What do teens like Luiza from Brazil, Hannes from Germany, Manami from Japan, Wasim from Pakistan, and Andrea from Mexico have in common? They are about to join a group of 2000 teens from more than 60 countries who are coming to America in August as Youth For Understanding (YFU) high school exchange students! Many of them are still waiting to learn what loving American host families will select them to be their new exchange sons or daughters.
These teens are hoping for experiences like enjoying a real American barbecue, attending a Halloween costume party and a high school football game, joining a school sport or music group, and sharing in the fun and responsibilities as real members of their American host families.
Today Youth For Understanding is seeking host families for many bright, hopeful teens like these who will carry on that tradition and form lifelong connections with their host families and communities. Host families provide a place to live and three meals a day plus the encouragement, advice and love to help their new family member through a year in a new home. The students bring their own spending money and health insurance plus the willingness to be a good family member, following family rules and helping out with family responsibilities. YFU provides local representatives who mentor the students and families to make sure it's a good experience for all involved.
Host families offer a typical family living experience – not a tourist/travel opportunity. They are caring people who offer a slice of real life in America. Families come in all shapes and sizes, ethnicities and ages, with and without children of all ages. They share an interest in teens and other cultures. Some families agree to host a student for the academic year while others agree to be a welcome family who will get the student off to a good start for up to 12 weeks.
Call the local YFU District Office at 1-866-493-8872 for more information to see if hosting might be right for you and your family. You can request profiles of students with interests similar to your own. More information is available on the Youth For Understanding web-site at www.yfu-usa.org where families and volunteers can fill out an on-line application.