By hosting a student from another country for one month or one year our youth and families gain so much. The ability to stand back from our own point and become aware of not only our own cultural values, beliefs, and perceptions, but also those of other cultures. Encourage your child today to grow globally, culturally, or intellectually.
4-H Exchange Opportunities
Academic-Year Hosting Programs
It is not to early to start thinking about hosting an exchange student for the 2018-19 school year?
Our CORE students are from Japan, Korea, and Mexico. Michigan commits to hosting six delegates from these countries. Our partnering organizations are LEX, LABO or BFE
Our FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange Program) students are from Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Motenegro, Poland, Romania, Servia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. This program is sponsored by our U.S. Department of State. Michigan will host 2-4 students from these countries.
Japanese Summer Inbound Exchange - LABO
Do you have a child 10-17 years old? Would you like to host a Japanese son or daughter for a month in the summer? From July to August 2018, we are looking for host families for 12-16 year old Japanese youth. We match your child with a Japanese brother or sister of the same gender, within three years of age, and with similar interests. The delegate can share a room with your child and can attend a summer camp (cost covered, up to $250) with their host-sibling. Apply now! Delegate information will be available in February. Go to www.states4hexchange.org to begin your online application.
NEW Summer 2017 - Korea Exchange with Korea 4-H
Korea 4-H has asked States’ 4-H International if their youth could visit Michigan for one month during the summer. Youth will be 13-16 years of age. They will be here the same time as our Japanese delegation, July to August. We match your child with a Korean delegate within three years of age and same gender. The delegates may share a room with same gender matched sibling. Summer camp cost will be covered up to $250 with host sibling. Apply now! Only 12 delegates will be arriving. Go to www.states4hexchange.org to apply.
2018 Outbound Exchange - Michigan youth can travel abroad with 4-H. Scholarships for 4-H members are available.
Summer 2018 Programs: We will be accepting applications starting in November. Limited spaces for Norway and Costa Rica. Applications are due December 1, 2017 with a $2,000 payment for summer programs. Scholarship applications are due by May 31, 2018.
Costa Rica: Travel to Costa Rica for sightseeing and a homestay with a Costa Rica 4-S(4H) family. Travel dates are June to July . (Youth ages 15-18)
South Korea: Sightsee in Seoul, visit Korea 4-H clubs, and stay with a Korean 4-H family. Travel dates are July to August. (Youth ages 12-18)
Finland/Norway: Stay with a Finish/Norwegian 4-H family, sightsee in Oslo, and attend a one week National 4-H camp. Travel is from June to July. This exchange alternates every year- Norway 2018, Findland 2019 (Youth ages 15-18).
Academic Year Outbound Program to Japan: Live with a LEX/Hippo Club Japanese family and attend Japanese school. Dates are August 2018 to July 2019. Inquiry form due by December 2017. Application due by January, 2018. (Youth ages 15-18, who have not already graduated from high school).
International Youth Exchange - IFYE
Formerly the International Farm Youth Exchange, this program brings college-age adults, usually from Europe, to live with Michigan families for 3 to 6 weeks stay. Contact us if you are interested in hosting for summer/fall 2018. Scholarships of up to 50 percent are available for Michigan youth traveling abroad. http://ifyeusa.org/
Host Family Questions
Host families are required to provide 3 meals a day and a bed (delegates can share a room with same gender siblings). All delegates provide their own spending money for other expenses. Our FLEX students receive stipends for personal spending money, school fees (athletics, fine arts, yearbook, etc.), and civics education events. Delegates are treated as family members not guests, so they are expected to contribute to family chores like their host brothers and sisters.
Our school-year host families and host siblings are invited to a midterm event. Parents of host families are screened via our MSU Extension Volunteer Selection Process, which is required of all 4-H volunteers and professional staff who spend significant amounts of time with young people aged 18 and under.
Students come with their own medical insurance. Host family handbook will explain coverage.
Host families come in many forms. MSU Extension exchange programs are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.
Why take part in an international travel experience?
Young people who participate in 4-H international travel opportunities:
Develop an appreciation of the social, economic, political and cultural contributions of other countries.
Better understand how culture influences values, beliefs and attitudes.
Live with host families and actively participate in family life.
Practice foreign language, verbal and nonverbal communication skills.
Participate in an educational tour to acquire specific subject matter skills and knowledge.
Prepare to share the international experience through presentations in their Michigan community.
What participants have to say:
“We are having a great time hosting. When we take our Japanese student someplace we find we see things we thought we knew through different eyes, his.” -Host mother for Japanese delegate
“What I liked best about this experience was gaining a Polish sister and learning about the culture.” - Polish delegate host sister
“With whatever career I choose, I will be honest and respectful to everyone. That is what I learned.” - Delegate to Japan
“We are not All-American anymore because a wonderful blend of real German, Swedish, Swiss and Taiwanese habits has flavored our communications.” - IFYE host family
“My children who hosted and traveled continue to keep in touch with their host brothers in Japan and Belize. They have continued interest in other countries and cultures.” - Host mother
“At school, the geography classes are more interesting because we can find more countries on a map and know what life is like in other places.” - IFYE Host Sister
For more information on how to get involved as a youth or volunteer, contact your county MSU Extension office or:
D’Ann Rohrer, Extension Educator Michigan Coordinator
December 13, 2017 | D’Ann Rohrer | International travel takes youth outside of their comfort zone and encourages them to be better communicators.
December 8, 2017 | D’Ann Rohrer | Many Michigan families have hosted an international exchange student from some organization to help our state rank very high in national statistics. Your family can help Michigan to keep climbing the ladder.
November 1, 2017 | D’Ann Rohrer | Japanese partner LABO and Michigan 4-H have continued their commitment of international exchange for 45 years. Learn more about the cultural significance for these Japanese students.
October 30, 2017 | Jan Brinn | You can learn some unexpected and interesting things when hosting an international exchange student, like the story of potatoes and the United States.
October 23, 2017 | D’Ann Rohrer | Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit another country? 4-Her Libby Graber was able to be an exchange student for one month in Japan during summer of 2017.
October 19, 2017 | D’Ann Rohrer | Learn how you can share your event during International Education Week, Nov. 13-17, 2017.
September 12, 2017 | Jan Brinn | Let’s explore 4-H in Nepal and what it looked like after the April 2015 earthquake.
August 31, 2017 | D’Ann Rohrer | Six Korean delegates share their exchange experience in Michigan, how it has influenced their lives and the bond they have with their host family.
August 31, 2017 | Makena Schultz | Meet Joanmarie Weiss, a lifelong IFYE host to international exchange students, and learn how being a host family and impacted her and her family’s life.
August 29, 2017 | D’Ann Rohrer | Thoughts from a Japanese chaperone participating in Michigan 4-H’s month-long international exchange program.