Academic Year in America is celebrating 35 years of helping to connect American families and communities with international high school students from around the world. We are proud to be an initiative that supports grassroots opportunities for cultural exchange and interpersonal diplomacy. Our participants advocate for cultural exchange in the USA in three important ways:
- Our international students enrich classrooms across the country.
- These classrooms prepare U.S students to face the demands and challenges of an interconnected world throughout their education and careers.
- AYA participants build families that expand globally and a network of connections that extends around the world.
Programs like AYA are part of the U.S. Department of State J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. These initiatives are in place to prepare U.S citizens with international skills and understanding to secure American interests in world affairs and open up valuable avenues of international travel, education and communications.
International visitors participating in these programs have an opportunity to learn about life in the United States and return to their homelands with knowledge to share and real connections to treasure. Our communities gain insight into life in far away places with different customs, languages, and cultures.
This wisdom — knowledge gained through cultural exchange — is important to improve national security and diplomatic efforts, bolster U.S. industry and economic growth, prepare an American workforce that can compete in an increasingly global arena and much more.
So keep up the great work!
The best way to make sure everyone continues to have these opportunities is to share your stories. So, thank you to all of our participants that share their writing, pictures, videos and press mentions to demonstrate the value and benefits of cultural exchange in the USA.
You may also contact your Congressional representative to share your support of exchange programs like AYA. Call their local office to ask for continued support and explain why the opportunities are important for you and your community. You can also find your rep on social media to keep the conversation going as you have related stories to share in support of cultural exchange.
How to share your story as an AYA participant:
Whether you are a current participant or alumni of the program, we want to hear from you! Joining the conversation on social media is a great way to keep our international family network strong for everyone’s benefit.
- Follow us on Twitter (@AYAExchange) and use the hashtag #WeAreAYA!
- Like our Facebook page.
- Follow our blog: Just add Culture.
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel.
- Follow AYA on LinkedIn.
***Email story ideas, videos, pictures and original blog posts you’d like us to share: firstname.lastname@example.org.***
We can’t wait to hear from you!