The Year of Exchange in America for Russians (YEAR) Program awards full scholarships to outstanding Russian students to spend one academic year at U.S. institutions of higher education. The YEAR Program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of American society through placement at a variety of community colleges or 4-year institutions located in primarily small towns and rural areas across the United States. As cultural ambassadors, participants arrive eager to share their culture with the members of their host communities while creating valuable friendships along the way.

As a part of this goal, all participants arrive in their host communities in mid-July to participate in a month-long homestay with a local American family before the start of the academic year. During the homestay, host families support YEAR students during their acclimation to the new community through immersion in family and local community activities. Students and host families learn from each other through a cultural exchange while creating lasting relationships. After the completion of the homestay, all YEAR participants move into their host institution's on-campus dormitories to begin the academic year. Host families and students are encouraged to maintain close contact throughout the year and to continue spending time together. Possible activities may include family dinners, outings, or holiday celebrations. Host families play a significant role in the YEAR Program as they are able to guide participants' through their first month of living in the U.S. while also providing the opportunity to build meaningful cross-cultural relationships and promote cultural awareness in their community. Host families in return receive a rewarding and memorable experience as well a new family member.

The hosting period will be approximately 4 weeks in length. Exact dates are dependent upon the host institution location. Contact with specific questions regarding the dates of the hosting period.

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