Host families needed
Despite the tragedy in Japan, Illinois 4-H will continue the long-standing tradition of providing homestay opportunities for Japanese youth and their adult chaperones this summer through the 4-H Japanese Exchange.
This year, the 4-H-Japanese Summer Exchange will provide a language immersion experience for 57 Japanese youth ages 12 to 15 to experience an English-speaking culture on a daily basis. These youth are members of Labo and LEX language acquisition programs in Japan where English is studied and practiced.
Illinois 4-H is looking for families with children between the ages of 11 and 16 to host a Japanese child for four weeks this summer. Interested families do not have to be involved in 4-H to host, but should be willing to open their homes to a visiting child.
The program is open to families who have a child close in age to the Japanese youth. One Japanese visitor will be matched to a family based on the host sibling’s gender, age and interests.
There are also opportunities to host adult chaperones for 2 to 4 weeks. Families who host chaperones are not required to have children in the home.
Japanese families involved in the language programs recognize the value such programs offer their children. Like American families, Japanese families see our world becoming more global and look for ways to expose their children to different cultures.
The 4-H Japanese exchange is scheduled for July 21 to August 19. Illinois 4-H hopes to have all participants placed by April 15.
Families interested in hosting can contact Miriam Rosenbohm at firstname.lastname@example.org, Sue Herren at email@example.com or their local University of Illinois Extension office. Host family application materials are available at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state4h/members/international.cfm.