Youth for Understanding
Envision generations of empowered global citizens for a more peaceful and sustainable world.
Youth for Understanding humbly started in the United States in 1951 in an effort to heal the wounds of World War II. The initial exchanges established the family living experience and opened the doors for YFU expansion to other parts of the world. In the mid-fifties, the program grew to include Scandinavia, and later expanded to western and central Europe. YFU bridged the Pacific in 1958 when students first came from Japan. The Pacific program now offers a variety of countries such as the Philippines, China, and Australia. Youth for Understanding was introduced to Latin America in 1958, beginning with Mexico, and South American countries followed behind a year later. A few decades passed before any more relationships were established. In 1989, however, Eastern Europe joined the program, followed by Africa in 1994 when South Africa joined YFU. Today, YFU's relationships include over 55 countries who have served over 260,000 exchange students.