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YFU Blog - Recent stories about Youth for Understanding

Welcoming our First Exchange Student!

brandpointyfu

My husband and I always wanted to be exchange students but the opportunity never really presented itself. One day while at our local YMCA we were presented the opportunity to host an exchange student. After about 45 minutes of chatting, we took the plunge & before too long we were looking at potential students to come live with us. 

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A Look Back at the 2017-2018 USA Exchange Year

brandpointyfu

Some of our favorite moments from the 2017-2018 YFU USA program year.

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An Exchange Experience

brandpointyfu

For those families who have considered an exchange opportunity, do it! You will quickly realize the world is smaller than you think and that we are more similar than different from one another. Hosting a student is an opportunity you won’t regret with life-long memories made for everyone involved.

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It was the Summer of '70...

brandpointyfu

YFU was the beginning of my lifelong love of travel, which continued at Stanford-in-France and in my career as a journalist and international media trainer. Except for my dad's service in World War II, I was the first person in my family to travel overseas since our ancestors came from Europe. The YFU experience literally changed the direction of my life because I was able to experience possibilities beyond the boundaries of my home country, community, and upbringing.

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Happy World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development!

brandpointyfu

Today, YFU celebrates the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

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A Year as a YFU Exchange Student in Germany

brandpointyfu

The YFU experience is an open invitation to you. The opportunities are there. It is up to you to make the most of it.

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What Family Means to Me...

brandpointyfu

TODAY IS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES, AND WE WANTED TO SHARE HOW ONE YFU HOST FAMILY HAS EXPANDED BECAUSE THEY OPENED THEIR HEARTS AND THEIR HOME TO AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT.

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My YFU Experience: Kylie Neidich

brandpointyfu

Interview by YFU Alumnus and Campus Ambassador Ronak Gandhi with YFU Field Director, Host Mother & Area Representative Kylie Neidich

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Seven Months into My Exchange Year!

brandpointyfu

I learned how to be more independent, how to face challenges alone, and how to be strong in situations that can make me feel really weak. I learned how to convert my weakness into strength, and yes, I learned never to give up.

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YFU Alum & Trustee Returns To Everest: Dispatch #8

brandpointyfu

Thank you so much for your support of my 2017 Mount Everest trek and campaign for YFU! I was fortunate to achieve my dream of summiting Mount Everest on May 25, and have now successfully reached the peak of the highest mountain on each continent, known as the Seven Summits. More importantly, together we brought awareness to the need for cultural understanding and intercultural exchange, raising over $33,000 for Youth For Understanding's needs-based scholarship fund! I cannot thank you enough! Your support and encouragement never ceased to amaze me.

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YFU Alum & Trustee Returns To Everest: Dispatch #7

brandpointyfu

The last 72 hours are a blur. On May 25th, at about 4:35am, Pasang Kami (PK) and I reached the highest point on earth. We watched the sun rise over the Tibetan plateau as Mount Everest cast a shadow stretching into the horizon. We reverently acknowledged the Buddhist prayer flags and photo of the Dalai Lama that someone had placed on the summit, and we mentally prepared ourselves for the decent, even as we snapped a couple of photographs.
 

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YFU Alum & Trustee Returns To Everest: Dispatch #6

brandpointyfu

IT'S GO TIME!!!!!  IMG Team 3 just got the call to begin our final assault on the summit of Mt. Everest at 2am tonight!!!! If all things go as planned, we will reach Camp II (~21,000') tomorrow, then take a rest day on Sunday. Monday we aim to move to Camp III (~24,000'), and on Tuesday (the 23rd) we hope to reach the South Col (~26,000'). Weather permitting, we will attempt to summit Mt. Everest on Wednesday May 24th. I hope to be back on the grid with an update by May 26th or 27th. Until then, please keep in mind that no news is good news1.

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YFU Alum & Trustee Returns To Everest: Dispatch #5

brandpointyfu

What am I doing here? That's a question I've asked myself a lot over the past few days. This expedition is expensive, time-consuming, dangerous, and uncomfortable (to say the least). Instead of coming here, I could have (i) made a down-payment on a house, (ii) continued to advance in my profession, (iii) pushed myself athletically in trail running, orienteering, martial arts, or ballroom dancing, and (iv) slept easily and happily in fully-oxygenated air in a climate-controlled room for 8+ weeks.

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YFU Alum & Trustee Returns To Everest: Dispatch #3

brandpointyfu

Yesterday morning was our first foray into the Khumbu Icefall—AND IT WAS AWESOME!!!!

The icefall is a ~2,000' cascading glacier that separates base camp from the upper slopes of Mt Everest, and aside from the objective hazards (seemingly bottomless crevasses, 3-story tall ice walls, house-sized ice blocks teetering above us, and Mt Everest's west shoulder constantly threatening to fall on us), it is a beautiful, natural jungle gym that gave me the biggest adrenaline rush I've had since my first experience properly mountain biking last summer in Banff.

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YFU Alum & Trustee Returns To Everest: Dispatch #2

brandpointyfu

Last week, we spent a couple of days acclimatizing at the base of Lobuche Peak (~16,500'). During that stay, our team shot a music video to Marvin Gaye's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." One of our team members was a former ballerina, and another had a good eye for videography. With me helping to organize and direct the production, we made a pretty hilarious video—complete with Pulp Fiction dance moves and a Sherpa re-enactment of a scene from the movie Titanic. The video should be viewable on the IMG Everest blog, if you look for posts about Team 3. https://www.mountainguides.com/everest-south17.shtml It is also viewable on YouTube.

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YFU Alum & Trustee Returns To Everest: Dispatch #1

brandpointyfu

I left Minneapolis on April 5. This departure felt quite different than did leaving Philly two years ago—perhaps because I'm in such a different position in life (working consultant vs. graduate student), perhaps because I know now what to expect out of the trek and Everest's lower slopes, or perhaps because two years ago the closest call I'd ever had in the mountains involved falling into a crevasse on Denali. Our 2015 expedition forever changed me: it reminded me first-hand just how precious life is, when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake unleashed a wall of ice and rocks on our camp, narrowly missing me and my teammates. We helped treat and comfort the victims before assisting with reconstruction efforts in the Khumbu on our way out of Nepal.

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