Agni Skafidas – Volunteer & International Alumna – Iowa

Duties: Identifying host families, interviewing, supporting international students, orientations

Agni started volunteering shortly after her return to Germany more than 15 years ago and is involved in all aspects of YFU volunteering from identifying host families, to interviewing prospective American Students and host families, to supporting international students, to planning orientations.

What is your most memorable YFU volunteer moment?

There are so many, but I always love seeing the students and the families smile. Even if they were having a tougher year, it gave them so much. Some of the experience is only understood years after the exchange and that’s what makes it so interesting.

What is your biggest challenge as a YFU volunteer?

Combining the two cultures (home/host country) and getting all parties to discuss the issues and actually understand the others

Why do you continue to volunteer with YFU?

Without my year in Kansas, I wouldn’t be where I am now: Not in this job, not in this town. I wouldn’t have my life continued the way it did. Why would I change that? It’s part of who I am.

What do you like best about your involvement with YFU?

It allows me to connect to all levels in the community. It doesn’t matter what your status, race or view on life is. I really like the diverse focus that YFU offers.

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About Youth For Understanding USA

Youth For Understanding (YFU) advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities. The global YFU network, consisting of partners in more than 60 different countries, is united by the belief that full cultural immersion is the most effective means to gain the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly multicultural, interconnected and competitive global society. YFU has remained a trusted leader of intercultural exchange programs for more than 60 years because of its commitment to safety, reputation for quality, and exceptional support services. Backed by a global team of volunteers, YFU provides cultural education and guidance to all participants. Selected to administer more government and corporate scholarships than any other high school exchange program, YFU is the only organization awarded full-listing for J-1 inbound, outbound and short term exchange by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET). Through creating global learning opportunities, YFU has promoted international understanding and world peace to more than 250,000 students and their host families. Thousands of parents across the globe trust YFU with their teenagers every year, and thousands of students every year choose YFU to help them discover their inner selves.
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