How does YFU Lithuania look like?
YFU Lithuania is a non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 2000. It was created by a group of former YFU exchange students, who wanted to give a similar opportunity to the greatest number of young people. Currently around 20 Lithuanian students participate in those programs in various countries each year. YFU Lithuania started its inbound program in 2005, when 4 German students came to our families and schools. We are hoping that more Lithuanian students will have a possibility to experience living and studying abroad in the future. Similarly, we anticipate hosting more foreign students in the country.
YFU is a non-profit organization, based on volunteer work. Elected Board and the National Director coordinate organization's practices in Lithuania.
Currently YFU Lithuania has around 80 volunteers, mostly former exchange students. All of them add to the development of exchange programs in Lithuania with their ideas and actions. Volunteers get new experiences not only by working for YFU Lithuania, but also by participating in national and international seminars and training sessions.
What is YFU worldwide?
YFU (Youth For Understanding) is one of the oldest, largest and most widely respected non-profit international exchange organizations in the world. We are dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding and world peace through exchange programs for high school and college students. YFU gives an opportunity for students to spend a year, a semester or summer in a foreign country, as well as welcomes families to host one of the incoming students. Students live in host families, attend local high schools, and learn the language of their host country. It gives them an opportunity to get to know a different culture, become more tolerant and independent. Families that open their doors welcome a student from another country, where culture, traditions and point of view towards many things are different. They learn more about that different culture and start looking at their daily lives different.
Youth For Understanding (YFU) exists to prepare young people for their responsibilities and opportunities in a changing, interdependent world.
Similarly to more than half a century ago, YFU continues to implement its aims: strengthen understanding, tolerance and peace between different races, religions, and nations. Participants of the international youth exchange - students, host families, schools - have a great chance to get to know new cultures, try to understand them and thus get valuable experience. This leads to new networks not only between families, but between countries and cultures as well. Similarly, living in a foreign culture helps students to understand it much better than reading about it in history classes.
International youth exchange organization Youth For Understanding (YFU) was established in 1951, when a small group of German students left to the USA in order to live and study there for a year. This was a part of the process aimed towards overcoming Germany's isolation after the Second World War. After the idea proved successful, it started spreading elsewhere as well. Now YFU programs are being implemented in over 50 countries in Europe, Asia, America, Australia/Oceania and Africa.