Youth For Understanding USA

6856 Eastern Ave NW, Suite 310
Washington, D.C. 20012
Phone: 202-774-5200 or 1-800-TEENAGE
Contact: William Malloy, Chief of Staff

2020-2021 CSIET Certification Status: Full
Countries Served: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Gaza, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vietnam, West Bank
Grant Programs: Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX), Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES)
Number of 2019-2020 Participants: 1013 (891 semester or year J-1 Inbound; 122 Outbound)
Not-for-Profit Organization: Established 2002

Youth For Understanding USA (YFU USA) is a nonprofit educational organization partnered with a global network of YFU organizations in more than 60 countries that exchanges more than 4,200 students annually. YFU advances intercultural understanding, life-long learning, global competencies, mutual respect, and social responsibility through transformational educational exchanges for generations of youth, families, and communities, supported by dedicated volunteers and professional staff. As one of the industry’s oldest exchange organizations, YFU began in 1951 under the direction of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Rachel Andresen, whose vision to build international understanding and world peace began with US host families welcoming 75 German teenagers in an effort to heal the wounds of World War II. As a full immersion exchange program, the primary cross-cultural activity is daily living with a host family for an academic year or  semester.  More than 270,000 students and families have benefited from YFU exchanges since 1951.

YFU USA provides support services to participants, including cross-cultural orientation, counseling and language tutoring.  These services are provided by more than 1,300-trained volunteers working within three regions throughout the United States and supported by a national office in Washington, DC.  Each YFU international partner maintains a national office and trained volunteer force to provide support to U.S. students abroad.

Study Abroad Academic Year, Semester, and Summer Programs— Program participants ages 14-18 live with volunteer host families while attending school, immersed in a language program, or volunteering with a local organization. Ranging from 6 weeks to a full year, programs are offered to more than 40 countries. Previous language study not required, except for select programs as indicated on-line. Tuition is priced starting at $6,995 and is inclusive of orientations, all domestic and international flights, 24-hour in-country support, placement, and accident/illness insurance. Personal expenses and visa/passport fees are additional

Competitive scholarship programs — Government, corporate, and foundation partnerships account for millions in merit-based scholarship funding every year. High school aged students are eligible to apply for scholarships if they maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and apply before deadlines from December 1st through early January.  For more information, please visit the YFU USA website,, or call 1.800.TEENAGE.

In-bound Year, Semester Programs & Hosting for U.S. Families – More than 1100 students (ages 15-18) travel from more than 60 countries to the US for one academic year or a semester, to live with YFU volunteer host families and attend school, if applicable.  English language proficiency is required for most programs.  Students are covered by accident/illness insurance and bring their own spending money.