Dear Educator,

We thank you for considering Aspect Foundation as an exchange partner for your school. Aspect Foundation is a non-profit international organization dedicated to fostering world understanding through student exchange and education.

Our exchange students are a valuable educational resource in history, geography, and foreign language classes. They bring with them impressions and ideas about the United States that enliven discussions and help us to view ourselves and the world from a new perspective and understanding. The world events of today show that the possibility of global understanding and friendship has never been greater. Aspect Foundation is committed to working with educators to promote international friendship for future generations.

Thank you for your support.


Vivian Fearen
President, Aspect Foundation

Our Mission Statement

Aspect Foundation was established in 1985 to pioneer a variety of opportunities to bridge cultures, build international bonds of friendship and understanding, and to offer a means for culturally enriching and mutually rewarding experiences. Aspect Foundation strives for excellence through committed and comprehensive support to all participants.


Aspect Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization headquartered in San Francisco, California and designated an official BridgeUSA (J-1) exchange visitor sponsor by the United States Department of State.

Aspect Foundation currently holds Full Listing status with CSIET (Council on Standards for International Educational Travel).

We are also proud to serve as an official placement organization of the US Department of State-sponsored Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) and and Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Programs.

Visas and Funding

Aspect Foundation issues the necessary DS-2019 form enabling our students to obtain a J-1 visa. As the visa sponsor, we are responsible for each program participant.

J-1 visa exchange students are counted in the weighted per-pupil funding that schools receive from the government. However, J-1 exchange students are NOT counted in national standardized testing scores or graduation rates.

Service to Schools

Aspect Foundation provides each hosting school with a comprehensive student dossier, including academic transcripts, medical records, personal letters from student and parents, and signed permissions. All students are required to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English language through an in-person interview and ELTiS test (formerly SLEP).

Local Coordinators and Foundation staff monitor students on a regular basis to ensure that academic standards are met. Students must take a full course of study and attend classes regularly. Aspect Foundation requires that students maintain at least a C average in each course. In addition we require that students take English or US History or Government as art of their course work.

Aspect Foundation has a multi-level support network to handle problems or emergencies, should they arise:

  • Fully trained and experienced Local Coordinators, Regional Managers, and National Staff
  • Representatives in each participating country
  • 24-hour toll-free phone number for emergency support

Aspect Foundation’s Program At-a-Glance

Our Students

  • are ages 15-18
  • come from more than 50 countries to spend an academic year or semester at a U.S. high school
  • are carefully screened and selected for academic potential and emotional maturity
  • are evaluated for English language proficiency prior to acceptance
  • are fully insured

Our Local Coordinators

  • are carefully screened with an interview, references and criminal background check
  • are engaged in ongoing training and supported by Field Managers, Regional Managers, and the Aspect Foundation Headquarters staff
  • complete a Department of State certification exam each year
  • live in the same community or within close proximity to program participants
  • are dedicated to their position and are committed to the philosophies of student exchange
  • serve as student advocates and provide local support to host families and schools

Our Host Families

  • are volunteers eager to learn about other cultures and to share life in the United States with an international student
  • are carefully screened with a comprehensive application, in-home interview, references and criminal background checks
  • are matched with students with similar interests
  • attend orientations conducted by the International Coordinator prior to and after their student’s arrival