Michigan 4-H receives high honors from States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs

Michigan 4-H was recognized for 42 years of valued partnership with States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs.

Michigan 4-H International Exchange Program team receiving an award at States’ 4-H International Exchange Program Annual Coordinator’s Conference in Seattle, Washington.

Michigan 4-H International Exchange Program team receiving an award at States’ 4-H International Exchange Program Annual Coordinator’s Conference in Seattle, Washington.

Michigan 4-H was recognized at the 2016 States’ 4-H International Exchange Fall Coordinators Conference in Seattle, Washington, as a valued partner with States’ 4-H International Exchange Program. Michigan has committed to this partnership for over 42 years, during which there have been 2,800 youth exchanged through this organization.

Michigan received the Diversity in Hosting Award, being recognized for hosting many special needs delegates who needed supportive families whom accommodated for their allergies or other needs. Due to many accomplishments in 2016, Michigan received the Extraordinary Quality Program Award for generously stepping in to host several more delegates than their original hosting number. In addition, Michigan hosted the largest number of yearlong students amongst all of States’ 4-H participating states.

These awards were earned through the three programs outlined below.

Japanese Inbound International Exchange Program

In 2017, Michigan has committed to placing 30 inbound Japanese delegates who will be staying for one month from July 22 through Aug. 19, 2017. This program is unique since the delegates are 12-16 years old.

Yusuke Majima, Labo head chaperon said, “From the beginning in 1972, Labo has designated the exchange program for Japanese LABO students as ‘The Journey to Independence.’ Through each student’s personal exchange experience with their host family in the United States and Canada, countries with diverse and multicultural societies, it would give Japanese youth the chance to grow and mature. The age of almost all of the delegates are either 13 or 14, which means they are at that stage in life where they are maturing physically, mentally and emotionally. Without their natural parents, siblings, friends and teachers nearby, the delegates must learn to adapt to another language, culture, family and lifestyle. Thanks to the enormous number of host families’ support and understanding, more than 50,000 Japanese delegates have joined the program so far. The experience has transformed many of their lives, with several former delegates now playing important roles in today’s global society.”

If you are interested in hosting a month-long youth, visit States’ 4-H International Exchange website and complete a hosting application today.

Academic Year-long International Exchange Program

Our 2017-2018 hosting year of academic year-long student commitment is eight students from Mexico, Japan, Korea and Eurasia countries. Our Eurasia students are chosen through the Future Leader Exchange (FLEX) Program through the U.S. State Department. These FLEX students are selected from a pool of 60,000 applicants. They are selected based on English reading, writing and speaking proficiency and their ability to be a leader.

We have had some incredible students come to Michigan through this program and we are looking forward to welcoming more into amazing Michigan families. If you are interested in hosting, visit the Michigan State University Extension 4-H International Exchange Programs webpage.

Outbound International Exchange Program

Michigan also coordinates Michigan youth going outbound. These Michigan youth could experience Finland/Norway, Japan, Korea or Costa Rica in 2018. Each country offers unique experiences for these youth, but youth are sure to have many life changing adventures.

4-H grows international understanding. If you would like to learn more about Michigan’s international programs, visit the Michigan 4-H International Exchange Programs webpage or contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Youth Development program help to prepare youth as positive and engaged leaders and global citizens by providing educational experiences and resources for youth interested in developing knowledge and skills in these areas. To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth leadership, civic engagement, citizenship and global/cultural programs, read our 2015 Impact Report: “Developing Civically Engaged Leaders.”

Other global educational opportunities can also be found on the MSU Extension Global and Cultural Education website. For more information about 4-H learning opportunities and other 4-H programs, contact your local MSU Extension office.

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