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News - Youth For Understanding USA

Latest news about Youth for Understanding USA student exchange programs worldwide – Events – Partnerships.

New Scholarship Honors Legacy of International Exchange Student

Jennifer McKendree


Family of German exchange student to the US sponsors new scholarship for an American high school student from
son’s host community to study abroad in Germany

Washington, DC (November 13, 2014) The Alexander Voigt Memorial Scholarship offers the opportunity for a high school student from St. Cloud, MN (preference will be given to applicants from Technical High School) to spend a year as an exchange student in Germany.

Alexander Voigt was an international exchange student from Germany to St. Cloud, MN. He attended Technical High School, where he made his mark as a member of both the soccer and track teams. Known for his compassion, aptitude and adventurous spirit, Alex was a bright and charismatic young man. While participating in an aerial tour over his adopted city this past June, during the final week of his exchange, Alex was taken in a fatal crash. His family, so touched by the outpouring of support they received from the St. Cloud and YFU communities, and as strong believers in the importance of studying abroad, have funded this scholarship in their son’s honor. Donations to the Alexander Voigt Memorial Scholarship are being accepted, however, the Voigt/Jetter Family have offered to cover the entire cost of tuition.

Finalists for the scholarship will be reviewed by a board of St. Cloud representatives chaired by Mayor Dave Kleis who was Alexander’s host father while in MN, together with the Voigt/Jetter Family to select the recipient(s) for the 2015 – 2016 school year.

The Alexander Voigt Memorial Scholarship application deadline is January 5, 2015* and includes:
*Deadline subject to change.

  • Round-trip travel (domestic and international)
  • Placement with a carefully selected host family
  • School placement
  • 24-hour student support
  • Local pre-departure Orientation for scholarship recipients and family
  • National pre-departure Orientation for scholarship recipients
  • Language courses in Germany upon arrival (if needed) and orientations throughout the year
  • Opportunity to meet with the Voigt/Jetter Family who are sponsoring the scholarship

“YFU is a special family that transcends borders and cultures because we believe in exchange and the brave young adults who each embark on their own life changing journeys. Alexander was an exemplary young man, who was kind, intelligent and loved by so many,” said Michael E. Hill, YFU’s President & CEO. “He had followed in his own parents' footsteps as they too were once exchange students to the US with YFU, have been volunteers with YFU Germany and are host parents themselves. With the support of a longtime host father and the caring community of St. Cloud, Alex completed a wonderful year, filled with love and adventure. Together with the Voigt/Jetter Family we’re thankful to continue celebrating his life and lasting impact on each and every one of us, keeping his legacy alive through the Alexander Voigt Memorial Scholarship.”

A thank you letter written by Alex’s family – a wonderful tribute to Alexander and the spirit of intercultural exchange – can be found in the St. Cloud Times.


About YFU
Youth For Understanding (YFU) advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities. The global YFU network, consisting of partners in more than 70 different countries, is united by the belief that full cultural immersion is the most effective means to gain the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly multicultural, interconnected and competitive global society. Selected to administer more government and corporate scholarships than any other high school exchange program, YFU has remained a trusted leader of intercultural exchange programs for more than 60 years because of its commitment to safety, reputation for quality, and exceptional support services.