From 4-H International Youth Exchange to Global Citizen: Common Pathways of Ten Past Program Participants

Mary E. Arnold, Jamie Davis, Aimee L. Corliss


This qualitative study examined the life course of ten adults who participated as youth in the 4-H International Exchange program. The purpose of this research was to explore the pathways that led each participant to their exchange experience as a youth and how that experience set the stage for further development into an adulthood marked by cultural interest, awareness, competence and global citizenship. Using a grounded theory approach the data were analyzed through selective, open, and axial codings that elucidated a series of key events, opportunities, and qualities that form a common pathway among all participants. The results of this research contribute to the articulation of a theory of change upon which international youth exchange programs can be effectively developed and enhanced. Specific recommendations for international youth exchange programs are presented.

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