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Compass is an online orientation dedicated to expanding the educational horizons of YFU students and their natural and host families during the cross-cultural experience. The topics have been organized by their usefulness and relevance leading up to, during and following the exchange experience. Take your time as you read through each topic, reading ahead now and going back to re-read later.

These issues are hosted on Joomag, and can each be easily shared, downloaded, or printed using the toolbar above each issue.


Before Leaving

Understanding Yourself as a Product of Your Own Culture

What is culture? How do you "learn" culture? This issue of Compass helps you to think about understand how your own culture affects how you view everything around you!

Understanding Foreign Cultures by Demystifying Your Own

Have you ever thought about American culture? Since we live in our own culture all of the time, it becomes a norm, but this issue of Compass helps you to think about American culture in a new way.

Cross-Cultural Resources

This issue includes lots of helpful resources to start learning about international exchange.

Learning About Your Host Country

Looking for more information on Germany? Japan? Or anywhere else in the world? Check out this issue for tips on exploring your host country before you get there!

Language Preparation for Your Exchange

Here are some ideas for how to work on your language comprehension and speaking.

While Abroad

Feeling at Home in a Strange Land

This issue gives you some good tips of what to do and think about when you first arrive to your host family.

From Visiting to Belonging: A Transforming Experience

This issue gives you some good tips of what to do and think about when you first arrive to your host family.

Two Cultures Together: The Adjustment Process

This issue discusses some of the challenges you will face during your adjustment process.

Culture Shock

It may be surprising that you would experience culture shock later on in your exchange, but as your life in the host culture becomes more routine, sometimes this is the toughest part of the adjustment process. Read through this issue to learn more about culture shock and how to work through it.

Going Home Again: The Re-Entry Process

It's time to go back home, and now that you've gotten used to living in another country, with a new family, new friends, and a new lifestyle, it may be hard to think about going back. This issue gives you some useful ideas for preparing to go home.


Parent Issue

How to Share Your Teenager's Experience

As your teenager goes abroad, we hope that you will take a deeper look into the world too! This issue will provide you with some examples on how to share your teenager's experience.

Parent Experience Blog

As parents, you will play an important role in the success of your child’s exchange experience. You too will be experiencing change and adaptation. Therefore, YFU would like to provide you with your own learning opportunity to prepare for this exchange experience. Please read through our Parent Experience blog.


Back Home

Returning Home

What new values, interests, and skills are you bringing home with you, and how will you apply them to your life? This issue explores life after exchange!

Preparing to Share Your Exchange Experience

What will you want to share with friends and family about your YFU experience? This issue helps you consider and explore different ways to share your experience.