Are you ready to see the world up close? Do you have a spirit of adventure? Will you enjoy the challenge of adapting to new people in a new culture?


YFU Programs Change the Way You See the World!

For 70 years, YFU has offered high school students a unique opportunity to study in the US via our High School Cultural Exchange Program (J-1 visa). As a YFU exchange student, you’ll gain the knowledge, skills, and insights that will prepare you to be a world player. Even the smallest interactions with your host family, friends, teachers, and community members will teach you something new – about the people, the culture, and, of course, yourself.

YFU gives you the opportunity to live with a carefully selected host family who has opened their home and their hearts to you. As an exchange student to the US, you will learn about family, community and school life. At home, you will discover how family members relate to one another and about their daily schedules. At school, you will explore academic subjects such as English, history, science, and math, but you will also learn about social life, friendship, and extracurricular activities.

All students are required to follow a set of YFU rules in addition to those set by the host family. These rules may be very different than you are used to at home. YFU families who are hosting our cultural exchange students (J-1 visa program) are not compensated for hosting you – they find motivation in learning about different cultures and by providing someone like you a chance to learn about another culture’s diverse way of living.

YFU High School Cultural Exchange Program (J-1 visa)

YFU looks for students who are flexible, have a spirit of adventure, and who will enjoy the challenge of adapting to new people in a new culture. You must be between the ages of 15 and 18, meet minimum grade requirements, and be in good health.

Applicants to the YFU High School Program must demonstrate the following to be accepted:

  • English language proficiency

  • Motivation to excel in academic or career courses

  • Commitment to the host family experience

  • Self-responsibility, self-direction, and maturity

  • Readiness for a cross cultural exchange experience

Candidates applying to the program must demonstrate pride in their culture and respect for cultural diversity. Applicants take a comprehensive language test to demonstrate English Language skills, submit personal essays, and take part in face-to-face interviews to determine motivation and readiness for both homestay exchange and high school level work. This is an opportunity to mature as you learn how to face the many challenges presented while on exchange. Candidates must be prepared to live by the rules of the host family, share about their home culture, and actively engage in family, school, and community activities



The High School Program tuition includes, host family placement arrangements, program orientation, and on-going support. Your YFU National Office will be able to provide more details on current tuition and additional aspects of the program that may be included.


To receive information about the YFU High School Cultural Exchange Program (J-1 visa), please contact your YFU National Office at

The regulatory agency responsible for oversight of approved youth exchange organizations can be reached at