NWSE Blog

The Year of the DS-2019 with NorthWest Student Exchange

"The Year of the DS-2019" photo booth
Nov 22 2019

For 32 years, NorthWest Student Exchange (NWSE) has promoted cultural exchange, foreign language study, and international education by offering meaningful and affordable exchange programs for high school students from around the world. 

High school cultural exchanges foster international understanding and personal development, and provide new perspectives and insights into the world for everyone involved.  

NWSE host families volunteer to open their hearts and homes to the world’s next generation of exchange students. The safe and welcoming environment they provide for our students helps make their experience so meaningful and unique. To best serve our hosting communities, NorthWest Student Exchange has hundreds of dedicated coordinators around the U.S. – our Area Coordinators and Regional Managers. NWSE places students in areas where U.S. high schools are eager to expand their school’s and community’s international diversity and cultural exposure.

These life-changing experiences are only possible with the support and passion of everyone involved. 

NWSE is a U.S. Department of State-designated J-1 visa sponsor listed with the Council on Standards for International Exchange and Travel (CSIET). NWSE issues qualified applicants the DS-2019 form that exchange students need to apply for the J-1 visa. The DS-2019 form is a symbol of the passion, hard work, and dedication needed to provide this once in a lifetime experience for each student, host family, and high school. 

As we entered the year 2019, we recognized a truly unique opportunity to symbolically celebrate the impact of cultural exchange by celebrating the “Year of the DS-2019”! NWSE and our sister-company, the Center for International Career Development, hosted the “Year of the DS-2019” on October 16th, 2019, in our hometown of Seattle, Washington. 

"The Year of the DS-2019" cake

“The Year of the DS-2019” cake

We called – and Seattle’s international community answered! Aside from NWSE and CICD staff and Area Coordinators, our circle of guests included current program participants and alumni, J-1 teachers, and Seattle educators. The event venue was packed and filled with laughter and conversation, as people moved around the space and introduced themselves to one another. 

Mr. Jeff Laband, Executive Director of NWSE and CEO of CICD, started the night off with an opening speech, voicing his excitement for the attendees and pride of their impact on the world through cultural exchange. He highlighted the importance of sharing ideas, teaching philosophies, and business practices with each other – all made possible because of the DS-2019 form and J-1 visa. The crowd couldn’t agree more!

The “DS-2019 Party” was a perfect opportunity for our community from all over the world to come together, network, mingle, and enjoy each other’s accomplishments. It was a special reminder that we are all interconnected, and a great cause for celebration! 

Learn how you can internationalize your career

NorthWest Student Exchange offers a variety of international student exchange programs for both international and American high school students.NorthWest Student Exchange is a U.S. Department of State-designated student exchange program and is listed with the Council on Standards for International Exchange and Travel (CSIET). Join NWSE’s international community by contacting us here. 

NWSE’s sister-company, Center for International Career Development (CICD) provides university students, graduates, and young professionals with opportunities for practical career training abroad for the Intern, Trainee, Work & Travel, and Teacher Exchange Visitor Program categories. Interested in CICD’s programs? Contact us here!

“This was our first experience. Everything went very smoothly for us. My husband, who was pretty nervous about the whole idea [of hosting], loved the experience. He texted me the…

Laurie and Glenn from Montana, USA

“This completes my third year hosting as a double placement, and I would not even consider a placement through any other agency. The three of us got along delightfully and…

Lane from Washington, USA

“Our biggest reward is that we built such an amazing friendship and feel like we gained another daughter. Our children learned about different cultures and how to be better communicators.…

Julie and Kelly from Utah, USA

“I think the greatest reward I got from my exchange was not only the better English skills but also every experience and lesson I had learned. It changed myself and…

Nawaporn from Thailand
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