ACES – American Cultural Exchange Service was founded in 1995 in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the support of a group of professionals including lawyers, accountants, university professors, business and community leaders who believe in the value of international exchange in the pursuit of world peace. ACES is a non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to international cultural, educational, and sports exchanges. The ACES national office is located in Bellevue, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.
Since its founding, ACES has developed partnerships in more than 40 countries around the world, and with more than 300 high schools and 6 colleges and universities in the United States. ACES has served nearly 2500 program participants, including elementary and high school students, teachers, athletes, coaches and performing artists.
ACES is a well established and respected international exchange organization and will continue to offer outstanding exchange programs for people from around the world.
Vision and Mission
To be a leading organization in the field of international educational, cultural, and sports exchanges.
To provide high quality international educational, cultural and sports exchange programs to people in the US and around the world. At ACES we believe that only through interaction can the peoples of the world truly understand each other, establish friendships and promote world peace.
Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET)
ACES has been member of and received listing by CSIET since 2003. ACES has also been an active member of CSIET’s School Outreach Working Group, which works to expand exchange experiences in schools across the U.S. CSIET is a not-for-profit organization committed to quality international educational travel and exchange for youth at the high school level. The purpose of CSIET is to identify reputable international youth exchange programs, to provide leadership and support to the exchange and educational communities so that youth are provided with meaningful and safe international exchange experiences, and to promote the importance and educational value of international youth exchange.
Sister Cities International (SCI)
SCI’s mission is to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation — one individual, one community at a time. Currently, SCI represents 694 communities in the United States with 1,992 partnerships as well as 1,749 international communities in 134 countries.
The US Department of State (DOS)
The mission of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the Department of State is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. ECA brings together students and professionals from the United States and across the world to foster stronger relationships between countries. ECA sponsors and funds initiatives to bring international students to the United States and send U.S. students overseas.
ACES is designated by the Department of State to administer the J-1 High School Homestay Program. ACES also works with the Department on the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES) to bring high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to the U.S. for up to one academic year. The program is funded by the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Students receive scholarships to participate in the program, which includes enrichment activities to develop and improve their leadership potential.
In addition, ACES works with the Department in administering the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Program. NSLI-Y programs provide merit-based scholarships for eligible American high school students to learn one of seven less commonly taught languages in summer, semester, and academic year overseas immersion programs. ACES currently administers summer programs in Turkey and China.