Friday, July 25, 2014

Welcome to our Exchange Student

We have welcomed a young lady to our household for four weeks.

Asa sampling American pizza.
Her name is Asa. She hails from Yamagata, Japan, which is located along the northern spine of Japan, across the mountains from Sendai (which was decimated in the March 11, 2011 tidal wave), and Fukishima (site of four disabled, radiocative leaking nuclear reactors). Asa's father grows grapes. Her mother works with the elderly. 

She likes Anime and Volkoloids (don't ask me), an interest she holds in common with one of our children. Asa is a member of Labo in Japan.

Labo is a family-based Japanese youth organization
Children in Japan between the ages of 3 and 18 join Labo in order to improve their English-language ability as well as to learn about other cultures and intern with youngstersexpand their personal horizons. Using international bilingual songs, stories and plays from around the world, members learn about the world and about working with one another. At weekly Labo Party meetings, children of all ages work together to bring these stories and plays to life. At seasonal camps, Labo members also enjoy practicing and performing their plays in addition to hiking, games,and other outdoor activities.Labo is volunteer-driven. Thousands of Labo Tutors, trained by local Labo offices,recruit young people from their neighborhood to join their Labo Party club. Tutors often remain an important part of their members’ lives into adulthood.
Labo International Exchange Foundation
A non-profit part of Labo, has been organizing homestay and academic exchange programs since 1972 (see our history), primarily for young people between the ages of 12 and 18, but also for young adults.
Homestay in JapanThe exchange of students between Japan, North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and China, provide children and their families opportunities to experience a new culture, learn a new language and become international citizens. Labo families welcome a foreign child into their family in order to make friends, learn about a new culture, introduce their own customs and practice a new language.During the summer, Labo staff, Canadian and US university Interns, and bilingual Labo Tutors are available to assist both the families and the exchangee with problems, question or concerns.

Stateside, we are hooked in through the 4-H International Exchange Program.

logoStates' 4-H International Exchange Programs
Global Citizenship & Cultural Immersion Programming for 4-H Aged Youth

Summer Inbound Exchange Student Programs

Our Summer Inbound programs bring youth to the US each summer to stay with a host family for 4 weeks. Based on a complete cultural immersion model, youth are matched with a volunteer American family who wants to share their life with an international visitor.
Become a Host Family!
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 volunteers who are proud to share their American culture and lifestyle.

We applied. We were cleared. And here we are.

Asa wants to visit an American farm. We will oblige. We'll also be sure to get her down to Yellowstone and Old Faithful, introduce her to a good ole western rodeo and county fair, and tube down the Madison River and chow down barbecued American bison and beef. We'll get out to a hot springs or two and over to Virginia City for a first hand flavor of 19th century frontier life.

We are looking forward to it all.

Then the day prior to Asa's return trip, we will be welcoming a German exchange student for a full academic year. It promises to be a fun and exciting time!