We are ready to divulge our charitable pursuit for the month of July. (It actually covers the entire rest of the year, but the process started in July!) Jeremiah and I have decided to support Academic Year in America (AYA). AYA is a program of the American Institute For Foreign Study Foundation. It is one of the largest and most respected high school exchange programs in the United States. In case you haven't guessed already, we aren't supporting AYA financially. We have decided to host a foreign exchange student in our home this year!
We have filled out the host application, had our in-home visit with the local coordinator, and selected a student. The only remaining steps are a background check and a reference check. I don't foresee any problems there, so we should be good to go! We'll have an orientation in the coming weeks, and then our student will arrive mid-August. We selected a 17 year old girl from Germany. She will attend high school here and live with us for the fall semester. We'll be responsible for room and board and act as her family for a few months. It's going to require a substantial time and monetary commitment on our part, but I think it will be worth it.
I'm very, very excited at the opportunity to introduce someone to America, as well as learn some things about Germany at the same time. It should be an awesome learning experience for all of us. I look forward to providing more details as they become available, and I can't wait to meet our student!
If you have any interest in hosting a foreign exchange student, please visit AYA's website and request information. They still have students that need placement for the coming year.