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Give Your Students the International Exposure That Gives Them a Leading Edge in Today's Global Community

Ayusa is a true cultural exchange program that fosters global competency and cultural awareness in communities. In partnership with the Department of State, we bring exceptionally talented and motivated students from more than 60 countries to live with American families and attend American high schools for 5 to 10 months.

High schools who partner with Ayusa invite these students to study, play, and grow alongside American students. It gives everyone the opportunity to share languages, build lifelong friendships, and provide unique insights about the U.S. and the world. Ayusa’s high school exchange program is an opportunity to help students better understand their world today so they can make it better for tomorrow!

  • Think bigger: Gain international perspectives and increase cultural awareness.
  • Open doors: Give students a competitive edge on college applications, in career choices, and throughout their lives.
  • Build relationships: Create lifelong international friendships with students and their families.
  • Promote goodwill: Cultivate leaders in global awareness, intercultural knowledge and positive international relations
  • Change the world: Ignite a far-reaching light of global citizenship that will change students, families, communities and even entire nations.

Why Partner with Ayusa

Welcoming international exchange students into your community comes with a long list of benefits. Ayusa works closely with partner schools, host families, and students to maximize those benefits and exceed every expectation.

  • Proven Success

    Ayusa Shows Proven Success

    More than three decades of experience in delivering high quality cultural exchange programs for high schools students.

  • Personalized Support

    Ayusa Offers Personalized Support

    Dedicated and culturally-experienced local staff is available 24/7 to answer questions, offer assistance and ensure success.

  • Exceptional Students

    Ayusa Has Exceptional Students

    Highly selective application process ensures students are goal-oriented, well-rounded, open-minded and strong academic performers.

Ayusa's Exchange Students

Ayusa’s student come from all over the world and have a wide variety of talents and interests. See the students available to be welcomed into your community!

Meet Our Students

What Schools Have to Say About Our Students!

Ayusa YES Student Jin-Shen with the robotics club

We have a group in robotics who develops a business plan. We ask Jin-Shen's perspective about the United States. Global discussions have more meaning. His presence in several discussions has made them deeper. By preparing our students to be effective global citizens in this way we are equipping them to be the leaders we all know they can be. Having Jin-Shen here is very valuable.

David Sylvestre, Herobotics Team Advisor

Ayusa YES Student Farooq with students from high school

Farooq participates actively in class and works conscientiously toward his academic success. [He] frequently has a smile on his face when seen in the school and has made the easiest and most successful transition of any exchange student that I can recall in my 14 years working at Olean High School

Matt Threehouse, Counselor at Olean High School

Questions Schools Often Ask

How are international students selected to join the program?

Ayusa works with our overseas offices and partners, who recruit students. Our offices and partners conduct extensive screening of the applicants that include personality assessments, in-person interviews, home country school and teacher recommendations, before accepting a student.

All students must:

  • Be between the ages of 15 and 18
  • Meet English proficiency and grade requirements
  • Not have completed more than 11 years of schooling in their home country
  • Undergo a medical assessment
  • Have received required immunizations by the school
  • Meet all Department of State regulations

Will the exchange students speak English?

All Ayusa exchange students are expected to meet the required ELTiS English proficiency score of 212. This score ensures that students can speak and read English.

Students may not be as confident in their English abilities when they first arrive or may feel overwhelmed. For most, they have never been fully immersed into an English speaking society. While it may take a little time to open up and become more confident, they will quickly find that they are capable of conversing with others.

If a student may need some extra help, Ayusa will help to find additional resources or tutoring for the student, to support the student’s academic success.

What are the academic expectations for Ayusa exchange students?

Ayusa exchange students are expected to maintain a 2.0 GPA. If students need extra help in their classes for any reason, Ayusa will  help arrange tutoring or extra help for our students to help bring improve their grades.

Ayusa honors all school enrollment standards, academic and student placement criteria specified in school or district policy guidelines. Whenever possible, students should be enrolled in a standard curriculum that includes English, U.S. History, science, and math.

Ayusa students are also expected to be active participants not only in their classes but also in school clubs or activities. There is no better way to experience life as an American teenager than joining a sports team or band, participating in a Spirit Week, or volunteering with other classmates!

What level of support from Ayusa is given to schools, exchange students, and host families?

Across the country, Ayusa has local Community Representatives (CR) who provide support to not only the students and host families, but also the schools. Your local CR will check in regularly with a contact at your school to ensure that everyone is having a successful experience.

Ayusa will do our best to ensure that all students receive the academic support needed. If an exchange student needs some extra help in any class, Ayusa will help find them a tutor or extra resources to ensure they are successful in class and meeting academic expectations.

How are host families selected?

American host families must go through an application and interview process, which includes a background and reference check. Each host family is interviewed in their home by an Ayusa Community Representative.

Will the students’ classes they take here count when they return home?

Depending on the students’ school requirements back home, their classes may or may not be credited to their coursework in their home country.  Many students come on program to enhance their educational goals and experience first-hand what life is like in an American school.  

Some countries that do accept credit for classes taken while on program are:

  • Brazil
  • Ecuador
  • Italy
  • Korea
  • Serbia
  • Spain
  • Mexico

Students can work with their schools and Community Representatives before the end of their program to ensure their official transcripts are authenticated.

What does Ayusa have to offer our American students?

Ayusa offers a variety of activities and programs for American students!

Students can volunteer to become Student Ambassadors. Student Ambassadors partner with the local Ayusa Community Representative to befriend, support, and inform the exchange students in their school. This is a great opportunity for American high school students to volunteer and meet new people. The skills they obtain and activities they do with Ayusa exchange student and CRs look great on college applications!

Ayusa also offers study abroad opportunities to Germany and Japan! Students can go for a semester, year, or summer program and experience life abroad firsthand!  Click to learn more about the Germany programs. Click here to learn more about the Japan programs.

There are also numerous other study abroad opportunities for your students, such as below:

  • YES Abroad - The U.S. Department of State's Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad (YES Abroad) program, provides competitive merit-based scholarships for U.S. citizens in secondary school (age 15-18.5) to study for one academic year in select countries.
  • CBYX Abroad - The U.S. State Department funded Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) is for motivated high school students who want to fully immerse themselves in German culture by living with a host family and attending a local high school. No previous language experience is required.
  • NSLI-Y - The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent high school graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs.