Virginia 4-H has international programs that give young people hands-on international learning experiences by hosting, or being hosted by, someone from another country. 

Young people who participate in international programs:

  • learn more about other countries and cultures
  • develop more understanding of their own culture
  • develop an appreciation for social, economic, political, and cultural contributions of all people
  • understand how culture affects values, beliefs, and attitudes
  • develop independent study interests
  • improve language and leadership skills

Host Family Recruitment

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The IFYE (International Four-H Youth Exchange) program is an in-depth learning experience in which 4-H alumni live with host families in other countries to increase global awareness, develop independent study interests, and improve language skills. Both travel and hosting experiences are available. Here is a list of current inbound IFYEs who are available for two-three week host family experiences in Virginia.

The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) High School program is funded by the U.S. State Department and conducted by the 4-H Program in Virginia. Students from the Newly Independent states come to live with a host family for a year and to attend a Virginia High School. The students who are selected for this program are the “cream of the crop” in their home country and generally have an excellent command of the English language. Participating countries include:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. They arrive in their host families in late July or early August and return to their home countries between mid-May and late June.

Goals of this program are for the FLEX student to:

  • Acquire an understanding of important elements of civil society
  • Serve as agents for change in their countries after their return
  • Develop an appreciation for American culture
  • Interact with Americans and generate enduring ties
  • Teach Americans about their cultures and teach citizens of their home countries about the US

States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs provides opportunities for young people, ages 12-19, to experience life in another country and culture through a homestay with a native host family. The countries that are currently participating are Cameroon, Costa Rica, Japan, Norway, and Argentina. This is group travel with a 4-H chaperon and the programs last from 4-8 weeks in the summer. Cost and dates vary by country.