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History of Ayusa

1981

Ayusa (Academic Year in the U.S.A.) International founded as a non-profit in San Francisco. Offices are located in the "Icehouse," a renovated warehouse near the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

1982

Ayusa begins offering J-1 visa program as a U.S. designated Exchange Visitor Program sponsor.

1984

Ayusa becomes a founding member of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET). Ayusa is approved for listing by CSIET and has been approved for listing each year since.

1985

Ayusa receives a grant from USIA to open a Regional Center in Tokyo. Asian programs begin.

1989

Ayusa Central and Eastern Europe Regional Center (AICEE) opens in Belgrade.

1990

Ayusa opens it's Ayusa Germany office.Originally, offices were located in Stuttgart but later moved to Berlin.

2003

Ayusa is awarded a major grant from the U.S. Department of State to administer the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, an academic year program for students from countries with significant Muslim populations.

2016

Ayusa celebrates 35 years of exchange!

What We are All About

The best way to make the world a better place is to make ourselves better. That’s what Ayusa is about.

A founding member of the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), Ayusa Global Youth Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the next generation of global leaders and world citizens. Through quality exchange programs for high school students from around the world, we cultivate leadership skills, develop intercultural awareness and enhance global knowledge not only through education, but through experience.

Get In Touch with Us

Ayusa and the Department of State take foreign exchange student safety, well-being and successful participation in our program seriously. If an issue with an exchange student in the U.S. arises, please let your Community Representative know. Ayusa's 24-hour phone number is 800.727.4540 and you may also send an email to studentsupport@ayusa.org. The Department of State can also be reached toll-free at 866.283.9090 or by email at jvisas@state.gov.

Meet the Ayusa Staff

The national support team, based out of Ayusa headquarters, work with Community Representatives to provide support to all.

  • Debra Slagle
    Executive Director, Responsible Officer

  • Jessica Anderson
    Senior Director of Field Operations

  • Lauren Zanghi
    Director of HQ Operations and Compliance, ARO

  • Sandi Chu-Yang Shake
    Manager of Partnerships, ARO

  • Whitney Fisher
    Outreach Manager

  • Melissa Ni
    Senior Operations Coordinator

  • Mia Cheeseman
    Operations Coordinator

  • Jess Hodge
    Regional Manager, Southeast

  • Jammie Hutchinson
    Regional Manager, Northeast

  • Amy Estes
    Regional Manager, Heartland

  • Connie Coutu
    Regional Manager, Southwest

  • Kristen Crossland
    Regional Manager, Desert Mountain

  • Cathy Galli-Vaneveld
    Regional Manager, West

  • Kim Van Kirk
    YES Grant Program Manager/ Regional Support Specialist, West

  • April Bray
    Regional Support Specialist, Southwest & Desert Mountain

  • Linda Suiter
    Regional Support Specialist, Northeast & Heartland

  • Erin Leschak
    Regional Support Specialist, Southeast

Ayusa Toll Free Number: 1.800.727.4540