Foreign exchange students from Africa, Asia, and Europe at Lincoln Center during PAX arrival orientation in NYC


Impressive International Teens

Each year, nearly 1,000 teenagers, age 15-18, come to the U.S. through PAX for a semester or academic year. They attend high schools, live with volunteer host families, and change lives.

More Than 70 Countries Represented

Long before these courageous high schoolers leave quaint Spanish villages, bustling Pakistani or Indian metropolises, shiny Seoul suburbs, or out-of-the-way outposts in Africa or Latin America, the process is already well underway. At least a year prior to emotional sendoffs at the airport, prospective PAX students discuss and reflect with family, friends, and teachers about whether this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the real America is right for them.

Unique Individuals

Applicants represent diverse social, economic, and religious backgrounds and pursue a multitude of hobbies and interests. They are passionate artists, athletes, and computer programmers; love cars, horses, and cooking; and aspire to be pilots, doctors, and parliamentarians. They all have their own combination of quirks and qualities, and just as America will become largely synonymous with the charming idiosyncrasies of your family, town, or school in their minds, through the experience, you will put an irreplaceable laugh, smile, and spirit to a once foreign and faraway land.

Comprehensive Selection Process

Before admission to PAX, all students submit a written application, pass a standardized English language test, provide comprehensive health records, receive all necessary immunizations, participate in a personal interview, and demonstrate appropriate maturity and motivation. For PAX's U.S. government-sponsored students from the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) and the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programs, the selection process is especially rigorous and being chosen is a prestigious honor.

The Right Student/Family Match

After all of this diligent and at times emotional preparation, many students will wait months to learn which American family is excited to share their corner of the country. For this reason, PAX is always working to find the right student/host family match. As final preparation prior to departure, all PAX students receive an intensive orientation before traveling to your community.

One Year for Many Lifetimes

Once in the U.S., PAX students offer unique perspectives in the classroom and at the dinner table, revel in uniquely American school spirit, volunteer in the community, improve their English every day, star in school plays, marvel at the sheer number of cereal options at the supermarket, rethink much of what they thought they knew, provide learning opportunities for the entire community, and make memories to last lifetimes (theirs and yours).

Alumni apply what they've learned in your community to their future careers and incorporate American traditions into a new, richer, and multi-layered worldview. They carry with them lifelong bonds with former host parents, principals, and classmates along with an appreciation for the many values Americans hold dear.

Meet some of the brave international teens who will touch a community like yours next school year.