District 6220 Rotary Youth Exchange study abroad students will agree and abide by the rules of conduct prior to and throughout their year abroad. Some rules are designed for safety; others are to help students integrate into their new country and culture.
The principal rules are often referred to as the 4 D’s.
No Dating (Well, no serious dating!)
The illegal drinking of alcoholic beverages is expressly forbidden. In the USA and many other countries, Rotary Youth Exchange students are under the legal drinking age. Students who are assigned to countries where drinking is legal should refrain, simply because it’s a Rotary Rule.
Illegal drugs. Enough said!
Driving is a serious liability problem. American laws and insurance coverages are different than those found in many other countries. Rotary International has seriously evaluated this question and has deemed it necessary that all Rotary Exchange Students forfeit their driving privileges for the duration of their exchange year.
Dating is a very difficult issue. It is neither reasonable nor desirable to expect a student to not date for a school year. On the other hand, Rotary recognizes the problems that repeated one-on-one dating or serious dating relationships could present. Some of these include: spending time with one person to the exclusion of participating in activities with other people, violating your host parents’ rules, and relationships leading to sexual activity. The student is strongly advised to be very cautious and avoid any serious involvement.
All exchange students and their families must sign and agree to abide by Rotary International’s Rules and Conditions of Exchange which are a part of the Long Term Application. It is very important for student’s safety and the success of the program that these rules are respected and observed by all. Your host country, host club and EACH host family may have additional rules by which you must also abide.
These rules apply to all students everywhere in the world, including our USA Outbounds and our Inbound students from other countries. The rules are divided into two categories: Strict Rules and Conditions, and Common Sense Rules.
Strict Rules and Conditions of Exchange — Violations may result in the student’s immediate return home.
- Obey the Laws of the Host Country — If found guilty of violation of any law, the student can expect no assistance from the host club, sponsors or their native country. The student will be returned home as soon as he or she is released by authorities.
- The student is not allowed to possess or use illegal drugs. Medicine prescribed by a physician is allowed.
- The student is not authorized to operate a motorized vehicle of any kind which requires a federal/state license or to participate in driver education programs.
- The illegal drinking of alcoholic beverages is expressly forbidden. Students who are of legal age should refrain. If the host family offers a student an alcoholic drink, it is permissible to accept it only under their supervision in their home.
- Stealing and fraud are prohibited. There are no exceptions.
- Unauthorized travel is not allowed. Individual and/or unsupervised travel is NOT allowed. Students must always follow the travel rules of the Host District.
- The student must be covered by a medical, sickness and liability insurance policy approved by Rotary International and agreeable to the Hosting District.
- The student must attend school regularly and make an honest attempt to succeed.
- The student must abide by the rules and conditions of exchange of the Hosting District provided to him or her by the District or Multi-District Youth Exchange Committee.
Common Sense Rules and Conditions of Exchange — Violations will result in a district review, restrictions, and a possible return home. Severe or consistent disregard for these rules will result in being returned home.
- Refrain from smoking. If you state in your application that you do not smoke, you will be held to that position throughout your year. Your acceptance and host family placement is based on your signed statement on your RYE application. Even if your host family has agreed to host a smoker, under no circumstances are you to smoke in your Host Family’s bedrooms.
- Become an integral part of the Host Family, assuming duties, chores and responsibilities normal for a student of your age and other children in the family. Respect your host’s wishes.
- Learn the language of your host country. The effort will be appreciated by teachers, host parents, Rotary Club members and others you meet in the community. It will go a long way in your gaining acceptance in the community and with those who will become lifelong friends.
- Attend Rotary-sponsored events and host family events. These are MUST-DO activities. Show an interest in host family and Rotary activities and fundraisers to which you are invited. Don’t wait to be invited; ask and volunteer to get involved. Lack of interest on your part is detrimental to your exchange and can have a negative impact on your own exchange and on future exchanges.
- Get involved in your school and community sports and special interest activities. Plan your recreation and spare time activities around your school and community friends. Do not spend all your time with the other exchange students.
- Choose friends in the community carefully. Ask for and heed the advice of host families, counselors and school personnel in choosing friends.
- Do not borrow money. Pay any bills you incur promptly. Ask permission to use the family telephone and internet, keep track of long distance calls and internet fees and reimburse your host family each month for the calls you make.
- Do not travel alone or accompanied only by other students. Travel is permitted with host parents or for Rotary Club or District functions authorized by the hosting Rotary Club or District with proper adult chaperones. Other travel, if allowed at all, must be approved by the Host District Chair, Host Rotary Club YEO, Counselor and President, host family, and by the student’s natural parents or legal guardians in writing that will exempt Rotary of responsibility and liability. If you are offered an opportunity to go on a trip or to an event with Rotarians or your host family, make sure you understand any costs you must pay and your responsibilities before you go. Do not assume you are being invited at no cost; always offer to pay.
- You must show proof of proper immunizations, most often included on your RYE application. Some countries might require additional immunizations prior to arrival.
- Students should have sufficient financial support to assure their well-being during the exchange year. Your Host Rotary District usually requires a contingency or emergency fund for such situations. It must be replenished by the student’s parents or guardians as it is depleted. Unused funds at the end of the exchange will be returned to the student. These funds must be turned over to your Host Rotary Club YEO or Counselor upon your arrival and is not meant to cover day-to-day expenses.
- Any costs relative to a student’s early return home or any other unusual costs (e.g., language tutoring, tours, etc.) shall be the responsibility of the student and his or her natural parents or guardians.
- Students must return home directly by a route mutually agreeable to the Host District and the student’s natural parents or guardians.
- You will be under the Hosting District’s authority while you are an exchange student. Your Host Rotary Club is your Legal Guardian during your exchange year. Natural parents or guardians may not directly authorize any extra activities, including travel, by communicating only with the student. The Host Club and District Youth Exchange Officers must be contacted to approve and authorize such activities. If the student has relatives in the host country or region, they will have no authority over the student while the student is in the program. Limited, if any, travel to visit such relatives is regulated by the Host Rotary Club.
- Visits by your parents or guardians while you are in the program are strongly discouraged. Such visits may only take place with the Host Rotary Club and Host District’s consent and only within the last quarter of the exchange or during school breaks. Visits are not allowed during major holidays, even if occurring during school breaks. Students are not allowed to miss school in order to travel with visiting parents. Host Rotary Clubs do not allow visits by siblings or friends with no accompanying adult during the exchange year.
- Avoid serious romantic activity. Abstain from sexual activity and promiscuity. Such activity can and will ensure a quick return home.