AYA needs your help! You can make a difference and help bring the world together by hosting a foreign exchange student.
Academic Year in America (AYA) brings high school students from around the world to the U.S. to live with American families and attend local high schools for a semester or academic year.
AYA are looking for volunteer host families in Seattle to open their hearts and homes to high school exchange students between the ages of 15 and 18, from all over the world.
Students live with a volunteer host family and attend a local high school, while learning all about American values, culture and becoming part of the family and community.
Watch the video below to learn more about why welcoming an exchange student into your family is so special...
Why should you host an exchange student?
Hosting is an excellent way to teach children of all ages about the world around them. It can increase global awareness, cultural sensitivity, and emotional IQ.
Hosting an exchange student is a public diplomacy initiative, intended to foster peace and understanding among people of the world, particularly among youth, who are our future leaders.
As volunteers, families gain a deep sense of compassion, understanding and appreciation for their own families, their community and people from other countries and cultures.
What are the benefits of being a host family?
You will create a lifelong relationship with your exchange student, and both your family and your student will benefit from the educational and emotional aspects of sharing cultures and friendship.
Families with children have reported experiencing:
Increased cultural and global awareness
Interest and curiosity in the world around them
Better communication and interpersonal relationships
Many families report that hosting brings them closer together as they experience their daily lives and traditions through the eyes of an exchange student.
Participating high schools can earn grants for international programs and activities that support diversity and cultural awareness.
What does being a host family require?
Host parents must be at least 25 years or older and live in the local area. Familes will need to provide three meals a day, room, and board (bedroom may be shared with another sibling of the same gender and age range). Students will also require transport to and from school, if there is no school bus available.
Most of all, exchange students need a loving and nurturing home, where they can be treated as a member of the family. It's important to have a genuine interest in sharing your culture and values, as well as a desire to learn about your student and their culture.
Who are the exchange students?
AYA students are motivated teenagers who come from over 50 countries all over the world, including Austria, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Poland, Egypt, Lithuania, Pakistan, Indonesia and many more. As youth ambassadors, AYA students uphold a high standard of personal conduct, contribute to the community by doing community service, and give cultural presentations to peers and schools in the area. All students come with full medical insurance and personal spending money. While they are being hosted, students are required to get good grades, participate in family activities, and follow all host family rules.
Warm your heart and home by hosting an international exchange student!
"By hosting an exchange student, it has given me the power to help with bridging the gap between our culture and others. It may seem small, but it has taught me that even just one person can make a difference."