, and deadlines. This includes sharing complete information about total costs of attending the school and other financial expectations with families before an enrollment commitment is required.
  2. The school uses inclusive language in all oral, written, and electronic communication and ensures that international families have access to the same information as noninternational families.
  3. The school values each student’s culture, traditions, and unique perspectives. The school reflects its appreciation for diversity, equity, and justice in its mission, programming, and actions to support international students.
  4. The school ensures international students’ access to the whole curriculum, all school programs, and the entire student educational experience, keeping in mind that international students may be English language learners.
  5. The school provides a fully articulated language (English or the primary language spoken in the school) acquisition program for international students, including assessment, placement, and monitoring of both student learning and program effectiveness, as well as language support in the content areas, as needed.
  6. The school ensures appropriate and comprehensive safety, well-being, supervision, support, and care of international students, including in housing, if housing is provided.
  7. The school ensures access to appropriate acculturation and/or enculturation resources, as well as counseling, medical, and learning support services for international students.
  8. The school supports educators in their work with international students, including professional development programming for faculty and staff to educate them about students’ home cultures and traditions, the second language acquisition process, and learning needs.
  9. The school ensures that there are sufficient and appropriately trained staff members dedicated to supporting the school’s work with international students.
  10. The school promotes an environment that enhances positive interaction between domestic and international students so they develop sensitivity and understanding of cultural differences.
Download a PDF of the complete set of NAIS Principles of Good Practice.