The Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has removed Pacific Intercultural Exchange (PIE) of San Diego from its list of designated Secondary School Student Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) sponsors, effective November 28, 2012.
In the face of perceived long-standing regulatory non-compliance and concern that PIE’s operations placed at risk the health, safety, and welfare of student participants, the Department of State initiated two sanction actions against PIE on July 17, 2012: one immediately suspending PIE’s operations for 120 days, and the other notifying PIE of the Department of State’s intent to deny PIE’s then- pending application for re-designation. The suspension, which was upheld through an administrative appeal process, expired on November 13. On November 28, PIE withdrew its administrative challenge to the proposed non-redesignation.
The Department of State places top priority on the health, safety and welfare of its exchange visitors. The Department will remain vigilant in its oversight of Exchange Visitor Program sponsors to guarantee that participants’ exchange experiences are both safe and rewarding.
For more information, please contact ECA Public Affairs at ECA-Press@state.gov.