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

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

left to right: Zerric Reed, Corrine Reed, exchange student Alice from Italy, host mom and dad Amy & Ethan Reed, Saisha Reed and Drew Reed.

After the holidays, Alice truly became a part of our family. All my children consider her a sister now. She’s even in my older daughter’s wedding, taking place this month.

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 Oregon 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:

  •     Portland, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Aloha, Tigard, Gaston
  •     Canby, Colton, Amity, Aurora
  •     Bend, Fossil
  •     Eugene, Springfield, Marcola
  •     Medford, Roseburg, Myrtle Point, Winchester

Amy and Ethan Reed of Forest Grove have hosted foreign exchange students over many years, but this year their home situation changed: their youngest child, Corinne, went off to college, followed by host dad Ethan’s taking an out-of-state job. Host mom Amy, used to a house with four kids, took in Alice from Italy to fill the empty nest. “When I needed to drive Corinne to college in Rexburg, Idaho, recalled Amy, “Alice came along and experienced her first 12-hour ‘American road trip,’ as she called it. After the holidays, Alice truly became a part of our family. All my children consider her a sister now. She’s even in my older daughter’s wedding, taking place this month.”

Student Alice confirms her positive experience: “After these months here in the States, I can say this is the best adventure I’ve ever had. When we drove Corrine to college in Idaho, I got to meet Zerric, the younger son, who spoke Portuguese so we had many Italian-Portuguese conversations and even cooked a typical Italian dish. For winter break everyone was home, the house was loud and crazy as never before but it was the best way to end and start a new year, all together having a great time. I am so grateful to Amy and this wonderful family I’ve had the opportunity to get to know, and laugh and make memories with them.”

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.

“Oregon is a very popular destination for Ayusa exchange students in the U.S.,” said Cathy Galli-Vaneveld, Ayusa regional manager for the Western states. “Perhaps it’s the unique beauty of the Pacific Northwest that moves them, or the vibrant lifestyle of our region,” 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 Oregon 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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