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

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

Left to right: host mom Kim, German exchange student Marieke, host sister Brooke and host dad Tom

My host family members are so nice and fun, it’s like they are my second real family – especially my host sister, Brooke, we are really close – my host mom even calls us her ‘twins.’ High school is a lot more fun in America than in Germany.

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 Missouri 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:

  •     St. Louis, Arnold
  •     St. Joseph, Maryville
  •     Hawk Point, Owensville
  •     Lake Ozark, Rolla, Salem
  •     Kansas City, Liberty, Lees Summit, Marshall
  •     Warrensburg, Harrisonville, Butler, Nevada
  •     Springfield, Battlefield
  •     Aurora, Reeds Spring, Lampe

Host parents Tom and Kim Dean, plus daughter Brooke, 17, of Lees Summit, expected a positive experience from hosting Marieke, 16, from Germany – and they were not disappointed. “Marieke is completely a part of our family – a daughter, sister and granddaughter,” says Kim. “Our friends and family adore her! Her sense of humor is outstanding and she keeps us all laughing … the relationship we will have with Marieke for the rest of our lives is such a blessing to all of us.”

Marieke concurs: “My host family members are so nice and fun, it’s like they are my second real family – especially my host sister, Brooke, we are really close – my host mom even calls us her ‘twins.’ High school is a lot more fun in America than in Germany. I made lots of friends in school and participated in many activities … my year here was a blast, I would do it again anytime!”

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.

“Missouri is a popular destination for Ayusa exchange students in the U.S.,” said Jessica Anderson, Ayusa regional manager for the Midwest. “Our families are known for their adventurousness and enthusiasm in sharing the rich history and traditions of the ‘Show Me” state,’ she added. “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 Missouri 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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Patsy Barich
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