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Friday, August 30, 2013

Youth for Understanding needs “Welcome families!”

When I fly, and I fly often, I usually read a book or work on my writing.  But on my flight to Iowa, I met Pamela Van de Walle of Silver Spring, MD who works for an international exchange student organization named Youth for Understanding USA.  We spoke a great deal about her life and I hope to write more about her in a future post.  (I am sure she will join the Walking Gallery one day!) 

I am writing about her mission here because one of you who read this post may be able to help. If you have a spare room and the willingness to host an international student on a long or short-term basis please contact Youth for Understanding USA ASAP.  Or if you are unable maybe you know someone who can help!  I cannot host due to my frequent travel schedule, but I offered to help spread the word.  Please help these children find homes before it is too late for them to be placed.

Pamela told me about the dire need of her organization to place 80 students in the coming days with host families. Dead line for families to apply is Sept 3rd! 

You can help!!!

According to Pamela:

“Each year, Youth for Understanding USA (YFU) - one of the world’s oldest, largest and most respected intercultural exchange organizations - sponsors 500 American teens to study abroad, and welcomes 2000 international teenagers to the U.S. to participate in intercultural exchange. This is their last week to invite families to apply to welcome one of these carefully selected foreign exchange students for the fall semester. The benefits of hosting a YFU student are as numerous and varied as the families who embrace this life-altering experience.

Would you consider hosting or serving as a welcome family for one of these students? The deadline is September 3 (Yes, Labor Day!)  to have an arrival host family and school enrollment for each student.

This week, we are accepting applications for Welcome Families.  Welcome Families host 6-12 weeks, helping the students enroll in classes, get engaged in after school activities, and culturally acclimate while YFU screens and prepares their permanent host family.  It is a great way to share some uniquely American traditions, like football season, Halloween, backyard barbeques, and visits to grandma and grandpa - everyday ordinary activities are new and exciting to our students! At YFU, our host families come in all shapes and sizes.

 By opening your home and heart to a student from overseas, you and your family will gain a new global perspective, many memories, and - quite possibly - a new family member for life!

Interested or know someone who’d make a great host family? Apply at or call 800.872.0200 to speak directly with your local field director.

With your support, we hope to further our mission of advancing intercultural understanding, mutual respect and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities."


Erin Helland
National Marketing Director
Marketing, Communications & Development
Youth For Understanding USA
Telephone: 240.235.2102 x5701
Toll Free: 800.424.3691
 Fax: 240.235.2104

Pamela Van de Walle
Director of Human Resources
Human Resources
Youth For Understanding USA
Telephone: 240.235.2392
Toll Free: 800.424.3691
Fax: 240.235.2198

Margie Eulner Ott
Director, U.S. Programs
US Programs
Youth For Understanding USA
Telephone: 240.235.2173
Toll Free: 800.424.3691
Fax: 240.235.2104

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