The history of ASSE goes back to 1938 when the Swedish Ministry of Education instituted an exchange program for Swedish and German students. In the post World War II era, this was expanded to include Great Britain, France, Spain, and Switzerland and later the United States, where ASSE was established in 1976, by the Swedish Government, as the American Scandinavian Student Exchange. Soon Denmark, Norway and Finland elected to participate.
Since then, the program has grown to include
- Czech Republic
- Great Britain
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- South Korea
At present, ASSE works closely with the Canadian provincial ministries of education. It maintains 38 offices in 31 countries and accommodates more than 30,000 high school age students and host families annually in its programs in the participating countries.
In 1988, ASSE founded EurAupair Intercultural Child Care Programs (euraupair.com), a U.S. not-for-profit, public benefit organization. EurAupair Au Pairs provide live-in child care assistance for American host families in exchange for the opportunity to experience family life in the United States.
At the turn of the millennium, ASSE founded Aspire Worldwide (aspireww.com) Work and Travel, Trainee and Intern Programs for university students, graduates, and professionals.
Finally, in 2009, and as a result of demand from our current and former participants to continue their undergraduate studies in North America, ASSE and its affiliates founded Go Campus University Programs (gocampus.us). The program is devoted to match qualified international students, who fulfill admission requirements, with North American colleges and universities.
ASSE's mission is to foster international understanding through educational and cross cultural programs.