Ayusa International, a non-profit organization that for 31 years has promoted global learning and leadership through high school student cultural exchanges and leadership programs, launched its annual search for Michigan families interested in hosting international students for the 2014-15 school year.
Ayusa (which stands for “Academic Year in the USA”) works with diverse families who are interested in hosting an international student of high school age. Families without children, empty nesters, military families, retirees, and single people are all welcome.
Ayusa families come from all 50 states and reside in rural, suburban and urban communities. Host families provide three meals a day and a bedroom (either private or shared). Each exchange student is supported by a professionally trained local representative from Ayusa who works closely with the family, student and local school throughout the program.
Ayusa’s exchange students are 15 to 18 years old and come from more than 60 countries around the world, including Brazil, Japan, Germany, Ecuador, France, Peru, Morocco, China, and Spain. All students are fully insured, bring their own spending money, and are proficient in English.
Families interested in hosting an Ayusa exchange student are invited to go through a three-step pricess:
• View information online about Ayusa’s program and types of students that are interested in living with a host family and spending a year in the United States.
• Complete an Ayusa application for hosting, which can be done online. Ayusa will provide a list of questions about families and their local high school, request five references, and ask family candidates to sign a program agreement. An Ayusa representative can help complete the application, answer any questions and connect potential host families with other host families in a specific community.
• Once the application is submitted, an Ayusa representative will assist with completion of the additional hosting requirements – a criminal background check and in-home interview with an Ayusa representative. Once a host family is approved, they may log in to select a student. Ayusa representatives can also help find a student to match a family’s specific interests and activities.
“Michigan is one of the top destinations for Ayusa exchange students visiting the heartland,” Ayusa Midwest Regional Manager Jessica Anderson said. “They may be drawn to the natural beauty of Michigan’s extensive shorelines, outdoor recreational opportunities and our Midwestern hospitality.
“Hosting an exchange student also provides Michigan families the chance to learn about other cultures around the globe, without the travel. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like sharing your Michigan lifestyle with a student from abroad, now is the time to take action.”
Ayusa is a 501(c)(3), and an official U.S. Department of State designated Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor.
Families interested in learning more about hosting a foreign exchange student can go to www.ayusa.org or call 888-552-9872.