Foreign Exchange Program

IFYE Exchange Program FAQs
  • What is IFYE?

    IFYE is a two-way international, rural-based, cultural exchange program. Young adults, age 19 and above, can participate in the outbound program and will live with host families in another country. The inbound program offers the opportunity for families in the United States to host a foreign participant in their home.

  • Do IFYE participants have a title?

    Because they represent the United States in a foreign country, they are called IFYE Representatives.

  • When does the exchange take place? 

    IFYE is a two-. three-, or six-month exchange program. After an application and selection process, IFYE Representatives on the two- or three month program depart from the U.S. in mid-June and return in early September or depart in mid-September and return in early December. IFYEs on the six-month program depart in mid-June and return in early-December-

  • Where do IFYE Representatives travel? 

    They will live in one host country on a two- or three-month program and two host countries on a six-month program. Currently, there are about 17 countries around the world that host IFYE Representatives from the USA. Find them on the interactive map at:

  • Where will IFYE Representatives live? 

    Countries provide multiple host families in rural environments for approximately two to three week periods each. IFYEs will have most likely have four to six host families per three month period.

  • What will IFYE Representatives do while there? 

    Representatives live with several host families primarily in rural settings and are expected to participate in daily family activities, which may include work as it occurs on a farm or ranch. IFYEs also have the opportunity to interact with the host Rural Youth Organizations. Each representative is expected to share information about his/her home state and the U.S. with host families and any other groups or organizations in the host country.

  • What does it cost? 

    Host families provide room and board. Program fees are $3,000. This covers only about 15% of the total cost with alumni and outside sources contributing the balance. The fee covers domestic and international travel, and some administrative costs. Not included are: personal spending money, supplemental health insurance, travel insurance (if desired), as well as passport and visa fees.

  • What is the application process?

    Deadlines occur between November and mid-February, depending on the state. A selection process follows. Special circumstances may apply. The application process remains open until all slots are filled. For more information, contact Alan Lambert, National Program Director, IFYE Association of the USA, Inc. at or 605-366-6107.

  • What is the orientation process? 

    A multiple-day Orientation Program is held in mid-June. The location of the orientation is determined before applications are due and may be held in conjunction with the National IFYE Conference.

  • What is expected of the IFYE Representative upon return? 

    The program expects representatives to share their experiences with youth and other groups upon return to the U.S. through presentations, newsletters, social media, etc. according to his/her state policy. Returning participants are urged to join the Alumni association where they can support the program, help make exchanges possible for others, and build lifelong friendships.

  • Is personal travel allowed during the IFYE experience? 

    Depending on the length of stay in the host country, there is a potential of free time during which representatives travel wherever they choose. For example, representatives who travel for 6 months have approximately2 weeks of free time halfway through their time abroad. The cost for travel related to free time is not included in the program cost.

  • Is college credit available?

    Representatives are encouraged to explore the possibility of receiving credit through their college or university in the United States.

  • Why should one be an IFYE?

    IFYE is a fun, educational, life-changing experience. It provides you an opportunity to promote “Peace through Understanding” as you live the culture. IFYE representative alumni have found the IFYE experience has enhanced their employability, international awareness, and language skills.

    Rev. 10/2019