Foreign Exchange Program

Foreign Exchange Program | IFYE USA

News Articles/Testimonials

The Halle Foundation Grants $45,000 to the IFYE Association for International Exchange

Broomfield, Colorado, Nov. 18, 2021 – Three young adults from Georgia will have the opportunity for a one-of-a-kind international experience thanks to a grant from The Halle Foundation of Atlanta, Georgia. The funding will support three participants from Georgia to experience Germany by living with families in different regions of the country through an IFYE Association of the USA, Inc. international program.

The program is designed to immerse participants in international understanding with a focus on learning and experiencing the German culture. Research has shown that those who live internationally and interact with families in those countries have a greater appreciation for cultural diversity. IFYE, founded as the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) is a 73-year-old international exchange program for young adults age 19 and above.

The application process for this opportunity is now open for potential participants. Orientation will start in early March 2022. Candidates for the program will follow the IFYE application and interview procedures with final selections confirmed shortly after the new year.

Imagine being involved in rice harvesting in Thailand, experiencing advances in dairy farming in Switzerland, or enjoying similar opportunities in more than 15 other countries. An experience with IFYE can bring you this and more.

The IFYE Association of the USA, Inc., formerly known as the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) is a 73-year-old international exchange program for young adults age 19 and above. The organization is now accepting applications for its 2022 international exchange program.

Applications for the 2022 IFYE Exchange program will be accepted beginning August 1, instead of the regular November time frame. This announcement comes after IFYE, formerly the International Farm Youth Exchange, had to suspend its program in 2020 and 2021 as partnering countries closed their borders to international visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very excited to open our application process early,” said Alan Lambert, IFYE National Program Director. “As countries begin to open later this year and early next, we will be well positioned to begin our 2022 program,” he added. The IFYE program places young adults in rural settings around the world to learn the country’s culture, agriculture production and trade.

IFYE’s Positive Impact on the World

2021 marks the 73rd year anniversary for the IFYE Association of the USA, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It is the premier organization devoted to deep cultural exchange opportunities by sending young rural adults from the U.S. for two-, three- and six-month experiences living and working with rural based, host families in other countries.

Citing concerns regarding the global pandemic, the IFYE Association of the USA, Inc. Board of Directors voted April 8 to suspend its 2020 international exchange program for both outgoing and incoming representatives. The decision supports the current travel bans and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. State Department.

This year, plans were for participants to experience 13 countries as part of two- three- and six-month programs. The IFYE Association has been providing deep immersion cultural exchanges with countries around the world for more than 70 years, and this is the first time it has been suspended.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a ceremony held today at USDA offices in Washington D.C., the IFYE Association of the USA, Inc. (IFYE) international exchange program was recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture for its contribution to international cultural understanding. The two organizations signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance the public interest in international agriculture through rural-based international exchanges. The MOU was signed by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky and IFYE President Victoria Fehrmann Warren.

Incoming IFYE, Kelly Wakeman from the United Kingdom arrived on June 17, 2019 in South Dakota. Kelly, age 24, comes to us from Devon County, England, where she lives and works on her family’s 800 acre livestock and crop farm.

Kelly has spent the past three weeks near Colton, SD living and working with the Mark and Heidi Zwinger family. Heidi is the manager of Boadwine Dairy, a large-scale multi-site farm that milks over 2300 cows.

One way to spend a gap year between high school and college is on international exchange through the IFYE Association. Enjoy learning about Tarina, an IFYE from Finland, and her decision to travel for six months during her gap year between high school and college. Tarina’s homestay started in Switzerland for three months then finished in Michigan for three months, September through December 2018.

Kate wrote in her introduction on our website that "I have been attending IFYE conferences with my Grandmother since age 6. ... Not only did these conferences give me the chance to spend time with my wonderful Grandmother (who was an IFYE in 1956 to Wales and England!), but these conferences are also what have allowed me to fall in love with learning more about cultures that are different than my own by actually spending time immersing myself in said culture."

The IFYE Association conducts international exchange programs and cross-cultural education while promoting global awareness. The IFYE Foreign Exchange Program is for individuals 19 years old or older and typically lasts three or six months while changing host families every three to five weeks. As a participant in the program, you will live and work as part of the family. When Wei-Jia (Colin is his American name) from Taiwan decided to participate, he wanted to take the exchange to a new level and participate as a staff development experience as well.

This is Part 7 of Hannah Nordby's IFYE Experience detailing her travels in Thailand during the month of November along with Amanda Braun.

This is Part 5 of Jarrod Young's IFYE Experience summarizing his travels in November 2018.

Here are some of the things I've been snacking on. Not quite Thanksgiving Dinner but I'm not complaining!

An Unlikely Exchange
Jager Robinson, Tri-State Neighbor Reporter
This article has been approved by Robinson for viewing on IFYEUSA.ORG.

Living with six families over three months all while job shadowing is already a unique task. Add in moving to a completely new country and you have the life of Lisa Schmid, an International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) student.

This is Part 4 of Jarrod Young's IFYE Experience detailing his travels in October 2018.

I've been in schools all week so it felt appropriate to share a few pictures of some of the kids that made this trip memorable. I wish I had pictures of all of them but there are just too many Pikkmets.

This is Part 3 of Jarrod Young's IFYE Experience detailing his travels in October 2018.

This is recap of the first three months that Amanda Braun spent in South Korea before heading to Thailand. She wrote on Facebook, September 6th, "I am excited to go to Thailand but also sad because in the short time I’ve been here, I have fallen in love with this country.”

This is Part 2 of Jarrod Young's IFYE Experience detailing his travels in September 2018.

Sage Rodgers details his IFYE experience in Austria for the past three months!

Being in Austria for the past three months has been one for the books! I stayed with seven host families from almost every part of the country which allowed me to really see and experience the Austrian culture. The first place I stayed was in Helbetschlag, Oberösterreich where my host family operated a small dairy farm with which I helped. The family had a couple of children and they were learning English, so it was fun helping them further their knowledge of the language and to practice. The nearest town to this village was Friestadt which has been there since the early 1200s. Its name translates to “free town”.

Traveling abroad as a young adult is eye opening. Kate Garrity was fortunate to grow up around the IFYE organization and always knew she wanted to participate one day.
Enjoy reading about Michigan’s own Kate Garrity’s experience with IFYE Association on her abroad trip to India.

Maggie (M): Tell me a little about yourself.

Kate (K): I grew up in Bath, Michigan, and lived there my whole life. I am now 26 years old and have my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. I received my undergrad at Michigan State University and my graduate from Appalachian State University—both were in nutrition and dietetics. I am currently working in nutrition at a hospital.

Languages in Switzerland - So what language do people speak in Switzerland, anyways? The answer depends on where you go. Switzerland has 4 official languages; German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Of these languages, German is the one that I have heard the most. Yet the Swiss actually speak a different language, called Swiss German.

From the rolling hills of Switzerland near the Alps to the grand grasslands of Nebraska’s Sandhills, one young man has hopped several time zones to keep it rural in the Good Life. From June - September, Christof Badertscher, 24, of Oberthal, Switzerland is staying with three host families in Nebraska through IFYE.

For Badertscher, this opportunity put Nebraska on his radar.

Rachel shares reflections of her first 3 months of her IFYE experience which was spent in South Korea.

October 2016 AFA (Agriculture Future of America) newsletter features an article about IFYE and two 2016 IFYE participants (Alyssa Dye and Kelley Dickman)