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Host a Japanese Agricultural Training Program Student

Oct. 18, 2002

You can still sign up to host a Japanese Agricultural Training Program student from Hartnell College at your home. The deadline is December 20th. Families in Salinas will have the rare opportunity to host a young man from Japan for three months. The students are a part of a two year work/study program and are all high school or college graduates, from 21-30 years of age.

The Japanese Agriculture Training Program began at Hartnell College in 1972. The University of Nebraska, The University of California, Davis and Modesto Junior College are also participants in the program. Those studying vegetable production come to Hartnell College.

Because Hartnell College has no dormitory facilities, the students are housed with local families. The program's coordinator for the college, Joanne West said, "The integration into an American family is an important phase of the trainee's time spent in Salinas. It is also very rewarding for the families to have a student from another culture in their home."

The students attend classes from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Lunch is provided at the college. The host families are given $375 per month, per trainee, to help cover food and lodging expenses.

The students arrive in Salinas on January 11th. Upon arrival in America they have a three-month orientation at Big Bend Community College in Washington State and then the students spend one year on their host farms. They begin classes on January 13th and after three months at Hartnell College they return to work on their farms for two and a half months. In mid-June the students return to Japan, having completed two years in America.

The trainees are encouraged to participate as much as possible in community activities, both with their host families and as guests of local organizations. "They are like Ambassadors of Good Will," West said. She describes the experience as "very rewarding" for the host families. "Many lasting friendships have been made," she said.

For further information on becoming a host family call West at (831)755-6890.