The International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) is an international, non-profit, youth exchange organisation that provides youth mobility, intercultural learning and international voluntary service opportunities to help people break down prejudices and develop intercultural understanding and competence for a more just and peaceful world. ICYE organises long and short-term exchanges combining home stays with voluntary service in more than 40 countries around the world.

Our Vision

We envision a world of diverse, engaged individuals and communities who can contribute to social justice, solidarity, peace and environmental sustainability.

Our Mission

To provide high quality and impactful intercultural learning experiences and opportunities, as well as capacity building, to all involved in our work, so that they can better contribute for a just, peaceful and sustainable world; especially supporting young people in building personal and professional competencies.

The International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) 

Our History

In 1949, 50 German teenagers ventured across the Atlantic and were welcomed as ICYE “exchangees” into host families in the USA. ICYE was born.

Soon a reciprocal programme was established, with youth from the USA invited to spend a year with European families. More and more countries have joined the programme since then. Our programmes have been constantly revised and modified to reflect changes in society at a local, national and global level.

Today the ICYE Federation is an international, independent, non-profit organization with more than 40 National Committees and a significant presence across all continents. Its head office is in Berlin, Germany.

More insights into the development of ICYE can be found in the historical notes by Bill Perkins: An Incomplete Story – International Christian Youth Exchange – 1949-1972