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International Student Program
YFU History & Mission Statement

The Youth For Understanding community college program provides students from around the globe with the opportunity to pursue college-level academic studies while living with a carefully selected host family in a community reflecting American values.

The YFU mission is: YFU prepares young people for their responsibilities and opportunities in a changing, interdependent world.

YFU's global history began very humbly in the United States. In 1951, an American minister, John Eberly, proposed to church leaders that teenagers from war-torn Germany be brought to the United States to live with a family and attend high school for a year in an effort to heal the wounds of World War II. This proposal met with approval from State Department officials. These initial exchanges established the family living experience and provided the impetus for YFU expansion to other parts of the world. In the mid-fifties, the program grew to include Scandinavia, and later to western and central Europe. Youth For Understanding bridged the Pacific in 1958 when the first students came from Japan. The Pacific program now also includes Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and China.

Today, Youth For Understanding is one of the world’s oldest, largest and most respected international exchange programs. Since 1951, YFU offices around the world have exchanged approximately 200,000 students with more than 50 countries. In one year alone, approximately 4,500 students will participate in our programs worldwide. Each exchange is coordinated by a worldwide network of national YFU organizations – all dedicated to providing the highest quality international educational experience for exchange students and their host families.  Through the exchange experience, YFU students gain skills and perspectives necessary to meet the challenges and benefit from the opportunities the fast-changing global community has to offer. 

YFU USA has been accepted for listing for 2007-2008 by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET). The mission of CSIET is to identify reputable international youth exchange programs so that youth are provided with meaningful and safe international exchange experiences.


Visit the YFU-USA Web Site

Contact Information
    Megan McCaffery-Bezeau - YFU Coordinator  
   Monroe County Community College  
    1555 S. Raisinville Rd.  
    Monroe, MI 48161  
    734.384.4258  
    mmccaffery-bezeau@monroeccc.edu