Families Sought to Host Exchange Students
Local families are needed to host Japanese exchange students, ages 12 to 18, for four weeks this summer as part of a two-way exchange program sponsored by 4-H. The Japanese teenagers will stay with their American host families from mid-July to mid-August.
The program is open to families with children close in age to the Japanese participants. Families without children in this age range will be considered as hosts for the adult chaperones from Japan.
"You don't have to be a 4-H member to host," says Linda Gore, extension agent. "You just need a willingness to share your home and your world. There is no need to know Japanese. The students have all studied English and are anxious to use it."
The program gives host families a chance to share their culture, friendship and family life with an exchange student and at the same time learn about Japanese life. The home stays only last a month during the summer vacation, but the effects last a lifetime.
This 4-H Japanese Exchange program is one of the largest exchange programs involving North American and Japanese youth in the world. Since it was begun in 1972 some 43,000 students have stayed with families in more than 39 states, including North Carolina, and more than 7,000 American students have made reciprocal visits to Japan. The applications to host a Japanese student are due by April 30 and may be found at the website listed below.
A year-long exchange is also available with Japanese, Korean and students from the newly independent states such as Russia and Ukraine (FLEX - Future Leaders Exchange). These students must be accepted in the public school system. Families with young children, older adult children no longer at home or no children are welcome to apply to host. All year-long exchange students are expected to participate in local, district and state 4-H activities through their county 4-H program.
Information about the 2011 exchange opportunities and applications may be found at the website: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/randolph/4hprogram/exchange/index.php. Host applications and brochures about the program are also available through 4-H, N.C. Cooperative Extension Moore County Center, 707 Pinehurst Ave., in Carthage.
Questions may be directed to Gore at (910) 947-3188.
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