Ayusa Asks Families to Host a Foreign Exchange Student in Minnesota

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Ayusa International seeks volunteer U.S. host families who would like to host a high school foreign exchange student in Minneapolis communities, Northern Minnesota communities and Southwest Minnesota communities.

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"Minnesota host families have been wonderfully receptive to hosting exchange student from around the world,” said Mary Lou Dunekacke, Ayusa regional manager for Minnesota.

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 Minnesota families to host an international high school student for the 2012-2013 school year.

“Hosting a foreign exchange student has many rewards - it was so much fun to have a teenager in the house again,” said Ron Nickel, Ayusa host dad from Bingham Lake, Minnesota. “We have ‘kids’ in various countries now and it is exciting to see them grow and develop into young adults, knowing you as a host family had some influence on them. If you are willing to open your home to a student, be prepared to learn a new culture and add a member to your family. The hardest part of hosting is sending them home when the year is done.”

The following Minnesota communities and surrounding areas have high school availability for foreign exchange students – but still need local families to host the students. Interested applicants in these communities and surrounding areas should visit http://www.ayusa.org or call 1-888-552-9872.

Northern Minnesota Area:

  •     Long Prairie, Pillager, Waconia, Elk River (Elk River HS, Spectrum HS), Coon Rapids, Prior Lake, Sandstone (East Central HS), St. Paul (Highland Park HS), Minneapolis (Washburn HS, South HS, Patrick Henry HS, Roosevelt HS), Applevalley (Applevally HS), Plymouth (Armstrong HS), ), New Prague (New Prague HS), Blaine (Blaine HS), Champlin (Champlin Park HS), Lindstrom (Chisago Lakes HS), Coon Rapids (Coon Rapids High School), Eagan (Eagan HS), Eden Prairie (Eastview HS), Eden Valley (Eden Valley – Watkins HS), and Faribault (Faribault HS)

Minneapolis Area:

  •     Farmington (Farmington Sr. HS), Fridley (Fridley HS), Hastings (Hastings Sr. HS), Hutchinson (Hutchinson HS), Kimball (Kimball HS), Lakeville (Lakeville North HS, Lakeville South HS), New Brighton (Irondale HS), Orono, Maple Grove (Maple Give HS), Minnetonka (Minnetonka HS), Arden Hills (Mounds View HS), New Prague (New Prague HS), No. St. Paul (North HS), Osseo (Osseo Sr. HS), Brooklyn Center (Park Center HS), Savage (Prior Lake HS), Richfield (Richfield HS), Rockford (Rockford HS), Brooklyn Park (Sage Academy), Inver Grove Heights (Simley HS), Oakdale (Tartan HS), Plymouth (Wayzata HS), Woodbury (Woodbury HS), Maple Grove, Wells, New Richland, Waterville, Alden, Albert Lea, Steartville, Owantonna, Faribault, St. Peter, Mankato, Austin, Blue Earth, Fairmont, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Medota Heights, Inver Grove Hts., Woodbury, Cottage Grove, and Oakdale

Southwest Minnesota Area:

  •     Windom (Windom Area HS), Comfrey (Comfrey HS), Butterfield (Butterfield HS), Mt. Lake (Mt. Lake Public HS, Mr. Lake Christian School), New Ulm (New Ulm HS), Janesville (Janesville – Waldorf – Pemberton Public Schools), Ivanhoe (Lincoln HS), Jackson (Jackson HS), and Sherburn (Martin Country West HS Albany)

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, Lebanon, Germany, and Japan. All students are fully insured, bring their own spending money, and are proficient in English.

"Minnesota host families have been wonderfully receptive to hosting exchange student from around the world,” said Mary Lou Dunekacke, Ayusa regional manager for Minnesota. “The experiences have been so rewarding for the students, schools and families that many families choose to host for several years in a row."

Every year, more than 28,000 international high school students ages 15 to 18 years old come to the U.S. to study as part of U.S. government-sponsored international exchange programs.

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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