Ayusa Looking for American Families to Host Exchange Students in Nebraska

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

Ayusa German exchange student Lena, left, graduates from high school with host family siblings Jessi and Corey Gepson

My students become a member of our family forever.

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 Nebraska interested in hosting an exchange student for the 2013-2014 school year.

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

  •     Norfolk
  •     Columbus, Shelby
  •     Omaha, Bennington
  •     Lincoln
  •     Fairbury, Beatrice, Wymore, Tecumseh, Auburn
  •     Grand Island
  •     Gurley, Merna (Western Nebraska)
  •     Hamburg, Iowa

“I have always dreamed of having a big family,” said Omaha host mom Lisa Gepson, who has hosted German students Sonja, Celina and Lena from the Ayusa program for three years running; the Gepson family will host Jonas, also from Germany, this year. “Hosting students through Ayusa made it possible. My students become members of our family forever," she added.

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

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

  •     Step One: View information online about Ayusa’s program and types of students who are interested in living with a host family and spending a year in the United States.
  •     Step Two: Complete the Ayusa online hosting application. Ayusa will provide a list of questions about families and their local high schools, request five references, and ask that families sign a program agreement. An Ayusa representative can help complete the application, answer any questions, and connect potential host families with other host families in a specific community.
  •     Step Three: Once the application is submitted, an Ayusa representative will assist with completion of the additional hosting requirements – a criminal background check and in-home interview with an Ayusa representative. Once a host family is approved, they may login to select a student. Ayusa representatives can also help find a student to match a 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, have their own spending money, and are proficient in English.

“Nebraska is a popular destination for Ayusa exchange students, as host families are known for their hospitality and sharing of their rich history and traditions of the Great Plains region,” said Mary Lou Dunekacke, Ayusa regional manager for the U.S. Central States, including Nebraska. “Hosting an exchange student also provides Nebraska families the chance to learn about other cultures around the globe without ever leaving their community. If you’ve ever thought about sharing your Nebraska life with a student from abroad, don’t hesitate – please give us a call!”

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 2012-2013 as part of U.S. government-sponsored international exchange programs. Ayusa has been a member of 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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