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4-H International program accepting host family applications

By Paulette Thomas
Posted Thursday, March 30, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - Remember what it was like to be a 13? Well, image having the courage at that age to travel several thousand miles from home-by yourself- and live in a strange country for a month.

That's what 30 Japanese exchange students, ages 12 to 16, will be doing this summer as they take up residence with families through the 4-H Summer Inbound month long program.

One brave youth, Shunji is a 13 year old boy who loves fishing, and swimming and enjoys camping. He states that he wants to go swimming, drink coca-cola and take care of cows. Sachiko is a 13 year old girl, who enjoys camping, reading, singing, playing volleyball, drama, and swimming. She especially would like to show her host family the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. Both are coming to the United States this summer and hope to live with a host family here in North Carolina.
Shunji and Sachiko are just two of the thirty Japanese teenagers who will be staying with families across North Carolina as part of a two-way exchange program sponsored by the North Carolina 4-H International Exchange Program. The exchangees will be staying with their American host families from July 23 through August 18, 2006. The students are accompanied by two Japanese adult chaperones.

The program is open to all North Carolina families with children close in age and of the same gender to the Japanese participants. Families with younger children or without children may participate in the Exchange by hosting an adult chaperone from Japan.

You do not have to be involved currently in 4-H to host, 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. Host families provide meals, transportation, a bed, and supervision and work to incorporate the Exchange student into American family life.

"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 homestay's last only a month during the summer, but the effects last a lifetime."

In addition, to month long Exchange students, North Carolina 4-H also will be hosting year long High school exchange students from Japan, Korea and the Newly Independent States such as Russia and the Ukraine. Families do not have to have children of the same age or gender living in the home in order to host. Year long High School Exchange students arrive in August and stay through the middle of June.

Students must attend a local public high school.

If your family is interested in being a host family, please call Sarah Hardison, Extension Agent 4-H at 919-542-8202 or email sarah_hardison@ncsu.edu, or Carolyn Langley, the State 4-H International Exchange Program Coordinator at Carolyn_Langley@ncsu.edu to receive an application and program information.

The 4-H International Exchange program is one of the largest exchange programs involving North American and Japanese youth in the world. Since it began in 1972, some 40,000 Japanese students have made a visit to the United States and over 2,000 American 4-H members have visited Japan. North Carolina 4-H has hosted over 500 youth from Japan since 1990.

North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and local governments cooperating.

 
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