CORVALLIS, Ore. - Twenty-nine high school-age youth and five adults will be chosen to explore historical and cultural traditions of Mongolia in a four-week exchange program beginning in mid-June of  2012.

"The American Youth Leadership Program with Mongolia - Enhancing Global Perspectives" will focus on environmental issues common to the western United States and Mongolia, including water quality, renewable energy and land restoration and reclamation.

Youth and adults will be recruited from the 13 states, including Oregon, that make up the western region of the Land Grant Universities Cooperative Extension Service.

"The exchange is for young people to learn how to enhance global citizenship and understand other cultures," said Lillian Larwood, Oregon State University Extension 4-H youth specialist. "This will help them work effectively in a global society and become better prepared to address environmental issues."

Applications, due Jan. 15, are online at or by request from

Youth applicants must be U.S. citizens, 15-17 years old by the trip departure date (approximately June 21) and have at least one semester of high school left following the trip. A pre-trip orientation is scheduled May 17- 20 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Participants should have an interest in environmental issues on water quality, renewable resources and land reclamation and restoration, as well as Mongolian history and culture. They must participate in a web-based interview and, if selected, will be asked to complete a medical information and behavior agreement form.

Parents or guardians must give permission to participate in the entire program, including orientations and post-program activities.

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will cover most of the costs. Participants will pay for passports and passport photos, transportation to the airport for orientation and the exchange trip, spending money, a modest host-family gift and two books for the Mongolian 4-H Youth Organization.

Applications must be submitted directly to the University of Wyoming. A copy of the application should be sent to Lillian Larwood, 105 Ballard Hall, OSU, Corvallis, OR 97331-3608. Call 541-737-1316.

This exchange program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the University of Wyoming 4-H Youth Development Program.

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Lillian Larwood, 541-737-1316