Youth Exchange Programs

Youth Leadership Programs foster mutual understanding, respect, and civic engagement among young Americans and their international peers. During the exchanges, students and educators participate in workshops, community service activities, team building exercises, meetings with community leaders, leadership development, and live with American families. Students work independently, or in groups, on community projects that they will implement in their home countries upon returning.

The majority of Youth Exchanges that World Affairs Council hosts are sponsored and funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. WAC also regularly partner with DC-based nonprofit, World Learning, for our Youth Leadership Exchange Programs and Youth Ambassadors exchange programs.

Youth exchanges are typically 1.5 – 2 weeks in duration and students are always hosted in the homes of numerous volunteer Host Families around Louisville! You can read some testimonials by host families and students below. If you are interested in hosting a student, please visit our volunteer webpage and reach out to Laura Duncan, Visitor Program Manager, at [email protected]!

As a first time host family with 3 younger children, while excited, I had logistic concerns.  Working closely with Laura, all of my worries were [alleviated]. The program was well organized, every last detail accounted for. Our student is a member of our family. I highly recommend the host program, and have already requested to be a host family this year.  The most difficult part was saying goodbye to a member of our family.

ElizabethLa Grange, KY

Reflections by Students

I want to be an English teacher. I will not just teach grammar. I want to teach a lot of different things that I’m learning here.

WFPL Interview

Teylon, 17 (Brazil)

Just to be honest I want to be a pilot. But my mother said no so I have to be a doctor. I don’t have an opinion about my life. It’s all about your parents, the community. And I will work on that, actually. Like, through doing some dialogue groups.

WFPL Interview

Zainab, 16 (Iraq)

My project is about designing a dialogue group to inspire others about being more open-minded and celebrate the diversity. Because Iraq is so diverse. We have people from different backgrounds, different languages, different religions.

WFPL Interview

Ali, 16 (Iraq)

Here’s the thing: not all Iraqis are Arabs. Not all Arabs are Muslims. And not all Muslims are terrorists.

WFPL Interview

Awab, 15 (Iraq)

A Day in the Life of Odir

“It impacted my point of view of the world. All the workshops […] I had opened my eyes about so many things that I don’t even know how to describe it.” – Odir

Interview with Vitoria Marques of Brazil Youth Ambassadors

“It’s the realization of a dream, a result of commitment. I just have to be thankful,” she said.