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Travel Info for Exchange Program Students

YFU must be informed about your travel plans as an exchange student and sometimes you will need to notify in advance even if you travel with your host family.

Permission to Travel

YFU should always be kept informed of your travel plans, and sometimes travel requires advance approval from YFU. Travel that is permitted includes:

  • travel with your host family
  • travel accompanied by another adult authorized by YFU
  • independent travel to visit an appropriate adult or host authorized by YFU
  • trips sponsored by the high school, or religious or youth organizations if YFU determines there is appropriate adult supervision and the cost is appropriate
  • travel on YFU sponsored trips.

Work with your host parents to review, complete and submit the Permission to Travel form. The form is easily found in their online Host Family Account.

Lost Passports

Before you consider your passport lost, dig through all of your belongings, luggage, bags, pockets, under the bed, and any other place where you might have been while carrying it.

Not Traveling for a few days: If it is definitely lost and you are not traveling for a few days, you will likely need to apply for a replacement passport and fly on a later date. Find out how long this will take from a passport agency and alert YFU (1.800.705.9510 immediately in case we need to alter your travel arrangements.

At the Airport: If you are already in the airport, retrace your steps and see if you left it in a seat, at a counter, in a restroom or other location inside the airport. Most students find it hidden somewhere in their own belongings or in a pocket. If it is definitely lost, notify a YFU staff member and call YFU Travel at 1.800.705.9510 in case we need to change your travel.

Return Travel Dates

Returns are arranged in the last two weeks of June. Earliest arrivals typically depart the earliest. Winter year programs begin in mid-January and returns are in early January.

Change of Date Request (CDR)

International Student inbound flight dates can only be changed for reasons of school, illness, or visa issues.

International Student return dates can be changed by following the YFU Change of Date Request (CDR) procedures which are mailed to all International Students a few months into their exchange program (October and January). Students may request to return on a different date than the scheduled group flight for various reasons, if approved by their natural parents, host family, home country, and hosting YFU offices. Date changes are limited to the period of a student’s visa validity as well as seat availability. There are YFU and/or airline-imposed fees to go off the group travel return date and students who choose to change their returns do not receive YFU airport assistance.

When will I receive my travel itinerary?

Complete travel itineraries will be re-confirmed and sent by mail approx two weeks prior to departure. YFU issues electronic tickets; the student must only present his passport as identification at the airport.”

Luggage and Airlines

Please contact the airlines directly or check their websites for luggage restrictions. Plan to pay fees for extra pieces of luggage or overweight luggage and potentially your first bag. You are responsible for your luggage and all luggage weight limits are subject to changes at the airlines’ discretion. YFU will NOT pay for fees for excess luggage, so plan to pack light.

To find out how to travel with special items or understand which items are prohibited consult with your Airline or check out the Transportation Security Administration’s website.

Travel Staff

YFU Travel staffs the following international gateway airports:

  • Atlanta Hartsfield - Jackson International Airport – ATL
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport – ORD
  • Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport – DFW
  • Denver International Airport – DEN
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport – DTW
  • Newark Libery International Airport - EWR
  • San Francisco International Airport – SFO
  • Washington Dulles International Airport – IAD
  • Frankfurt, Germany International Airport – FRA

YFU Airport Staff wear blue T-shirts with a large white YFU logo on the front and “TRAVEL STAFF” printed on the back. They might also have a blue YFU bag or a clipboard with the YFU logo on it. YFU staff members are usually stationed behind the security area, where they can assist students with connections. You should always call YFU Travel (1.800.705.9510 ) if you have any problems during your check-in procedure or finding your gate or if you miss your flight. We can assist you over the phone or send a staff person to you if possible and/or necessary.

Travel to and from Host Country

Flight times and details change frequently. Students should contact the YFU Travel Department at 1.800.705.9510 for any travel related changes, including missed or changed flights due to weather, mechanical issues, etc. Students should then call both their Host Family and natural parents to update them on the status of the flight.

Host Families are encouraged to sign up for the text/email/voice call alert system, which is a feature of the Travel section of the Host Family Account. These alerts will allow Host Families to be informed of airline changes to their student’s travel itinerary. Host Families can sign up for (self-service) flight notices/delay via by clicking on the U.S flight leg.


The following countries arrange travel themselves for 2016:

  • Belgium
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Latvia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Vietnam
  • Spain (ITEA only)