New York State 4-H is proud to partner with States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs to offer youth and their families a variety of opportunities to expand their 4-H involvement and experiences.
States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs
States’ 4-H is the sponsoring organization for the in-USA program. States’ 4-H works closely with State Coordinators and international partners, coordinating the exchanges and ensuring that all program policies, regulations and safety practices are followed. States’ 4-H oversees screening and selection for host families, provides handbooks for host families and state coordinators, provides in-program support for the duration of the exchange, and administers evaluations for the program.
States’ 4-H provides leadership, guidance, management, and training to the member states. States’ 4-H develops, maintains, and enforces all policies and procedures to ensure compliance with federal regulations, standard risk management practices, and non-discrimination policies of the Cooperative Extension System, as well as ensures that programs meet the educational youth development objectives of the 4-H Youth Development Program of the Cooperative Extension System.
New York State’s Involvement
New York State 4-H has a long-standing relationship with States’ 4-H International Exchange. Currently, the program is overseen by the State 4-H Office. The State 4-H office works with counties to recruit and screen families to host a Japanese delegate for 4 weeks during the summer, usually from Mid July thru Mid August.
Every year New York requests a certain number of delegates to host and works to find Host families for those delegates within the 4-H population. Families may participate in any number of 4-H programs at any level to be eligible to host a delegate. Delegates range in age from 12-18 (most are 12-14) and do not speak much English. Traveling and staying with an American family is about the full immersion of the delegate into American Culture. Therefore, the Host family must have a child of the same age and gender as the arriving delegate.
Delegates fly into Syracuse, NY and participate in an Arrival Event and Orientation and are picked up by their Hosting Family in Syracuse. Delegates then stay with their families for the full 4 weeks and are a part of the family, participating in whatever activities the family has planned during the time of their stay. Delegates are honorary 4-H members and can participate in Fairs and other 4-H events and activities while here (with the exception of fire arms/shooting sports activities). At the conclusion of their stay delegates are transported, by their host family, back to Syracuse for a farewell event and debriefing, after which they will fly out of Syracuse and head back to Japan.
Delegates travel in a group and are accompanied by a chaperone/tutor who also requires a host family, or two, for the duration of their stay. Their job is to assist with international travel, check in with the delegates, to help with any challenges that might arise and celebrate the successes and accomplishments of their delegates while staying in the United States.
Now Accepting Applications for Summer 2023
The application for Hosting can be found on the States’ 4-H International Exchange Website. It is a web based platform and handled by the organization itself. All potential host families must successfully complete all parts of the application process before they are offered a delegate to host. All applicants must complete the following:
Online Application (Completed By the Applying Families)
Criminal Background Check (Completed By States’ 4-H)
Reference Checks (Completed Online and verified by States 4-H and the State and Local Coordinators)
In-Home Interview (Completed by the Local 4-H Educator, Local Coordinator, or State Coordinator)
Current Hosting Opportunities
New York State currently only participates with the Japanese Exchange Program but is looking to the future and is planning to add other countries to the list of options including Costa Rica, Norway, Taiwan, South Korea, and others as they become available.
Academic Year Program (AYP)
Host an international high school youth for 10 months and bring the richness of the world to your home!
American families have the opportunity to host a high school student for one academic year (August-June). Students are enrolled in public high school and participate in school activities as members of their host families. States’ 4-H places students from Japan, South Korea and Eurasia/Africa through AYP. Our Eurasian and African students are scholarship recipients participating in either the Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) or Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Program (YES), which are sponsored by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs.
State coordinators and local representatives in the host community provide support services for host families and exchange students throughout the school year.
The application for traveling abroad (outbound) can be found on the States’ 4-H International Exchange Website. The application must be competed and submitted to the NYS 4-H Office no later than October 15th. All potential youth travelers must successfully complete all parts of the application process before their application can be forwarded on to States 4-H for consideration and selection. Final Selections are made by State 4-H International Exchange.
All applicants must complete the following:
Outbound Application (Completed and submitted to the NYS 4-H Office by December 1st)
Reference Form (Completed and submitted to the NYS 4-H Office by December 1st)
Interview (must be completed by January 1st)
Terms and Conditions
Program Comparison (Costs, deadlines, etc)
Current Travel Opportunities
States’ 4-H International Exchange offers youth the opportunity to travel to the following countries;
Costa Rica (6/21 - 7/20 - Ages 15-18)
Japan (4 week - 7/12- 8/10 - Ages 12-18)
(8 week - 6/14 - 8/10 - Ages 12-18)
South Korea (7/12 - 8/10 - Ages 12-18)
Norway (6/22 - 7/22 - Ages 15-18) NOT OFFERED IN 2023
Romania (6/22 - 7/21 - Ages 15-18) NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
Taiwan (7/20 - 8/18 - Ages 12-18) NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
Argentina (6/29 - 7/17 - Ages 15-18) NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
Application & Screening Process
Information for Host Families
Are you interested in other countries? Would you like to welcome an international student into your home? Host families come in all shapes and sizes and reflect the diversity of the United States. What they have in common is their eagerness to open their homes and hearts to a young person from another culture. Our families are warm, welcoming people who are proud to share their American culture and lifestyle.