The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of just about everyone on Earth, and this global health crisis has especially shaken the stability of the AYF class of 2019/20.

Thursday two weeks ago saw one of the saddest AYF meetings ever as Ulli and Academic Director Peter McIsaac briefed students to plan for their sudden departure back to the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic had made the suspension of the AYF program inevitable. 

EARLY AUF WIEDERSEHEN: 19/20 AYFers, Ulli, and Peter gather for a sudden farewell meeting on March 12, 2020.

The meeting was a very different parting than anyone of us experienced as AYFers, but even with their time cut short now, the AYF class of 2019/20 will always be AYF alumni.

As program alumni, we are committed to relieving the financial burden these students are unexpectedly facing as their academic year in Freiburg abruptly comes to an end.

Are you willing to support our fellow AYFers by giving to the AYF Alumni Emergency Fund? 

AYF is hard at work seeking to reduce the financial fallout by working with local partners. But virtually all AYF 2019-20 students are still facing up to five months of additional rent payments for their student housing in Freiburg, hastily arranged high-cost local transportation, expensive, last-minute flight purchases, and quite possibly additional tuition expenses as their path to graduation has become more uncertain.

Your financial support is critical in order to relieve this unprecedented financial stress on AYF 2019/20 students caused by the suspension of the AYF program.

Please give what you can ($5, $50, $500, or $5,000) to support our fellow AYFers now.

Here is what some AYF students have to say about the financial challenges they’re unexpectedly facing:

“This has set me back a semester in school; I’m financially devastated.”

“I have already paid about $7,000 for the spring semester, which has not started in Germany.”

“I had to buy pretty expensive tickets to get home on such short notice and I’m worried about more expensive housing costs when I go home. I’ll get a job, so I know I’ll be okay, but with student debt and tuition refunds still up in the air it’s just a lot.”

We are also immensely grateful for everything the home universities are doing to mitigate the impact of this grave disruption on our fellow AYFers. But as alumni we are uniquely positioned to help quickly – while looking toward the future! Since many 2019/20 AYF students have indicated a desire to return to Freiburg to complete the experience, any excess funds not needed for immediate emergency assistance will be slated for future distribution as travel grants and scholarships.

As an international community of AYF alumni, our strength is each other during good times and bad.

Thank you so very much for your generosity during this financial crisis.

Alumni living in Germany can also make a donation through the German chapter of the AYF Alumni Club to make their contributions tax-deductible in Germany. Please go to for more information.

From all of us at AYFAA, the US Chapter of the AYF Alumni Club, we’re wishing you and your loved ones much health and safety as we all navigate these uncharted waters together.                                                                         

AYFAA is working to promote and celebrate the many benefits of the Academic Year in Freiburg program.  Your donations make this all possible!  You can sign up as a member of AYFAA here, and all financial contributions in excess of the annual dues are also graciously accepted.  AYFAA is a recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so we will gladly acknowledge your contributions so they will be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

AYFAA supports dedicated funds to award scholarships to current students in the AYF program.  For example, one class established a scholarship fund in honor of their Resident Directors, which will be awarded to new students every year starting with the 2019-2020 academic year.  AYFAA looks forward to increasing scholarship funds every year to help more students afford the Freiburg experience.

To donate more than the annual membership dues, just let us know whether you would like the funds to support the AYFAA general operations (many donors send more than the membership dues, in support of our general funding needs), or to go toward funding future scholarships.

If you would like to set up a separate scholarship fund — in honor of your year, your favorite professor, or even the Münsterplatz — just ask!  Have questions?  Contact us at

The links for paying by check or PayPal are below.

Or send checks to:

AYFAA Treasurer
1741 W. Barry Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657