AYF Alumni & Friends
Alumni association of the Academic Year in Freiburg program (formerly Junior Year in Freiburg)

AYF Alumni Club Membership Drive Launched

The U.S. and German chapters of the AYF Alumni Club have launched a joint membership drive.  Read more about the Matching Fund offered by alumn Erik Kirschbaum and a student’s testimonial on help received from the Alumni Club.


Announcement from the US and German chapters of the AYF Alumni Club

Dear JYFers, dear AYFers! Dear All!

To those of you who already are members of the AYF Alumni Club, a heartfelt “Thank you!”  You are an important partner, and your generosity means so much for the future of this program.

The Alumni Club is devoted to celebrating and supporting the year in Freiburg.  (A note to JY participants: It’s “AY” instead of “JY” because the program broadened the name to “Academic Year in Freiburg.”)

For a while now, we have been thinking about a coordinated Membership Drive to generate more paying members for the US and German Chapters of the AYF Alumni Club. Both chapters currently have about 20 paying members each. That is a great start but not (yet!) the broad membership base we need to begin offering travel grants and scholarships, which is one of the goals both chapters of the Alumni Club have embraced wholeheartedly.

How you can help … 

Join the Alumni Club!

Both Alumni Club Chapters are recognized non-profit organizations. The AYF Alumni Association, Inc. is incorporated in the U.S. and recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in Wisconsin. The AYF Alumni & Friends e.V. has been recognized as a German non-profit civic organization. Membership contributions and donations are therefore tax deductable in the respective countries.  Please consider a place for the AYF Alumni Club on your annual list of worthy causes: your cumulative giving will add up!

Both club chapters cooperate closely on how best to support alumni networking, current and future students, and the Academic Year in Freiburg program.  Membership information is available online at:  https://www.ayf-alumni.org/

 Talk to your JYF and AYF peers!

Once you have decided to join and support the AYF Alumni Club, it would be wonderful if you could be multipliers among your JYF and AYF peers.  Talk to your friends and parents, share the campaign on Facebook or any other social media channels you use, and encourage others to join the AYF Alumni Club.  All supporters of study abroad are welcome!  Clearly, there is strength in numbers.  Just imagine what we can achieve to support future program students if we band together!

Thank you for your support of our club activities and plans.  Your time, commitment, and financial support are very much appreciated!

Alison Mahlau & Joel Stark, Co-Presidents (AYFAA, US Chapter)

Joey Marshment-Howell & Kim Mueller, President & Vice President (AAAF, German Chapter)


What are we hoping to do in the short term? 

We are hoping to raise membership to generate regular income.

·         Funding for one 500 $/€ travel grant requires only 12.5 regular members.


What are we hoping to do in the intermediate term?

Other funding categories to keep in mind as we look toward the future:

·         1,500 would fund a plane ticket (often the key additional expense for a student in comparison to home university costs)

·         3,000 would fund a student’s housing costs in Freiburg

·         6,000 would largely fund housing and living expenses


What are we hoping to do in the long term? 

We would like to encourage alumni to consider funding endowments or segregated funds to enable the club to support the program and/or individual students in perpetuity.  (Look forward to great news in this category from the class of 1984-85 in the near future!) Named opportunities are available.


Membership Drive Matching Fund

Dear fellow Alumni and Friends of AYF,

The Freiburg program has truly been a life-changing experience for me — and probably many of you as well.

Studying abroad expanded my horizons in countless ways that I still cherish and relish to this day. I was challenged and delighted by classes in German and extra-curricular experiences like a week behind the Iron Curtain in Communist East Germany. Being out of my comfort zone opened new ways of thinking and made me want to work abroad as a foreign correspondent.

Financially it was a real challenge for me as well and, running out of money, I ended up losing 25 pounds in the final semester while getting by with just one lunch meal a day for 1 Mark.  In light of today’s global challenges, I can’t think of anything better than to help young people experience the power of going abroad, of being exposed to another culture in the city we have come to love: Freiburg!

The AYF program does an amazing job supporting students on their path of discovery and I want future students to have this opportunity as well — especially those who might not have a lot of resources. As a program alumnus I am proud to be actively involved in the AYF Alumni Club’s mission of supporting students and strengthening the program.

So that’s why I am offering a Matching Fund of up to 1,000 Euros for the AYF Alumni Club Membership Drive. I would like to double the first year contributions for all new dues-paying members who join the US or German Chapter of the AYF Alumni Club by February 2018 up to the first 1,000 Euros.  So please help the Alumni Club reach the target of 2,000 Euros to help young students have the same great opportunities to take a deep dive into Germany and the German language.

Please join me in supporting program students in Freiburg by becoming a member of the AYF Alumni Club!”

Erik Kirschbaum, JYF 1982-83


“Without the support of the AYF Alumni Club I couldn’t have gone on the Berlin field trip. Now I want to pay it forward by aiding other program students. Please join me in supporting future students by also becoming a member of the AYF Alumni Club!”

 Nathan Berger, 2016-17