Who are AYA Foreign Exchange Students?
Each year, close to 1,000 young people come to the United States on the Academic Year in America program. AYA students are the best young "ambassadors" of their country. They have studied English for at least three years and have solid academic records. AYA students are between the ages of 15 and 18 and are accepted to the AYA program after careful review of their applications. AYA accepts only those students who show the maturity and desire for this special experience.
AYA students come from more than 35 countries, including:
AYA students arrive with their own spending money and full medical insurance. They are the best and brightest representatives of their country, and they all share a desire to become part of an American family.
As an AYA host family, you choose a student whose interests match those of your family, the gender of your student and the country from which your student comes.
Student applications include:
- a personal essay written in English
- a letter from the student's natural parents
- school transcripts for the past three years with school seals
- a standardized test of English proficiency, if necessary
- teacher recommendations
- health records with required immunizations
- passport photographs and a personal photograph album
AYA works in partnership with educational organizations throughout the world. As representatives of the program overseas, these groups hold predeparture orientations and make all travel arrangements. Overseas partners carefully screen student applications before submitting them to AYA in the United States. AYA provides information to overseas partners on the objectives and requirements of the program and establishes guidelines for student selection.
We have had so much fun hosting exchange students in our home. Each student comes with unique qualities and so much to teach of us of their culture. I am confident that my young children will grow to be better people because of these experiences.
Former Host Family