International Student Program Service

Image courtesy of member school, Oaks Christian School, California

ISP Services is here to help schools provide high-quality International Student Programs (ISPs)—including support needed for success with homestays, academic support, spiritual, school, and co-curricular life and finding agents/recruiters that will work appropriately with our schools. We believe that international students studying in North American schools will have an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ in an ACSI school and gain a world class education. At the same time, all the students in a North American school will be enriched by learning to live and study with others from around the world, knowing that they are part of a much bigger body of Christ than they might realize. 

ISP Services are coordinated by Dr. Erin Wilcox (Ed D, Educational Administration). Erin has been an educator for 38 years, 33 of those years in Christian education. She and her husband served overseas in international Christian schools in Ecuador and Malaysia for 13 years. For the past 20 years, Erin was at Colorado Springs Christian Schools where she served as teacher, Middle School Principal, and Associate Superintendent and was instrumental in growing the international student program to its current size of over 50 students. She and her husband have hosted a student from Korea and have helped many others with the unique cultural challenges of international students in the classroom and in the home.

Interested in starting or developing your international student program?

  • Administrators or Coordinators of International Student Programs: Thinking about how to start or grow your program? Wondering what a good number is for your school? What about hosting arrangements? Staffing? Financial models? Managing liability? Applying to provide I-20s? Making the case with your school board? In the months ahead, we will be posting resources to help you with all these questions.
  • Homestay Coordinators: Wondering how to recruit families or about policies and discipline, background checks, training, and support? You will find resources below and more will be posted as they become available.
  • Admissions Officers: Need advice for working with agents/recruiters and how to find good recruiting avenues for international students? We are developing the ACSI DestiNations Directory (Preferred Schools and Agencies) specifically for our U.S. schools.

ACSI is redefining what the DestiNations Program will look like beginnning with the 2016—17 school year. A summary is availble. Please email the ISP coordinator if you have questions or would like to give input from your perspective.

If you are looking for schools with ISP programs, you can use our "Find a School" search on the ACSI home page.  Here is how you do that...

  • Click on "Find a School" (top blue bar on ACSI home page)
  • Click on "Show Results" (bottom right corner, after making no other choices unless you want to limit it to one state or city)
  • In the orange box "Refine your Search Results" choose "I-20" and any other indicators you desire such as "High School" or enrollment size.
  • Click "Search Now"  

The list of SEVIS certified schools (allows international students to study with them) is public information and can be found here.

International Student Program (ISP) Personnel Training

June 24, 2017-July 1, 2017
Houghton College, Houghton, New York

ACSI has developed a program, Teaching and Reaching International Students, for schools seeking to improve their services to international students. This indepth week of training for K-12 educators will provide ISP coordinators, administrators, and teachers insight into the cultural differences, language challenges, program organization, and classroom implications of teaching international students in a K-12 Christian school setting. The ISP program is being offered as one of the tracks of the larger Pre-FieldOrientation (PFO) Program, offered by ACSI for the past twenty years.

The ISP Track of PFO will be held June 24 - July 1, 2017 at Houghton College, Houghton, NY. The cost of $812 covers registration, program expenses, room, board, and 5 Educational CEUs.

**Graduate credit is available through Cairn University at $238 per credit hour (3 credit hours course). 

Features of the ISP training program:

     Participants will:  

  • Understand the unique needs of international students
  • Develop appropriate philosophy-based, mission-appropriate ISP program components
  • Learn best practices in teaching strategies, course design, resource selection, and assessment techniques that will promote learning for international students
  • Increase skills in cultural adaptation, spiritual development, and relationship building for students
  • Develop effective program, organizational, homestay, and recruitment strategies.

As a part of the ISP Track at PFO, participants will enjoy a multi-faceted program that is:

  • Embedded in a larger Pre-Field Orientation (PFO) program that prepares teachers and boarding parents to live and teach overseas
  • Taught by ELL and cross-cultural educators with many years of oversea experience
  • Practical - providing opportunities to work on your program with others in similar situations
  • CEUs available / Graduate credit available through Cairn University at $238 per credit hour (3 credit horu course). Contact for more information

Texts referenced in the training (in addition to a number of articles):

  • Judith Lingenfelter and Sherwood Lingenfelter, Teaching Cross Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Learning and Teaching (Grand Rapds, MI: Baker Academic, 2003)
  • Duane Elmer, Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006)
  • David Pollock and Ruth Van Reyken, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds (Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2010)
  • Erin Meyer, The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business (New York: Public Affairs, 2014)

Click here to register or for more information contact 

Student Insurance

By recommendation of an ACSI member school with a successful International Student Program, ACSI would like to direct schools seeking insurance for their international students to the Patriot Exchange program through IMG (International Medical Group). A school would need two or more students for the group plan; otherwise, the individual plan would offer the same policy.

Plan Brochure

Individual Version Application 

Group Version Application

Open Doors

Open Doors

This resource is for schools considering or in the early stages of developing an International Student Program. It walks leaders through the process of sharing the concepts with other leaders and the school community, the government licensure procedure, and further first steps.  

Order Now! (SKU# 6650)


ACSI’s DestiNations DirectoryDestinations Logo

DestiNations has been redesigned to respond to the needs expressed by member schools with international student programs. At the top of the list was schools' desire to connect with reliable agencies that have a good track record working with Christian schools. ACSI has located several good agencies that have received positive recommendations from our schools and agreed to support out Core Values for agencies.

If you are an accredited school looking for agencies with whom to connect, please contact the ISP Coordinator. We will send you more information on how to proceed.

If you are an agency that places international students in Christian schools, we want to learn more about you. Please contact the ISP Coordinator and we will send you more information on how to proceed. 

We believe that connecting accredited schools and agencies is a service that will benefit both international families and out Christian schools. 

For more information about the ACSI DestiNations Directory (Preferred Schools and Agencies) or the resources that are being developed, please contact the ISP Coordinator.  When the program is finalized, the details will be posted here and sent to member schools that offer I-20's.

Connect in ACSI ConNEXUS—the online professional community for Christian educators!

For ACSI members, ConNEXUS is your online meeting place in which you can interact with other Christian educators within communities of practice (groups). One specific group, created just for you and others of like interests, is the International Student Programs group. It is free and you will find resources as well as a place to ask questions. See what others are talking about. Check it out today!