Help Alexandria chaperone American youth on a trip to Japan!

Alexandria Maurer Start Date: Feb 20, 2019 - End Date: Jun 19, 2019
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Professional Development
  • Volunteer Trip
  • Tokyo, Japan

My Travel Story

by: Alexandria Maurer Start Date: Feb 20, 2019 - End Date: Jun 19, 2019
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Professional Development
  • Volunteer Trip
My name is Alexandria and I love cultural exchange! I have been chosen through the States’ 4-H International Exchange as the only Chaperone for the 8-week summer program to Japan in 2019, and I am beyond excited! This trip means so much to me because I will have the opportunity of guiding a select group of American 4-H students in their international experiences and rallying with them through the challenges and adventures of going abroad, creating lasting memories for a lifetime.

I chose to go to Japan because I have a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies with a background focused on Japan and Japanese language study. I also have experience working as a camp counselor at a summer camp and volunteering with youth and teenagers for the exchange program and various other 4-H/Extension activities, so I feel like this opportunity is a great use of my skills and experience. Currently I am a volunteer coordinator for the States' 4-H International Exchange Program and have been involved with their exchange programming on and off since 2009, including hosting Japanese students ourselves!

While abroad I will be:
●      Acting as the only full-time, 24/7 chaperone for 20 American youth on exchange during the first four weeks, giving them much needed support (joined by a second chaperone half way through)
●      Helping guide American youth through the growing process of traveling abroad and "living local" beyond just the tourist experience - cultural exchange is a major key to better communication, understanding, and awareness as an adult
●      Reaching out as an ambassador to represent our rural communities of Oregon
●      Researching agritourism and food culture to better connect our rural life with consumers and work on influencing our own local communities upon return

On this trip I expect to also grow, be challenged, and learn so much about myself. But I can’t do it alone! There are many ways you can contribute to my goal, and I’ve outlined them on my personal campaign page. You can pledge your support through thoughts, social media shares, and financial donations! This fundraising mainly involves the remaining program fee, minor travel expenses, and covering childcare for my own children while I am gone so that my husband can keep working. It is a big stretch for our family but something that we all feel is extremely important! 

Fundraising Goal Steps:
  1. Application and Program Fees - PAID
  2. Childcare Costs - PAID
  3. Food Costs - In Progress!
  4. Hokkaido Excursion - PAID
  5. Personal Travel Expenses - Pending
  6. Other costs (Medical appt, travel supplies, etc) - Pending

While I’m abroad I’ll be sharing my story on social media with the hashtag #S4H8wJapan2019. You can follow me on Instagram (@beyondalexandria) or Twitter (@bydalexandria), or check my donor page for updates!

I know I’ve made it to where I am today because of the amazing support in my life, and I hope you will join me in this next step. Please consider donating to my fundraiser, and sharing my story with others!

In Gratitude, 
Alexandria Maurer
  • Tokyo, Japan

Updates

8
  • Cheesecake Fundraising And GOAL 2 COMPLETE!!

    Cheesecake Fundraising and GOAL 2 COMPLETE!!
    A month since the last update, and a lot of things have happened since then! I continue to prepare for the upcoming trip. I've completed all my initial contacts with the delegates and have added a whole bunch of cultural, language, and program information on our FB group for delegates and parents to use. We also completed the program conference call with everyone for group orientation and program overview.

    However, the biggest news for me personally is that between the donations, some reimbursement funds I received for other volunteer work I did for the exchange program, some extra childcare work, and the profit from these fabulous cheesecakes I'm making/selling, I have finally completed Goal 2 - Childcare Costs!! That's $1200 that I have a lot of gratitude for right now. People are not only investing in me and my experience, but also investing in caring for my children while I'm away and that truly means so much to me.

    Goal 3 (Food Costs) has to do with paying for my lunches during the first four weeks' stay in Tokyo attending the language school. 28 days until I leave for Japan, and I've begun a daily journal and planning for things like orientations, packing, and gifts. Goal 4 (Personal Expenses) has a lot to do with things that might come up during my stay that are outside the program costs.

    Thank you for supporting me and making this entire experience possible! And please, consider participating in States' 4-H Exchange experiences in the future, it will change your life!
  • Dreaming Of Japanese Food + The True Work Begins

    Dreaming of Japanese Food + The True Work Begins
    Last week was my conference call with the other chaperone and the program manager to go over beginning details of the program and expectations for the travel itself. This week I also received all the delegate information for 20 American youth delegates that will be traveling with me! They range in age from 13-18 and come from all over the U.S., including Alaska. It's very exciting to be at this point! About 60 days to go~

    So far I have raised/earned a total of about $1200 (which has paid for the application fee, total program fee, and so far $475 towards childcare costs currently). I did have to update the cost calculator after the chaperone call though. We talked more about the financial responsibilities and some of my estimates were too low. First, I need to pay for lunch every day of language school for 4 weeks while we are in Tokyo. Also, for the personal travel expenses, this will now include a small 2-day excursion to see one of my previous year-long Japanese exchange students at her university in Hokkaido. These changes have been added to the totals and once I reach Goal 2 (Childcare Costs) I will start working on Goal 3 (Food Costs) and Goal 4 (Personal Travel Expenses).

    The next few weeks will be busy with first contact calls and social media interaction as I spend time getting to know the delegates better! I am sure as the days go by I will continue to have questions pop up but thankfully S4H is a supportive and accessible program that I can reach out to at any time. Thank you for your support!

Adventure Registry

  • Earnings from Extra Work (A)

    100
    Ashley and Family
    • Granted
  • Excursion to Hokkaido

    400
    Kanazawa Family
    • Granted
  • Earnings from Extra Work (B)

    75
    Family Friend
    • Granted
  • Cheesecake Sales

    100
    Renee, Rebekah, Vincent
    • Granted
  • Donations to Fundraiser!

    900
    RV, BM, SJ
    • Granted