AIFS Foundation - Academic Year in America

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy
  • International



Organization Information

Mission Statement

Academic Year in America (AYA) is one of the most respected exchange programs in the United States. Our mission is to promote worldwide understanding through cultural exchange. Our vision is to encourage and inspire our young people, families and volunteers to become considerate and forward thinking citizens of the world, and create dynamic educational opportunities where they can share beliefs and values across cultures.


AYA is one of the most respected high school homestay programs in the U.S. AYA host families and exchange students share life-changing experiences, and we’re delighted to provide the opportunity. Since 1981, our professional network has been dedicated to helping students, families and communities as they build unforgettable memories, lasting friendship, and open lines of communication through cultural exchange. Academic Year in America believes strongly in the value and benefit of high school exchange for foreign students to learn about life in America and share their unique backgrounds and culture with folks in the U.S. Hosting a high school exchange student is an opportunity to build global skills and friendships for American families and their communities.

AYA is sponsored by the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1967 with the assistance of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Its mission is to promote worldwide understanding through cultural exchange. The Foundation awards grants to high schools for projects that encourage intercultural awareness. It also provides scholarships that enable young Americans to study and travel abroad.


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