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Ayusa is a non-profit student exchange organization that offers students ages 15-18 the opportunity to live with volunteer host families and study in local high schools for an academic semester or year. It is our belief that exchange offers a uniquely rich personal experience for our students, volunteer families, host high schools and local communities around the world.
For over 30 years Ayusa has promoted world peace through intercultural understanding by reaching into areas of the world where student exchange has never before been possible.
Since 1981, Ayusa has provided more than 40,000 exchange students from over 60 countries the opportunity to live and study through our programs. Ayusa is designated by the U.S. Department of State as an Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor, enabling all Ayusa participants to travel on J-1 visas. We are also a founding member of the Council for Standards for International Education Travel (CSIET), a worldwide council that defines best practices in international education.
What is Hosting?
Volunteer host families invite an international high school student to live in their home and experience life in America with their family. They offer a high school student the opportunity to study in an American high school, experience a new culture, build lifelong friendships and develop language and leadership skills that will serve them throughout their lives.
Who can Host a Student?
There is no such thing as a "typical" Ayusa host family. Regardless of the location of a family’s residence or the size of their family, they are invited to host an Ayusa international student. In the past host families have included:
- Two parent families with young or school aged children
- Single parent families with or without children
- Empty nesters with grown children
- Young couples without children
Host Family Responsibilities
An Ayusa host family is responsible for providing:
- A safe, warm and nurturing environment for their international student for either a full academic year or fall semester
- A private or shared bedroom (with a host sibling of the same gender)
- Three meals a day
- Necessary transportation
Benefits of Hosting a Student
Hosting a foreign exchange student is a rewarding and life enriching experience for American families for a variety of reasons:
- Introducing your family to a new culture and language
- Grow closer as a family as you help an international student experience a new community
- Experience the joys of having a new family member to love
- Practice hospitality and generosity with your own family
- Support diversity and cross-cultural understanding in your own home
- Increase cultural awareness within your community
- Create an international friendship that lasts a lifetime
Receiving Local Support from Ayusa
Ayusa host families are assigned a local Community Representative (CR) who will support their family and student for the entire program. The Community Representative is supported by a team of Regional and National Ayusa staff who are available 24 hours a day in case of emergency.