Bringing Youth Exchange to your Community
Give a young person in your community the opportunity of a lifetime by sponsoring them on a Rotary Youth Exchange as an Outbound student, and bring a global viewpoint into your community by hosting an Inbound student. Exposure to new cultures and customs is a powerful way to promote global understanding and peace, and Rotary Youth Exchange is a way to bring the “International” into your Rotary Club. And it’s not just students who benefit – your Rotary club and host families will too.
What types of exchanges are available?
Exchanges can be short term (summer) or long term (11 months).
Short-term exchanges last several weeks in the summer, when school is not in session. Students stay with a local family in the host country, and return with a host sibling for a few weeks in your community. It’s a true reciprocal program.
During a long-term exchange, students spend a year in another country living with different host families and attending classes at the local school.
How can my club get involved?
District 6220 Youth Exchange is administered by the district, but the success of the RYE program depends on the dedication, activity and involvement at the club level.
If your club is interested in participating, contact any of the District RYE officers listed here. Before starting an exchange, refer to the Youth Exchange Handbook and your district’s policies for details.
In addition to arranging logistics for local and foreign students, your club will be asked to:
- Designate a Rotary Youth Exchange Officer, who will be required to meet a number of Rotary International and U.S. Dept. of State requirements involving annual training and certification.
- Designate a Rotary Youth Exchange Counselor, who, along with your RYE Officer, will be tasked with assisting your students on an as-needed basis.
- Ensure that students attend mandatory events, such as orientations or district conferences.
- Include your student(s) in your Club meetings and activities on a regular basis.
Learn about other responsibilities and club roles, including Youth Exchange officers, Rotarian counselors, and host families, in the R.I. Youth Exchange Handbook.
Sponsoring Local Students for Exchange Abroad (Outbounds)
Arranging for a young person to spend time in another country is a significant responsibility. Your club will:
- Promote the program to students in the community
- Interview candidates for the exchange program
- Work with student and parents to ensure they understand their financial obligations and the program rules
- Maintain contact with students during the exchange
Hosting Foreign Students (Inbounds)
Your club will serve as the welcome center for visiting exchange students. You can expect to:
- Recruit, screen, and select reliable host families
- Serve as a liaison between the club and the school the student will attend
- Train volunteers and host families
- Communicate with students before they arrive
- Involve your student in your community and club activities