Michigan 4-H offers our youth an opportunity to think globally, grow in their cultural awareness, and gain knowledge through broading their perspective of the world through our International Exchange Programs.

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. 

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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.

Our exchange students are between the ages of 15 – 18, and will be sophmores, juniors, or seniors in high school.  Delegate information will be available in February or March. Go to http://www.states4hexchange.org/year-long/ for more information or contact State Coordinator, D’Ann Rohrer at 231-845-3361 or drohrer@anr.msu.edu 

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.  

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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.

For more information please contact D’Ann Rohrer, drohrer@anr.msu.edu or 231-845-3361.

NEW Summer 2018 - Taiwan Exchange with Taiwan 4-H (Pilot Program)

Taiwan 4-H has agreed to send one adult chaperone and one youth for one month this summer July 21-August 18, 2018.  This is a pilot program for Michigan and Taiwan 4-H, program is in partnership with States' 4-H International.  Application process is the same as Japan and Korea summer exchange.  Go to www.states4hexchange.org to apply.

Belize Delegation Summer 2018

It's unbelizable, but Michigan will be hosting five Belizean youth and two chaperones for three weeks, June 19, through July 10.  Contact D'Ann Rohrer if you are interested in hosting drohrer@anr.msu.edu  

2019 Outbound Exchange

Michigan youth can travel abroad with 4-H.  Scholarships for 4-H members are available. 

Applications will be posted here soon.  Applications due November 1, 2018.

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Summer 2019 Programs: We will be accepting applications starting in November.  Limited spaces for Finland and Costa Rica.  Applications are due November 1, 2018 with a $2,000 due December 1, payment for summer programs. Scholarship applications are due by February 1, 2019.

Japan:  Travel dates will be determined in May 2018 for 2019 Homestay Program.  For our Nihongo language program, the dates are June  - August , 2019.  For more information about this opportunity, contact D’Ann Rohrer, drohrer@anr.msu.edu or 231-845-3361. (Youth ages 12-18)          

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- Finland 2019, Norway 2020 (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 2019 to July 2020. Inquiry form due by December 2018.  Application due by January, 2019.  (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/

For more information about this opportunity, visit the International Youth Exchange resource page or contact D’Ann Rohrer, drohrer@anr.msu.edu or 231-845-3361

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

Contact

For more information on how to get involved as a youth or volunteer, contact yourcounty MSU Extension office or:

D’Ann Rohrer, Extension Educator Michigan Coordinator

drohrer@anr.msu.edu 231-845-3361

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