If you would like to learn about the experiences of YFU parents, you may e-mail your questions to any of these YFU Alumni Parents. Please include “YFU Parent Referral” in the subject line of your email. Their children have participated on a YFU program and they would be glad to share their YFU experience with you.

If you have questions regarding specific program components, admissions, tuition, or other program-specific information, please e-mail our admissions office. You may also talk to an admissions counselor by calling toll-free 1.800.TEENAGE (1.800.833.6243).


Germany Year, 1983

I am the parent of two children who studied abroad as well as host parent to over 30 YFU students since 1979. It has been just as difficult to say good-bye to our own children as our host “children.” Once in your home, forever in your heart. Our son spent a year in Hamburg, Germany following high school. What a great experience for all. To this day, there is a phone call each month. What has been the effect on us and our family because of YFU? Learning that no matter where your child is they are forever part of you; respect is earned; not letting little things tip the canoe; hugs are important; having a student tell us, “it’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with that matters.”

Japan Summer, 2008

Having spent a year in France with YFU myself, it wasn’t until I sent my own daughters (1 to Japan in 2008 and 1 to Finland in 2010) that I realized what it took as a parent to send one’s child off into the world. So with a deep breath and knowledge of the positive impact this exchange would have on them, I encouraged and supported their wish to go. And when they came back, it was so obvious that they had grown in many ways and were much more ready to face the challenges of college. Plus more confidence in themselves, a better understanding of the world and ability to see things from different perspectives. It was one of the best things we did for them during their high school years.

France Summer, 2015

My husband thought the program was economically impractical for us, and about half way through our daughter’s stay, he came to realize that her experience was priceless. Seeing our own daughter gain such immeasurable knowledge and awareness of life outside our borders was really life-changing for all of us. Her host family in France could not have been a more perfect placement. She was able to meet all the children and grandchildren and travel with them locally and to Central France. She said her host mother was the best and felt like family during the entire 5-week stay. She vastly improved her French and now wants to pursue learning French further!

We had an excellent experience with YFU, and our son Gabriel had a life changing experience as a result of his travels to Japan. He was very fond of his host family, and they felt the same. They came to visit us a few months ago, and plan to visit again. We hope to accept their invitation to visit Japan. We decided to host a YFU student, and Dan from Germany spent the last school year with us. This was also a very good experience, and we plan to visit Dan and his family in Germany next year.
— Marybeth McDonald, Study Abroad Parent and Host Mom