Families learn about Polish culture through 4-H summer youth exchange

Michigan 4-H International Exchange Program will host Polish youth this summer, enabling Michigan families to partake in a rewarding experience.

The 4-H Poland Exchange started almost 18 years ago with six youth who came to Michigan and stayed with 4-H families around the state. The program now hosts 20 youth and 2 chaperons each summer.

Poland as a country has changed drastically over the last 25 years from the days of solidarity and Lech Walesa as president to a strengthened country. As members of the European Union they are one of the more stable countries in the Union and can experience much when they come to the United States and enjoy democracy as we know it.

The 4-H program in Poland has grown to more than 100,000 members. The Polish delegates have excellent English skills and want to share their culture with Michigan families and learn about family life in Michigan. Host families will enjoy these youth.

Being a 4-H international host family is fun, gratifying and educational. The youth enjoy spending time with host brothers or sisters, doing household chores with the family and visiting family and friends in the community. No special trips or activities need to be planned, but many host families love to show off pure Michigan sites around their community and their region of the state.

Host families appreciate the chance to learn about another culture, the language and the long-term possibility of developing friendships around the world.

The exchangees and their chaperons will be arriving June 18, 2013 and will be in Michigan for a month. They will first attend Exploration Days on Michigan State University campus from June 19 to 21, after which they will meet with their host families. To find out more about the exchange and to find the application form for hosting one of these youth, visit the Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development website. 

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