What “convalidation” means for you and your Spanish exchange student
Most students from Spain are able to have their exchange year in the United States count towards continuing their education in Spain. The process of obtaining credit for their exchange year is known as "convalidating" their exchange year. While your student is responsible for ensuring they follow the proper protocol to convalidate — we wanted to provide you with detailed information in the event that your student turns to you for guidance with this process.
Before the Exchange Year – Enrolling a student in the High School
There are three important requirements that host families and schools should know about to ensure that the students are provided the framework they need in order to be able be successful in convalidating their exchange year:
1. The student must be officially enrolled in the right grade level
2. The student must take classes appropriate to their grade level
3. The student must enroll in four or five full credit classes
More information and useful links
During the Exchange Year – Selecting subjects or changing High School
Changing Spanish Students to a different High School once the school year has already started may jeopardize their convalidation in Spain.
When managing this, the following should be considered:
1. Enrollment in same school year
2. When can a school be changed?
3. Does the educational system in both High Schools must be the same?
4. When a student moves at the end of a school period the second High School must provide:
5. What must be reflected in the transcript/grades:
At the end of the Exchange Year – Getting the official documents
The process of getting the proper documentation for convalidation is quite straight-forward and is normally followed directly by the student with the support of CESnumen. Still, some students might require additional support from their Host Family or IEC to get all the documents ready and in-hand before they return to Spain. Additional support might be needed from the Host Family and/or the IEC in case the student needs to leave before the documents are ready.
In a nutshell, this is the process the students should follow: