Will the country I choose be guaranteed?

Unlike some other student exchange organisations, YFU guarantees your country of choice provided you meet the criteria for placement in that country and we still have places available for that country.

Can I choose a particular area in my country of choice?

You can nominate preferences for the type of placement (large city, urban or rural area or small town) during your application interview but we cannot guarantee that we can place you according to your preferences. YFU’s priority in placing you is matching you with a family with similar interests.

Will my family have to host an exchange student?

No, your family does not have to host an exchange student while you are away. Of course we welcome families hosting a student either while you are away, before you go or after you return.

Are there any language requirements to go on exchange?

Most of our partner countries do not have a language requirement and introductory language sessions are usually conducted during the arrival orientations. Only the program to France requires a minimum of 1 year of previous study of French.

Can a friend and I go on exchange together?

You can apply for the same exchange program but you will not be placed in the same family as this would reduce your opportunity to immerse yourself in the  culture and language of the country and to meet new people, which is the main purpose of going on exchange.

How does YFU choose a host family for me?

YFU host families come in different shapes and sizes and YFU will try to match you with a family with similar interests to you and your family. However, the main requirement for a host family is that they are willing to open their home and hearts to you. All YFU families are interviewed by YFU staff and are subject to a strict screening process.

If my family knows a family in my country of choice can they host me?

Yes, it is possible to be hosted by a family known to your family provided they meet the requirements of the host family screening process. The family will still be interviewed by the YFU organisation in the partner country and must be approved by YFU to host you.

Can I go on exchange if I have finished high school?

Yes you can go on exchange to certain countries if you have finished school, provided you are not older than 18 by the time you start your exchange. However, please keep in mind that you will still be required to attend school in your host country. Some of our partner countries also offer volunteering or university programs for learners who have finished matric.

Will my friends or parents be able to visit me while I am in exchange?

YFU does not permit parents or friends to visit students during their exchange program as this would interrupt the exchange experience. Your parents or friends may visit towards the end of your exchange period. However, the visit will only be approved if both YFU in your host country and your host family agree.

Will I have to repeat a grade at school when I come back?

That depends on the year you are in at school, the individual school requirements and the length of your exchange period. You should speak to your school as soon as possible about how your exchange may affect your school enrolment.

Can I extend my stay in my host country after finishing my exchange program and travel around before returning home?

Extensions of stay are generally not permitted unless you wish to travel with your natural parents after finishing exchange and your visa allows you to stay longer. If the extension of stay requires YFU to change return airline tickets and extend insurance coverage an additional fee will be charged.