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IYFE Association

IFYE is an international exchange program for 4-H alumni and other young adults, ages 19 to 30, interested in a rural living experience. These participants live and work with host families in another country toward promoting "Peace Through Understanding." Both the IFYE and the host family learn about each other's culture and share life experiences by participating in the host family's daily life.

The IFYE program was founded following World War II as young Americans perceived the need for greater international understanding and cooperation. The first two-way excyhange took place in 1948 with 17 youth from the United States traveling to seven (7) countries in western Europe, while six (6) young Europeans came to the United States.

That exchange led to the development of the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) under the auspices of the National 4-H Foundation, later under the National 4-H Council. The IFYE name was changed in 1973 to International Four-H Youth Exchange.

Exchanges have continued for more than 60 years. Approximately 5,000 Americans have lived in 116 countries and a like number of young people from those nations have come to the United States. Upon returning home, IFYE participants share their once-in-a-lifetime experiences with thousands of people in their communities, state, and nation.

In 1992, the IFYE Association of the USA, Inc. accepted the responsibilities to support the continued funding of these programs. In 1997, the IFYE Foundation was developed to raise funds to finance the continued growth of the International Four-H Youth Exchange programs. The vision is to maintain support for existing exchange programs and expand such support on a yearly basis.

Today, IFYE exchanges are conducted in collaboration with participating land-grant universities and are facilitated and supported by the IFYE Association of the USA and the IFYE Foundation of the USA.

The IFYE vision of "Peace through Understanding" continues to touch the lives of people around the globe.

For additional information visit their website:

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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