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Why Host with AYA How to become an AYA host family

The Academic Year in America (AYA) Program of the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation provides an exciting opportunity to engage in cultural exchange. AYA broadens international horizons by bringing foreign students to the United States to live with American families and attend high school. Although there are other high school exchange organizations, we would like you to know why we believe families should choose AYA.

Your choice of student

Unlike some organizations, AYA allows you the opportunity to choose a carefully screened student who will best fit your family.


Lifelong friendships

Build a bridge with another culture and start a lifelong friendship with the student and his/her family. Meet new people in your community: your Local Coordinator, teachers and other Host Families.

Local representation

AYA maintains a national network of well-trained Local Coordinators, one of whom will be close by to work with you and your student throughout the semester or year.


National 24/7 support system

Our Host Families, Students and Local Coordinators are backed by professional staff in our national office in Stamford, Connecticut. AYA offers a 24-hour hotline and the expertise of our 40 years in intercultural educational exchange.

Fully insured

AYA provides each student with full medical insurance designed specifically for cultural exchange participants, giving your family and your student peace of mind.

Full Listing for 2023-2024

The Council on Standards for International Education Travel (CSIET) annually reviews exchange programs. AYA consistently receives its highest approval ranking: Full Listing.


Help students become part of your family and a new culture
to encourage international understanding.


Why Should You Host?

Hosting a student from a foreign country is an opportunity to enrich your life! Each year, hundreds of American families choose to host a teenager from another country to:

  • Build memories and friendships to last a lifetime
  • Bring the world into their homes and to enrich the lives of their families
  • Share the culture of America with a student from another country
  • Learn about another culture from a new ‘son’ or ‘daughter’
  • Make a difference by breaking down barriers and opening lines of communication with others around the world

When you host a student from another country, you’ll be surprised by how much you will learn about yourself, your family, your community and the wonderful world around you!


We get out in the community with the students a lot and we are more involved and active - most people are very interested in the students, their countries, what we are doing and why!

—Tyler, host brother age 14