Hosting a YFU exchange student is a life-changing experience not only for the student but for your entire family. By opening your home and heart to an overseas student, your family will gain a new global perspective, many memories and—quite possibly—a new family member for life!
Why families host
In another country, a teenager is waiting, wondering which family will open up a world of possibilities. If your family is open to new and enriching experiences – willing to provide guidance, love and support to a young person embarking on a journey of self-discovery – hosting a YFU student is for you! Share our American customs, and your family’s unique traditions while discovering a new culture right in your own home. Hosting a YFU exchange student can make the world feel smaller, while making your own world bigger.
There are perhaps as many reasons to host a YFU student as there are families and students participating in YFU exchanges each year.
Hosting will better connect your family to the world in which we live. It brings culture and a sense of adventure to your children while teaching them valuable lessons about acceptance and global unity.
Host families have many different faces and backgrounds. It doesn’t matter if you have children or not, whether you’re single, an empty nester or are a same sex couple; anyone can be a host family. And you can live anywhere—the suburbs, the city or even a farm. If your family is willing to open yourselves to new experiences and provide guidance, love and support to a student looking to further themselves, you will be a great host family.
Susan, Host Mother, Virginia
Eleven of our twenty-one YFU daughters joined us in Berlin this month for a big family reunion! That is, 3 days packed with lots of chocolate chip cookies, s’mores, stories and pictures. It was great fun to watch these accomplished young women get to know each other, swap stories and discover what exchange experiences they shared.
Five of our daughters live in Berlin where we met their parents, husbands, boyfriends and five of our nine YFU grandchildren. We got to see their homes, walk their neighborhoods and even randomly ran into one daughter on a busy Berlin shopping street! The grandchildren were excited to see me again and I could wish my YFU son-in-law a happy birthday in person. By the time we left, we felt very at home in many corners of Berlin.
Host family support
To ensure a successful exchange for your family and the student, YFU provides you with a team of dedicated volunteers and staff. Right from the start, we will be there to answer all your questions and assist in the selection of your student. Throughout the exchange, your volunteer will check in to make sure things are going well and support you should challenges occur.
All volunteers are trained to help you and your student successfully navigate cross-cultural adjustments and challenges. If issues arise and your volunteer is unavailable, other resources are accessible. Trained, professional staff are available to support your family and student 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.