When you host a foreign exchange student with Academic Year in America (AYA), you welcome a young ambassador of another country to interact and exchange with your family, community and American youth. When AYA students return to their home countries, they bring valuable insight and understanding of life in the U.S.
One very important reason why hosting matters is that host families make AYA high school exchange possible. The program is so important, because we live in a world where—big as it is—all people are increasingly more connected and reliant upon one another. Globalization isn’t just a buzzword, it’s the reality of our human landscape. Everything from business to politics to public health and national security depends upon the ability of people to communicate across differences in language, culture, religion, geography, political ideology, etc.
There are so many reasons why hosting matters, not the least of which is sharing your life and experiences in America. AYA students are bright high school students from around the world. They are eager to see and experience how life in the U.S. is similar or different from their home.
Along these lines of why hosting matters, AYA students become beacons of understanding through sharing personal experiences and perspectives during their time in the U.S. and when they return home with firsthand knowledge of America. Not only do you gain a connection with someone from another country, but you give a foreign student the chance to make connections in your community. All parties are empowered through your decision to host a foreign student to participate in cultural exchange, educational enrichment and international dialogue.
When you decide to welcome an AYA student into your home, you open up a world of opportunity. Without host families, the thousands of students that have studied in the U.S. through AYA wouldn’t have had the opportunity and thousands more will miss out. At a time when cross cultural and international communication is so vital to our society, their lack of opportunity would be a loss to us all.
If you are interested in cultural exchange, we encourage you to learn more about why hosting matters and learn about AYA students. Feel free to leave a comment or reach out with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!