Students may learn a new language and about other countries in class, but they can’t truly appreciate another culture unless they experience an international exchange. Educators, employers, college recruiters, alumni and parents know—they understand—that the benefits of studying abroad go far beyond their time abroad. The lessons your teen will learn will last a lifetime.
The Global Impact
Your child has an opportunity, a chance to make an impact—not just on his or her life, but a global impact. A large part of YFU’s objective is to engage young people in personal development opportunities that will increase their leadership capacity and improve international understanding and public diplomacy. We believe as youth proceed into adulthood they will draw upon the life-changing intercultural learning experiences of their exchanges creating a more peaceful, tolerant society.
The Personal Impact
Studying abroad may challenge your child, but it will also test you. Being placed in this situation of distance, being prevented from the daily parenting ritual might make you or your teenager uneasy. But, we know that it is within this feeling that personal growth can blossom. The YFU study abroad experience facilitates the building of character by creating opportunities to withstand uncertainty and build resilience.
YFU study abroad creates meaningful opportunities for self-discovery and growth. Away from their comfort zone, YFU students learn interpersonal competencies as they are compelled to form trusting relationships with residents of the host culture and learn how to solve problems locally, without their parents. YFU students gain leadership skills and global competencies that will prepare them for their future in an interdependent world. It’s up to you to allow your child the breathing room to become independent, to make mistakes, and to learn. Nothing that is genuinely worthwhile is easy.
The Benefits of YFU Exchange
From the moment your teenager returns home, you’ll notice a difference. Most parents of YFU students say their teen returned with greater confidence and maturity. But more importantly, YFU students notice changes within. From having a stronger sense of the world to personal growth and being more adaptable in unfamiliar situations, YFU students truly discover another part of themselves—a part that will benefit them forever.
- YFU students gain a global perspective that makes them ideal college candidates
- YFU alumni are preferred in admissions in more than 150 colleges and universities throughout the United States. See our Beyond Exchange for more details
- Students improve their language competency and may earn advanced language placement in college
When employers select a YFU alumnus, they know they are making a solid investment in a person who is flexible and has an elevated level of maturity, superior problem solving skills, and an intuitive understanding of another country and its people. In today’s competitive job market, fluency in another language coupled with the ability to comprehend another culture gives YFU exchange students career advantages they wouldn’t otherwise have.
”My child was able to not only apply language skills, but also learn about the culture and country.”
“It gave my son a chance to grow and mature. It gave him a confidence in himself you get from doing things that are just beyond your grasp.”
“YFU was a trustworthy program. My daughter gained an experience that is so rare to others her age.”
Support & Logistics
YFU provides you and your child with the support, logistics and tools for a safe exchange experience. From helping select a program and orientation to travel and airport assistance, your student will be guided and supported throughout their entire journey. All students are placed with a carefully screened host family, enrolled in school (semester or year programs), and they have access to counseling, tutoring and worldwide emergency assistance around the clock. When you choose YFU for your son or daughter, you choose an international community with more than 60 years of worldwide exchange experience. And we’re here to help you every step of the way.
We take all precautionary measures to ensure our student’s safety and your peace of mind. YFU programs have exchanged more than 250,000 students since 1951, many of these years coinciding with war or international conflict. As global tensions and political uncertainty are inevitable, our top priority continues to be student safety. YFU is evaluated annually by oversight agencies. We are proud to consistently receive Full Listing in all three J-1 Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) listing categories: Inbound Long-term, Outbound Long-term and Short-term Inbound/Outbound programs.