Beginning

Youth For Understanding (YFU) is one of the world’s oldest, largest, and most respected international exchange organizations. Dr. Rachel Andersen founded the organization in 1951 with the aim of allowing German students to see a different way of life than that of their destructed homeland. She started a student exchange program called Youth For Understanding that allowed German exchange students to spend a year in the U.S.A.

Although YFU today has more than 60 offices around the world, the original idea is still the same – the world can become a better place through cross-cultural communication and understanding.

It all started for Estonia in 1992 when two Estonians went to Denmark as exchange students to discover the world. In 1993, YFU Estonia was formed and it was the beginning of regular student exchange programs between Estonia and other countries. The first exchange student came to Estonia in 1995 and since then more and more students have decided to spend their exchange year in Estonia.

YFU programs offer Estonians a chance to go see and discover the world during their high school years. It also gives them the opportunity to invite the world to their home by hosting a student for a year. In the past students from New Zealand, South-Africa, Brazil, USA, Japan, Thailand and various countries in Europe have come to Estonia.

For 2016/2017 we are expecting around 35 exchange students from all over the world, including some from as far away as Mexico, Thailand and Japan. Since 1995 we have hosted almost 400 students from around the globe.