• Education First Foundation Education First Foundation


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Mission Statement

Who We Are

EF Foundation for Foreign Study connects talented, enthusiastic high school students from around the world with caring families across the country. Together, we build bonds of friendship and trust that have the power to change the world.

Since 1979, our team of dedicated volunteers, local coordinators, and staff has helped over 90,000 students from nearly 40 countries participate in international exchange programs. Our tradition of excellence, combined with our unparalleled support on the local and national levels, has made us the largest facilitator of high school year programs for exchange students coming into the United States.


A Local Organization with Global Reach

We are committed to making international exchange benefit everyone. We work hard to get students ready for their transition into American life, and at the same time give our coordinators and host families the tools to be prepared and confident hosts. Our community-based focus with international reach sets EF Foundation apart. We are:

  • Local. EF Foundation's greatest assets live and work right in your community. Local coordinators find caring host families, match students and families, develop relationships with high schools, and team with a regional coordinator to provide assistance and guidance all year long.
  • National. Our Boston office manages each local support team, providing extensive training and 24/7 support. EF Foundation is designated by the US Department of State as an Exchange Program Sponsor. We have been facilitating exchange for over 25 years, and bring more students to the country each year than any other program.
  • Global. We have partner offices around the world. These international ties allow us to coordinate every aspect of the exchange experience, from the selection of students within their own countries to their placement here in the United States.

Affiliations and Credentials

EF Foundation is an established organization with extensive ties to the volunteer and international education communities worldwide. We have relationships with the following:

  • United States Department of State. EF Foundation is designated by the United States Department of State as an issuer of DS-2019 Forms for J-1 visas. As an Exchange Program Sponsor, we extend these visa eligibility certificates to approved students who desire to spend an academic year or semester in the U.S.
  • Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET). CSIET is a private, not-for-profit organization which monitors, disseminates information about, and establishes standards for reputable international youth education and exchange programs. On the basis of materials submitted and reviewed, CSIET has granted listing to EF Foundation in its Advisory List for the 2008/09 school year.
  • Alliance for International Education and Cultural Exchange. EF Foundation is a member of the Alliance, an association of non-governmental organizations comprising the international educational and cultural exchange community in the United States. Its mission is to formulate and promote public policies that support the growth and well-being of international exchange links between the people of the United States and other nations.
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators. EF Foundation staff members are members of NAFSA, a member organization promoting international education and providing professional development opportunities to the field.
  • President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. EF Foundation is proud to offer the President's Volunteer Service Award, created by The President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The award is intended to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

In addition to the United States, EF Foundation is officially recognized as an approved exchange program in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Costa Rica, and Ireland.



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