Want to see the world with 4-H?
Through 4-H International Exchanges, we hope to increase the friendship between people in Michigan and other countries and to help our young people develop an Global perspective. We offer travel programs for youth ages 12 to 19. In addition, Michigan families can host an exchange student for as short as one month in the summer or as long as ten months for an academic school year. We also need hosts for two weeks in the summer for our international adult chaperones.
For more information about these exciting experiences, see the list of upcoming opportunities below.
4-H Exchange Opportunities
Academic-Year Hosting Programs - (August 2017 to June 2018)
Would you like to host a high school exchange student for the 2017-18 school year? Please contact us to discuss our wonderful program. After approval, you select a compatible student from our student personal information sheets. Our exchange students are between the ages of 15 – 18, and will be sophmores, juniors, or seniors in high school. We place students from Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Servia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine through the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange Program) run by our U.S. Department of State. We also place Japanese, Korean, and Mexican students through the LEX, LABO and BFE organizations. Delegate information will be available in February or March. Go to http://www.states4hexchange.org/year-long/ for more information.
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 this summer? From July 23 to August 19, 2017, we need 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 is their youth could visit Michigan for one month during the summer of 2017. Youth will be 14-16 years of age. They will be here the same time as our Japanese delegation, July 23 to August 19, 2017. 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. Visit mi4hfdtn.org for applications and informational fliers on each program.
Summer 2018 Programs: We will be accepting applications starting in November. Applications are due December 1, 2017 with a $1,000 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 2017 to July 2018. 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 2017. 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
May 25, 2017 | D’Ann Rohrer | Explore your intercultural awareness for a month when you become a host family as part of the Japan Summer Inbound Exchange.
May 10, 2017 | Jan Brinn | Let’s explore 4-H in Nepal and what it looked like before and after the April 2015 earthquake.
January 19, 2017 | Jan Brinn | 4-H has spread around the world. Let’s explore 4-H in Finland.
January 3, 2017 | D’Ann Rohrer | Academic Yearlong International Exchange students and their host families enjoy activities to strengthen their relationship.
January 3, 2017 | D’Ann Rohrer | International travel is a great opportunity for 4-H youth to experience new cultures and be more globally connected.
December 28, 2016 | D’Ann Rohrer | Michigan 4-H was recognized for 42 years of valued partnership with States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs.
December 27, 2016 | Brian Wibby | Michigan 4-H provides many educational opportunities for youth to develop the four most important skills they need to be successful 21st century learners, workers and citizens.
December 19, 2016 | Jan Brinn | 4-H has spread around the world. Let’s explore 4-H in South Korea.
December 9, 2016 | Brian Wibby | Dollar Street is a wonderful resource for young people to explore the world without ever having to leave their own home.
December 7, 2016 | Jan Brinn | 4-H has spread around the world. Let’s explore 4-H in Norway, known as 4H Norge.