Ayusa Looking for American Families to Host Exchange Students in Minnesota

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Ayusa International is currently seeking volunteer U.S. host families in Minnesota interested in hosting a foreign exchange student for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year.

Dan MacDonald, Ayusa student Nimdak from Nairobi, Kim MacDonald and Ayusa central states manager Mary Lou Dunekacke

Hosting an exchange student also provides Minnesota families the chance to learn about other cultures around the globe without ever leaving their community.

Ayusa International, a 30-year-old non-profit organization that promotes global learning and leadership through cultural exchange and leadership programs for high school students, is looking for American families in Minnesota interested in hosting an exchange student for the 2013-2014 school year.

Ayusa is specifically looking for Minnesota host families in the following communities:

  •     Minneapolis/St. Paul areas
  •     Elk River
  •     Bloomington
  •     Golden Valley
  •     Mountain Lake
  •     Bingham Lake
  •     Mankato
  •     Wayzata
  •     Comfrey
  •     Mountain Lake
  •     Windom
  •     Zumbrota
  •     New Ulm
  •     Butterfield
  •     Redwood Falls

Host parents Dan and Kim MacDonald of Eden Prairie are hosting Ayusa International’s high school exchange student Nimdak from Nairobi. Nimdak attends Eden Prairie High School. “We are amazed and delighted that she has been ‘our daughter’ and share her culture and customs with us,” says Dan. “She has been an outstanding student at the school and ‘likes’ to clean house. She has enjoyed our trips together and likes to fly in our airplane to our cabin. We will stay in touch and follow her progress back in her country, as she is a member of our family,” he adds.

Ayusa welcomes all interested families who would like to host an international exchange student including families without children, empty nesters, military families, retirees, and single people. Ayusa families come from all over the U.S., including both rural and urban communities. Host families provide three meals a day and a bedroom (either private or shared). Each student is supported by a professionally trained local representative from Ayusa who works with the family, student and local school for the entire program.

How to Host a Foreign Exchange Student

Texas families interested in hosting an exchange student with Ayusa can follow three simple steps.

  •     Step One: View information online about Ayusa students including their age, country of origin, hobbies, and essays to their future host families, to decide which student will be a good fit for your family.
  •     Step Two: Complete your Ayusa online hosting application. You will be provided a list of questions about your family and local high school, asked for five references, and requested to sign a program agreement. An Ayusa representative can help you complete the application, answer any questions, and connect you with other host families in your community.
  •     Step Three: Once your application is submitted, an Ayusa representative will work with you to complete the additional hosting requirements – a criminal background check and in-home interview with an Ayusa representative. Once you are an approved host family, you may login to select your student. Your Ayusa representative can also help you find a student to match your family’s interests and activities.

Ayusa’s exchange students are 15-18 years old and come from more than 60 countries around the world, including Brazil, Japan, Germany, Ecuador, France, Peru, Morocco, China, and Spain. All students are fully insured, bring their own spending money, and are proficient in English.

“Minnesota is one of the top destinations for Ayusa exchange students, and the Land of a Thousand Lakes’ host families are known for their adventurousness and enthusiasm in sharing the rich history and traditions of this beloved region,” said Mary Lou Dunekacke, Ayusa regional manager for the Central States, including Minnesota. “Hosting an exchange student also provides Minnesota families the chance to learn about other cultures around the globe without ever leaving their community. If you’ve ever thought about sharing the your Minnesota life with a student from abroad, don’t hesitate – please give us a call to start building an international friendship that will last a lifetime!”

According to The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), more than 27,000 international high school students between the ages of 15 and 18 years old studied in the U.S. during 2011-2012 as part of U.S. government-sponsored international exchange programs. Ayusa has been a member CSIET for more than 25 years – since its foundation. CSIET evaluates U.S.-based high school exchange programs so that students, families and schools can identify reputable inbound and outbound exchange organizations.

Ayusa is a 501(c)3, and an official U.S. Department of State designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor. Families interested in learning more about hosting a foreign exchange student can visit http://www.ayusa.org or call 1-888-552-9872.

About Ayusa
Ayusa International (http://www.ayusa.org) is a non-profit organization founded in 1981 to promote global learning and leadership through cultural exchange and leadership programs for high school students from the U.S. and around the world. In addition, Ayusa administers multiple high profile grant programs funded by the U.S. Department of State and other organizations. Ayusa is a sister company of Intrax, a family of organizations that provide a lifetime of high-quality educational, work and volunteer programs that connect people and cultures. Intrax is headquartered in San Francisco with offices on four continents.

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