As a YFU volunteer or Local Coordinator, you not only help change the lives of students, but you can help change the world. For 70 years, YFU has successfully carried out our mission thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteers across the country and many more around the globe.


The YFU Legacy Grant is available to volunteers, alumni, their children, and children of qualified host families (must have hosted or volunteered for at least 3 months prior to American student departure). Eligible applicants will receive a $1,000 discount on their program tuition. Applying for the YFU Legacy Grant does not disqualify students from winning another scholarship and it can be combined with a merit-based award, up to the full tuition amount.

Would you like more information about Volunteering for YFU? Submit an inquiry today.

Please note that the YFU Legacy Grant is not a competitive grant and shall be awarded to all students who qualify using the criteria listed above and have been accepted on a YFU program.

Why volunteer or become an LC?

The YFU spirit is embodied by the individuals and families who devote their energy, experience, and empathy to every YFU student. At YFU, our host families, educational communities, and volunteers help young people become wiser people – safely, securely, confidently.  Unlike other exchange programs, we are a volunteer program, which means we do this simply because we love it.

YFU is a strong and vibrant organization because of the collective efforts of a broad and diverse volunteer base. As an organization, we value flexibility in terms of hours and location of your volunteer activities. With many different volunteer roles available, you can find the one that best meets your needs in terms of scheduling and interests.

YFU volunteers provide essential support to students, families, and other volunteers in a variety of ways. Volunteer opportunities may include: interviewing prospective exchange students and host families, conducting orientations, sharing information with local communities, or providing administrative support. When you join YFU USA as a volunteer, you become part of one of the most respected programs in international student exchange. Your involvement makes a real difference in the lives of teenagers, families, your local community and the world.

I enjoy working with all the different students. I may not have the opportunity to travel the world, but the world travels to me. I have a very blessed life, getting to know all these different cultures.
— YFU Volunteer

To Our Alumni

Perhaps when you came home, you felt that others couldn’t understand what you’d experienced, or what challenges you had to overcome. Volunteering with YFU is a great way to surround yourself with others who genuinely understand the experience. Extend your experience by working as a YFU volunteer or college intern when you return from abroad. Pay-it-forward to others, while gaining relevant experience that you won’t get in school.

Organizational experience is priceless when you are applying for jobs in the future. You can get experience in planning projects and activities, mentoring exchange students, in targeted marketing and recruitment activities and work as a team dedicated to strengthening public diplomacy.

My reason for volunteering was to say thank you to people who had been kind to us in our travels. An added bonus is that working with YFU has qualified me for a challenging new job!
— Judy, YFU Volunteer

Who are YFU volunteers?

YFU volunteers have varied backgrounds, occupations and ages. They’re professionals, parents, retired or recent college grads. Some of our volunteers were even exchange students or host families.

YFU volunteers:

  • Desire to learn more about the world

  • Enjoy helping teenagers and families

  • Value making friends with like-minded people

  • Demonstrate leadership in problem-solving situations

  • Appreciate increased intercultural understanding

YFU volunteers are essential to providing quality support to students, families and other volunteers. Participate as a team, individually, or with a friend or family member. As a YFU volunteer, you can choose from a number of opportunities to suit your interests, needs and schedule. The hours and locations are flexible and you can volunteer for some tasks without ever leaving your home! Whether you are a returned exchange alumnus, a parent, a retired person, or a college student —we welcome people of all backgrounds to work with us. Whatever your skills and interests are, there is a volunteer opportunity to match them!


YFU provides all the training and tools you need. Ongoing training opportunities conducted by professional staff and skilled volunteers are available online, in-person, conducted one-on-one and in groups. Take courses on topics like leadership, government compliance, conflict resolution, social media, community building, cultural understanding and more.

Recognizing the highly valued role our volunteers play in fulfilling our mission, this year’s Volunteer Awardee works as a tireless champion of our volunteers. Donna Schnaars has been an active member of the YFU community for 25+ years. She is one of our valued Trustees and has hosted more than a dozen students.


While many of these tasks are involved in multiple positions, volunteers receive support for their efforts no matter what the position or task they undertake.

  • Orientation – assist in planning and conducting orientations for international students, study abroad students, host families, and/or natural families.

  • Administrative – support the administrative activities in each office and assist regional and field staff in more effectively providing services to other volunteers, students, and families.

  • Interview – interview prospective host families and/or study abroad students.

  • Presenters – give presentations about YFU programs to groups at schools and other community events.

  • Recruiters – recruit host families and/or study abroad students for YFU programs.

I love working with YFU and am so excited to be part of this amazing team! It has been such a pleasure to see the great impact the exchange program has on the students, host families, and classmates at school; literally, everywhere that the student goes they touch the lives of those around them in a positive way and I love seeing power that just one student has!
— Tara, YFU Volunteer

Volunteer Positions

Brief descriptions of many of the YFU volunteer positions are listed below. Complete descriptions for all volunteer positions are available from your regional office.

  • Area Coordinators (AC) – provide leadership and supervision for other volunteers in a specific geographic area as directed by the Community Engagement Manager and Community Development Manager.

  • Study Abroad Interviewers and Interview Coordinators– interview prospective study abroad applicants, organize an Interview Day event in your local community.

  • Study Abroad Scholarship Evaluators– read and score scholarship applications and help select winners (can be done online).

  • Study Abroad Recruiters– give presentations or staff a booth at schools, meetings, conferences, festivals, fairs, and other events. Represent YFU at local functions. Support virtual information nights online and/or speak directly with applicants,

  • Study Abroad Orientation Coordinators– help prepare students for their study abroad experience through interactive workshops, games, and curriculum.

  • International Student (IS) Volunteers – perform various tasks related to the International Student and host family program. These can include some or all of the following: recruitment, presentations, interviews, orientations, or administrative process.

  • Trainers – provide basic procedural training and orientation to volunteers or program participants in partnership with YFU staff. They follow organizational guidelines and use standard YFU USA training and orientation manuals and materials.