Skip to main content

The Academic Year in America (AYA) family is devastated by the tragic shooting at Santa Fe High School. There are no words to express the sorrow, grief and despair we feel for the families of the victims and the community at large.

One of the victims of this horrific incident was Sabika Sheikh, an AYA student from Pakistan and part of the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, administered by AYA and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. We send our deepest sympathies and condolences to Sabika’s friends and her families in both Pakistan and the U.S., as they mourn the loss of this bright and talented young woman.

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. Each year, close to 1,000 young people come to the United States on the Academic Year in America program.

Press Releases

7/2018 - Press Release - The Foster Family Named Host Family of the Year

5/2018 - Press Release - Ten American High Schools Awarded Grants for Cultural Programs
AIFS Foundation Supports International Exchange and Cultural Education

6/2017 - Press Release - Tony Cook Memorial Grant Awardees Announced
Ten American High Schools Awarded Grants for Cultural Programs

12/2016 - Press Release - International Exchange Students Honor America's Fallen
Academic Year in America students volunteer at annual Wreaths Across America event in Arlington National Cemetery

2/2013 - Press Release - AIFS Foundation and The Institute of International Education
New IIE Book Explores Changes in Latin American Higher Ed

11/2012 - Press Release - AIFS
Embrace the Spirit of Giving this Holiday Season With AYA

News Articles

01/2016 - News - Academic Year in America
Rossville Residents Gain Cultural Perspective Through Interactions With Foreign Exchange Students (from the Topeka Capital Journal, Topeka, KS)

07/2013 - News - Academic Year in America
Exchange Students in Need of Homes (from the Beloit Daily News, Beloit, WI)

01/2013 - News - Academic Year in America
Waunakee Tribune Profile: Anke Ackermann (AYA student)

11/2012 - News - Academic Year in America
Moline Area Families Can Make an Olympic-sized Difference (from The Dispatch, Illinois)

For additional information and/or images for editorial use, please contact Mike Liberty at

Click here for AYA Contact Information

Begin an exciting opportunity to engage in cultural exchange today!

  • View student profiles
  • Find the perfect fit for your family
  • Receive our Host Family Brochure



Schedule a convenient time to learn more about this amazing experience.

  • Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study
  • Future Leaders Exchange
  • Alliance for International Education and Cultural Exchange
  • CSIET - Council for Standards on International Educational Travel