Ayusa Kicks Off Search for American Families to Host Exchange Students in Idaho

Ayusa International is currently seeking volunteer U.S. host families in Idaho interested in hosting a foreign exchange student for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.

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Ayusa high school exchange student Hoshi from Malaysia, left, pauses with his host mom Louise Lough, right, of Nampa.

Not only has [Hoshi] taught me sign language, but also strength, patience and courage ... I am so proud of him and know that all his goals for the future are within his reach – he will do whatever it takes to be successful.

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) June 10, 2014

Ayusa International, a non-profit organization that for 31 years has promoted global learning and leadership through high school student cultural exchanges and leadership programs, is launching its annual search for families in Idaho interested in hosting international students for the 2014-2015 school year.

Ayusa is looking for Idaho host families specifically in and around the following communities:

  •     Boise
  •     Post Falls
  •     Twin Falls
  •     Nampa
  •     Pocatello

“At first, my host parents, Louise and Al Lough of Nampa, didn’t know American Sign Language,” said Hoshi, an exchange student from Malaysia who is deaf. “The only way we could communicate was by using texting on my phone. But they were eager to learn American Sign Language (ASL) from me … I communicate with my host mom mostly by using ASL now. I love my host family and appreciate them very much.” About his favorite activities in America, he continued: “On Spring Break I joined another host family to tour the Western U.S., visiting California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. We saw beautiful scenery, visited the host family’s relatives, and collected souvenirs from each state. In the five short months I have been in the USA, I have seen 11 states; I am a very fortunate young man!”

Host mom Louise said, “I have learned so much more from Hoshi than he could ever have learned from me while he was here. For a deaf student from another country to come into a ‘hearing’ family who had no way to communicate except by text, he was extremely brave. Not only has he taught me sign language, but also strength, patience and courage, through his personal perspective. I am so proud of him and know that all his goals for the future are within his reach – he will do whatever it takes to be successful.”

How to Host an International Student
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 that are interested in living with a host family and spending a year in the United States.
  •     Step Two: Complete your Ayusa application for hosting, which can be done online. Ayusa will provide a list of questions about families and their local high school, request five references, and ask family candidates to 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 specific 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.

“Idaho is a popular destination for Ayusa exchange students visiting the U.S.,” said Cathy Galli-Vaneveld, Ayusa regional manager for the Western states. “They love the Gem State’s breathtaking mountains, rivers and wildlife, its “Wild West” history and most importantly its enthusiastic and friendly families.” Cathy continued, “Hosting an exchange student also provides Idaho families the chance to learn about other cultures around the globe, without the travel. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like sharing your Idaho lifestyle with a student from abroad, now is the time to take action – 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 2013-2014 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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