The States’ 4-H International Exchange program is seeking local couples and families to host high school students from foreign countries.
Alexandria Maurer of John Day, the local program coordinator, working through the Grant County OSU Extension office, said she and her husband have enjoyed hosting students over the years.
“I hope other families take the opportunity,” she said.
Maurer said families and couples can choose a student who matches their background. She also noted the students are known for being high achievers, good students and also have a background of volunteering.
“Students are here for a life experience, not tourism, and they truly enjoy just becoming part of your family,” Maurer said.
Students in a four-week summer exchange program come from Japan, South Korea, Norway and Finland. In this program families should have children of similar age to the visiting students.
For the academic year program, students come from Japan, South Korea and Mexico. The FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange Program) program, also for the academic year, includes students from 20 Eastern European countries such as Armenia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Poland and Ukraine. The FLEX program is a highly competitive program run by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs.
There are also outbound programs for U.S. students to experience life in a foreign country.
States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, began in 1971 and is a nationally certified program recognized by the State Department. They utilize a network of extension professionals and volunteers who help facilitate cultural immersion experiences for 4-H-aged youth and adult chaperones.
Maurer said the deadline to apply is in July.
For more information, contact Carol Waggoner or Shanna Northway at the local extension office at 541-575-1911 or visit the exchange program’s website at https://www.states4hexchange.org.