West Cook YMCA

Expand your world

Cultural Exchange Programclientuploads/_photos/sakino4.jpg

From July 31 through August 14, you are invited to host a student from Japan as part of an annual summer exchange with the Saitama YMCA in Japan.  This life-changing experience will introduce your household to another culture and give you opportunities to share your love for our nation and the Chicagoland area, as well as your own culture, traditions and family activities, with Japanese students.

Our student guests participate in Day Camp at the West Cook YMCA, making this a true international experience for all the campers, but spend evenings and weekends with their host families.  This gives your family time to build relationships and friendships, and make memories that will never be forgotten.


  • West Cook families can host one, two or three students or staff chaperons — whatever is most comfortable for your household.
  • Japanese students range in age from 12 to 17 and have at least some experience with the English language.  They arrive eager to be part of your family for their two-week visit.
  • Day Camp activities fill the students’ weekdays, and some (optional) events are offered in the evenings and weekends.  Host families are encouraged to involve the students in their day-to-day activities, introducing them to life in America.  
  • Your children will gain multicultural experience that will benefit them well into the future.
  • The friendships made will last, giving you and your children opportunities to continue to expand your multicultural experiences.

Download the printable application here.
Or, download the fillable application here.


Families interested in hosting our guests from the Saitama (Japan) YMCA can pick up an application at the front desk.  After you submit your application (due date: May 22), you’ll be invited to orientation workshops to help you gain the most from this unique experience.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Lopez at 708-434-0230 or send an email.

2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
See All Month's Events

Subscribe to our Y newsletter

Sign Up