Costa Rica - 4 week Summer Hosting Opportunities

Host a Youth From Costa Rica and Experience Costa Rica Without Leaving Home!

The focus of the 4-H Costa Rican Exchange is to build friendships between youth and families of different cultures and provide both with an educational experience that will better prepare them for life in a global society. Costa Rican 4-H youth come to the US on a 4-H to 4-H international exchange for 3 1/2 weeks in the summer (usually from the 3rd week in June to the 3rd week in July) to experience daily life in the US,

The Costa Rican Delegates

Delegates range in age from 15-18.  They are recruited in Costa Rica through the Costa Rica 4-S Program (Costa Rica version of 4-H).   The primary goal of Costa Rica 4-S is to educate youth and women in subjects that can influence their life, farm, home, and community.  Costa Rica has over 200 clubs with a total of more than 8000 members, mostly in rural areas with some suburban locations. Members “learn by doing” through independent work or working on club projects with others.  The delegates visit Oregon to experience everyday American family life. The students are not here as tourists, but to live with your family and participate in normal family activities.

The Host Families

The major qualification for a host family is enthusiasm and a willingness to open your home and hearts and at least one youth in your home between the ages of 14-19. Families can live in urban or rural communities and have a variety of different interests and backgrounds. You don't need a large house, or even a separate bedroom to be a host. In fact, it is best if the youth share a room. Host families do not need to plan special activities or incur extra expenses. Host families just need to include their new family member in their regular activities, including family trips and outings, sporting events, and visiting friends and relatives, even errands and chores.

Host families find that this program benefits both the delegate they are hosting and their own family. Hosting provides your family with the opportunity to:

  • Get to know a person from another culture and create a lifelong family friendship
  • Improve your family's understanding of another culture and language
  • Learn more about our own culture to share with the hosted youth
  • Increase family togetherness through planning for the experience
  • Meet and share with other families in the community

The 4-H Costa Rican Exchange Program provides support to prepare host families and works with them during the visit. This includes:

  • An orientation program at the local level
  • A Host Family Handbook
  • The opportunity to exchange letters with the exchange student and their parents before they arrive
  • Local contact people to answer questions and help during the exchange

How to Participate

Any family with a child between the ages of 14–19 may apply to host a delegate.

A volunteer coordinator will arrange a home visit and interview to discuss host family interests and expectations and program requirements.

References are required. Background checks will be conducted on all individuals, age 18 or older, residing in the host family home during the time the delegate is in Oregon

Host families are chosen based on the program's ability to make a good match between family and student, adequate family facilities for hosted youth, and the willingness of the whole family to participate in the experience and follow program guidelines.

All host family application materials MUST be received in the State 4-H Office by February 26th.

All matches for this program are made at the national level.

Host Family Application Materials

How to apply to be a host family:

 *  Link to online application  please note you will leave OSU webpage

 *  Host family references: 

NEW Potential Host Families: When filling out your online application, you will be asked to provide the email addresses of 2 individuals who are not related to your host family by blood or marriage.

Families who hosted in 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016 (and submitted 2 references) do not need to complete the host family reference requirement.

 * OSU Background/Criminal History Check Disclosure Notice & Release - required for all adults (18 and older) living in the home. Required for all new families and every two years thereafter.
 * DMV records (Certified Court Print - driving history) - required for all adults (18 and older) in household that will be driving delegate. Required for all new families, and for individual's in returning host families if their driving record changes. If you can not go to the DMV and need to order your Oregon DMV records by mail, use this form.
 * OSU Conditions of Volunteer Service  - required yearly for all adults (18 and older) living in the home.

Checklist detailing all steps.

If you are unable to fill out the online application, please contact your county coordinator or 4-H office.

For more information about being a host family contact your county 4-H office, county coordinator or the State Coordinator at 541-737-1303

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