Sunday, June 2, 2013

Did You Ever Think About Getting An Exchange Student?

My first introduction to exchange students was in high school, when my friend Melinda went on an exchange to the Philippines. When she came back she had lots of great stories, and she brought me, as a gift, a set of boxes that I still have.

I've been contemplating the idea of getting an exchange student for several years, and now we've officially decided to go ahead and take the plunge! For now, I'm not going to say any more about our exchange student, but in case you want to know more about exchange students, here is some information.

There are two exchange programs working in Washtenaw County: One is AFS USA (formerly the American Field Service), and the other is YFU-USA, or Youth For Understanding.

Interesting factoids

Youth For Understanding began in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area. It started as a cross-cultural exchange with Germany in the years following World War II, with the idea that if German youth had a stronger relationship with the rest of the world, that would improve the chances of peaceful relationships in the years ahead. Now they work with students from all over the world.

American Field Service started as an ambulance/field hospital service by the American Colony in France during World War I. Between World War I and World War II it offered graduate level scholarships. AFS began the intercultural exchanges that are familiar to us immediately following World War II--but they began by working in many more countries. Now they work with students from all over the world.

Now both programs work in many countries around the world. We are working with YFU, but it might just be because we found them first.

Interested in finding out more? Here is some contact information:

Youth for Understanding:


Here is a story on Chelsea Update about exchange students coming to Chelsea.

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