In the early 1990’s Linda Hines’s family opened her home to a student from Japan for part of a summer. Almost 20 years later, Hines coordinates the Indiana 4-H Japanese Exchange; a partnership that brings students from Meiji Gakuin High School in Tokyo to stay with Indiana host families in Indiana for three weeks each year.
Every even-numbered year, Indiana high school students go to Japan and odd-numbered years Japanese students stay with host families in Indiana.
Roger Tormoehlen, with Purdue’s Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education says the goal of the program is to promote cultural understanding between young people from different cultures.
This year, the program is seeking families to host students from Japan. The deadline for application to host a Japanese student is June 1.
Families interested in becoming host families should have at least one child 13-18 years of age. Families will undergo background checks if selected. They also will receive a handbook and information on Japanese culture and what to expect when hosting an exchange student.
Those seeking more information or interested in having a county coordinator speak to their group should contact Hines at 765-494-8433 or email@example.com.