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Youth For Understanding USA (YFU)

Cause Area

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


National Office6856 Eastern Ave #310Washington, DC 20012 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Youth For Understanding (YFU) advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities. Learn more about YFU's Values! YFU USA is nationwide with volunteer opportunities across the country.


A non-profit international educational organization with partners in more than 60 different countries, Youth For Understanding is one of the world’s oldest, largest and most respected intercultural exchange programs. More than 250,000 students and their host families have benefited from the support and expertise of YFU. The YFU global network is united by the belief that full cultural immersion is the most effective means to gain the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly multicultural, interconnected and competitive global society.

YFU USA helps provide opportunities for students by working in partnership with governments, corporations, foundations, schools and educators worldwide. Through creating global learning opportunities, YFU promotes international understanding and world peace. YFU has been selected to administer more government and corporate scholarships than any other high school exchange organization.

YFU is different from other intercultural exchange organizations because of our thorough preparation and program support that’s backed by a global team of volunteers, many of whom have been exchange students or host parents themselves. From the moment you become a part of the YFU family, we’re with you every step of the way. Thousands of parents across the globe trust YFU with their teenagers every year, and thousands of students every year choose YFU to help them discover their inner selves.


Would you recommend Youth For Understanding USA (YFU)?
18 reviews Write a review
by Sohel Rahman S. from BD (April 16, 2023)
With my previous work experience I consider myself able to play the role of volunteer in various ways. Able to play a special role in ensuring that it contributes to disaster risk management efforts Client relations strength Needs assessment Administrative tasks Loading and unloading Package handling Labeling and boxing Assembly and production Purchase order verification Shipping and receiving Route deliveries Order picking and processing Logistics Lifting and sorting Forklift Operation Organization Item securing Completing training to prepare yourself to lead and participate in disaster risk planning and disaster management teams To play an effective role by acquiring knowledge through training in giving and receiving instructions for preparedness and personal protection. To keep oneself physically and mentally fit to provide adequate support to members of vulnerable communities. Able to work with team members to collect and distribute water, food and supplies in
by Beth B. from Doylestown, PA (August 7, 2019)
There was only one person out of the huge network of YFU that ever gave any real support. Luckily, she was wonderful. The others promised everything in the beginning but then, once the child was placed, became unresponsive at best and rude at worst. Also, the medical insurance coverage is greatly misrepresented, which created extremely stressful situations. The number of kids "rehomed" was surprising and makes me wonder what kind of matching they actually do. I would not host again, which is sad because I think it's a great idea -- I should say I wouldn't host through YFU again.
by Sheila D. (September 7, 2018)
Not very pro-active in their response to volunteers. I received inital phone call and returned it but then no further response. Concerned that they should ask for such detailed information including contact info for personal references and not follow up.
by Natalia C. (August 30, 2016)
I believe that this would be such a great opportunity to get my friends and family to get involved with the community.
by MICHELE S. from ALBUQUERQUE, NM (August 22, 2016)
I think the organization and the children should be screened a little bit better .
by Eric M. from Lorton, VA (January 2, 2016)
Good program for expanding opportunities to other people around the world. But might be a large responsibility
by Andrea D. from Seattle, WA (November 22, 2015)
It has many options for many topics so you can choose the cause that you believe in and also matches your skills
by Bersh M. (November 7, 2015)
I had just found out about the foundation not too long ago.
by EMMANUEL S. (April 4, 2015)
Your mission sounds highly motivating,and I believe any agency that helps educate children around the world stands to empower children who are preparing to be tomorrow's leaders.
by JDX e. (March 14, 2015)
Actually, we are looking for host families in Tampa. It's better to be near Cambridge Christian School. If you know any information, please contact us. (407) 493 2481
by Lora K. (June 7, 2012)
I went on high school exchange with YFU in 2001. This was an amazing year and the fun continued even after returning to the US-- I have been able to spend the last 10 years volunteering with YFU in Missouri, Oklahoma and now Texas! I have met so many amazing volunteers, host families and exchange students through this organization and I would encourage anyone to become a part of the YFU family!
by Amy B. from Bethesda, MD (June 6, 2012)
Bringing a Chinese exchange student into our family this year has led to many fascinating conversations about food, family, school, and travel. Through fun monthly activities with YFU we have met exchange students from around the world and amazing volunteer families who are part of our new cross-cultural community!
by Carmalee S. (June 4, 2012)
Hosting an exchange student is a wonderful experience for your whole family! You learn about the world in a new way. All kinds of families host, couples, singles, families with kids, folks with no children, empty nesters, senior citizens. I personally know host parents from age 25 to 78 and host siblings from babies to adults. Our sixth exchange student, a daughter from Indonesia, will be leaving June 26th. Exchange students are extraordinary young people! If you aren't in a position to be a host family there are lots of other volunteer positions. Check us out!
by Katiana Y. (June 4, 2012)
YFU is amazing. I've thoroughly enjoyed volunteering with this organization -- it's full of thoughtful, considerate people who truly care about the kids and families involved. I would absolutely recommend this organization not only to volunteers, but also to hopeful hosts or teenagers considering spending time abroad. Don't be afraid to contact them and ask for information!

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