Ayusa Launches 2015 Search for American Families to Host Exchange Students in Washington

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Ayusa International is currently seeking volunteer U.S. host families in Washington interested in hosting a foreign exchange student for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.

Front row (L to R): Host dad Doug Johnson, daughter Ashleigh, host mom Cindy and grandkids Lukas and Elyjiah. Back row: exchange students Nenneh from Sierra Leone and Fatin from Thailand.

This year we are hosting Fatin 'Tina' from Thailand. She always has a warm smile and willingness to join us in many activities, and to learn our culture.

Ayusa International, a non-profit organization that has promoted global learning and leadership through high school student cultural exchanges for more than 34 years, is kicking off its annual search for families in Washington interested in hosting international students for the 2015-2016 school year.

Ayusa is looking for host families throughout the entire state, specifically in and around:

  •     Seattle, Issaquah
  •     Tacoma
  •     Western Washington
  •     Spokane, Richland

Cindy and Douglas Johnson of Tacoma have been hosting international exchange students for most of the last 20 years, starting when their own children were in elementary school. “Our grandchildren are now the second generation experiencing the joys of this cultural exchange,” said Cindy. “This year we are hosting Fatin 'Tina' from Thailand. She always has a warm smile and willingness to join us in many activities, and to learn our culture. She loves to cook for us – the grandkids especially request her spicy shrimp soup! From this academic year Fatin has spent with us, we will have a relationship not with an exchange student but with a daughter who lives in Thailand.”

For Fatin, who attends Foss High School, her year abroad in Tacoma with the Johnsons is a lifelong dream come true. “I have been doing lots of new things such as pumpkin carving, bowling, ice skating, church study, playing on a basketball team, cheering for American football teams, and learning about American culture,” she said. “As a way of giving back for this opportunity, I have participated in local community services. I also have a wonderful host family – this is the most precious year of my life ever!” she added.

Ayusa works with diverse families who are interested in hosting an international student of high school age. Families without children, empty nesters, military families, retirees, and single people are all welcome. Ayusa families come from all 50 states and reside in rural, suburban and urban communities.

“Washington is one of the most popular destinations for Ayusa exchange students in the U.S.,” said Cathy Galli-Vaneveld, Ayusa regional manager for the Western States. “Our students are excited about the possibility spending a year with a host family in America’s beautiful and historic Pacific Northwest,” she continued. “Hosting an exchange student also allows families to learn about other countries and cultures, without the travel. If you’ve ever thought about sharing your Washington lifestyle with a student from abroad, I encourage you to give us a call, or check out our website to read the many stories of these international friendships that last a lifetime!”

Host families provide the exchange student with three meals a day and a bedroom (private or shared). A professionally trained Ayusa representative supports each host family, student, and local school throughout the program year. Ayusa’s exchange students are 15-18 years old and come from more than 60 countries around the world. All students are fully insured, bring their own spending money and are proficient in English.

How to Host an International Student
Interested families can learn more about the program and available exchange students, and request additional information by visiting http://www.ayusa.org or calling 1-888-552-9872.

The process to apply is simple. Families complete the online application, which includes questions about themselves and local high school, references, and a background check. Once the application is submitted, the local Ayusa Community Representative will conduct an in-home interview. They can also help each family with any questions they may have about the application or process.

After families are fully approved, they can select the Ayusa student they would like to host.

About Ayusa
Ayusa International (http://www.ayusa.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit student exchange organization founded in 1981 and an official U.S. Department of State designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor. In addition, Ayusa administers 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 provides 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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Press Contact:
Patsy Barich, for Ayusa International
Phone: 415-596-5860
Email: patsy(at)bonmotpr(dot)com

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