My husband and I have been fortunate to have “villages” both here in the U.S. and around the world not just while raising our three daughters; but even now that they are thriving adults. Each one of our daughters had the opportunity for exchange programs. As a family, we also had the opportunity to host exchange students from different parts of the world.
One avenue for student exchange programs is through the American Youth Leadership Program- a leadership training exchange program for U.S. high school students and adult mentors. The program is administered through the U.S. Department of State. Students travel abroad to gain firsthand knowledge of world cultures and observe globally important issues, such as the environment and climate change, food security and nutrition, the role of the media, and science and technology.
Through daily interactions with local families, students learn the language, culture, and engage in community service projects. The stay typically is for four weeks. Students must be between the ages of 15-17 and must have at least one semester of school left after the exchange program. There are additional requirements depending on the destination country. Students can travel to China, Cyprus, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Hong Kong, or Thailand. Adult mentors can be teachers, trainers, administrators, counselors, or community leaders who work with youth. To learn more and apply visit: http://goo.gl/G7Vq4r
“It takes a village to raise a child” – Igbo/Yoruba Proverb