Being a host family is an experience that will last all your life. The international 4-H program brings young people from around the globe to the United States. As members of American families, exchange youth experience the American way of life and share their own culture in countless ways. It is truly an unforgettable experience.

It is an experience that will change your life and open a brand new world to a young person from overseas. You and your family can join in this unique adventure by becoming a host family. All it takes is a warm heart, an open house, and a zest for international family living experiences.

Host families are as diverse as America itself; they come from all nationalities and religious backgrounds. Some families have children, others do not; some are affluent, others come from modest circumstances. They may be rural, suburban, or city dwellers - but. they all have an interest in learning more about the world and about themselves.

Illinois 4-H members and their families can participate in international programs sponsored by the 4-H International Programs Committee. 4-H families can  host a young person from a participating country. During a 3- to 4-week homestay, 4-H families open their homes and hearts to a young person and share our culture while learning about a different culture. Most host opportunities are scheduled mid- to late-summer. Open your home to the world. Hosting is an educational opportunity not just for the exchange student, but also for the host family, host school, and entire host community. 4-H programs focus on life skill development, including communication, tolerance, respect for others, and engaged citizenship. Students from Japan, Korea, and Eurasia arrive in August. Opportunities will be posted as they become available. 

Contact (email to