Discover Youth For Understanding
Youth For Understanding (YFU) is for learners of all ages who want a life-changing cultural exchange experience. The global YFU network, consisting of partners in more than 70 different countries, is united by the belief that curiosity about the world expands cultural awareness and acceptance of other ways to live, which leads to broader perspective and greater understanding.
YFU advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities.
Since 1951, YFU has been a trusted leader of intercultural exchange programs because of its commitment to safety, reputation for quality, and exceptional support services. YFU’s unique intercultural exchanges open minds and hearts, enable learning that transforms lives, and changes the way you see the world.
YFU's history began humbly in the United States in 1951 in an effort to heal the wounds of World War II. By teaching a group of young Germans how families lived together in the United States, the hope was that they would be motivated to help rebuild their homeland according to what they had experienced on exchange. Dr. Rachel Andresen, who founded YFU and served as our longtime Executive Director, was a catalyst for positive global change. Her mission and vision live on today through the experience of over 250,000 alumni and 12,000 volunteers worldwide.
Get Started on Your Greatest Journey Yet!
With YFU, you’ll discover a global community that believes in international understanding, mutual respect and social responsibility. YFU’s distinctive brand of intercultural exchange opens minds and hearts, enables learning that transforms lives and ultimately helps make us citizens of one world.
Host a Student
Looking for additional ways to get involved with YFU?
- High school Exchange: summer, semester or year - choose from 40 countries
- High School Short Term Summer Program: 2-3 Weeks Summer Programs to Germany, France, Spain & Greece
- Gap Year Programs: Traditional Homestay, Internship, Volunteer & Service Programs for ages 18-26
- Adult Study Tours: Join fellow cultural enthusiasts who share an interest in learning while representing the US; ages 19+