Foreign Exchange Program

IFYE National Standards For Outbound Applicants


IFYE is a rural-based, cultural immersion program, not a vacation. As an IFYE Representative you will gain a broad perspective of life in your host country by being an active member of your host family and moving to a new family every three to four weeks. Refer to our IFYE National Standards below to determine if the IFYE Program is right for you.

Our IFYE National Standards outline the qualities that we use to select the ideal candidate for our foreign exchange program.

  • You must be an U.S. citizen.
  • Be a young adult in good health (requires a physician’s approval), ages 19 to 30 years old as of day of departure, with at least a high school education (requires a diploma or GED).
  • Be adaptable to changing surroundings and able to control one's actions, impulses, or emotions in challenging situations.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and a volunteer spirit as exhibited by community service involvement.
  • Possess an ability to communicate clearly and effectively in their native language and be willing and able to learn another language.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to learn the geography, history, culture, and agricultural practices of both the USA and host country. Must exhibit an awareness of current state, national, and world events.
  • Open to participating in the activities and customs of a host country or countries. Demonstrate a sincere interest in understanding other people, rather than enforcing their own point of view.
  • Demonstrate a desire to integrate into a family setting and the ability to abide by the rules of the host families in which they live.
  • Understand that country partners exchanges are rural based. Possess experience and/or knowledge of rural life and their state’s rural organizations and educational activities.
  • Understand that this is a cultural immersion program and not a vacation. Any excursions, tours, and experiences are courtesy of the host country and/or the host families.
  • Positively represent the IFYE Program by adhering to the IFYE Code of Conduct and IFYE Participation Agreement.  
  • Show responsibility to the Program by attending the National IFYE Orientation and Debriefing events; reporting back to the IFYE National Program Director and the state IFYE Coordinator (where appropriate) as required; and joining the IFYE Association of the USA, Inc., and the state IFYE Association, where established.
  • Committed to sharing experiences and perspectives as well as promoting the IFYE Program, during and upon returning home, through the required writing and speaking engagements.

Reviewed/Updated July 17, 2023