An AIFS Foundation Program

Academic Year in America

Academic Year in America is the AIFS Foundation’s premier program, welcoming over 600 students annually to the U.S. to live with a volunteer host family and attend the local high school. AYA has welcomed over 35,000 students to the program since its inception in 1981.

AYA is one of the most respected high school /homestay programs in the United States. Since its founding in 1981, Academic Year in America has enabled more than 35,000 foreign students to come to the United States. Current annual enrollment is over 600 students from more than 50 countries around the world. AYA is well recognized by high schools across the U.S. and endorsed by thousands of American host families. The program is designated by the U.S. Department of State to issue the J-1 cultural exchange visa and operates in full compliance with program regulations.

The AYA program is administered by full-time staff in the Stamford, Connecticut main office and is supported by a network of over 250 Local Coordinators across the U.S. who monitor and supervise the students and their host families. AYA works cooperatively with International Partners from around the world to screen and select the most qualified students for the program.

Academic Year in America Satisfaction Evaluations

Statistics taken from the 2018-2019 end-of-year survey to AYA students and Host Families.

90% of all students said their program was good or excellent.


98% of students recommend the program.


92% of all host families recommend the program.


91% of host families said hosting was an enriching experience for their family.