About Us

ASP students hanging out.

About American Study Program

The American Study Program (ASP) offers year-round and summer exchange programs to provide educational opportunities to gifted, disadvantaged students between the United States and Asia. The program offers funding, support and mentorship that enables these students to receive a high level of education and be successful throughout.

International study programs are largely utilized by advantaged students who can simply afford it. ASP aims to bring those same prospects of success to underprivileged students who would otherwise never have the opportunity.


Support for the First Year and Beyond

For students studying abroad, the biggest hurdle they face is adjusting to the lifestyles and curriculum in the first year of their stay. The added responsibilities that come with being away from home, reading and writing in a new language, and adapting to different styles and rules can quickly lead to overwhelming culture shock. Yet this first year is key to the students’ success as an exchange student—four out of five of them return to China after just one year in America.

ASP not only provides financial support, but a backbone to this important transition, offering tools that build a foundation for critical thinking, leadership, and interpersonal skills. We work with each student as an individual to discover their unique purpose and goals that come with studying abroad. This focused effort and skills development combined help ensure that each student can overcome the many obstacles of being a foreign student in America—and fully seize the educational opportunities ahead of them.

Each and every student supported by the American Study Program has graduated high school and gone onto colleges like Penn State, Utah State, UC Berkeley, among others.


The American Study Program and Academy of International Youth Education

The American Study Program was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2015 to bring impoverished students the education opportunities of its sister company, the Academy of International Youth Education (AIYE).

For more than 20 years, AIYE has brought support and resources to thousands of students across five countries and worked with hundreds of host families. The goal of AIYE and ASP’s global community is to continue to build lasting legacy for many generations of gifted students, regardless of their background.

We are currently working on sponsoring students from very impoverished communities in China, but our goal is to bring these opportunities to children all over the globe.


History and Vision

We fund and support education for impoverished children because we believe the doors to opportunity should be open to all.

ASP founders Jim and Joanna Durkin witnessed the struggle of foreign exchange students firsthand, when Joanna taught Mandarin Chinese at a local high school. In working with and spending time with these students, Jim and Joanna saw that there were many hours spent outside of the classroom struggling with language, culture shock, and school work. There was clearly a need for students to bridge their American study opportunity with important resources to help immerse themselves in a new culture, live with a host family, and participate in after-school programs that would further improve their skills.

That led Jim and Joanna to found the Academy of International Youth Education. For more than 20 years, AIYE has offered support and mentorship to high school students the high cost of studying abroad from their home country.

ASP brings those same high-level education opportunities to talented students who do not have the financial means to enroll in a study-abroad program.