Why Cultural Exchange Programs Are Important
What makes YFU cultural exchange programs great? Discover why international student exchange programs are import for your students as well as your school.
YFU is a worldwide network delivering opportunities and support for global learning. As one of the world’s oldest, largest and most respected intercultural exchange programs, YFU has helped more than 270,000 students and their host families experience a cultural exchange, but the impact doesn’t stop there. Whether it’s a foreign exchange student attending a U.S. school or an American student returning from overseas, the impact on your classroom and school is significant.
THE IMPACT YFU HAS ON YOUR STUDENTS
The YFU experience has a life-changing impact on every student who undertakes it. Students achieve fluency in a new language, make lifelong friendships, and gain appreciation of host country and culture. Additionally, an exchange experience creates other benefits such as preferred college admissions, possible collegiate scholarships and enhanced global career opportunities for students who have studied abroad.
In many cases, YFU students receive credit for their overseas studies. YFU has created a step-by-step guide to help students work with their local school to receive the credit they need. YFU Admissions Counselors are also available to students and schools as a resource. Download a PDF of YFU’s school credit guidelines to help your students make arrangements to receive credit for their time abroad.
THE IMPACT YFU HAS ON YOUR SCHOOL
For many in your class, a foreign exchange student may be the first time they experience another culture firsthand. This is their opportunity to learn and understand the real meaning of global acceptance. Exchange students are truly a one-of-a-kind teaching resources, and you’ll be surprised how much an exchange student may teach you, too. American students returning from a semester, summer or year program, can share their experiences abroad bringing a wealth of knowledge to your classroom.
Exchange students and exchange returnees have much to contribute to their host and home schools. They bring both diversity and new perspectives.
International and American YFU students:
- Serve as constant resource in social studies and foreign language classes.
- Teach students cultural lessons they may not be able to learn from textbooks.
- Share viewpoints on international issues that impact students overseas.
- Help organize/lead International Days and exchange fairs.
- Tutor or assist classmates with foreign languages.
- Talk about the benefits of studying abroad.
- Show and tell with elementary and middle schools so children learn about other cultures firsthand.
HOW YOU CAN MAKE AN IMPACT
As an educator, you want to ensure your students receive the best possible education—and sometimes that education comes from a 16-year-old exchange student or 17-year-old exchange alumnus. That’s why it’s so important not only to encourage your students to study abroad, but to encourage your school system to accept students into your school. By helping to keep the doors of your school always open to exchange, you can give your students the opportunity of a lifetime.
YFU has exchanged more than 270,000 students since 1951. Our reputation of student safety and support allows us to offer more than 100 programs for study abroad to 40+ countries. Our summer, semester, year and gap programs are all economically priced in order to ensure that every student who wants to study abroad can do so. Plus, we offer over $1.6 million in scholarships each year. The moment your students decide to join YFU, we’re with them every step of the way. From helping the student select a program and orientation to travel and airport assistance, our Department of State trained volunteers will provide them with the support they need. All students are placed with a carefully screened host family, enrolled in school (year and semester programs) and have access to counseling, tutoring and worldwide emergency assistance. YFU takes all precautionary measures to ensure students' safety.
Get your students and school involved with YFU:
- Nominate your students for scholarships and programs.
- Talk to your school administrators and school board about YFU and hosting exchange students
- Be a YFU Volunteer
- Host a seminar or speak at a PTA meeting about the benefits of hosting a YFU student
- Contact your local media about the impact that welcoming a student can have on your community
- Be a constant voice and advocate of YFU
YFU is a leader in scholarship opportunities awarding more than 280 scholarships each year. These scholarships allow students to get the financial support they need to make exchange experiences possible.
Government Scholarships and Programs include:
- Congress Bundestag CBYX
- Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange
- Japan US Senate
- Japan America Friendship
- Okinawa Peace Scholarship