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Youth For Understanding (YFU)

About

YFU participants gain intercultural understanding, learn mutual respect, and develop a sense of social responsibility. Your experience abroad gives you leadership competencies necessary to meet today’s challenges and benefit from the opportunities of a fast-changing global community. YFU programming allows you to immerse yourself in another culture, learn a new language and meet like-minded individuals who share in our mission.

With YFU, you'll appreciate the nuances of a foreign language, and test your confidence in new situations. When you join YFU, you join an expert global exchange network with almost 65 years of experience and over 40 countries for you to study abroad in. From application completion and travel accommodations to adjusting to your exchange, our experienced Admissions Counselors and volunteers are here to support you every step of the way.

For more information about YFU's study and volunteer abroad programs for teenagers, please visit our website.

Website
yfuusa.org
Founded
1951
Headquarters

4705 La Casa Dr
Oakley, CA 94561
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Sarida
8/10

YFU program is super supportive program in my opinion. They took care of me very great and I was super fun that once I could have such a great opportunity to become a YFU exchange student in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 🇺🇸. This program provides the home that located in the safety state which is very nice to me and of course my parents that we would not be worried about that at all year long. In every two or three months the program will have a student conference in Milwaukee so I can hang out with other people from all around the world (I mean we could get to know so many international people from around the world)

Yes, I recommend this program
Leo
8/10

I was very fortunate that I was given an opportunity to spend my exchange year and created lifelong friendships. Mostly due to all the supports from many of my friends, I really feel confident about announcing that my exchange year has been tremendously successful regardless of the difficulties and issues that I was confronted with. I cannot express how much this exchange year meant to me. All I can say is that It has definitely given me a new perspective about life itself. Realization of something that is difficult to notice unless u get out of your comfort zone and dive into whole another world. I, also, cannot describe how grateful I am to all my friends, teachers and host families who made this year so amazing and unforgettable. I couldn’t have chosen any other people to spend the best 9 months of my life. My exchange year wouldn’t have been the same without everyone I met.

How can this program be improved?
make sure the host family can provide good enough environment to host students
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sarah
9/10

I was a student who didn't know exactly what they were doing when I got there, and I didn't speak any of the language. I had problems with my host family because they didn't understand my cultural differences and rather than move me, they made my sit there with them despite the fact that they didn't want me there I was left there for a month, and blamed me for my families treatment of me. I finally moved and had a fantastic experience with another family in the way north. I learned alot of the language, I learned more about myself then I ever would have at home, and finally learned how to be happy. Now I have a second home, another family, and an amazing best friend from my time there, and my life will never be the same.

How can this program be improved?
YFU Germany needs to step up and not blame there students for literally every problem they have.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Aishat
10/10

As a 17 year old in the suburbs of the Midwest, studying abroad seemed such a faraway and untouchable concept. It seemed that only adolescents in movies and TV shows went on exchanges. It wasn’t until my junior year in high school that the topic of exchange was broached. My friends were looking into different study abroad programs for the summer. When I became more interested in going abroad, I had missed the deadline of the program all of my friends were applying to, so I went in search for another program. That is when I discovered the Youth for Understanding program. At first glance, the price tag for exchange seemed particularly steep and was admittedly discouraging, but upon closer inspection, I found numerous scholarships that I could apply for to cut the cost substantially.

The application process was very straightforward and the questions were thought provoking. As I moved on to the interview portion, I was ecstatic to find that it was more lax and non-pressuring than I was used to. This was foreign to me because many interviews that I’ve had before made sure that I knew it was a competition. Of course, in this circumstance, I was essentially competing with other students interested in going abroad, as well as the students hoping to receive a scholarship. However, my interview with a YFU volunteer was more of a conversation that gauged my possible success abroad.

Through the period between my acceptance and getting on the plane, YFU guided me and my family through the preparation. I enjoyed the sectional orientation held by volunteers to help students going abroad in my area. I had the opportunity to meet several students whom were traveling to the same country as I and I learned some great skills to be successful abroad.

I also participated in the pre-departure orientation in Berkeley, California at the University of California-Berkeley. Unfortunately, for my group, we rushed to learn for a day and a half instead of a 3-day orientation. During the orientation, we met fantastic volunteers who were in our places a year or even ten years ago. We learned about some aspects of the culture we were going into. We also learned tips and phrases that would show respect, kindness, and gratitude to our host families during our first few days abroad.

I can honestly say that YFU fit me with the best family that I could have been placed with. Your host family is there to care for you and provide for all of your basic needs. Your placement can make or break your experience. As an only child, I worried about how I would be able to connect with my host siblings. I worried if I would like my host family and if they would like me. During my exchange, I learned that my worries were irrational. From day one, they made sure that I knew that I was welcome in their home. My host parent even reminded me of my natural parents, which kept me from feeling too homesick.

So, why YFU? Personally, I describe my exchange as my true transition from childhood to adulthood. Abroad, I was more independent in the way that I made most of my own decisions. However, YFU always made sure that I always had resources to assist me. Exchange really makes you aware of how big the world truly is. I’ve learned so much about a culture different from my own. These experiences that I have had, thanks to the YFU program, are sure to stay with me throughout my lifetime.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Lauren
10/10

This trip truly changed my life. I got had experiences and met people that have truly helped shape me as a person. I have gained skills that I will take and use for the rest of my life. I can never show how grateful I am for the experiences YFU has given me. I got the opportunity to go to a school, join Kendo club, explore beautiful places, and meet tons of people. This experience truly widened my eyes to the beauty of different cultures.

How can this program be improved?
Longer trips and more group exploration activities.
Yes, I recommend this program

Programs

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