The AIFS Foundation has been designated by the U.S. Department of State to operate the Academic Year in America (AYA) program since 1981. AYA is a proud cultural exchange program teaming up with the Department in celebrating their 75 years of international exchange programs in 2015!
From 1940 to the present, the U.S. Department of State has fostered mutual understanding through people-to-people exchange programs. The Department administers exchange programs for more than 50,000 participants each year. People-to-people international exchange programs, like AYA improve our understanding of different cultures, viewpoints and build language and leadership skills.
Since 1981 AYA has linked together with the Department of State to help bring the world together by hosting high school aged international students to participate in an academic year in America. Our AYA host families have opened up their homes, their hearts and communities in effort to enrich cultural understanding and allow international students to experience American values and traditions.
AYA is one of the largest and most respected high school/homestay programs in the United States and well recognized by high schools across the U.S. and endorsed by thousands of American host families. AYA is sponsored by the American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS) Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1967 with the assistance of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
Our vision is to encourage and inspire young people to become considerate and forward thinking citizens of the world, by creating dynamic educational opportunities to share beliefs, ideologies and values across cultures – and to provide these experiences with an unrivaled commitment to the safety of our students and service to our participants.
Join us in celebrating international exchange programs this year by hosting with Academic Year in America. Learn more about our program on our website and how to bring the world to your door by hosting this year! AYA is celebrating with the Department of State its 75 years and we want you to join us!