“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller                                                                                

Maryland 4-H has the unique opportunity to offer new and exciting programs to youth and families. Through this intercultural program, we are growing leaders, developing global perspectives, and engaging communities.   

In offering outbound opportunities such as a one-month homestay in Japan and a two-week service-learning program in Tanzania (located in East Africa), Maryland 4-H elevates how leaders are developed. The inbound opportunities for families to host Japan's delegates for a one-month homestay allow you to experience a new country without leaving this one.

Vaccines are strongly recommended, but not required for host families. At this point, Japanese delegates are strongly recommended to be vaccinated before travel, but it is not required. Japanese delegates are required to receive a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arriving in the US and again before departing the US. Please reach out to the State Coordinator for further details. 


International Trips for 2024

Maryland 4-H partners with States' 4-H Exchange to provide American 4-H youth with the opportunity to travel to foreign countries for a cultural immersion experience. Outbound delegates live with volunteer host families and engage in experiential learning about a new way of life. In addition, delegates experience aspects of daily life that allow them to deeply understand their host culture and their own culture—thinking about traveling abroad? Check out our seven partnering countries and contact the State Coordinator for more information!

  • Sculpture of a horse in a town in Argentina


  • ox, man and cart

    Costa Rica

  • pagoda and mountain in background


  • city on the water in Norway


  • mountain in background Korean buildings in foreground

    South Korea

  • A city sunrise in Taiwan


Summer at a glance


Hosting Requirements:

  • The Host Sibling should be within three years of the Delegate age and be of the same gender.
  • Everyone 18+ in the household must pass a background check.
  • You do NOT have to be in 4-H to host!
  • Must have a permanent bed for them to sleep on, and prefer to share a room with the same gender.
  • Go to this website to fill out an online application: http://www.states4hexchange.org/
  • If you host for one month, you receive $100 off a States’ 4-H International Exchange trip (Up to $300); if you host for the school year, you receive $1000 off the cost of a trip. School year hosting opportunities are available.

Top Five Truths to Know About Hosting:

  1. That hiking trail a couple of miles from home that you always mean to take? That park or local museum you haven’t visited in a while? That tennis racket that never seems to make it onto the court? Bringing a guest to your home doesn’t mean making huge or expensive trips, but it’s really about exploring and having you rediscover your local community as a family!
  2. Communication will be a challenge that both you and your delegate will meet. Before your delegate arrives, practicing as a family was the number one piece of advice from past host families, and we have resources for you. 
  3. Hosting a student doesn’t have to be expensive. See tip number one and be advised that one of the favorite things our delegates did was play a pick-up game of basketball, or go to the county fair, or go to the dump (I can’t make this up!). The things you and your family do every day are perfect. This leads me to…
  4. You will stress yourself out if you try to be an entertainer. Treat them exactly as you would your own children. Downtime, quiet time, recharge time- all very ok and necessary!
  5. The students are eager to learn English, make you happy, and visit America. This is also an opportunity for you to learn about your student’s culture as you grow awareness and empathy for the world around you. Saying goodbye is usually tough, but relationships can last a lifetime.

Learn more about what 4-H is doing in Africa!