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Foreign Exchange Program | IFYE USA

News Articles/Testimonials

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.

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 72-year-old international exchange program for young adults age 19 and above. The organization is now accepting applications for its 2021 international exchange program.

Broomfield, Colorado, Oct. 20 – Recognizing the value an international experience can have on young leaders, the United Soybean Board (USB) recently approved a proposal from the IFYE Association of the USA, Inc. to immerse eight of its young leaders in international experiences for three months in four European and Asian countries. IFYE, formerly known as the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) is a 72-year-old international exchange program for young adults age 19 and above.

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 6 of Hannah Nordby's IFYE Experience describing her travels in Thailand during the month of October.

In the evenings one of my favorite things to do is go for walks around the neighborhood. The scenery is a little different than back home but there’s still a lot of beauty if you're willing to open your eyes to it. Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them

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

This is Part 2 of Sage Rodgers' IFYE Experience. He provided photos of his travels in Austria during the past three months.

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.”

Job shadowing has been around for many years, but adding an international component is a new twist on an tried and true way to learn. The new addition to the IFYE Association of the USA, Inc. (formerly International Farm Youth Exchange) program adds the opportunity not only to live with a host family, but to job shadow professionally with a member of the family as well.

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

This is Part 5 of Hannah Nordby's IFYE Experience detailing her travels in Taiwan during the month of September.

This is Part 4 of Hannah Nordby's IFYE Experience detailing her travels in Taiwan during the month of September.

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

This is Part 3 of Hannah Nordby's IFYE Experience detailing her travels in Taiwan during the month of August. Passion fruit is one of three popular commodities in Puli, Nantou County, Taiwan! Passion Fruit first made its debut in 1901 during Japan’s colonization of the island.

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.

This is Part 2 of Hannah Nordby's IFYE Experience detailing her travels in Taiwan during the month of July. Walking through the streets of Budai you will see crates overflowing with oyster shells. Men slip out to harvest early morning and late evening, bringing in bountiful baskets full. Women line the streets extracting fresh oysters to be sold at the morning market. Used in everything from a morning omelet to evening soup, oysters are more versatile then most assume!

Hannah Nordby posted updates of her IFYE Experience to her own Facebook page, which we are sharing with you here. This is Part 1 detailing her experience in Taiwan during the month of June.

June 22, 2018 - Day 3 in Taiwan, I helped out on a Bamboo farm!

We were digging up bamboo sprouts to cut and later sell. May-Sept is the prime season for harvesting bamboo sprouts in Taiwan. The sprouts are dug up, cut, cleaned and then cut up to be eaten cooked or raw!

IFYE’s Positive Impact on the World

2018 marks the 70th 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 three- and six-month experiences living and working with rural-based, families in other countries.

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.

Pictured receiving a $1000 grant from (right) Lori Kadavy, Firespring Director of Nonprofit Education and Outreach on November 16 in Columbus, OH: (left) Arthur L Deisher, Association Director of Membership Development and (center) Keith Ferris, Association Vice President.

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)