International honor student exchange program: Youth for Understanding (YFU)

ACPA began a partnership with Youth for Understanding five years ago. Since then ACPA students have broadened their horizons to include friends from all over the world including Russia, Japan, China, Germany, Switzerland, Korea, Thailand, and Brazil. Any ACPA honor student can apply to study a semester or year abroad. Any ACPA student may also apply to become a host family to an international honor exchange student. Hosting is a life-altering cultural experience for the whole family.

Youth For Understanding (YFU) is one of the world's oldest, largest, and most respected international exchange programs. Each year, YFU exchanges approximately 4,500 students worldwide. That means that since its founding in 1951, YFU organizations around the world have exchanged almost 250,000 students. Through their unique home stay cultural and educational exchange experience, YFU students gain skills and perspectives necessary to meet the challenges of, as well as benefit from, today’s fast-changing global community. If you would like to learn more about the opportunties of either hosting an exchange student or becoming one, please visit the link below.

 Gabriel from Jakarta , Indonesia A 16 year old Male

Gabriel has two major hobbies—sports and music. He really enjoys baseball and he often snorkels during vacations. Music is another essential of Gabriel’s personality. He plays the electric guitar, drums and piano. But Gabriel is not all play. In school he enjoys accounting and economics which he hopes will help him fulfill his desire to become a banker. Gabriel comes from a close knit family with a strong intellectual and educational background. He is neat and tidy as well as organized. Flexible, tolerant and interested in other people, Gabriel is willing to occasionally attend his host family’s place of worship. Gabriel wants to become an exchange student to have many friends in another country and learn about the American culture as well as improve his English.

Tim from Koenigslutter, Germany A 16 year old Male

From Germany, Tim is an outgoing, open-minded young man who has his life goals set. He wants to be a doctor and work with a team to help people. In his home town he is part of a youth group and is one of the leaders. He loves sports (golf and rugby) and is looking forward to participating in American sports while living with his new host family. He also loves to cheer on his favorite soccer team! While a full day of school doesn't allow for a lot of time for his hobbies, he also has been practicing the piano for seven years. Interested in fish, he has an aquarium of 20 fish in his bedroom. Tim likes to hang out with friends, go to movies or sit and listen to music. He spent two weeks with a family in Mexico, on a school trip, and realized how important family is and the great feeling of having another family. Tim is excited about making new friends and facing new challenges in the U.S. He wants to learn about the "American" way of life, the new cultures and a new school system.

Susanna from Oulu, Finland A 17 year old Female

Languages, cultures and history fascinate Finnish-speaking Susanna. Not only does she study English, Spanish, Swedish and Mandarin Chinese at school, but she is also learning Korean on her own --an interest initiated by K(orean)-pop music. Her reading also reflects her linguistic interests ranging from Harry Potter to “The Hunger Games” to Manga to “Memoirs of a Geisha.” She enjoys hip-hop, break-dancing and playing the guitar or singing “just for her personal enjoyment.” Susanna enjoys a comfortable family life, surrounded by her parents, younger sister and her dog. Animals are important to Susanna also and she hopes her Host Family has at least one. A good sense of humor, maturity and honesty are personal traits that win her friends although she often seems shy at first. Susanna, who hopes to become more open as she feels Americans are, is interested in almost any kind of Host Family,

Zeying from Shanghai, China A 16 year old Female

Ze Ying is a 16 year old girl from China whose favorite school subject is Spanish and her hope is to one day become a Spanish interpreter. Ze Ying’s teacher writes that she is among the top students in her class and the teacher is impressed by her natural English pronunciation and fluency in both English and Spanish. Ze Ying says her parents are like good friends to her. They are very busy working but they do enjoy traveling together a couple of times each year. Ze Ying likes to play basketball, volleyball and swim as well as dancing, and photography. She also plays the guitar and the keyboard and she sings. She likes the Chinese traditions of tea ceremony, Chinese brush, traditional Chinese painting and mahjong. Ze Ying wants to experience American culture and melt into American life and writes that she will bring “unforgettable memories and happiness to you”.


Simon from Germany, 15 yr. old male

Simon is from a large, close family and says they all work together to maintain a comfortable home situation. As they each have different schedules and interests, eating meals together is very difficult and infrequent. However, they enjoy watching movies and attending concerts as often as they can. Simon, as the lone vegetarian in the family, is used to cooking for himself and says he does eat fish and dairy products. An excellent student, Simon has interests in a variety of school subjects - languages, English, history and biology. Though unsure of a career choice, he leans towards something in the field of either languages or music. Simon plays the viola in the school orchestra and hopes to continue playing while in the US. He is also involved in the student newspaper as well as Red Cross Youth. Simon is a typical teenager who enjoys surfing the internet and hanging out with a group of friends he has known for years. He says they are important to his life and they always have a good time together, whether they are watching movies, going to restaurants or bowling. Simon and his parents thank the family that is willing to open their home and welcome Simon into their family.