Welcome to the United States! You are joining the over 270,000 students who have participated in YFU global exchanges since 1951. Your attitude and maturity in the face of the many challenges to come this year will shape the outcome of your program. Though much of this year’s experience will depend on the effort you put in, YFU is here to help you succeed.


Every student is assigned a volunteer Area Representative who is available to support you and your host family throughout the year. You should be in contact with your Area Rep at least once a month and meet in person at least once each semester. You may always reach out to them more often, as needed.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to share your updated email, mobile phone number, and FaceBook with your Area Rep. in the first month of your arrival. If ever you need to talk to someone other than your Area Representative, YFU has other volunteer mentors like your Area Coordinator or Orientation Coordinator who can give you advice. Also, YFU has professional Student Support Managers ready to help you cope when dealing with culture shock or general matters regarding your program.

Regular communication with your Area Rep or a YFU volunteer or staff member is required by the government. If you are not interacting on a monthly basis with your Area Rep, contact your local District Office.


During your exchange year with YFU, you will take part in 4-5 orientations – one prior to departure, three here in the U.S., and possibly another once back at home. We want to give all of our students the tools needed to seize opportunities and face the challenges that will come. Through this, you will be well prepared to make the most out of your exchange year.

In addition to having the support of your Area Rep, these educational orientations allow you to socialize and share experiences with your international exchange peers. You’ll gain perspective on family dynamics, learn about the rules of YFU, make friends, prepare for culture shock, and more.


  • The Guide – YFU Student Handbook
  • Belo Trips: YFU is not a “Teen Tour” but BELO is! Contact your District Office for the login to access this list of trips, application deadlines, permission forms and costs.Written “Permission to Travel” must be given by your natural parents, your host family and your school’s Principal. In some instances, a student’s interest in travel may conflict with school requirements and/or host family activities. Permission to travel may not be granted under many scenarios and incoming students should defer decisions to register for these trips until they are here in the USA and can obtain the necessary approvals. Prices quoted on the BELO website do not include airfare, which is an additional expense. You will also need spending money in addition to the cost of the trip.
  • Travel Information
  • Student Health/Liability Insurance
  • The Exchange Visitor Program Services of the Department of State may be contacted at JVISAS@state.gov.


Stories Wanted!

We are always looking for a good story.  What’s your favorite new word? What holiday from home did you share with your classmates? What’s the most eye-opening experience you’ve had this year so far? Click here to share your vlog, blog, video, voice recording or written story. Share your YFU Story

Student Presentation Packet

Carry on the YFU tradition and leave your legacy. Find host families for students arriving next year! Use this Presentation Packet for tips on how to share your story and to promote YFU opportunities for high school study abroad, volunteering, and hosting. Your work as a student ambassador helps build stronger YFU communities around the world.