Study Abroad Programs For High School or College Students
With YFU Youth Program, high school and college students can study abroad and stay with local families. Choose from a year, semester or summer program to explore new cultures.
As a YFU Youth Program participant, you'll become a part of a host family, appreciate the nuances of a foreign language, and test your confidence in new situations. YFU’s study abroad programs transform who you are and permanently change the way you see the world.
YFU study abroad programs are for you if you’re a U.S. high school student or recent graduate and want to experience another part of the world. Choose from a year, semester or summer program that allow you to immerse yourself in another culture, learn a new language and live with a host family who will open their home and hearts to you.
YFU academic year or semester programs are the best way to absorb a new culture and learn a language through “whole language learning.” After you immerse yourself in the culture, language, and heritage of your host country, your perspective and understanding of your new home will be much deeper.
YFU summer programs offer you the opportunity to learn the culture like no tourist could. Most YFU summer programs are traditional homestay programs, where you’ll live with a host family and participate in family activities throughout the summer. Imagine spending the summer exploring the wonders of China with a local family, shopping for food in a marketplace in Greece, or finding your way to the beach in a sunny Spanish town. You’ll learn how another culture lives, works and learns from the inside. Summer programs range from three to eight weeks; most leave in mid-June.
YFU’s International Adventures are two to three week programs that give students and teachers a taste of exchange by living with a host family, all while engaging in special workshops and unique excursions built by YFU and selected by the group leader. Explore YFU International Adventures: Classroom Excursions Abroad.
Immerse yourself in language classes, explore your creativity in the arts or music, or pursue your interests in sports or nature as you discover another language and culture! YFU offers high school students and recent graduates the opportunity to combine a traditional homestay exchange experience with a variety of unique programs for the most exciting year of your life!
+ Art, Music, Film, and Theatre
- Art - Focus on pencil drawing and watercolors or try your hand at pottery, metalwork, or artistic woodcarving. Study architectural art or fashion design. Brush up on your art history in the homelands of the masters in Belgium, Estonia, Latvia or Sweden. Even perfect a specialty like textiles or leatherwork.
- Music - Train among the finest schools in Estonia, Hungary, Latvia or Sweden that offer lessons in piano, organ, voice and a variety of instruments. Join the school choir or orchestra while learning music theory, solfeggio, or conducting.
- Film & Theater - Participate in coursework and activities that will stretch your creativity and increase your language skills. Study theater analysis and history along with music, dance, acting, voice and diction while in Estonia or Sweden.
Explore YFU programs with a connection to the arts.
+ Language and Culture
Discover a beautiful mosaic of cultures, and a history as rich and diverse as the many peoples and landscapes you can select to immerse yourself in. Experience a new culture, living with a host family and learning a new language in Argentina, Spain or Switzerland!
Explore YFU programs with a focus on language and culture
+ Sports and Outdoors
- Sports - Combine general subjects with coursework in sports while studying in Belgium! Study physiology, anatomy, sports theory and fitness while you practice swimming, basketball, gymnastics, soccer, handball, tennis, dance, badminton or volleyball.
- Basketball - With this unique YFU program, you will be enrolled in a specialized basketball high school in Lithuania and will train and play competitive team b-ball three to five times a week.
- Nature - Learn about the environment in the beautiful Baltic country of Estonia. Along with traditional academics, you will take numerous trips throughout the region to explore and learn about environmental issues it facing the region. This program is perfect for adventurous nature lovers and may include trips to national parks, camping, skiing, ice-fishing, canoeing, and bird watching.
Explore YFU sports and outdoors programs
YFU offers year, semester, summer and gap programs in more than 40 countries. With over 100 programs to choose from, there’s a YFU program perfect for you.
Tuition for YFU study abroad program includes:
- Experienced Admissions Counselors to help select your program and answer any questions
- Assistance with acquiring your visa or resident permit (as required)
- Professional orientations and materials to prepare you and your parents for the journey and guide you throughout your exchange
- Round-trip domestic and international travel as well as transportation to your host family*
- Airport assistance if needed*
- Placement with a carefully selected host family
- Enrollment in school (semester, year)
- Local and regional trips as well as educational activities* (where noted)
- Support for students and families through counseling, tutoring, etc. (as needed)
- 24-hour worldwide assistance. Use the “Program Locator” to explore the different country and program choices.
* Available only for students with originating flights from the USA.
International students traveling to the USA – please contact your YFU office to discuss what your tuition includes.
To participate in a YFU Youth Program you will need to be age 15 to 18 (or older for some Gap Year programs) while abroad. Some programs and countries have varying age restrictions. Please see individual country pages for specific age requirements or call your Admissions Counselor at 1.800.TEENAGE.
For most year and semester programs, a "B" average or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) is required. For summer programs, a "C" average or better (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) is required.
Students must be in good physical and emotional health. Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
Previous Language Study
Requirements vary. If you have a serious desire to participate on a YFU study abroad program but do not meet some of these eligibility requirements, please call your Admissions Counselor at 1.800.TEENAGE so that they may explore your options and find the right program for you.
For additional details, please call 1.800.TEENAGE and speak with an Admissions Counselor who will assist you in choosing the best program options. Alternatively, you may register for the next Virtual Information Night (VIN) for a general overview of our programs.
+ Program Tuition
Tuition varies depending on what program and country you choose. Please refer to the individual country web pages for program costs. Program tuition is not based on the length of the program. Tuition will not be prorated or discounted if departure is delayed or an early return is requested. Contact your Admissions Counselor at 800.TEENAGE for fundraising ideas.
Local orientations (April, May and June throughout the country) are provided for all programs. A National Orientation is provided for Year and Semester students. Special orientations are provided for Japan summer scholarship programs (JPDO, June, Berkeley, CA) and Finland Summer FUSYE scholarship (June, Washington, DC.)
+ Additional Costs
Though most expenses are included in your tuition, you will need to budget separately for passport and visa fees (which may include travel if you are required to appear in person at a consulate), insurance, personal spending money, luggage tariffs, any applicable international airport taxes, optional trips or expenses during your program, telephone calls, property damage, and some school expenses such as books or uniforms which are not included in your tuition.
+ Passports and Visas
Students are responsible for getting their own passports. You can find out more information at the U.S. State Department website. For information on entry requirements for a specific country, please go to the Entry/Exit Requirements section in the Country Specific Information pages for the country you are interested in. If additional paperwork for your visa is required, the YFU admissions office will send you the necessary forms to obtain a visa at an appropriate time before your departure. Please be aware that you will need to apply for this visa before going on program. Be sure to talk with your Admissions Counselor about visas and let them know when you have obtained yours.
All YFU students must be covered by insurance while on their exchange program. Many family health insurance plans in the U.S. extend to out-of-country situations, so you may already be covered. Some foreign governments require additional insurance for year and semester students. Your Admissions Counselor will notify you of these requirements.
+ Travel Arrangements
Your YFU tuition includes round-trip domestic and international travel, as well as transportation to your host family from the arrival airport. Domestic travel includes round-trip tickets to YFU-designated international gateway cities. Personal travel while overseas is not included in the program tuition. Please note that YFU will designate a departure airport within 100 miles of your home. If you prefer, it may be possible to fly from a closer airport for an additional cost. Contact your Admissions Counselor if you have questions about domestic departure airports.
+ More Information
Still have more questions? Go to Connect with Alumni to talk with American students who studied abroad with YFU. You can ask them questions about their time overseas and find out everything you want to know from someone who experienced an intercultural exchange. If you’re not quite ready to pack your bags and head overseas, talk to your family about becoming a host family.
The decision to study abroad takes a lot of consideration. Visit our Resources page to find further information that may help you in the decision making process.
Please note: Spaces are limited and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Early application is encouraged. If it is after October 1 (for winter departure programs) or March 15 (summer departure programs), please call 1.800.TEENAGE before submitting your application to speak with an Admissions Counselor about program availability. Many countries will allow late applications after negotiation, but some countries or programs have earlier deadlines.
The admissions process is ongoing and YFU reserves the right to reassess the status of accepted students. Also note that due to foreign countries’ varying views on medication, YFU partners may have a more difficult time securing a host family in their country for students taking anti-depressant, anxiety or attention deficit disorder medication. If a host family cannot be found, then students may be subject to cancellation and given a refund of all payments except the non-refundable application fee.