Ayusa Asks American Families to Host a Foreign Exchange Student

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Ayusa International is seeking volunteer U.S. host families in all 50 states to host high school foreign exchange students for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.

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“Participating in a high school exchange program is a transformational experience that the entire family will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Sherry Carpenter, executive director of Ayusa.

Ayusa International, a 30-year old non-profit organization that promotes global learning and leadership through cultural exchange, study abroad and leadership programs for high school students, is looking for American families interested in hosting an international exchange student for the 2012-2013 school year.

“Hosting an international high school student is a unique opportunity for U.S. families to share their local community and American traditions with a young person from another country, while also providing their family with the opportunity to learn first-hand about another corner of the world,” said Sherry Carpenter, executive director of Ayusa. “Participating in a high school exchange program is a transformational experience that the entire family will remember for the rest of their lives.”

Ayusa’s international exchange students are 15-18 years old and come from more than 60 countries around the world, including France, China, Mexico, Sweden, Chile, Germany, and Japan. All students are fully insured, bring their own spending money, and are proficient in English.

"My family hosts because we love learning about different cultures and their history,” said Michelle Glisson, an Ayusa host mom from Phoenix, Arizona. “Also, it has helped my five-year-old son learn the language and culture of China, which complements his school’s language immersion program. The benefits of hosting, for us, are that we get wonderful sons from different countries, lifelong friendships for our children, and the opportunity to teach our children that people are not bad or strange just because they come from different countries.”

Every year, more than 28,000 international high school students ages 15 to 19 years old come to the U.S. to study as part of U.S. government-sponsored international exchange programs.

“We would recommend hosting an international student to everyone because it’s a wonderful way to have fun learning and teaching each other about your respective cultures,” according to Scott and Ruthie Failor, an Ayusa host family from Dallastown, PA. “We gained a friend and daughter for life.”

There is no “typical” American host family and Ayusa welcomes all interested families, with or without children, from both urban and rural communities. Host families provide three meals a day and a bedroom (either private or shared). Each student is supported by a professionally trained community representative from Ayusa who works with the family, student and local school for the entire program. All host families must pass a criminal background check and home visit from an Ayusa representative before being eligible to host.

Ayusa has been a member of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (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, study abroad 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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Melanie Vuynovich
Ayusa
415-434-5512
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