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

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

Left to right: Host dad Gene Pagel, exchange student Giulia from Italy, exchange student Chi-Ying “Una” from Taiwan and host mom Laura Wanezek, in Racine

One of the main reasons we host students is because they bring so much laughter and life to our home ... They help us see the world through different eyes."

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 Wisconsin 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:

  •     Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Franklin
  •     Madison, Janesville
  •     Appleton, Sheboygan
  •     Eau Claire, Amery
  •     Green Bay
  •     Tomah

Gene Pagel and Laura Wanezek of Racine are double-hosting this year, with visiting students Giulia, 17, from Italy and Chi-Ying “Una,” 16, from Taiwan. The girls are staying in Gene and Laura’s home while they attend William Horlick High School. “One of the main reasons we host students is because they bring so much laughter and life to our home,” said host mom Laura. “They also teach us about life in their home country and take in all the activities we do with them. They help us see the world through different eyes, and to enjoy things we take for granted – like Christmas and snow,” she continued. “They also give us a reason to look for ways to contribute to society that we might otherwise overlook: for example, volunteering at a community Thanksgiving meal.”

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.

“Wisconsin is one of the top destinations 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 this beloved 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 Minnesota 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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Press Contact:
Patsy Barich, for Ayusa International
Phone: 415-596-5860
Email: patsy(at)bonmotpr(dot)com

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