Skip to Content

High school exchange student programs canceled

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

ONALASKA, Wis. (WXOW) - Recent changes in I.C.E regulations will not impact high school international students because the programs were already canceled in May.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced new rules for international students hoping to attend college online in the fall of 2020.

Onalaska High School Principal Jared Schaffner said the school decided not to accept applications from international students for the 2020-2021 school year in May.

"If a student is 3,000 miles away from home, familiarity and parents - What happens if all of a sudden school closes for two weeks or three weeks? What kind of isolation does that lead to for the student?" Schaffner said. "The challenges that might pose for a host family."

The decision was not easy for the school.

"Those students bring so much to Onalaska High School in terms of just opening our students' eyes to different cultures and helping them make new friends from around the world," Schaffner said.

"If someone from our area is going to another country it's the same kinds of questions," La Crosse County Health Department Director Jen Rombalski said. "Right now [in] La Crosse county we were considered a viral hot spot in the state of Wisconsin. It could've been that if we were sending a student to another country that we may have been bringing risk to that country."

Schaffner said he is hoping to offer the international studies program again in the fall of 2021.

Author Profile Photo

Marcus Aarsvold

Skip to content