What is AYA?
Academic Year in America (AYA) is one of the largest and most respected high school/homestay programs in the United States. Founded in 1981, AYA is well recognized by high schools across the U.S. and endorsed by thousands of American host families.
AYA is sponsored by the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1967 with the assistance of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Its mission is to promote worldwide understanding through cultural exchange. The Foundation awards grants to high schools for projects that encourage intercultural awareness. It also provides scholarships that enable young Americans to study and travel abroad. AYA is a proud administrator of two U.S. State Department grants: the FLEX program, which welcomes students from Eurasia, the former Soviet Union states; and the YES program, which welcomes students to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries.
AYA Vision Statement
To encourage and inspire young people to become considerate and forward thinking citizens of the world, by creating dynamic educational opportunities to share beliefs, ideologies and values across cultures – and to provide these experiences with an unrivaled commitment to the safety of our students and service to our participants.
The Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), established in 1984, is a not-for-profit organization that oversees quality international educational travel and exchange. It establishes standards for organizations operating international educational travel and exchange programs at the high school level, monitors compliance with those standards, and disseminates information regarding international educational travel organizations. AYA is listed in the CSIET Advisory List for high schools, which ensures a high quality program for participants, students, host families and high schools.
On the basis of materials submitted and reviewed, the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel grants full listing to Academic Year in America in the 2011-2012 Advisory List. The CSIET certification mark certifies that this organization complies with the standards set forth in the CSIET Standards for International Educational Travel Programs.