During these uncertain times, how can we help?

As the world leader in volunteerism we feel a responsibility to unite our broader community, and to use this moment to become stronger.

See below to access our COVID-19 Resource Hub, and to explore our growing directory of COVID-19-specific and virtual volunteering opportunities.
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Mission Statement

AYUSA is a non-profit organization that promotes global learning and leadership by creating opportunities for international high school students to experience life in America. We offer a unique, richly personal experience for students, volunteer families, host high schools and local communities. AYUSA reaches across interpersonal and international borders, celebrating worldwide community through the spirit, character and promise of our youth.


Since 1980, AYUSA has provided opportunities for more than 40,000 foreign exchange students from around the world 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).

From student selection and school registration to academic and supportive counseling for each exchange student and host family, our network of community representatives is there to assist you. AYUSA operates on a 3-tiered regional system of support for host families and students, in addition to our full-time headquarters staff in San Francisco. Our staff is available to you and your student 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

AYUSA carefully selects exchange students from all over the world. Our students are:
  • Between the ages of 15 and 18½ by the beginning of the program,
  • Diverse - our students hail from over 60 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Central, South America and Africa and many are recipients of prestigious scholarships.
  • Motivated to learn about American culture and possess intellectual maturity, strength of goals, and leadership qualities.
  • Have a desire to give back to their host communities through community service projects.
  • Rigorously screened to ensure their success in dealing with common challenges at school and at home.
  • Well prepared - all students attend a Pre-Departure Orientation in their home country by our partners to ensure they have realistic expectations and are ready for the experience of a lifetime.



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