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Exchange students find partner in ASSE International service


To further bridge world peace

Being able to leave the country and experience a foreign culture for vacation is a feat that many people don’t obtain until later on in life. In the current U.S. economy, it could be challenging for most to add these life experiences without putting themselves in a financial crisis. ASSE International (formerly American Scandinavian Student Exchange), a non-profit, public benefit organization, is helping bridge foreign relations with students all over the world by offering the chance to study abroad. 

ASSE provides an experience for high school kids ranging from the ages of 15-18 to explore the world by spending an academic year, semester, or summer in Europe, Asia, North or South America, Australia, or South Africa as part of the ASSE International Student Exchange Program. Students can qualify for the program based on academic performance, character references, and a genuine desire to experience life abroad with a volunteer host family. Prior knowledge of the host country’s language is not a requirement. Scholarships are available, and based on academic performance, leadership skills, and financial need.

The three grant programs offered are: Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) Program, Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program, and the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Program. Each program comes with its own set of requirements and benefits for students, but they also target different students across the globe. 

The CBYX program provides a unique opportunity for 250 American youth to spend a year in Germany while, at the same time, providing 300 German youth the opportunity to reside and  study for one year in the United States. All of the students live as members of caring host families and enjoy a variety of program activities in addition to learning about life in a new country. During organized trips to their host country’s capital, students have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with U.S. Congressional Representatives and German Bundestag Members during their year abroad to discuss issues related to their exchange year.

The FLEX program provides youth from Europe and Eurasia the opportunity to live and study in the United States. Established by former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley to ensure long-lasting peace and mutual understanding between the USA, Europe, and Eurasia, FLEX students learn about democracy firsthand through experiencing it as exchange students.

“Indeed,” as Bradley stated, “...what better way to teach these habits firsthand than to bring tens of thousands of young people from Europe and Eurasia to America where they will learn about the privileges and opportunities that come with living in a democracy with a free-market economy.” 

The YES program is a response to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, the US Department of State created the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Program. This vital program extends the hand of peace by providing scholarships to high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend an academic year in the USA. The YES program includes several unique components geared toward helping a student gain insight into US economic and political life. 

To learn more about the different programs and countries offered to study abroad, visit for more information.