OSWEGO, NY – There’s a way you can contribute to world peace and be exposed to a new culture without ever leaving your home. And, you can make a teenager’s dream come true.
It’s easy; all you have to do is take part in the Academic Year in America program.
AYA is bringing close to 1,000 high school exchange students to the U.S. in August from more than 30 countries including Germany, Thailand, China, South Africa and Brazil.
With AYA’s tailored matching system, families have the unique opportunity to find a student who will be the perfect fit for their household.
The students have a multitude of diverse talents and interests.
Each student arrives with full medical insurance, spending money, at least three years of English language study and the hope of seeing the U.S. through the eyes of a resident.
Academic Year in America relies on the generosity of American families to provide a loving, caring home to these bright young ambassadors.
Bringing an international student into your home is an excellent way to give your family a “world view” of a different culture, host dad Tim McMahon said in a recent press release. His family has hosted five AYA students.
McMahon said his children have made friends and traveled around the globe to visit the students on their own and have made extremely close and personal friendships.
Hosting an exchange student is a wonderful opportunity for families to experience the customs and culture of a foreign country without having to travel, said Annette Geers, local coordinator.
There are several key elements to the hosting experience, she added.
Host families must provide their student with two meals a day and a place to sleep and study.
Most importantly, they must welcome their student into their home as if they were a son or daughter.
To help facilitate the exchange experience, host families will receive assistance from an AYA local coordinator.
Upon successful completion of the exchange, host families can earn up to $1,000 towards travel to visit their student.
Who can host an AYA student?
Just as there is no “typical” American family, there is no “typical” host family. Retirees and young couples are all able to give an international student a good home. Some host families may not even have children of their own.
AYA is a not-for-profit organization designated by the U.S. Department of State to offer J-1 visas to international students. AYA is sponsored by the American Institute For Foreign Study Foundation, which was founded with the assistance of the late Robert F. Kennedy.