Bring an International Living Experience to Your Family

By Mary Loftis, Extension Associate

If you can’t find the time and money to travel consider hosting a young adult from another country for a short three weeks this summer or fall to ‘travel abroad without leaving home”!! Enjoy the exposure to different cultures which hosting brings.


IFYE, formerly known as the International Four-H Youth Exchange, (pronounced “iffy”) is a rural based, international cultural exchange program designed for young adults, 19 years and older.  IFYE emphasizes the understanding of other cultures by living it on a day to day basis, rather than seeing the culture from a tourist point of view.  As a host family, include the IFYE in your daily activities.  As this is not an academic or research based program, the IFYE will be more fully engaged in all aspects of your family’s lives.  Families often find they are drawn closer, and see their lives in a whole new perspective as they welcome a new son, daughter, brother, or sister in their circle.


Being an IFYE host family is fun, rewarding and educational. Just welcome the delegate into your home and treat him or her like one of the family. The delegate will want to join in everyday activities, help with chores and otherwise fit in as a brother, sister, son or daughter.  No special activities need to be planned. Host families provide the IFYE with meals and lodging, just as you would for a family member. IFYEs bring their own personal spending money.


Anita Keys, of the Nebraska IFYE Alumni Association reported Nebraska has the privilege of hosting four inbound IFYEs this summer and they are trying to find a few more families to host. Mari Roseberry is coordinating the host families for the inbounds:, phone (308)538-2648. You can contact Mari directly or apply on line.

This website will answer lots of your questions: Click on “Become a Host Family” on the top line. There will be a pretty involved application process, but nothing too complicated. They just want it to be a safe and enjoyable experience for both the IFYE and the host families. If this is something you and your family want to consider they will help you through the process.


Here’s the schedule for the IFYE travelers so far:

Alice Giles from England will be in Nebraska and her third family stay is available August 15- September 9. Alice is interested in livestock (beef, sheep, poultry), works at a children’s charity and is active in Young Farmers.


A male from Taiwan will be visiting June 21-July 9 and July 9-August 9. Additional information was not currently available for the male from Taiwan.



Johanna is a female from Germany and her first stay in Nebraska is available August 1 – September 9. She was raised on a grain, sugar beet and potato farm, she’s a paramedic, interested in health and nursing and loves horses!


Leiz is a male from Norway. He will be in Nebraska for his first visit November 13- December 9.


Nebraska is hoping to continue having inbounds and to send outbounds to other countries in the future, so keep that in mind too. Or, if you know of another family that might make a good host, please let Anita Keys (308)834-3379, or Mari Roseberry at (308)538-2648.


Nebraska is also excited to have three outbound IFYEs representing Nebraska and the United States in 2016. They are: Erica Peterson to Poland and Switzerland, Taylor Hannan to Luxenbourg and Switzerland, and Alyssa Dye to Estonia and Germany. They will be available to share their experiences with schools and organizations after the first of the year in 2017. Let Anita Keys know if you’d like to schedule them.



About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: