Twenty-three youth and two adult chaperones from Japan recently visited Texas as part of the States’ 4-H International Exchange.
“The youth delegates are staying with Texas families all over the state,” said Dr. Darlene Locke, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service youth development specialist with the recreation, park and tourism sciences department at Texas A&M University, College Station. Texas 4-H partners with States’ 4-H International Exchange, along with 19 other state 4-H programs. States’ 4-H is the parent organization and establishes the partnership with cooperating countries.”
She said the States’ 4-H International Exchange program is comprised of AgriLife Extension professionals helping to facilitate cultural immersion experiences for 4-H-aged youth and their adult chaperones.
“Some of the goals of the program are to engage youth in world citizenship, to promote cultural understanding and empathy and to help youth develop a global perspective and a personal sense of their place in it,” she said.
Locke said the program currently takes place in 19 states and has been conducted in the U.S. since 1972.
“Exchanges occur between the U.S. and 16 different countries,” Locke said. “And Texas 4-H offers four-week homestays in conjunction with specific Japanese programs. While there are other options, Texas 4-H has exchanged with Japan for 30-plus years, so it has become pretty much the standard choice for Japanese youth wanting to visit a foreign county. And the timing coincides with their summer break.”
For more information about International Exchange Programs, go to: https://texas4-h.tamu.edu/projects/international-travel/
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