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641 S St NW Suite 200


Alumni Portal for Study Abroad Students


YFU’s intercultural exchange program provides students with an experience to gain the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly multicultural global society and marketplace.

As YFU alumni, you have been provided with an educational experience of a lifetime that can be a valuable component for your future goals, aspirations, and even your professional career.  As you adjust to being home, we’d like to provide you with some pillars of support to best promote your study abroad experience!


No matter how long you have spent experiencing what culture is like in another country, there is no better feeling than coming back home and seeing your family. Unfortunately, it may take longer than you expected to adjust back to life in the United States, and accompanying this process might be feelings of frustration and anxiety.  YFU wants you to know that you are not alone when it comes to adjusting back to your original routine. In fact, these phases are feelings international exchange students experience more often than not.  We want to assist you in every way possible by providing resources to ease your way back into the American culture.

Home Sweet Home!

After months of being abroad, you finally get to sleep in your own bed, eat your favorite home cooked meal, and reunite with all of your friends and family.  This can be referred to as the honeymoon phase, as you are overwhelmed with familiarity and excitement to be back home.  Try to take advantage of every opportunity you have to reunite with friends, family, and your old traditions—but keep in mind that you will most likely experience an additional feeling of longing and nostalgia for your home abroad.

What a shock!

Reverse culture shock is a common reaction to returning home from studying abroad. It is an emotional and psychological stage of re-adjustment, similar to your initial adjustment to living abroad. Feelings of loneliness and frustration are common.  You may feel homesick from your host country, or like you are a stranger in your own home. While dealing with these feelings, it is important that you create an outlet for your emotions rather than keeping them to yourself. You might feel like no one wants to listen, but there are always close friends and family who will support you with open ears and honest interest.

“In the end what got me past the homesickness and the reverse culture shock was using the skills and talents I had gained while abroad.  I used the experiences during my exchange year to be a YFU volunteer and representative, I spoke out about international education and ultimately became a particularly relatable host sister to an exchange student.”

-Misha (Campus Ambassador; Sweden 2013)

Share your story!

As you can probably relate, some of the most popular questions you will receive as you return home is “How was your time abroad?” or “So what was it like living in another country?”  These are such broad question, yet you have had so many grand adventures and experiences during your travels.  Describing your life-changing exchange and capturing all of its wonderful moments to someone who has not experienced it seems nearly impossible, so how do you even begin to tell your story?

Your personal experience abroad is important. It allows you to share the knowledge you learned and the perspectives you gained while living in another culture.  The best way to do this is through personal stories and anecdotes about your adventures, challenges, and growth.  It’s important to remember that however you choose to respond to a question regarding your study abroad depends entirely on the situation in which you are asked.  Are you simply passing someone on the street, do you have a few minutes to talk before class starts, or are you having a long lunch with a friend in order to reunite and catch up?  We’ll give you tips for three basic situations that provide the opportunity to share your personal story.

Quick! What was it like?

You’re walking on the street or in the school hallway, and you bump into a friend who asks about your time abroad.  You probably have less than a minute to describe to them your life-changing experience before you both have to run off to where you were heading in the first place.  What do you do?

Pick out the most effective aspect from your time abroad.  What impacted you the most?  What do you value as the most important thing you learned?  It can be as general or as specific as you like—from sharing the general uniqueness of the culture you lived in to describing a specific story that changed your worldview.

A few minutes for a general summary

You’re standing in a long line at the grocery store, or maybe you have a few minutes to spare before class, and a friend inquires about what it was like to live abroad.  How specific—how deep—should you get in your description of your experience?

In this situation, try to elaborate on your 1 minute explanation.  What made this experience life-changing for you?  What aspects of your exchange do you want to highlight?  Whether you want to focus on the differences in cultures, the relationships you built, or the challenges you overcame, make sure to explain why these examples specifically proved to be life-changing for you.  To capture people’s sincere attention and interest, try to tell stories that represent the values you wish to share.

With time to spare—unload your experience!

You’ve scheduled a lunch date with a friend or have time to talk with family over dinner about your exchange experience.  This allows for plenty of time to share what you have learned and to open up discussion about the diverse world we live in.

Before entering the conversation, allow yourself some time to process and reflect on your own.  You’ve experiences and seen things that others haven’t—how do you want to portray what you’ve learned to them?  Feel free to tell your personal stories—the challenging ones, the heartfelt ones, and the humorous ones.  But be careful to not overwhelm your listener.  Try to make it a two-sided conversation in which they can ask you questions and throw in their input as well.  Create an inviting environment in which travel and study abroad is portrayed as a mind-opening, life-changing experience that everyone should have the opportunity to experience.

Still itching to share?  Try a blog!

Even after you’ve shared your experiences in all three of these situations, your mind is still buzzing with stories to share.  One of the best ways to sort out your feelings during this time of transitioning home is to write about it!  Whether through an email chain to friends and family or an online blog, expressing yourself and telling your stories can be liberating.  To get ideas for blog posts, try reading through your travel journals or looking through the photos you took.  Relive your experiences and write about them so others can live through your life-changing time abroad.  You have the chance to stir others to become more globally open-minded and aware through your personal stories—take advantage of this opportunity!

Considering your parents’ transition

Remember one important thing…your parents will always be your parents!  They too are going through an adjustment with you returning home.  You will be excited to share facts and experiences with your host parents and may refer to them as “mom and dad”.  Be sensitive to the fact that your parents may become upset or frustrated that you think of another person as your parent.  They do not mean any harm by this, but they were the ones who raised you, allowed you to choose to be an exchange student, financed your stay, and love you for who you are.  Your host parents are still important to you—and you will never want to devalue this.  Simply understand the situation your parents are in, and together create a mutual respect for your host parents.

Recovery—what comes next?

After processing, reflecting, and sharing your stories, you might feel under-excited—even bored—with what your family and friends might refer to as the “real world” or “normal life.”  They might encourage you to get back into old habits and routines—which is, indeed, good advice.  However, you might find it helpful to find a new adventure, quest, or project to fulfill your world interest once again.  Your time abroad has truly changed your perspective on life and has sparked a new interest to learn more about the world.  What new passion intrigues you that could continue your global learning?  Maybe you want to learn a new language, or maybe you want to go abroad again.  Whatever it is, follow it passionately and continue to learn about the diverse world we live in!

A home away from home

Eventually, you will begin to feel comfortable back in the United States. But it will never quite be the same as it was before.  You have gained vital experiences and knowledge that helped you grow and develop into a globally-minded human being.  You might identify yourself as a global citizen, having more than one home.  As you incorporate your host culture into your daily life, your perspective between your host country and your home in the United States will become balanced and you will forever be a changed person.

Resources for you

College Search

Thinking about what to do after high school can be a daunting task—we’ll admit that.  But we’re here to help you sort through your options so you can make an educated, informed decision about you future.  Explore the abundant options your future can hold! 

Gap Year

Have you ever thought about taking a gap year to explore the possibilities the world has to offer?  Though the idea of “taking a year off” might seem scary and out of the norm, participating in a gap year program is a great way to pursue your passions, expand your knowledge, and discover yourself!

In fact, many colleges actually encourage students to take a gap year!  Our world today is always bustling—compelling us forward to accomplish task after task.  A gap year allows you—the student—to pursue your own interests and passions.  College advisors often credit gap year students with being more confidant in their studies, engaged in their education, and ambitious towards their goals.  The YFU gap year programs are designed to enrich your global knowledge, develop your language and communication skills, and cultivate your understanding of modern education and learning. 

Nearly all colleges allow students who wish to take a gap year to defer their enrollment and/or reapply the following year.  Some of the more prominent advocates for gap year programs are Harvard College, Princeton, and the University of North Carolina

Now that we got you excited about gap years, take a look at the list of countries YOU could spend your gap year in:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Italy
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Paraguay
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay

All programs include:

  • Placement with a carefully selected host family 
  • Preparatory materials
  • 24-hour student support
  • Regional orientation for participants 

Whether you are a high school senior or studying at a university, YFU offers a powerful, life-changing gap year program for you.  Visit our young adult program site for any additional information and to browse the many options a gap year can offer you—from internships, service learning, and volunteering abroad!

Finding a college that’s right for you

Searching for a college can be overwhelming.  First thing to remember is that not all schools are created equally.  Each school that you may be interested in can be accredited either regionally or nationally.  You will want to look at the statistical data on admission rates, graduation rates, programs of study, opportunities available for internships, etc.  But don’t get too overwhelmed!  Believe it or not, this process can be fun!  You get to discover what you want from a learning environment by assessing your needs, wants, and interests—the first step in becoming a successful, independent individual!  Follow this guide to get through the college search smoothly.

Familiarize yourself with your wants/needs:

You may need to select five to seven different colleges or universities to explore.  To do this, ask yourself a series of questions:

  1. Where do I want to attend college—how far do I want to be from home?
  2. What kind of environment do I want to live in—traditional college campus, urban city, or somewhere in between?
  3. What size of school will I feel comfortable calling my home—one with a large student body or one with a more small-knit community?
  4. What do I want to study—specifically OR generally?
  5. Does this college offer courses on the language I would like to study?
  6. Will I want to study abroad during my college career—if so, where?
  7. Do I know what level of education I need to be successful in my chosen profession? Can the college/university provide a full education or will I need to transfer for graduate school? 
  8. What does this college have to offer in terms of scholarships, grants, social engagement, and quality academics?  

Weigh these options closely because you could be fulfilled academically but not personally, or vice versa.  Just because you are a school fan does not mean that the school can meet your needs.

Narrow down your choices:

Think about your passions, interests, and goals.  Do you want to be involved in theater, or sports, or music?  Does the school offer everything you want for your college career?

Being a YFU alumni, will you want to study abroad again?  More and more, Americans are pursuing their education on foreign soil—whether that is for a summer break, a semester, a whole year, or even longer.

Some colleges have international campuses abroad in which students can directly enroll in classes.  Here is a list of some of the colleges and their foreign campuses that offer this opportunity (but if you do your research, there are countless more!):

  • New York University (New York, NY) – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Shanghai, China
  • Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY) – Florence, Italy; Madrid, Spain; Strasbourg, France; Santiago, Chile; London, England; Beijing and Hong Kong, China
  • Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY) – London, England
  • Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY) – Florence, Italy
  • Boston University (Boston, MA) – Brussels, Belgium
  • Emerson College (Boston, MA) – Kasteel Wall, Netherlands
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) – Tokyo, Japan; Rome, Italy; Oviedo, Spain
  • Trinity College (Harford, CT) – Rome, Italy
  • University of Maryland (College Park, MD) – Schwabisch Gmund, Germany
  • American University (Washington, DC) – Dubai, U.A.E.
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV) – Paris, France, Amsterdam, Holland; Beijing, China; Rome, Italy
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL) – Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; China; Panama City, Panama
  • Loyola University (Chicago, IL) – Rome, Italy; Beijing, China; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Rockford University (Rockford, IL) – London, England
  • University of Evansville (Evansville, IN) – Harlaxton, England
  • St. Louis University (St. Louis, MO) – Madrid, Spain
  • Webster University (St. Louis, MO) – Vienna, Austria; Shanghai, China; Leiden, The Netherlands; London, England; Cha-am, Thailand; Geneva, Switzerland
  • University of Dallas (Irvin, TX) – Rome, Italy

 In addition to direct foreign campuses, nearly all schools provide their own and additional programs to study abroad.  Browse these provider programs to see if your school permits their exchanges:

Plan the college visits:

Visiting a college can make the world of a difference when it comes to your final decision.  The atmosphere and vibes you receive from the campus/student body are of the utmost importance.  After all, you are going to live there for the next few years of your life—it should feel like home!

Most colleges provide campus tour information on their websites.  Simply visit their admissions site and register for a time to tour the school. 

Be prepared for your visit!  Do a little research about each school you are visiting.  Think of any questions you have that you could ask the tour guide—anything from housing, academics, social life, and expectations.  Here is a helpful college checklist that can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each school after you have visited!

In addition to simply going on a campus tour, there are plenty of other options you can explore that will give you a better feel for the school:

  • Arrange a meeting with the dean of the program/area of study you are interested in
  • Plan to meet an admission’s counselor or financial advisor to discuss scholarships and financial aid
  • Keep in mind that building key relationships with faculty and staff at the college can be a valuable asset for the future!

Prepare to apply!

Once you have a list of schools you can see yourself attending, the only step left is to apply!  It sounds simple, but a lot of time and hard work go into this last step.  Read through these tips to get yourself organized and ready to send in your application.

  • Look up each school’s application deadlines (early and regular) and write them on your calendar/planner.
  • Make a list of all the requirements you need from each school.  Keep in mind that some schools might differ in what they ask of you.  Some prefer ACT scores while some prefer SAT scores—so be sure you know which test, or both, that you need to take. 
  • Additionally, some schools have non-refundable application fees.  There are always little nuances you must pay attention to in the application process!

College Applications

Applying to college can be overwhelming.  How do you portray your best attributes and accomplishments to an admissions officer who only has the chance to get to know you through writing?  Colleges and universities recognize the uniqueness of a student who has been involved in study abroad opportunities. Therefore, this is your opportunity to share an experience that many students may not have had the courage or self-confidence to do. 

College Essay Tips

If you are wondering how to simmer down many months’ worth of travel into one short essay, here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started.

Step 1:  Personal reflection

Getting all of your ideas on paper, while staying organized, can be difficult. You may not know where to even begin. Therefore it is important to think about how this whole experience started in the first place.  Ask yourself the following questions, and jot down some of your ideas.  Remember to keep in mind your previous interests and passions that contributed to your ambition to study abroad.

  • What made you want to begin the unique experience to study abroad?
    • Think about how you prepared for this experience and what your expectations were.  In what ways were your expectations met or not met?
  • What goals did you set for yourself before you traveled abroad?
    • How did you achieve those goals? Or how did those goals change over the course of your travels?
  • What passions and interests were you able to continue and pursue while abroad?

 Step 2:  Assess your personal development

Studying abroad is a different experience for everyone and individual results will be unique to each individual. It is important to think about what you got out of this experience and how studying abroad impacted your life.

  • How did you enhance problem solving and critical thinking skills while abroad?
    • Use specific examples of situations that helped you gain these skills.
    • Key words to think about: decision-making, problem-solving, conflict resolution
  • How were you able to adjust to other cultures?
    • How did you adjust to your home abroad, as well as your return to the United States?  What personal mechanisms did you use?
    • Key words to think about: open mindedness, communicativeness, flexibility and adaptability, strong sense of self, a widened perspective, global understanding, etc.
  • How did you overcome challenges, and how did they strengthen your leadership skills?
    • What steps did you take to become more independent, without parents, siblings, teachers, and coaches to fall back on? 
    • Key words to think about: self-reliance, resourcefulness, confidence, etc.

Step 3:  Tie it all together!

Once you have brainstormed how the experience impacted you, it is important that you connect this experience to your future experiences. Did this opportunity help you discover a new passion? Consider new ideas for a future career path? Prepare you to be a successful student or employee?

  • What can you contribute to your college/university of choice because of your time abroad?
    • Will you want to take advantage of study abroad opportunities, mentor international students at your college/university, join an international club, etc.?
  • How do you think that your study abroad experience can assist you personally with your studies?
    • What passions can you continue to pursue?  

Remember, this is your chance to stand out! What makes you different from the rest? Don’t sell yourself short; be egocentric and give all of your fine qualities.  This will be unique to the individual so there is no right or wrong answer.  This is your time to shine!

Additional Helpful Tips:

  • Stay away from restating your college transcript or primarily focusing on your academic achievements as a student.
  • Writing an essay gives you the chance to distinguish yourself from the rest of the applicants.  Don’t be afraid to write a personal essay that captures your unique personality.
  • Make sure you’re aware of the deadlines and requirements for admission. Some want ACT, others want SAT, while some focus on certain extracurricular activities or philanthropic volunteerism.  


If the university you are applying to requires a recommendation, make sure to think about who respects and knows your abilities best. 

  • Did you work closely with any of your high school teachers on a subject that you had an interest in?
  • Did you do any research with teachers who could commend your hardworking, intellectual abilities?
  • Have you participated in a sport and/or club that you are passionate about in which the coach/leader could praise your personality strengths?  
  • Have you had any jobs in which your manager/supervisor would be willing to write you a recommendation?
  • Overall, teachers, coaches, managers, and mentors are all great people to think about asking for a recommendation

One last tip!

When asking for recommendation letters, be sure to allow ample time for your recommender to brainstorm ideas and write the letter.  It might be helpful to explain to the recommender what university program you are applying to and how your skills would fit the program.  After they write your recommendation, write a thank-you note to let them know you appreciated their support and time!


During your time abroad it is likely that you acquired foreign language skills.  Whether you have basic proficiency, conversational skills, or complete fluency, you have the opportunity to acquire credit and/or test out of language requirements at your selected college!

To do so, be sure to contact your college’s admissions office to inquire about the process.


Make sure you put the same effort forth as you did into looking for college into scholarships. There are a variety of scholarships available for students based on their grades, studies, study abroad country and diversity.

 Beloit College

  • American Field Service/Rotary Overseas/Youth for Understanding/U.S Citizens Living Overseas Scholarships are open to students who have had a study abroad experience for at least one semester during high school.  The scholarship is also available to U.S. citizens who live overseas as expatriates and study in high schools with American-type high school curricula.  Students must submit an essay discussing their international experience.
  • Award: $20,000 ($5,000 per year)
  • Competition Procedure: An essay of no more than 500 words discussing the student's international experience. Essays should be emailed to or to the student's admissions counselor directly.
  • Deadline: A completed application for admission and essay submitted by January 15.  

Golden Key International Honor Society (college study abroad)

Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship

  • The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the regions where they go. 
  • The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is open to U.S. undergraduate students who demonstrate high financial need.

Top scholarship search engines

  • As the organization behind the SAT and AP exams, College Board upholds high standards for the scholarships they allow on their site.  This site is especially helpful because the scholarships apply to a broad area of interest and application rather than institution-specific scholarships.

  • College Net is a website that hosts student forums based on various topics of the college application process.  Each week, whichever student receives the most votes for leading an interesting forum will be awarded a scholarship of $3,000-$5,000.  This site gives you the best of both worlds: to easily gather information about the college application process while simultaneously getting the opportunity to win scholarships!

  • As its name suggests, Scholarship Points is based on a point reward system.  The more points you collect—by simply reading blogs, taking quizzes, playing online games, and performing other daily activities—you become eligible and gain access for more and more scholarships.  It’s definitely a fun and unique way to search for scholarships! / /

  • Fast Web, Scholarships, and Scholarship Monkey are all enormous scholarship database sites that constantly receive updates on newly available scholarships. 

Admissions Advising

Applying to colleges can be very stressful, even if you are an intelligent globally-aware student!  If you get stumped during the process, feel free to reach out to these friends of YFU who can assist in admissions advising.

Resume Building

How can you promote your unique study abroad experience in your resume?  Employers are always searching for people who embody intercultural awareness and understand the increasing diversity of our world.  You learned essential innovative skills during your time abroad that will help you stand out in a pool of applicants.  Here are some helpful tips to write a successful resume!

  • Mold your study abroad experience to fit your personal interests, ambitions, and career goals
  • Make connections between your travel experiences and what you want to accomplish
  • Include skills/characteristics acquired from study abroad experience
  • Language proficiency/fluency
  •  Cross-cultural communication
  • Country-specific skills
  • Independence
  • Financial responsibilities
  • International knowledge/awareness
  • Ability to cope with failure
  • Flexibility/Adaptability
  • Realistic Expectations
  • Open Mindedness
  • Sense of self
  • Curiosity
  • Tolerance for differences

“When I applied for jobs, I was able to highlight my previous cultural and language experiences” -Jordan Burns (Brazil, 2008)

Basic Resume Template

Resume Sample

Job Opportunities

You’ve just returned from an indescribable abroad experience in which you acquired skills that allow you to view our diverse world with a completely different perspective!  You loved living abroad and now you enjoy the idea of continuing this dream.

Campus Ambassador Program

Do you want to continue working on YFU’s mission in a leadership role?  Apply to be a Campus Ambassador!  Campus Ambassadors embody YFU’s mission and work on projects to increase exchange awareness for YFU.  Not only do you get to work with a global-minded community, but you also get to build experience and develop essential skills to advance your future career goals!  Find out more about becoming a Campus Ambassador to see if the job is fit for you!

What are the responsibilities of Ambassadors?

  • Student Coaching and Mentoring: As a student who has recently experienced the “ins and outs” of an exchange experience, why not share the things you’ve learned with other study abroad hopefuls? As an Ambassador you will be paired with prospective students and help them navigate through the application and scholarship process, provide tips about what to expect when living and studying abroad, and share your own life changing study abroad story.
  • Speaking Engagements and Events: “Tell Your Story” at YFU orientations, webinars, events, and conferences to spread the message of study abroad in your community and nationally. Monitor YFU’s “Live Web Chat” to answer questions about studying abroad. Connect with new alumni through an organized homecoming effort.
  • Promote YFU and the Campus Ambassador Program: Be the face of YFU and study abroad through promotion of the CAP, and YFU’s study abroad and international student programs.
  • Social Media Outreach: Develop grassroots campaigns through the use of social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share your own YFU story!

 What’s In It for You?

  • Become Workforce Ready: Learn about working at a globally minded non-profit while enhancing your personal and professional growth.
  • Get Published: Create videos, blog posts, and other work to be used for internal and external marketing campaigns.
  • Develop Your Skills: Enhance your public speaking, event planning, and communication skills.
  • Participate in Special Events: Be eligible to participate in YFU events such as annual national conferences and initiating the in-person Homecoming Orientations for future alumni.
  • Build Your Resume: Include the experience you get in the CAP on your resume.
  • Gain Recommendations: Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll be eligible for a strong letter of recommendation to help in your future job or university search.
  • Enhance your Networking Skills: Through community activities and interactions with your fellow ambassadors, make new friends and connections across the country.

Your exchange may have ended, but your impact is just beginning.  The Campus Ambassador Program is like an internship, but it’s fun!

You’ll be directly engaging with people, kicking up dust at your school, and making connections for yourself and YFU.  Remember, you’re the local expert—we’re the ones who’ll be taking notes.  But most importantly, we’ll support your professional growth throughout your entire journey with us.  We are thankful for your contributions and want you to make the most of this experience.

The program duration will be a school year and require approximately 10 hours per week.  The Campus Ambassador Program is a highly competitive process, but YFU encourages all who are willing to apply!

Intern with YFU!

Upon your return, you can even begin to apply for internships within YFU USA!  You have already experienced so much about the program, now experience the behind-the-scenes angle of this intercultural exchange program.  The details, requirements, and how to apply are explained below!

Position: Intern—Multiple positions available at our National Office[SG1] 

Period: Full day (9:00am—5:00pm) and half day (8:45am—1:00pm and 1:00pm—5:00pm) slots available

Location: Washington, D.C.—Wonder Bread Factory, 641 S Street NW, Shaw

Compensation: Unpaid (for-credit program available). Monthly travel stipend

Supervisor: Senior Volunteer Program Coordinator  


Interested in building skills in administration, customer service, or volunteer management? Are you looking to boost your resume before graduation and put your knowledge to the test? Consider interning with YFU! YFU interns learn about international service, cross cultural communications, community outreach and more. Contribute to our organization and participate in meaningful work that has tangible outcomes. 

YFU USA interns are directly integrated into YFU operations and serve a crucial role in interacting with students, host families, and a network of dedicated volunteers across the country.


  • Work directly with our Study Abroad Division to facilitate new student interview days, conduct scholarship review, orientations, and many more exciting activities to attract new students
  • Work directly with our International Student Placement Division to help with host family outreach, inquiry calling, research events, and many more exciting activities to attract new host families
  • Work with YFU Finance to compile month end reports and conduct research—Business Majors encouraged to apply!
  • Conduct telephone reference checks for pending host family applicants, track progress, and follow up with references to ensure that checks are complete
  • Prepare and customize new volunteer orientation materials including a volunteer welcome letter, business cards, handbook, and marketing materials
  • Work with YFU staff to facilitate an outreach recognition campaign for national volunteers
  • Provide administrative support - word processing and proofreading correspondence, newsletters and reports; and creating and updating files as needed
  • Other tasks as assigned based on the needs of the department including, but not limited to, reviewing study abroad applications, volunteer recruitment, monthly contact report volunteer follow-up, and social media maintenance


A non-profit international educational organization with partners in more than 60 different countries, YFU USA is one of the world’s oldest, largest and most respected intercultural exchange programs. More than 250,000 students and their host families have benefited from the support and expertise of YFU. YFU’s national office in D.C. is located in the historic Wonder Bread Factory in the Shaw neighborhood. Metro and bus access are readily available.

 Qualifications/How to Apply:

We welcome graduate and undergraduate students with excellent verbal and written communication skills from both for-credit and not-for-credit programs. This position is unpaid, but a travel stipend will be provided. Interns should be proficient with Internet and Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook).  

YFU American and international student alumni are strongly encouraged to apply! Email us a resume, cover letter (which includes hours you are available to work— full day (9:00am - 5:00pm) and half day (8:45am - 1:00pm and 1:00pm - 5:00pm) slots available) and a list of references at Subject line: Internship with YFU USA. Please include your name, address, and contact information. Please describe to us why you are interested in interning with YFU. Applicants must be eligible for employment and able to pass a pre-employment background check. YFU encourages diverse candidates to apply.

Field of International Education

If you have ever thought about teaching as a career, there are plenty of options to pursue your dream while advancing intercultural awareness.

JET Program

  • The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program for U.S. citizens
  • Through international exchange and foreign language education, the organization aims to foster ties between Japanese and foreign youth.
  • Must have at least a Bachelor’s degree to apply (all majors are welcome)
  • Knowing Japanese and/or having a keen interest in Japan helps in the application process
  • If you are interested learn more on their website:

Teaching English Abroad

  • Becoming qualified to teach English as a Foreign or a Second Language can provide lasting and supportive assistance for landing a job in the future.
  • The most popular programs include TEFL, TESOL, and CELTA
  • Most of these programs are intense, month-long courses taught in various countries overseas
  • Many provide support for accommodations as well as the job search afterwards 

Long-Term Career Paths

There are plenty of long-term opportunities for you to continue down this path of cultural awareness.  Read through these brief career descriptions and allow your mind to imagine your future dreams taking off!

 “While nothing is set in stone, there is always some reassurance and confidence that comes from having a general idea of what you want to be.  Building a global community is a lot of work, but the characteristics that I have gained through YFU make the task seem all the more realistic and attainable.” - Misha (Campus Ambassador; Sweden 2013)

College Majors to Think About

  • International Affairs
  • Global Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • African Studies
  • International Business
  • Language Studies
  • Religion Studies
  • Economics
  • Economic Development
  • International Development
  • Peace Studies/Conflict Resolution
  • Political Science
  • Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Urban Studies

Where could you be working?

  • Federal and State Government
    • Foreign Service, US State Department, Foreign embassies
  • Government Agencies
    • Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, US Department of Defense, US Agency for International Development
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • International Organizations/Institutions
    • United Nations, World Bank. International Monetary Fund
  • Nongovernmental/intergovernmental Organizations
  • Private Sector Banks
  • Business and Industry
  • Travel Industry
  • Public Relations Firms
  • Universities/Colleges
  • Peace Corps

What types of job positions could you hold?

  • Diplomat
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Journalist
  • Trade Specialist
  • International Relations Officer
  • International Lawyer
  • Interpreter/Translator 

Real-life Sample Career Paths

Is it hard to envision an actual career that involves your love for intercultural understanding and global awareness?  Click on the examples below to see what type of careers real YFU alumni are currently pursuing!

Jordan Burns -“YFU was the first of many experiences that eventually led me to become a global health professional.”

YFU Experience

  • Summer Brazil Program 2008
  • “Not only did my YFU experience provide me with an amazing opportunity to experience a new culture, but it provided me with the courage to pursue educational and professional interests outside of the United States.”

Path of Studies

  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology with Minors in International Health Studies and Comparative Religious Studies
    • Applied for and received a David L. Boren National Security Education Program Scholarship to fund a year of study (Portuguese language and global public health) in Brazil.
  • Master of Public Health in Global Epidemiology with a certificate in Socio-contextual Determinants of Health
    • Spent a summer practicum working at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in Brazil on a study about parental acceptance of the HPV vaccine.

Career Experiences

  • Global Health Fellows Program II
  • Masters-level intern with the U.S. Agency for International Development
    • Worked on the malaria case management team within the Bureau for Global Health in support of the President’s Malaria Initiative
    • Currently working in Angola to support the USAID Mission’s malaria program
      • “Angola is a Portuguese-speaking nation, so I am able to use the language skills I learned while in Brazil after my YFU experience.”

Valuable Tips from Jordan

  • Make it a priority to search for study abroad funding opportunities for college.
  • Seek out researchers working in different parts of the world to collaborate with during graduate school.
  • Highlight your previous cultural and language experiences when applying for jobs.

Job Board

While you plan your long-term future ambitions, take a look at the YFU Job Board for available internship and job positions right now!