We are ICES

Nonprofit Youth Exchange Organization

ICES is an international nonprofit youth exchange organization committed to educational study abroad programs. For almost three decades ICES has promoted a more peaceful world by advancing international awareness and cultural understanding to thousands of American families and exchange students from all over the world.


International Cultural Exchange Services (ICES) was founded in 1991 by John J. Crist, as the President/ CEO he has worked in the U.S. as well as Sweden, Spain, Brazil and England and has been in the student exchange industry for over 35 years.

The ICES staff truly understands the challenges that exchange students may face, many of our team members have lived abroad and learned another language while overcoming cultural differences. This understanding and compassion is transmitted through ICES’s exceptional customer service.

As the global community we live in becomes increasingly interdependent and subject to change, today’s young people will face numerous challenges on the journey to becoming tomorrow’s leaders. We believe the foreign student exchange experience helps young people of all nationalities embrace those challenges and discover new opportunities that will help them dream and achieve more than they ever thought possible.

In May of 2016 ICES developed the IQ USA brand to define its Academic Service, F-1 & Short-Term programs. With the strength of 25 years in business, ICES and IQ USA offer experience in J-1 & F-1, Short-Term and Academic Service programs along with a reciprocal program, our High School Study Abroad for American students!

ICES is a leader in the field of youth exchange. We are a team of experienced professionals who are dedicated to creating positive exchange experiences for all participants.
  • Accreditation

    ICES is a designated as an official J-1 sponsor through the U.S. Department of State. We meet meticulous government regulations that assure our students, partners and host families have safe and positive experiences. ICES has been a member of the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange (ALLIANCE) since 1997. We have maintained a full listing with the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) for 25 years. ICES President John J. Crist, has served four terms on the CSIET Board of Directors. CSIET establishes standards for operating international exchange programs, they monitor compliance, and disseminate information regarding international educational travel organizations.

  • Staff Support

    With 60 office staff members and a team of 500 local coordinators, we are dedicated to providing participants with experiences that will have a positive impact on their lives for years to come. Our team manages over 1,500 students yearly, with a network of school partners in all 50 states. Our students come from 39 countries and are supervised by trained coordinators and compassionate student counselors.

  • International Partners

    Our partners help ICES to recruit and screen students ensuring that each student is emotionally prepared for the challenges inherent in studying abroad. Our Partners administer language exams and conduct interviews with students and parents prior to accepting them into the ICES program. The ICES President believes in building long-term relationships that allow us to learn and understand our Partners’ expectations so we can provide excellent service to our international program participants.

  • School Partners

    U.S. schools play an important role in the success of our inbound programs. ICES staff focus on building and strengthening relationships with schools across the nation. Our school partners work closely with ICES to serve the best interest of our students and host families.

Our Organization’s Structure

ICES is governed by a Board of Directors whose members are dedicated to helping ICES bring international people together to embrace our differences and celebrate our similarities, as we foster international awareness and understanding.

Sign up for the ICES Newsletter

Our newsletter comes out regularly during the active school year and keeps you up to date with events, articles, host family testimonials, a letter from our president, John J. Crist, plus loads of fun stories and photos from our students around the world.

Sign Up !