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Cause Area

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


600 California St. 10th FloorSan Francisco, CA 94108 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Ayusa is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting global understanding and leadership. It is our belief that cultural 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 learning and friendship. 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.


Ayusa is headquartered in San Francisco, California with a largely volunteer force of Representatives, Host Families and local community members all over the U.S.

Volunteer host families are the cornerstone of the Ayusa program. They 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.

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


Would you recommend Ayusa?
13 reviews Write a review
by Alexandria S. from Springfield, IL (October 12, 2015)
I have hosted an exchange student before and it was extremely enjoyable. I learned a lot of new and cool attributes about their culture and their social norms. Its positive in both positions too. The host learns more about other societies and their traditions and the exchange student learns from the experiences they share,and how to act in the hosts' environment.
by Louise L. (July 23, 2013)
AYUSA is a Company that provides wonderful opportunities for people to share their home and culture with students from all over the world. Many of those students come on scholarships and would not, otherwise, have the opportunity without the help of AYUSA and the Department of State. I have had the privilege to work with some of these students. They are so grateful for the chance to go to school in the US and stay with an American family. AYUSA appreciates its Host Families and its Representatives and lets them know in many different ways. I have worked with other companies, but would choose AYUSA over all of them! I host and work with students each year, and AYUSA does a better job of screening it students and its families than any other program I have worked with. All the students speak very good English and blend well with their new families and schools! A+ to AYUSA!!
by Lisa M. (June 19, 2013)
My family has hosted 5 exchange students in the last 10 years thru AYUSA and we have developed lasting and loving friendships and we don't regret a minute of it. Since we love this program so much I have chosen to become a CR for my area and am very excited about this new opportunity. I would highly recommend hosting an AYUSA exchange student to anyone who asked me.
by Tricia S. (June 13, 2013)
Our Family adored our student! The staff was extremely helpful & supportive. We were new to the hosting experience and our Community Representative was there for every question! I was completely blown away by how involved the staff of Ayusa is. These students have at the minimum of a monthly contact, but our Representative came events our student was involved in and provided many opportunities for the exchange students to see and do things in Missouri. We are patiently waiting for our new student to arrive in August. We will continue to host & only through Ayusa!
by Barbara B. (June 13, 2013)
We have hosted 4 students in my home and working with AYUSA has been very good. It is a professional organization connecting families and students and then staying involved in the month to month experience of the student and the family to help everyone make the most of the exchange. People we know with AUYSA are understanding, compassionate and professional. I would recommend AYUSA and its staff to anyone thinking of hosting an exchange student.
by Heidi T. (June 12, 2013)
Ayusa is the second exchange organization our family has worked with. They are fantastic! Support for host families and students alike with orientations, information, live people to talk to, and questions answered in a timely manner. This year we are hosting our 8th student. The others have become our international kids and we are regularly in touch with them. Several have come back to visit and our kids love seeing them and remembering all the fun times. Since we can view student information, we have been very successful with matching Ayusa students to our family. Their english skills and academic performance have been impressive.
by Brian E. (June 12, 2013)
We have hosted 16 students from around the world and AYUSA has supported us the best of any group we have been involved in. I would recommend hosting a student to everyone who wants to experience a foreign country and build an extended family because they become your children for lefe. We have loved the experience very much.
by Mary H. from Sioux Falls, SD (June 12, 2013)
I've been volunteering with Ayusa's outreach team for the past five months, and I can't speak highly enough of this organization. They have an incredibly positive, hardworking and dedicated team of people. Not only that, but they go above and beyond in supporting both their families and students in every step of the cultural exchange experience. They put considerable care into finding great host family/student matches, and lend enduring support for their students, host families, staff and volunteers. Since I've been here, I've had exceptional training and I'd recommend involvement in this organization on any level (whether it's volunteering, working or hosting).
by Mark H. (June 12, 2013)
Enjoy working with host families and students, seeing them bond and grow together.
by Kelly S. (June 12, 2013)
I have truly enjoyed both my host children these past two years. Each was unique and added to our family. It has been a great experience for my children too! I enjoy sharing our lives, our schools, and our wonderful community with these young people. AYUSA offers great support for host families and the students who travel here to the US. Students are carefully screened and are ready for the fun and challenges of life in a new country with a new family.
by Susan H. (June 11, 2013)
I have hosted nine exchange students with Ayusa. All of the students had excellent English skills, and each hosting experience was unique and fun. Because of the wonderful experiences we had, I chose to work with Ayusa as a local representative. Ayusa has been very supportive and offers excellent training and great overseas incentive trips! I recommend Ayusa for hosting and for a great part-time volunteer experience.
by Doris J. (June 11, 2013)
Ayusa is an organization that stands behind the familes and their students. With local repsresentives living close to the familes it truly helps when we have a question or need any assistance. The students that we have hosted through Ayusa have been high quality students that we have made life long relationships with. Our first student we hosted in the Spring of 91 sent her 15 year old son to visit with us last summer. It was great! We also had a visit this spring from our Danish daughter we hosted from 91-92 and she brought her 13 year old daughter. These types of relationships you can not build reading about another culture. You have to live it. We love hosting and we LOVE AYUSA!
by Heather W. (May 31, 2013)
I have both hosted and worked with Ayusa for over 3 Years. It is a wonderful experience all the way around. My daughter was 4 when we started hosting and loves having host siblings all over the world. If you have the opportunity to volunteer to host it will be a great experience for you and your entire family

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