The end of an era
The time has come when the Canadian branch of the organization will be ceasing its Inbound/Outbound program operations indefinitely.
Youth For Understanding (YFU) continues to be one of the oldest, largest and most widely respected non-profit international student exchange organizations in the world. Our branches worldwide, in 50+ countries, continue to send and receive students and promote the message of cultural exchange that YFU has championed since 1951.
And so it is with great regret that we announce the end of the YFU Canada branch, after 34 years in operation.
It will not mean the end of interest in studying abroad in this nation, but will be one less opportunity for Canadian high school students to live and learn in a different country. Fewer students from around the world will be able to call Canada home for a year. YFU Canada staff and volunteers, since the original branch into Montreal in 1985 and the southern Ontario office opening in 1995, have had a vision of making exchange available to students from all walks of life, Canada-wide; encouraging an interest in being global citizens, and ensuring that visitors to our beautiful country had a unique and fulfilling experience here with us.
Our message to faithful host families, staff and dedicated volunteers is primarily one of profound thanks.
You are the ones responsible for these life-changing experiences. There were tough days as well as extremely gratifying ones.
You gave much of yourselves, and we can only hope that you received just as satisfying an experience as our students did.
Our message to Outbound students and alumni is a request to continue spreading the message of goodwill on a global scale.
34 years worth of students will hopefully go on to continue being global citizens, encouraging cultural understanding in our changing world.
We are grateful to have touched your lives with this experience.
We do not yet know if someday there may be another YFU branch in Canada.
Perhaps someday that will be the case.
For now, the staff of the present YFU Canada would like to sincerely thank all of you for these 34 years.
"Youth For Understanding is a dream come true. It is as strong as steel, as delicate as the moonbeam, as fragile as a butterfly wing, and as illusive as a will-of-the-wisp. It’s built on faith, on hope for the future and love as deep as abiding as life itself.
To be part of it brings out the best in all of us. Each of us who has shared the magic of its being has contributed something bigger than we are. We have learned to love and be loved, to trust and be trusted, to open our homes and our hearts to all people, everywhere."