Cultural Exchange Resources

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Government Agency Resources

U.S. Dept. of State, USA Study Abroad


USA Study Abroad website

The U.S. Department of State’s site aims to provide more resources to increase and diversify U.S. student participation in study abroad programs around the world.

U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs


US Dept of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Detailed information about cultural exchange programs of many kinds (year-long, short-term, high school, university, professionals, etc.) both for U.S. citizens looking to go abroad and for non-U.S. citizens looking to come to the United States.

U.S. Dept. of State, J-1 Visa Programs


Information on J-1 visas, the primary visa program for high school students coming to the U.S.  J-1 visas are also in other international visitor programs (e.g., au pair, college, intern, and short-term summer/work programs).

Exchange Advocacy Organizations

Council on Standard for International Educational Travel


CSIET website

CSIET is a non-profit organization in the field of international educational travel and high school cultural exchange.  Its mission is to “provide leadership and support for the exchange and educational communities to ensure that students are provided with safe and valuable international and cultural exchange experiences.”  CSIET sets voluntary standards for exchange program organizations and develops industry “best practices.”

NAFSA: Association of International Educators


NAFSA website

Originally established after World War II as the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers to provide support to college-level officials involved in the education of foreign students coming to the U.S.  The association’s mission changed over time both as more international students came to the U.S. and as more Americans began studying abroad and the name was changed in 1990.  NAFSA provides resources and professional development to people working in all aspects of study abroad.

Alliance for International Exchange


Alliance for International Exchange website

The Alliance is an association of 80 nongovernmental organizations in the international educational and cultural exchange community. The organization's mission is to promote public policies that support the growth of international exchange links between the people of the United States and other nations. Member organizations contribute to all aspects of international exchange: academic, au pair, high school, internships, summer programs, adult trainee and teacher programs, and more.

Scholarship and Government-Sponsored Programs for U.S. High School Students

Congress-Bundestag High School Youth Exchange and Vocational Youth Exchange


Year-long high school or gap year program which offers students the opportunity to live with a German host family and participate in a training or school program. High school graduates gain experience through an internship with a German company

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)


NSLI for youth scholarships to study abroad

Provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to learn less commonly taught languages. The program runs summer and academic-year programs and is for US citizens between the ages of 15-18 who are enrolled in or who have just graduated from high school.

Scholarship and Government-Sponsored Programs for Non-U.S. Citizens

Kennedy-Lugar Youth and Exchange Study (YES) Program


Kennedy-Lugar YES program website

Established by Congress in 2002 in response to the events of September 11, 2001, this program provides scholarships for students from countries with significant Muslim populations to come to the U.S. to attend high school for up to one year, live with a host family, and learn more about the American culture.  The government expanded the program in 2009 to include U.S. students going abroad.

Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program


FLEX program website

Provides scholarships for high school students between 15-17 to spend an academic year in the United States, living with a family and attending an American high school.  List of participating countries includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine.

23,500

J-1 visa high school exchange students in U.S. in 2017-2018

332,700

U.S. undergraduate and graduate students studying abroad 2016-2017

>1 million

international students of all kinds in the U.S. in 2017-2018

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