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Report: #156220

Complaint Review: AYUSA International - Global Exchange Student Program - San Francisco California

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  • Reported By: Wichita Kansas
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  • AYUSA International - Global Exchange Student Program One Post Street, 7th Floor San Francisco, California U.S.A.

AYUSA Global Exchange Program - AYUSA International - ripoff Dont Ever Host An Exchange Student With This Company! They Only Care About The Money, Not The Student Or The Host Family. San Francisco California

*Consumer Comment: Ayusa is good in my opinion

*Consumer Suggestion: Host Mom Amber is to be commended

*Author of original report: I was finally paid months later...but not till after a fight.

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While hosting an exchange student can be a great thing. I have learned there are some shady companies out there you should steer clear of. This one is one of them!!

First of all don't get me wrong. I love the exchange student I have in my home. But I know she should not have been sent to America. This is what happened.

During the interview process I rarely ever heard from the people with AYUSA and I was never set up with any sort of pre-orination on how to be a host family for an exchange student. So then I decided this probably is not a good idea and called the company and left a message informing them I no longer wished to take this on.

Seeing that after many attempts to contact them, that of which none of my calls were ever returned. I was having second thought's about them. The next day I got a phone call from them begging me to their community rep. Because the had family leads in my area and nobody to take care of them.

Keep in mind, I had never even had my first exchange student, now they want me to go and try to talk other families into this too. They said I would get paid $500.00 for the process of signing on familes. Being a housewife and never having any money of my own to contribute to the household, I liked the sound of that and also I am one of those people that finds it very hard to say no when put on the spot, so I agreed. And I did this, I set up two more families in my area with exchange students.

Though my own first student was not even here yet. I followed some pointers they gave me and tried to call my student in her home country before she left for the states. Kinda like a meet and greet. She couldnt speak english. No matter how simple my language, and how slowly I spoke. She did not understand.

I then called the company and informed them of this. I was like. "How is this girl going to go to school here, if she cant speak english?" They said, "Oh it's just over the phone. Dont worry about it." So once again, I put my faith in that. And then came August the month the students would arrive. I got a phone call one morning from AYUSA stating that my exchange student would be coming in on the 13th of August.

When I had been told many times before it was the 6th of August. I even called them back and asked them to double check that. They confirmed the 13th of Aug. Then comes Aug 6th, I had just returned home from helping another family pick up their student at the airport and noticed I had a lot of hang up calls on my answering machine. About 10 minutes later I get a call from the compaines partner company in Japan telling me that my student's flight was delayed and she would be in at 6pm that night not 4pm now. They had told me the wrong week! Thank god I wasnt on vacation!!

That night was hell, The poor little girl could'nt understand english and ended up missing three flights in a row because she did not know what to do, and they send these kids unattended. She kept calling me from the airport but she couldnt speak to me or tell me what was going on, so I could not help her. I didn't even know what airport she was in and she could not tell me. At one point another person from Japan called me saying that she had missed her flight again and that now I needed to buy her another ticket.

I tried to call the airlines, being told that they didn't know where she was but if I wanted to buy her another ticket all they had left was first class and at last minute it was going to be something like $1,200.00. I would not and could pay that. The airline's would not help me at first. And the AYUSA staff was unreachable being this was a saturday.

So finally myself and another family that has an exchange student started a phone tree between the airline and the police department of the city in which whom's airport I thought she was in. Finally they worked with us, they went and found her and found a translator and someone put her on the next plane. I guess the airline finally understood the situation and honared her ticket.

At that time the translator told me, "This girl cannot speak english." I had been tring to call AYUSA all day and night. Hoping they could help me with finding her, since this was a weekend. I could not find anyone. Only the person I answered to as a community rep, Which just told me keep doing what I was doing. I cant imagine what would have happened if I was just a regular person whom had no other contacts at all.

I then told them again, this child cannot speak english. They once again tried to tell me it was just the stress of the situation and she would be better in a few days. Well finally by about 3am Sun morning she arrived here. And I had faith that she was stressed and sleepy and that her almost non-exsistant english would improve. Well day's came and went and she did not speak hardly any english at all.

I finally had to put my very limited japanese into use to communicate with her. I kept calling the company and telling them "This girl is very sweet but her she cant speak english. This isnt going to work. She needs to just go home." Of course they wont do that right away. They suggest a tutor, but they wont pay for that, that is on the student.

So I have to put her in school like that. So that is what I did, and worked with her tring to do a crash course in english before school started. Armed with my japanese translation book. And school started. The school called me and informed me that teachers were demanding she be removed from their classes. This poor girl hasent even been there a day and the teachers already hate her. I was finally able to get her into all elective type classes with the expection of english and history which the school requires. She cannot understand what the teachers teach her during the day.

So I have to reteach everything to her at night. Reading everything to her and tring to explain it in a way she understands because she cant comprehend what she reads because she doesnt know what most of the words mean. This take hours everynight. And by the I help do her school work. (more or less do it for her.) And do the things I have to do such as dinner and cleaning up after that. It's very late. And I am up at 5:30am once again to make make her lunch and make sure she gets to school. Now I knew that hosting an exchange student would change your life, but I didnt know that it would pretty much distroy it. Also students are required to come over here with enough money to buy everything they need other than their food at home.

A host family is required to provide the housing and 3 meals a day. But my student didn't have enough money, so I have been footing the bill for almost everything. And the tutor AYUSA suggested, she doesnt have the moeny to pay for it and my husband and I cannot afford a tutor that works with children with limited english. I have talked to at least 2 different people many times from AYUSA since the day after she arrived. Trying to give them an actual prespective of how things are around here. And try to explain to them how I have to spend 4 to 5 hours everynight tring to teach her with the language barrier. And tring to get them to contact her mother in Japan and get her to send this girl some more money, because her mother does not speak english either so calling myself is pointless. And I have always been given the same answer they would see what they could do and get back with me. They never have.

So to this day I have fights with the school because they cant talk to her, I have totally given up any free time I had at all to school work everynight. And I am out all this money paying for things an extra person needs that I was assured in the begining I would not have to pay for. And this company doesnt care, All they care about is the money they get off the student. My exchange student is very sweet and I love dearly. And wish more than anything for her to do well in this country. But the fact of the matter is that I am doing my best, but being just a housewife with a 11th grade education, my ablility to teach anyone anything is lacking. And even with my help, her grades are not good. And if she fails here, she will not be able to move on to the next grade in her home country.

They are doing her and us an injustice by keeping her here. But they dont care, if she goes home than they loose money on her. Sure they would give her to another family, but they arent going to do what would be right and just send her home. I dont think another family would invest the amount of time into her, as she needs, like I do. And I care about her, so I dont want that. But still the fact remians that they dont care. Oh and the $500.00 I mentioned before. I have never been payed a single cent.

Also I have a friend in the nieghborhood that informed me (to late to help) that this company was terrible. They just sent over whatever kids apply and pay to come. They normally have the most disapline problems and alot of their kids cant speak english. And that she had known other ladies whom they talked into being community reps and never payed them either. But that part is just what I was told by her. Anyway, I dont want to discourage anyone from hosting an exchange student. The time's when I am not tring to be a teacher and she understands me she is great and it's rewarding.

But please dont use this company. I would sugguest checking out other compaines, and even ask to talk to other host families in your area before agreeing to host. Just dont take testimonials off a website like I did, because nobody mentioned in their testimonail's on AYUSA's site about how their exchange student couldnt speak any english. So please take my adive and if you are thinking about hosting go with another company. If I ever get the nerve to do this again after this is over, I wont ever use them again.

Amber
Wichita, Kansas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/07/2005 08:06 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ayusa-international-global-exchange-student-program/san-francisco-california-94104/ayusa-global-exchange-program-ayusa-international-ripoff-dont-ever-host-an-exchange-st-156220. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#3 Consumer Comment

Ayusa is good in my opinion

AUTHOR: Doug - (USA)

POSTED: Friday, June 12, 2015

 I have dealt with a couple of different student foreign exchange programs, including Ayusa.  I have found Ayusa very easy to deal with.  In fact, they are easier to deal with than two others I considered using.  I am very much at a loss to understand how the case reported could have happenend unless there was serious misrepresentation on the part of the student, the student's parents, and the student's school in his or her home country.  First of all, why would the parents of a student even consider sending their child to an English speaking country to go to school if the student can't speak English?  Second, why would the student want to?  Third, why didn't the host family bother contracting the student and family before the student's arrival to see first hand how good his or her English was?

Each student application we reviewed from Ayusa included a letter to the host family that the student had to write in English, a letter of recommendation from the student's English teacher stating what the student's English skill level was, and an assessment from an Ayusa staff member on the student from an interview.  Additionally, as soon as the process of matching us with the student was completed, we started communicating with the student in English.  We communicated both by written e-mail and orally by Skype.  I could quicly see that what our student's English teacher said about her English skills was spot on correct.  Our student was not fluent, but was advanced in English.  She could write clearly in English with some grammer errors, has a large vocabulary in English, and was easy to understand.  The same held true with talking with her on Skype.  On Skype I could see her having to pause while her brain translated what I said to Spanish and then formulated the response in English.  It was easy to carry on a conversation with her in English as long as I didn't talk real fast. 

Clearly if the story reported really did happen it would seem that there was some very poor decisions made by the student and her family at home.  At the same time I would also falt the host family for not bothering to communicate with the student before arrival, that was also a bit irresponsible.  It takes communication and coordination to host a foreign exchange student.  It's not like driving to a pet store and buying a rat, you are having a teeage human showing up.  The student needs to be enrolled in school, classes selected, and details such as any missing vaccinations addressed.  The host family also needs to also show some responsibility.

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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Host Mom Amber is to be commended

AUTHOR: Danielle - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Saturday, May 12, 2007

Amber is to be commended for the love and attention she was determined to show this student from Japan.

Take Amber's situation with AYUSA and multiply it by the thousands and you have a majority who are comprised of the student exchange industry.

It is not too late: Amber, please write a letter of concern and list your observations of how this student was mistreated by AYUSA and your experience to your local Senator.

What you encountered is not an isolated incident.

Submit a complaint to the United States Department of State to Director Stanley Colvin at Colvinss@state.gov and Elizabeth Dickerson of the US Department of State Dickersoneb@state.gov.

The Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students is the only watchdog group.

Sumbit a complaint to DGrijalva@csfes.org and visit www.csfes.org to learn just how many federal regulations that were violated.

These are four positive steps to help put an end to this abuse.

This is a multi-millon dollar industry that leaves way too many students with a terrible impression of the United States.

You, however, are to be commended for your determination and kind heart to show this young lady from Japan otherwise.

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#1 Author of original report

I was finally paid months later...but not till after a fight.

AUTHOR: Amber - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I actually was paid months later after having to call and pretty much drive the people crazy. You do not get $500.00 as they say you do for going and recruting families as a Community Rep. What actually happens is that you get paid the $500.00 over the course of the school year per each student you place. They dont tell you that to start off with. And you only get the payments if you all these little extra things. (Which they are not worth it.)And even then you have to call and harass people to get paid.

I have waisted so much more than $500 doing this job just by things like gas from driving over to the homes of the host familes to settle fights with the students placed there between them and their host families. Phones bills of having to make international calls to settle problems between natural parents and host families. I get phone calls all the time from angry host families and the exchange students themselves. I have only one family under me that doesnt all out hate the student and the student doesnt hate them more or less.

I have also have had other families handed to me because other Cr's got sick of dealing with this and quit. And another thing they dont tell you when you become a CR is that if for some reason a placement does not work out. That exchange student is coming to live with you till you find them another place to live. They wont send them back to their home country. And if cant find them home you better find a way to make room in yours. Thankfully this has not happened to me yet. And I hope it doesnt.

I have tried to be a rep for this company even though I know it's a bad company. I have tried to give the families under me better service than I ever got. But unless you live in a very populated area where most of your leads are going to be giving to you by the company from the company website. Dont fall into this CR trap. I have yet ever been able to make someone intersted in hosting an exchange student. And one or 2 equaling up to about $1,000.00 over a period of 10 months isnt worth all the trouble. They dont subtract taxes out of your checks so at the end of the year you are stuck paying all those taxes. And you have to file them like it was your own business because of the type of tax form they send you. (My husband almost pulled his hair out this year over the taxes for this job). And to my horror my husband wants me to do this again next year....I highly doubt it.

But anyway, I hope this was helpful information for anyone who is concidering working for this company. Or anyone who wants to host a student from this company. The girl that I mentioned before in my original report that lives with me isnt so sweet anymore. And she constantly fights with my husband and throws fits when she doesnt get her way. She has no friends, doesnt seem to care to make any and never leaves the house.Except anytime I or my husband and I want to go somewhere. Then she just has to go too, no matter what. We have to lie to her about where we are going to to get away sometimes.

She calls my best friend names and say's very rude things to her because she doesnt like her and doesnt like it when she comes over to our house. Her english has improved some at least we can talk to her now. And I just stopped doing her work for her and now I make her do it on her own. She doesnt make as good of grades now, but at least it's not as if I am in high school all over again.

But truth be told....This is awful....if I was a little bit more of a mean person I would demand they send her back. Or at least get her out of my house. But I am not, so for now I am just dealing with it and counting down the days till she is gone.

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