• By Ryan Farley, Extension Agent

4-H/Youth Development: Host families needed for 4-H International Exchange Program

Source: Rachel E. Noble, extension specialist for 4-H Youth Development

If you are interested in global education, you may want to consider participating in the Kentucky 4-H International Program. The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is looking for host families for seven Japanese youths and two Japanese adults this summer along with two hosts for the academic-year program.

Not only do 4-H host families get to enjoy helping the Japanese young person learn about American families and culture, but they also learn about Japanese culture, customs and history. Many times, lifetime bonds are created.

During the summer program, the Japanese delegates are from the 4-H Language Laboratory, or LABO, program in Japan and are between the ages of 12 and 17. These young people want to experience the life of an average American family. They will spend July 22 through Aug. 19 in Kentucky. Hosts must pick up their new sibling July 24 and bring them for departure on Aug. 18. The academic-year program students arrive in late August and join a local high school and become an active participant in the community. They leave after school dismisses for the summer.

There is no cost or language requirement to become a host family for either program. For the summer program, families should have a child that is of similar age and gender as the Japanese delegate. For the academic-year program, the host can be a family (with or without children) or an individual. The Japanese delegate does need their own room for this program. Host parents for both programs should provide for the Japanese delegates in the same way they would for their own children.

Since the program focuses on American culture, Japanese 4-Hers will not be placed in homes of families with the same cultural background. While in the United States, the Japanese delegates and their host families can participate in 4-H programs at any level in which they are comfortable. The family, however, does not need to be involved in 4-H and 4-H participation is not required.

If you are interested in hosting a Japanese delegate or receiving more information on international opportunities through 4-H, contact Rachel Noble, 4-H International Program coordinator, at 859-218-0991 or rachel.noble@uky.edu.

Requesting information does not obligate families to host students. Biographies of the Japanese delegates can be obtained after an application for hosting is submitted and approved.

More information on 4-H international programs is available at the Woodford County Cooperative Extension Service and on the Kentucky 4-H International Exchange Program website https://4-h.ca.uky.edu/internationalexchange.

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