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Welcome an exchange student home!

Whether you are a single household or have or have had children in the home, there may be a student who is just the right fit for you and your home.

FLEX, YES, and UUTI students are selected and supported in a competitive application process and received scholarships and monthly stipends for their personal and school expenses. Contact us today to discuss welcoming a student into your home!

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Amy Alice Chastain supports all host families within a 120 mile radius of Cedar Rapids!

Meet your local coordinator!

Amy Alice Chastain is an approved Local Coordinator with American Councils, the placement organization for the FLEX, YES, and UUTI programs. Amy Alice will support you and your student every step of the way, providing orientation from start to finish, monthly check-ins, and activities throughout the year to enhance the cultural learning experience. Additionally, she can help you navigate the ups and downs of adjustments to your family, school and academic challenges, social and cultural expectations, culture fatigue and language learning.

Since Amy Alice can remember, she has been driven to get to know people of varied cultural backgrounds. In addition to her career in language, intercultural communication, and local and national service in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion, she has lived and worked in Abu Dhabi, Beijing, and Shantou and hosted her own exchange daughter from Estonia. These combined experiences make her the perfect partner as you embark on your own life-changing journey of hosting a student for exchange in eastern Iowa!

We invite you to review the following exchange programs and reach out to Amy Alice if you have any questions or concerns. She hopes you'll join her in making a difference in the lives of youth from around the world!

Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program 

Sponsored by the United States Department of State, this program promotes mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and 22 countries across Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia.  

FLEX students live with a volunteer host family for one academic year to learn about American values, attend a US high school, and teach Americans about their home countries. Participants return home as motivated young leaders who are inspired to share their new experiences and positively impact their home countries and communities. Learn more about FLEX.

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Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program

This program seeks to provide high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations with a better understanding of American society and its people, institutions, values, and culture. 

Funded by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this program helps students to foster lasting personal ties, engage in activities that promote mutual understanding across cultures, respect diversity, establish leadership skills, and understand civil society. At the same time, YES students help their American classmates enhance their understanding of foreign countries and cultures. Learn more about YES.

UUTI Program

The UUTI program (meaning “awake” in the Gilbertese language) is a new program funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

8 high school students from Kiribati will be selected through a rigorous, merit-based application process and will receive a full scholarship for the program. While in the US, students will live with volunteer host families, attend US high schools, improve their English, and strengthen workforce readiness skills like computer literacy and communication. Learn more about the UUTI program.

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When I signed up to host a student, I thought 'this will be fun'; I had no idea how profoundly I was impacting my life. She's my daughter forever.

Amy Alice regarding Maria, her host daughter from Estonia

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