Ayusa Kicks Off 2016 Search for American Families to Host Exchange Students in Colorado

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Ayusa International is currently seeking volunteer U.S. families in Colorado interested in hosting a foreign exchange student for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year

Son Axel of the Bivens family in Littleton frolics in the snow with Ayusa host student Makoto from Japan.

As a parent, I focus on quality experiences that enrich the lives of my children. Hosting an exchange student encourages international friendships, and allows the opportunity to learn beyond what's taught in the classroom.

Ayusa International, a non-profit organization that has promoted global learning and leadership through high school student cultural exchanges for more than 35 years, is launching its annual search for families in Colorado, with a special emphasis on Denver and the surrounding suburbs, who are interested in hosting international students for the 2016-2017 school year.

Ayusa is looking for host families throughout the state, including

  •     Denver
  •     Littleton
  •     Fort Collins
  •     Evans
  •     Grand Junction
  •     Westminster

Ayusa host families who volunteer to open their home to exchange students contribute to the global community as public diplomats for greater international understanding. Each host family and student creates a lasting relationship that spans the cultural differences between their two nations.

The Bivens family from Littleton has been hosting Makoto from Japan, who attends Heritage High School. Host mom Adrienna shares, “We volunteer because Ayusa brings culture to our doorstep! As a parent, I focus on quality experiences that enrich the lives of my children. Hosting an exchange student encourages international friendships, and allows the opportunity to learn beyond what's taught in the classroom. It's simple; we welcome talented students into our home and share with them our American culture and language. In return, the benefits are unlimited!” She continues, “As a family, cultural exchange has given knowledge, experience and a more global perspective to our lives. That's better than any textbook could offer!”

About her experience as an exchange student, Makoto shared, “When I decided to study abroad, I was mainly thinking about studying English. But now I can say that, with this Ayusa program, I can learn English and also important things as a person through spending life with my own host family and friends in school. I will never forget this memorable and wonderful year in America with my lovely host family.”

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 over the country and reside in rural, suburban and urban communities.

“Colorado is a popular state for Ayusa exchange students visiting the U.S.,” says Cathy Galli-Vaneveld, Ayusa Regional Manager for the Western U.S. “It offers wonderful year-round outdoors experiences and a history of the ‘Wild West.’ Host families are excited to share Colorado with exchange students while they in turn learn about new cultures. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like sharing the Colorado lifestyle with a student from abroad, now is the time to take action!”

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. 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 the local high school, references, and a background check. The local Ayusa Community Representative conducts 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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