Youth for Understanding (YFU) is an independent non- profit non sector volunteer based organisation dedicated to advancing intercultural understanding, mutual respect and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities.
Originally founded in the USA in 1951, YFU student exchanges quickly spread and now offers programs in over 50 countries around the world. YFU Student Exchange was started in Australia in 1977 and is approved as an exchange organisation by the Education Departments in every state and territory of Australia.
YFU student Exchange offers exchange programs for high school students from ages 41.5 to 18 years to 43 countries around the world in Asia, Africa, Europe and north and south America. You can go on exchange and stay with a specially selected host family and attend a local school and make friends in any one of these countries for periods from 3 months to 12 months. We also offer 2 month short programs to a range of countries during December- January school holidays so that you do not miss any school here in Australia.
YFU student exchange offers a number of discounts and Scholarships including:
o An early bird discount if you apply 6 months in advance of going on exchange
o A two friends discount – if two friends go on exchange in the same 12 month period
o A Hosting discount- if your family would like to host an exchange student from overseas for periods from three months to 10 months
o Partial scholarships of $ 2000 for a semester and $3000 for a year exchange.
• Foundation member of the Council of Australian Student Exchange Organisations (CASEO)
“We were well prepared for a new member of our family by attending orientation sessions, so we knew about the honeymoon period followed by a period of adjustment, a settled-in time and the wrench of departure of what will now always be our de-facto child”
Sara (VIC) YFU Host Mother
“My wife and I had been considering hosting a student for some time, but were initially of the opinion that it would be better to wait for our daughter, who is nine, to get to her teenage years. As a family we talked it over and decided that we would give it a try and host a student, we picked a young girl from Uruguay called Valentina. Vale settled into our family and became a big sister for our own daughter. Through her we learnt a lot about a country we knew little about, and our own daughter grew so much through the whole experience, both through learning about another country and showing a visitor to our own land around and teaching her about the kiwi way of life. The hardest part of the whole experience was seeing her off to go back home, she had became a part of our family, a friend to so many, and a big sister to our own daughter. We still keep in touch and Vale is planning a visit back here in the near future, as we see it we now have extended our family to beyond our shores.”
Peter (NZ) YFU host father
“We loved our student. It was an enriching and rewarding experience to have shared cultural and personal experiences and many happy times doing things and being together. Wouldn’t have swapped it for anything.”
David and Cathy (NSW) YFU host parents
“When our student Ana, from Argentina returned home, she left all of these messages hidden around our house. For weeks, we were finding messages of goodwill that she had left and she left them in the most unlikeliest of places. Under a sauce bottle or in the bookcase between 2 books, etc”
Gary (QLD) YFU Host Father
“We started hosting exchange students in 2011, when we were certainly not considered a “standard” host family with no children of our own, were under 30 and living in Melbourne. I had been an exchange student, we love travelling but unfortunately we can’t travel all year around, we wanted to share our home, family & culture and it was a great way to volunteer and bring the world into our community.Even before our first exchange daughter had finished her exchange we had decided to host again. The experience had been fantastic; we became tourists in our own country, we learnt about ourselves, we laughed at some miscommunications, we tried some new food (not all of it was good) and we watched as she became more confident and grew from her exchange experience. Since then, we have hosted 3 more exchange students who have made our family even more global coming from the USA, France & Italy. This means we have tried some very interesting foods, gotten some translations wrong and very happily have a variety of family photos displayed in our home with each of them. We keep in touch with all of our “kids” once they return home and proudly have 2 in college already. Last year we even had the opportunity to visit one of our kids and meet her family which was amazing and this year we are expecting a return visit for Christmas.”
Rebekah (VIC) YFU Host Mother
Office is open Monday to Friday 8.30 am – 5.30 pm. After hours service is available 24/7 for emergencies and general enquiries.
Appointments are available after hours with notice.
Address: 10 Century Circuit Norwest Central Baulkham Hills NSW 2153 Australia
Tel: +61 (2) 9407 8400