Public high school athletics are a serious pastime in many places around the U.S: some American families even to move to certain districts or cities just because the public schools boast particularly strong athletic programs! From there, participation on a winning team can lead to athletic careers or even college scholarships.
But something important to note for High School Study USA students applying to public schools: many public schools around the U.S. prohibit students with F-1 visas from participating at the varsity level.
This was done in part to promote and preserve competitive athletic opportunities for domestic student populations. Also, some public schools have tried increase and pad their competitive ranking by recruiting international students in the past, leading to rules that prohibited participation by students with F-1 visas at the varsity level.
Public school varsity-level restrictions can vary, so it’s important to check the regulations for the state and school you are applying to.
However, while athletes with F-1 visas are subject to these rules, it doesn’t mean they can’t have the top-level athletic experience they want. Here are a few solutions we can offer our students to ensure they are on the right track:
Setting a student’s expectations before they come on their study abroad experience is key. By knowing when certain sports are held (spring vs. fall), when try outs are, and if they can play at the level they want, we can help guide students to schools that are the best fit. Let's get the ball rolling!