Stephanie in Mexico
Hola, soy Stephanie y fui a México como intern de LEX por tres meses, lo que fue una experiencia maravillosa. I fell in love with the country, the culture, the language, and people who taught me so much and became my close friends and adopted families. I learned not only how to speak a new language, but how to laugh in this language; not only what Mexican cuisine tastes like, but how to prepare and appreciate it in the context of ritual and celebration. And though I had expected to learn a great deal about a foreign culture, I was surprised by how much I ended up learning about my own.
My experience fostered a deep and lasting connection with this place and community and because of it, I feel that I will always have a home in Mexico. Thank you to LEX for all the work you continue to do to make the world a more curious, open and connected place!
Maddie in Japan
I was lucky to spend one year living and working in Tokyo, Japan as a LEX/Hippo intern! In the past two years since then, I have been continuing my work there as a fulltime staff member. Now, my time at LEX has almost come to an end, and I will move back to the U.S. this year. During my internship I had three host families. They have each supported me immensely these three years, and I truly consider them “family.” When people ask me what I want to do with my remaining time in Japan, my answer always is, “spend time with the people I love.” While I am extremely grateful for the unique cultural experiences I`ve had, such as trying on a kimono, going to hot springs, and watching a kabuki play, the most enjoyable and precious memories come from my time with my host families and attending the Hippo Family Club activities. Now, not only am I completely comfortable using Japanese in daily life, but I`ve also gained confidence in other languages, such as Korean, Spanish, Mandarin, and more! No matter what or where my next adventure may be, I relish the challenge! I`m eternally grateful that my internship experience led to so many opportunities and helped me to become a more flexible and compassionate world citizen.
Daniel in Japan
The program is perfect. It provides students with an opportunity of a lifetime. It is really hard to explain, because there is absolutely nothing like it. It was originally created for language learning, but it has evolved to encompass much more. It is a very nice community of like-minded and unique people whose main goal is to learn more about the world and its people.
The most rewarding aspect, by far, was learning to speak and read in Japanese without having done it in a classroom.
My year in Japan was awesome; it’s a year that I’ll never forget!
Hayley in Korea
My experience in Korea has served to broaden my cultural horizons. I loved living in another culture, and now Korea seems much closer to me. With current events and Korea continually in the headlines, I feel a personal connection. Korea isn’t just a place on the other side of the world, it’s a country that I love and where many of my friends live.
Arriving in Korea, I only knew a few sentences in Korean. In my 2 1/2 months, I was able to learn many phrases and expressions. I can also read a bit of hanguel. Learning Korean was very rewarding, and I plan to continue learning it in the coming years. I think I have gained confidence through this experience, and I am even more willing to try learning new languages.
Nicol in Japan
Konnichiwa! Hello! I'm Nicol from Oregon. I am 19 and have been involved in 4-H since I was 9 years old. I found a passion within the Japanese 4-H / LEX exchange program. I hosted Mana, my first month long exchange student, when I was just 10 years old. I loved getting to know her! We had a blast together, even though we couldn't communicate that well, I don't ever remember it being a problem. Because of my great experience with her I hosted four other month-long exchange students. When I was 14 I participated in the LEX month-long homestay and went to see Mana in Japan! The next summer she came back to America and I hosted her for a school year, and we made so many memories! Here I am back in Japan, and I was able to see her again! Nine years ago, she changed my life and that friendship has remained. I am having a great time here in Japan, learning Japanese, eating tons of delicious food and seeing a new culture. I love working in this multilingual/multicultural environment and being able to see the world get a little smaller.