Bring the World to Your Home...

Yes, I'd like to learn more!

Complete the form below to download an AYA host family brochure and receive additional information.

I confirm that I am registering to learn more about becoming a volunteer host family. I am aware that this is a voluntary opportunity, and host families do not receive any financial compensation for hosting.

Yes, please contact me at the number I have provided regarding additional information about Academic Year in America. We respect your privacy and will not sell your contact or personal information.

We’re Academic Year in America and We Need Your Help!

Since 1981, Academic Year in America (AYA) has brought more than 30,000 high school students from around the world to the U.S. to live with American families, attend local high schools, and have an unforgettable adventure. 

But we can’t do it alone! We need caring families like yours to help bring the world together by hosting a foreign exchange student. 


AYA student from Brazil living with Ohio host familyhost-family-1.jpg
Air port host family

Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

When you become an AYA host family, you will:

  • Create memories and build lifelong friendships
  • Enrich your family as you learn about the culture of your student guest
  • Become an American ambassador, sharing the culture of your local community

How It Works

STEP 1: Register

Register with AYA to start hosting. Once registered, access student profiles, receive the host family brochure, and initiate your application. If already registered, explore AYA student profiles based on country, interests, and gender. Complete the host family application and background check to view student photos. 


Host family with student.
Host family and student after a soccer match.

STEP 2: Application

Upon registration, initiate your host family application with the AYA Application Packet, which includes:

  • Biographical information about your household, family interests, and rules.
  • A Family Album section for specific photos of your home and family.
  • References request, requiring a minimum of 2 non-family references.
  • A Criminal Background Check for household members aged 18 and older.

STEP 3: Interview

Prospective host families are assigned an AYA Local Coordinator who provides consistent support throughout the program. The Local Coordinator arranges a convenient home visit, assessing living spaces and discussing hosting responsibilities. They verify each household member's agreement to participate. 

Your Local Coordinator contacts the references from your host family application, ensuring your ability to provide a safe environment. If you haven't chosen a student, they can assist in finding a suitable match based on profiles. Once your application, background check, interview, and references are approved, your family is fully vetted. 

Host family and student at the Grand Canyon.

STEP 4: Finalize

After approval from the AYA National office, finalize your student selection. You may have already found a perfect match online or seek assistance from your Local Coordinator, who can show you suitable profiles. The AYA office staff is also available for personal guidance. 

Upon full vetting approval, your Local Coordinator collaborates with the local high school for student enrollment. Confirmation of the match allows you to start communicating with your student.

Hear from Our Families

“By hosting an exchange student, it has given me the power to help with bridging the gap between our culture and others. It may seem small, but it has taught me that even just one person can make a difference.”

—Host family 

Hosting a student with AYA is an exciting opportunity for cultural exchange.

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A program of the AIFS Foundation