Students participating on the AYA program learn about America and its culture while improving their English language skills and achieving their educational goals. AYA has more than 30 years of experience.
The program is sponsored by the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation, a not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1967 with the assistance of the late Robert F. Kennedy. Its mission is to promote worldwide understanding through cross-cultural exchange.
The Foundation has been designated by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) as an Exchange Visitor Program, authorized to issue the Form DS-2019. This form enables qualified participants to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa from the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees that includes prominent educators and international organization leaders. The board meets regularly to review the effectiveness and quality of the Foundation's AYA program to ensure that standards of excellence are upheld.
Academic Year in America partners with educational organizations around the world to provide American host families and international exchange students with outstanding opportunities for high school exchange. This network of affiliations adds value to our foreign exchange program options and enriches the experience of students and host families in the U.S.
We always love our international students and treasure so many things they have taught us.—Sharon M. Hughes, Art Teacher, Wheeler High School, Mississippi