Experiences of 4-H Japanese Exchange Program on Participants: An Evaluative Study

Title: Experiences of 4-H Japanese Exchange Program on Participants: An Evaluative

Authors: Rama Radhakrishna,
               Patreese Ingram
Year: 2005
Source: Journal of Extension (in press)

Description: This study assessed the Japanese exchange program participants in terms of arrival and departure orientation programs, 4-H program expectations, host family expectations, program coordination, and school and community experience.

Major Findings: A substantial majority of exchange students indicated that the 4-H
exchange program met their expectations relative to host family (78.4%), school (72.5%), and local coordinator (60.8%). However, exchange students were somewhat skeptical about their expectations on social and community activities (54.9%) and program support (49.0%).

Students reported very positive experiences with the host families. Only five students
(10.0%) reported that they had to change host families, while 90% stayed with the same host family throughout the program.

Students indicated that program coordinators were very helpful. Program coordinators
maintained regular contacts with exchange students through a variety of channels: frequent contacts via telephone (67%), home visits (49%), group travel 37%), social settings (29%), and schools (27%). Exchange students were very positive regarding help and assistance provided by the program coordinators. Sixty-seven percent of exchange students indicated that coordinators were there for them when they needed help, were friendly and approachable (87%), were fairminded and objective (77%), and were able to see the student’s point of view (72%).

Ninety-eight percent of the exchange students indicated that they liked the high school. Classes were difficult for nearly 61% of the students, while 55% needed some extra help. Most students (77%) reported that they enjoyed school and community service and were able to make friends and participate in various community activities and events (92%).

Sixty-seven percent of the students reported that their overall 4-H experience as “excellent,” while 29% said “good.” The service received from 4-H, friendliness and professionalism, were also rated high by students (35% excellent, 48% good). Seventy-one percent indicated that they would recommend 4-H exchange program to others in their home country, while 27% said, “may be.”