Guidelines by MikeJenny


YE Club Committees,
  Counselors and
   Host Families

    District 7040
Exposure to new cultures and ways of life can a better understanding between
people from different lands. That understanding can be the foundation upon
which lasting peace and harmony can someday rest.

You can be a part of the ever-growing number of Rotarians who send
thousands of young people each year to new and unusual places for the
experience of a lifetime. This handbook will guide you through the operating a
successful Youth Exchange program in your club by:

      Outlining the organization and administration of a Youth Exchange

      Detailing the responsibilities of students, parents, host families, and
      sending and receiving clubs and districts;

      Illustrating the various means for promoting the program and recruiting

      Directing you to the proper RI Resources

Glossary                                 Inbound coordinator: Rotarian
                                         responsible for the coordination of
                                         the exchange student being hosted
certification program, RI                by the coordinator’s own district or
Minimum requirements established         club.
by RI for exchange program               long-term exchange A yearlong
operation best practices and youth       (10- to 12-month) exchange that
protection. Only districts recognized    includes academic enrolment.
by RI as certified may participate in    orientation Training sessions, often
the Youth Exchange program.              scheduled over a weekend, for
Counselor: Member of host Rotary         outbound and inbound students to
club appointed to service as the         prepare them for their exchange.
exchange student’s main contact          outbound Designation for students
with the club.                           departing your country or district to
culture shock Difficulty in              be hosted by another country or
adjusting to a new culture. Can          district.
include feelings of disorientation       Outbound coordinator: Rotarian
and alienation. This typically occurs    responsible for the coordination of
at the beginning of an exchange.         the exchange student’s own district
district Name given to a limited         or club.
territory within which a number of       rebound Designation for a student
clubs are grouped for RI                 who has recently returned home
administrative purposes.                 from an exchange.
district committee Rotarians             reverse culture shock Adjustment
appointed to manage district             difficulties and disorientation
operation of a given program or          experienced by the student upon
area.                                    return home.
district governor Rotarian elected       ROTEX Groups of Youth Exchange
to oversee operation of all activities   alumni who meet for fellowship Not
within a Rotary district.                an official RI program.
early return Designation for a           Sponsor (as in sponsor club or
student who returns to his or her        sponsor district) To send an
home country before the scheduled        exchange student from your country
end of an exchange.                      to another country.
host To receive a student from           short-term exchange An exchange
another country or district into your    lasting several days to several
own country or district; to act as a     weeks. Most short term exchanges
host club or host district.              do not include an academic
host family Family selected by the       program; some feature a camp or
Rotary club to provide                   tour.
accommodations for the student           Youth Exchange officer (YEO) A
and act as the student’s family          Rotarian appointed or elected to
during a period of the exchange.         hold office on a district or club
inbound Designation for Youth            Youth Exchange committee. The
Exchange students coming into your       district Youth Exchange chair is the
country or district from another         Youth Exchange officer for the
country or district.                     district.
Introduction to Youth Exchange

     To build world peace, one person at a time and to increase international
     understanding through the promotion of cultural and educational
     opportunities for students around the world.


     To further international goodwill and understanding by enabling you to study
     firsthand some of the accomplishments and differences of people in other

     To enable you to advance your education by studying for a year in an entirely
     different environment and take courses and subjects not normally available to
     you in your own country.

     To broaden your outlook by learning to live with and meet people of different
     cultures and by coping with day-to-day living.

     To act as ambassadors for your own country and Rotary, by addressing Rotary
     clubs, schools, community organisations and youth groups in your host
     country and by imparting as much knowledge as you can of your own country
     and its culture to the people you meet during your time abroad.

     To study and observe life and culture in your host country so that you can
     pass on the understanding and knowledge you have gained, to Rotary clubs
     and the wider community in your home country, upon your return.


 Rotary International strives to create and maintain a safe environment for all
 youth who participate in Rotary activities. To the best of their ability, Rotarians,
 Rotarians’ spouses and partners, and other volunteers must safeguard the
 children and young people they come into contact with and protect them from
 physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.


Rotary Youth Exchange offers three types of exchange programs:

     Long-term exchange. These exchanges usually last one year, during which
     the student lives with more than one family in the host country and is
     required to attend school there. Long-term exchanges may be extended to
     include part or all of the holiday/vacation periods immediately before and
     after the academic year.

     Short-term exchange. These exchanges vary from several days to several
     weeks; they often take place when school is not in session and usually do not
     include an academic program. Short-term exchanges generally involve a
     homestay experience with a family in the host country, but they can also be
     organized as international youth camps or tours that bring together students
     from many countries.

     New Generations exchange. These specialized short-term exchanges last
     three to six weeks and are open to young people ages 18-25. This program
     may include a vocational element.


The Youth Exchange program is open to all qualified high school students ages 15 -
18. Students are required to complete at least one year of high school upon
completion of the program, except in Quebec. Qualified applicants are academically
above average, articulate, and demonstrate community leadership skills.


Current structure of Youth Exchange Committee

District Governor........................................................Arnold Lawrence
District Chair .............................................................Sharon Miller
Vice-Chair/Secretary……………………. ………………….Dave Pelletier
Treasurer .............................................. ……………….Tom Wallace
Youth Protection Officer .............................................Sue Kolar
Training Coordinator……………………...………………….Françine Allard
Public Relations Officer……………………………….….. Mark Hanley
Legal Counsel …………….………………………………..... Paul Herrmann
Insurance Coordinator…. ………………..…………………Doug Bickerton
SEVIS Coordinator (USA)…………………………………...Kathy Duley
Past Chair……………………………………………………… Chris Edgell
Webmaster…………………………………………………..... Barb Edgell

Outbound – Long Term Exchange Students

Correspondent - Europe............................................. Sue Kolar
Correspondent - Central & South America...................Françine Allard
Correspondent - Australia & the Pacific Rim …............Nick Cervelin

Outbound - Short Term Student Exchange Students

Coordinator……………………………………………………..Carmen Grijalva
Coordinator …………………………………………………... Marc-André Froment

Inbound Student Activities Coordinators

Inbound Orientation....................................................Tom Wallace
Halloween ................................................................Kathy Duley
District Conference …………………………………….…….Michelle Pfaff
Christmas Party ..........................................................Françine Allard
Winterlude…………….. ................................................Miriam Fraser
Sugaring Off Party……………………………………….... …Marc-André Froment
Farewell Party……………………………………………... ….Michelle Pfaff


September 11 – 13   Inbound Orientation. (Inbounds & Rebounds).
                    Location: Ogdensburg, NY
                    (Coordinated by Tom Wallace)

September 13        Youth Exchange Leadership Workshop. (Club Y/E
                    Committee Chairs, Counselors, Host Families, and
                    Interested Individuals invited).
                    Location: Ogdensburg, NY

October 2 – 4       Halloween Weekend (Inbounds & Rebounds).
                    Location: Lake Placid, NY
                    (Coordinated by Kathy Duley)

October 16 – 18     District Conference (Inbounds & Rebounds).
                    Location: Kingston, ON

November 30         Outbound selections should be made (LTEP & STEP). All
                    preliminary applications are due to the District Chair on the
                    D7040 application form (not the RI Form)

December 4 – 6      Christmas Party. (Inbounds & Rebounds)
                    Location: Kingston, ON
                    (Coordinated by Françine Allard)
January 7th         Long Term Application forms due to District Chair

January 29 – 30     Outbound Orientation – Part 1. (Outbounds).
                    Location: Cornwall, ON

January 30          LTEP Parent Orientation and Interviews. (Parents of
                    Location: Cornwall, ON

January 31          STEP Orientation – Part 1. (Outbound students and
                    Location: Cornwall, ON

January 31          Youth Exchange Leadership Workshop. (Club Y/E
                    Committee Chairs, Counselors, Host Families and
                    Interested Individuals invited).
                    Location: Cornwall, ON

February 12 – 14   Winterlude Weekend. (Inbounds & Rebounds).
                   Location: Ottawa, ON
                   (Coordinated by Miriam Fraser)

March 26 – 28      LTEP Orientation – Part 2. (Outbounds and Inbounds).
                   Location: Cornwall

April 10 – 11      Sugaring Off Party (Inbounds & Rebounds).
                   Location: Ste. Eustache, QC
                   (Coordinated by Marc-André Froment)

May 15             LTEP Orientation – Part 3 & STEP Final Orientation
                   (Outbounds with Parent(s))
                   Location: Cornwall, ON

June 4 – 6         Farewell Weekend. (Inbounds & Rebounds).
                   Location: Watertown, NY
                   (Coordinated by Michelle Pfaff)


As with any Rotary program, volunteer support ensures success. The Rotary Youth
Exchange program is administered at the district level under the supervision of the
district governor. Rotary clubs interested in sending or hosting students must
coordinate their participation through the district-level program.

An effective Youth Exchange program relies on the dedication of Rotarians serving in
leadership positions. These positions will vary from district to district and club to
club, depending, in part, on the size of the program. Whatever their specific position,
all involved should have a clear understanding of the division of responsibilities in
your inbound and/or outbound program.

Division of Responsibilities

One key to a successful program is everyone’s clear understanding of the terms
under which the exchange is being operated. The following division of
responsibilities is typical;

District Governor

District governors are responsible for the supervision and control of the Youth
Exchange program and should be familiar with program guidelines and district
certification requirements. The district governor carries out the following duties:

      • Appoints a district Youth Exchange chair

      • Oversees the appointment of a district Youth Exchange committee.
      Governors are encouraged not to change more than 50 percent of the Youth
      Exchange committee at any time in order to ensure continuity. Governors are
      also encouraged to place the governor-elect or governor-nominee on the Youth
      Exchange committee so he or she can become more familiar with the program.

      • Supports and monitors club and district programs to ensure Youth
      Exchange activities are conducted appropriately

      • Addresses problems when they arise and corresponds with counterparts in
      other districts on behalf of a club or district chair

District Youth Exchange Chair & Committee

The district chair coordinates and promotes Youth Exchange activities within the
district and communicates with Rotary International, the district governor, and

In consultation with the district governor, the chair appoints the district committee
and defines specific responsibilities for each member.

      Work with Rotary clubs to:
        o   train club Youth Exchange committees
        o  Establish expectations for inbound and outbound students
        o  Provide information on Rotary resources to help strengthen clubs’ Youth
           Exchange activities
         o Encourage clubs to involve alumni in all aspects of the program and
           organize ROTEX activities

      Coordinate the youth protection efforts within the Youth Exchange program:

      Manage inbound and outbound activities:

      Implement risk management policies and put a crisis management plan in

      Develop crisis management procedures for emergencies such as natural
      disasters and civil or political unrest.

      Develop district program guidelines and rules for students that comply with RI

      Promote the program through district and club Web sites, advertisements, and
      news stories throughout the district.

      Maintain effective lines of communication between all program participants,
      including students, host families, counselors, and club and district officers.

      Designate one person, usually the district chair, to make reports to RI. on the

Rotary Club

While coordinated at the district level under the supervision of the district governor,
the Youth Exchange program depends on the participation of Rotary clubs,
Rotarians and their families, and others in the community to build an effective
support system for sending and hosting students.

      The club president appoints the club Youth Exchange chair, who should be
      someone with previous Youth Exchange experience. The president also
      oversees the selection of the club committee and supports the club’s Youth
      Exchange activities.
      The club Youth Exchange chair plans, implements, and supports all
      activities involving sending and hosting long-term and short-term exchange
      The club Youth Exchange committee provides support as directed by the

In addition to choosing a well-prepared committee, it is important to secure the
commitment of all club members before embarking on an exchange. These ideas
can help:

         o Use the colourful brochure – Youth Exchange: Making a world of
           Difference to introduce the program to club members.

         o Plan a club program around a slide presentation or a video on Youth

         o Invite Youth Exchange alumni from your district to attend club
           meetings and share their exciting experiences.

         o Invite local secondary school officials to attend your presentation and to
           join Rotary.

         o Ask current Youth Exchange students to speak at Rotary club meetings
           and at the district conference.

         o Invite Rotary spouses to attend club meetings when the program is
           about Youth Exchange.

         o Publish letters from sponsored students in the club bulletin.

         o Assign a club member each week to write your outbound student.

         o Hold an international festival night that features dishes form your
           student’s home country.

Each participating club assumes the following responsibilities:

      Meeting and maintaining all certification requirements in order to participate
      in YE program
      Coordinating club Youth Exchange activities with the district program and
      ensuring compliance with RI and district policies
      Ensuring that students attend mandatory functions, such as orientations or
      district conferences
      Receiving feedback from students for program modification
      Notifying district Youth Exchange chair of any student issues or concerns

For outbound students

      Promoting the program to students in the community, distributing
      applications, and coordinating selection of students at club level
      Interviewing and selecting candidates for the exchange
      Assigning a Rotarian counselor for each student
      Maintaining contact with district outbound coordinator, if applicable

For inbound students

      Establishing and maintaining contact with inbound students before they
      Meeting students at airport or train station
      Serving as liaison between Rotary club and schools that students attend
      during long-term exchanges
      Assigning a Rotarian counselor for each student
      Interviewing and screening potential host families
      Maintaining contact with district inbound coordinator, if applicable
      Coordinating selection and orientation of host families and maintaining
      contact with host families throughout the student’s exchange

Rotarian Counselor

Serving as liaison between the student, Rotary club, host family, and community at
large, the Rotarian counselor also plays a crucial role in the success of the Youth
Exchange program. The counselor serves as the student’s primary Rotary contact,
easing his or her transition into the country and the community through regular
personal contact throughout the year.

The counselor should enjoy working with young people and be prepared to advocate
on behalf of the student should any issues arise during the exchange. Members of a
student’s host family are not eligible. Also, if possible, the Rotarian counselor should
not be a close friend or relative of other volunteers involved with a particular student
(e.g., school principal or host family).

The counselor has the following additional responsibilities:

      Establishing contact with the student before departure or arrival, explaining
      the expectations of the club and the district and maintaining and
      documenting regular contact (at least once a month)

      Counseling the student in matters such as choosing classes, making friends,
      and participating in activities

      Helping the student adapt to the culture and language

      Working with the community and the student’s school to ensure that the
      student is involved in positive activities and community life

      Informing the student about abuse and harassment prevention and creating a
      supportive atmosphere in which the student feels comfortable discussing any

      Arranging disbursement of monthly allowance for long-term exchange

      Serving as an advocate for the student in any matter

The Rotarian counselor should be trained to respond to problems or concerns
that may arise during the exchange, including allegations of abuse or harassment.

Counselors should be assigned to every outbound and inbound student in all
exchange programs. Outbound counselors prepare students for the exchange and
maintain regular contact while the student is abroad.

Host Families

Host families play a major role in the success of a student exchange and do not need
to be Rotarian families. They come in all shapes and sizes, some with younger
children, some with children around the age of the exchange student and some
whose children have already left home. All however must be qualified, responsible
individuals who are willing to do the following:

      Exercise appropriate parental responsibility and supervision

      Provide room and board for the exchange student

      Advise the exchange student about matters such as family, school and
      community functions during period of exchange

      Notify Rotarian counsellor if exchange student is encountering any problems
      such as illness, difficulty in adapting to the host family, school or serious

      Assist the exchange student with learning the language and in adjusting to
      new surroundings.

Parents/Legal Guardians

The unconditional support of the student’s parents is crucial before, during, and
after the exchange. The parents of outbound students must be included in the
selection and orientation process and well-informed about their obligations which

      Agree in writing to all rules of program. If parents are aware of your program
      rules, including those that apply to them as well as their child (for example,
      travel or communication restrictions during the exchange), they’ll be less
      likely to violate them or encourage their son or daughter to do so.

      Provide transportation to and from the host community

      Provide appropriate clothing for the exchange student for the duration of their

      Provide spending money to cover the cost of any additional travel or activities
      and an emergency fund for use by the exchange student

      Provide travel, health and liability insurance acceptable to host club and
      district and arrange for all travel documents, such as passport and visas

      Ensure that appropriate immunizations for the student were administered and


Each student is ultimately responsible for the success of their exchange. They have
the power to determine the outcome. The exchange student is responsible for the

      Agree to writing to abide by all rules of program

      Accept speaking engagements and act as an ambassador of their native
      country at District, club and community events

      Accept supervision of their host district host club and host families

      Correspond with sending clubs and district during their exchange

      Return home at a specified time and by route agreed upon by host club,
      district and parents

      Remain involved in the program after returning home

Financing Your Youth Exchange Program

The expenses for the actual exchange are minimal, since the student’s parents or
guardians typically pay for travel and insurance costs. There will, however, be costs
involved in the promotion, selection and orientation of students and host families,
club banners, student blazer and student and family attendance at club meetings.
In addition, the Rotary club hosting an exchange student must provide a monthly
allowance, fund and provide transportation to the district and club events, the
purchase of a birthday, holiday and farewell gifts and student attendance at Rotary
club meetings and the district conference. A sample budget can be found in the

Travel by Exchange Students

The amount of travel that an exchange student will undertake during the exchange
varies immensely. Travel by exchange students during their exchange is a privilege,
not a right. District 7040 has its own specific policies regarding travel within and
outside of the district. Please refer to the Permission for Travel out of District 7040
document found in the appendices along with the Student Travel Pass document

Students must adhere to these travel rules or risk being sent home. It must be
clearly understood that under no circumstances should students make their own
travel arrangements without first consulting the host district, hot club and host
family and in all cases, student must possess written approval from their parents or
legal guardians authorizing travel during the exchange year.

Insurance & Risk Management

The importance of sufficient insurance coverage and effective risk management
procedures should not be overlooked when sending any student abroad.


It is recommended that each participant in the program carry at least a minimum
amount of insurance coverage. Insurance arrangements should be made by the
legal guardians of the student and by the sponsoring club or district.

District 7040 has appointed a knowledgeable professional to be the insurance
coordinator to ensure that each student traveling abroad or being hosted in our
district is adequately covered.

Risk Management

District 7040 has implemented a risk management program for their Youth
Exchange program, including the adoption of an international Code of Conduct
stating expected standards of behaviour for all exchange participants. A copy of
these guidelines as well as a detailed Risk Management Plan can be found in the

An important goal of the risk management program is to protect assets that are
critical to the Youth Exchange program’s long term success such as people,
property, income and goodwill. An effective process of risk management not only
provides the best protection possible for program participants, it enhances
recruitment efforts and ensures the long-term success of the Youth Exchange


Outbound: Sending a Youth Exchange Student
The following information is provided to assist you as you work with the outbound
aspect of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Remember that the District Chair
and other members of the District YE Committee are always available as resource
people should you have a problem or situation that is not addressed by the following

Promoting the Program to Recruit Students
Publicize Youth Exchange to a wide range of eligible young people to secure the best
possible candidates for the program. Some Clubs begin the recruitment process as
early as April or May. Other Clubs begin the process in August/September, but
recruitment should be completed no later than the middle of October.

Secondary schools are excellent places to recruit participants. Secure prior approval
from the school administration to display the Youth Exchange Poster and request
permission for a Rotarian to speak to interested students. Bring copies of the
brochures Making a World of Difference: Youth Exchange (755-EN) and Discover Your
World: Short-Term Youth Exchange (756-EN) when speaking to groups of students,
parents, or teachers. Include contact information on the brochures so prospective
students will know how to reach you. In the community, promote the program to
religious institutions, youth groups, athletic clubs, and cultural groups. Provide
program information to community volunteers who work with students with

To reach a wider audience, send out news releases to local media, including school
newspapers, or broadcast a public service announcement about your Youth
Exchange program on a local radio or TV station. If your club or district is currently
hosting exchange students, submit an article to the local newspaper that highlights
interesting experiences. Set up a booth at a library, community center, shopping
center, or other public place to answer questions about Youth Exchange and
distribute literature and applications. Create a Web site for your Youth Exchange
program with a link to and our district website.

When promoting the program, stress the cultural and educational benefits of the
exchange, as well as the unique qualities of the Rotary program. Arrange for a
former or current Youth Exchange student to address the local parent-teacher
association or a school assembly and personally recommend the program. When
recruiting, don’t forget about young people involved in Interact and RYLA in your
district. And follow up on inquiries from interested students that RI sends to district

It is recommended that interested students be invited, with their parents, to
informational sessions offered by the club or district. These are normally scheduled
during evenings (or weekends) in late October or early November.

Selecting Students

All interested students who meet the following basic requirements should be given
the opportunity to apply to the program.

Eligibility Requirements
      Age 15-19 for the long-term exchange program, depending on the laws of the
      countries involved. Within this age range, exchange candidates’ ages must be
      agreed upon by both sending and hosting districts before finalizing the
      exchange and in accordance with the laws and regulations of both countries.
      Above-average academic performance
      Ability to express oneself clearly and effectively
      Demonstrated community leadership skills
      Residency (within the sending district)
      Adaptability (outgoing, confident, and willing to adjust to changing
      Potential for being an excellent Rotary ambassador
      Complete and unqualified support of parents
      Proficiency in or capacity to learn the language of the host country

 Students with Disabilities

 Rotary clubs and districts are encouraged to consider students with disabilities as
 potential participants. Many exchanges involving students with disabilities have
 proven successful and beneficial to all involved.

When selecting Youth Exchange students:

      1. Require students to complete a preliminary application form. A copy is
         found in the appendices. There are separate applications for short term
         and long term exchanges

      2. Hold personal interviews with applicants and their parents or legal
         guardians. Sample questions can be found in the appendices and are
         available at Discussion topics should include:
            • Feelings about the student spending time away from home and family
            • Awareness of world news and issues
            • Attitudes toward program rules
            • Feelings about the student being an ambassador for his or her city,
            country, and sending Rotary club
            • Perception of the purpose of an exchange

    3. After reviewing applications and conducting interviews, select students
       based on these criteria:
          • Maturity level
          • Ability to exercise good judgment
          • Compatibility with goals of Rotary’s program
          • Health, both physical and mental

    4. When final selection(s) are made from the interviews, the Club chair must
       forward the preliminary application to the District Chair no later than
       November 30th, 2009, who will later advise them of their acceptance (or
       rejection). Sponsor clubs may be asked to make recommendations for
       country placements for their candidates, but final placement is at the
       discretion of District 7040.

Completing the Application Form
    Applications are available from the website at
    under the Forms link and should be completed using the computer, then

    Four complete sets of applications must be completed. All four sets must be
    computer printed in BLACK ink. The first page of each application must have
    affixed a color photograph of the student smiling and in the proper size as
    specified on the application (this photo must be an original photo on each
    application, NOT a color copy or a computer print).

    All signatures MUST BE ORIGINAL IN BLUE INK. NO photocopied

    The completed application should be delivered to the Club YEO by the student
    with adequate time to obtain the necessary Club signatures. The club YEO
    MUST review the Application Checklist and insure that all the items are
    complete and included. The club officer's signatures MUST be original and in
    BLUE INK. A check from the student for the non-refundable application fee
    must be included.

    The application must be complete in every detail. These applications are legal
    documents which are used to procure travel visas and entry permits, and are
    the basis for all transactions with foreign governments and immigration
    people. They are also the student’s introduction to their potential hosts
    overseas, so making a good first impression is critical.

    The Long Term application form all Long and Short Term Exchanges must be
    forwarded by the Club Chair to the District Chair by Jan, 1, 2010.

Placing Students

Students will have another opportunity to provide their country choice at the first
orientation session however it should be noted that students must be flexible in
accepting country assignments. District 7040 cannot guarantee students a country
of choice, but the overwhelming majority of students do get one of their five
preferred countries.

Preparation of Outbound Students

The YEO should continue to assist the students after the selection process. Students
will be given assignments in advance of each orientation session. The following is a
partial list of tasks with which you can assist the students:

         o Prepare a slide presentation (photo slides or Power Point) about your
           school, town, and region. Be prepared to make the initial presentation to
           your sponsoring Rotary Club.
         o Prepare a photo album of your family, home, friends, etc. that can be
           shared with your new host family and friends.
         o Apply for a Passport (should be started as soon as the student is
         o Help the student find local individuals who can assist with language

All outbound candidates MUST ATTEND all District 7040 orientations.

First Orientation Weekend- January 29 – 31st, 2009
This orientation covers all the basics of Rotary Youth Exchange, from getting along
with host families to travel preparations and a lot more. Parent sessions are offered
on Sunday as well.

Second Orientation Weekend – March 26 – 28th, 2010
This is a weekend session for students only, held in each district. The primary focus
is on language acquisition, to see how they are progressing. They also have a chance
to meet with inbounds and former outbounds in an informal setting.

Final Orientation Session – Part 3 – May 15th, 2010
This orientation will again require the attendance of the student and at least one
parent or guardian. This ―Cultural Boot Camp‖ orientation is filled with exercises
and activities to educate the students on the many aspects of cultural interaction,
culture shock, etc.

Continuing Preparation

In June and July prior to departure, these students should be invited to present
their final slide show and talk to the sponsoring Rotary Club. It can be a full
program for the club, or just a couple of minutes, at the club’s option.
Maintaining Communication with Students

During the student's year abroad keep the lines of communication open with letters
about what your Rotary Club is doing and make sure that you receive information
from the student's parents on how things are going. If there appears to be a problem
developing, contact the District Chair or Committee member for assistance.

Student Re-entry Orientation

The readjustment of students returning home after a year abroad is an integral part
of the exchange process. Students who have truly adjusted to another culture will
go through ―reverse culture shock‖ when returning to their native country and
should receive assistance in coping with it. A re-entry orientation session is
typically offered in early September and every effort should be made from the YEO to
encourage the student to attend. Also it is important for the YEO to maintain open
lines of communication and to monitor the student’s progress throughout the
months following the return home.

Some tips for assisting in the readjustment period include:

      Make an extra effort to tolerate changes n the student’s behaviour brought on
      by the exchange experience.

      Celebrate the student’s independence, self confidence, or whatever other new
      characteristics are exhibited.

      Help the student with establishing goals for the future.

      Ensure that the student knows about the schedule of activities for rebound
      students and is assisted with transportation and activity fees.

      Whenever possible, invite the rebound student to assist with orientation of
      new inbound and outbound student orientations.

Inbound: Hosting a Youth Exchange Student
Hosting a Youth Exchange student provides Rotarians and non-Rotarians in your
community with the opportunity to travel without leaving home. Local students and
community members contribute to and benefit from the exchange experience. The
rewards for all involved are great, but hosting a student requires a significant time
commitment for Rotarians in the host club and district.

To arrange for the best exchange experience possible, the host club and district
assume responsibility for the student and select host families, assign a Rotarian
counselor, coordinate inbound orientation, and develop an effective support system
for the student. Throughout the exchange, the host club and district communicate
regularly with the students, invite them to social and cultural events, and
immediately address any serious problems that arise.

In addition, the host club and district should help inbound students obtain visas,
make arrangements for meeting them at the airport, and coordinate enrolment at
local schools.

Identifying Host Clubs and Obtaining Commitments

It is the club’s duty to oversee the conditions of the daily life of the student,
including selecting a host family, providing orientation when the student arrives,
and assigning a Rotarian counsellor. Partway through the Rotary year, District
7040 will distribute to member clubs a commitment form requesting that your
Rotary Club commit for the number of inbound students they wish to host during
the following year. It is important that action is taken promptly by your Rotary Club.
On the basis of these completed commitment forms the District is able to establish
the total number of exchanges (both inbound and outbound) for the year to come. A
copy of the form is found in the appendices.

In addition to the commitment form, your club must sign and return a compliance
statement that certifies that your club is knowledgeable of and agrees to comply
with District 7040 policies, procedures, and rules/regulations. These policies are
incorporated in the Appendices of this document.

On the commitment form that is returned to the District Chair there is an
opportunity to indicate the preference of the Club in the assignment of the inbound
students. Whenever possible, your preferences will be honoured when the student or
students are assigned to your Rotary Club. District 7040 will attempt to vary the
countries assigned annually to each district. This is considered to be one of the
benefits of the program to your Club and community. An exposure to a number of
different cultures and customs is one of the values of each of the exchanges.

Screening and Selecting Host Families

Host families are essential to the program, and Rotarians in the host club should
work to maintain a positive relationship with the families. Invite them to club events,
and show appreciation in person and through written thank-you notes. Following an
exchange, ask each family to complete an evaluation form. Cultivating a relationship
with host families increases the possibility that they will want to host students in
the future.

Families that inquire about hosting a student should be sent a letter of
acknowledgment, the Host Family Application, and the Youth Volunteer Affidavit. A
copy of the Youth Volunteer Affidavit can be found in the appendices. The Host
Family application can be downloaded from

When reviewing applications and interviewing prospective hosts, look for
responsible, willing families, who will exercise appropriate parental responsibility.
Identify a variety of families, including some with younger children, some with
children around the age of the student, and some with no children in the home. All
of these types of families can make excellent hosts. Don’t settle for families who are
only willing to provide room and board — seek out those who will actively enhance
the exchange experience by involving the students in many different community

Parents of outbound long-term exchange students cannot be required to host as a
condition of their child’s participation in the program, but they may host students if
interested or may be asked to assist in finding suitable host families. Screen these
families as carefully as you do other host families. The short-term exchange program
often includes a ―family to family‖ component; in these situations, districts can
require reciprocal hosting in order for a student to participate.

Thorough screening of host families and explanation of responsibilities are essential.
Program rules and requirements should be clearly outlined on the application, and
host families must complete and sign the application and authorization for
background checks. Background checks, including law enforcement public record
checks and reference checks, must be done for all adult members of the host family.

Before selecting host families, visit applicants in their home at a time when all
family members who live in the home are present. During the visit, review the
responsibilities of host parents and give them a copy of A Guide for Host Families
(749-EN) and any additional information that your club or district may have on the
program and hosting students from abroad. Both announced and unannounced
home visits should be made before and during the exchange. In communities where
unannounced visits are not socially acceptable, unannounced visits may be
substituted with visits of very short notice.

When screening host families and visiting homes, consider the following questions:

      Why is the family interested in hosting an exchange student?

      What experience (e.g., travel abroad, professional experience, knowledge of
      foreign languages) do family members have with different cultures?

      How would the family incorporate an exchange student into their daily life?
      What chores would be assigned to the student? What additional activities
      would the family plan to help a young person from abroad get to know their
      host country and community better?

      How would the host parents handle difficult situations with a student? Would
      they provide appropriate supervision and take on parental responsibility to
      ensure the student’s well-being? How would they handle language and
      communication challenges, discipline and emotional issues, and culture

      Is the family committed to attending orientation and training for host families
      and facilitating student involvement in required Rotary activities?

      What is the general condition of the home (clean, adequate heat and light,
      etc.)? Would you want your child or grandchild living in this home? Does the
      family have the necessary resources to host a student (space, time, good

      What are the planned sleeping arrangements for the student? (The student
      must have his or her own bed. If the student must share a room, it must be
      with a child of the same gender, preferably of similar age.)

      How will the student get to school and activities?

Effective Hosts

The most effective host families are;

      Caring and respectful with each other
      Curious about different activities and places outside the home and interested
      in a variety of topics
      Flexible (able to adapt to having someone new in the home)
      Good humored and able to put a problem or situation into perspective
      Patient and willing to work through common misunderstandings

Placing Students with Host Families

Once a host family has met all screening and training requirements, they can be
matched with inbound students. In making a good match for both students and
families, consider:

         o Similar interests (recreation, hobbies, sporting and cultural activities)
         o Similar ages of siblings, if possible (especially for the student’s first host
         o Personalities and values of the individuals

Rotarians responsible for inbound students should support and advise host families
and make sure they understand their responsibilities. Host families must receive
training that includes information on program administration and rules as well as
abuse and harassment awareness and prevention.

Occasionally, a host family situation does not work out, and all inbound programs
should have at least one pre-screened host family available to accept a student in an
emergency. Try to find an experienced host family skilled in problem solving and
working with youth in a crisis situation.

Selecting the Rotarian Counselor

As the Rotarian in closest contact with the student, the counselor is critical to the
success of an exchange. Because long-term students will live with more than one
host family, the Rotarian counselor is the one consistent resource for students
throughout their exchange. The counselor must be able to encourage the student
during challenging times and facilitate his or her involvement in school, club, and
community life. A Rotarian counselor must not be a member of the host family and
should not serve as a club or district Youth Exchange chair.

Selection considerations:
         o Conflicts of interest. If a problem should arise, the student must feel
            comfortable talking with the counselor.
         o Gender. Assign counselors of the same gender as students when
            possible. If a student has a counselor of a different gender, assign a
            person of the same gender (either Rotarian or non-Rotarian) as an
            additional resource person.
         o Commitment. Assess the Rotarian’s willingness and ability to devote
            more time and energy to the exchange than is required of other host
            club members.

Responsibilities toward Inbound Students

In addition to arranging for the host families for the student the hosting club has
responsibilities toward the inbound student which include the following:

Knowledge of Program

Become familiar with the calendar of events for the inbound students. Become
familiar with the contents of this manual and of the information contained in the
District 7040 website ( Participation in District training
and educational sessions is recommended for all youth exchange club committee
members at least once every 3 years and mandatory for first time members.

Processing the inbound application

Upon receipt of the application from the District Chair, complete and process the
Guarantee Forms and other required documentation as quickly as possible.

      Guarantee Forms - Obtain signatures from the Rotary Club President and
      Secretary (or YEO), as well as from the High School. BE SURE ALL
      SIGNATURES ARE ORIGINAL AND IN BLUE INK. Return two copies of the
      Guarantee Forms to the assigned District Correspondent/Inbound
      Coordinator. Keep the rest of the application for your files and to share with
      host families, club counselor and potential host families. District 7040

      Letter from High school to Consulate. This letter will be used by the
      student, along with the guarantee form to obtain his/her visa and make the
      necessary travel arrangements.

After the forms have been completed and returned to the District, both the Rotary
Youth Exchange Officer and the first host family should begin correspondence with
the student.

      YEO’s Welcome Letter - Tell them about your community and the area where
      you are located. Provide information about the weather, clothing and school
      and other items of interest about your community. Information from your
      local Chamber of Commerce will be helpful. District rules, insurance
      requirements and emergency fund amounts should also be included in the
      ―welcome‖ package.

      Host Parent's Letter - Tell the student about the family, names and ages of
      children, pets, parents‟ occupations, and send a picture of the family and the

Notify the other members of your Rotary Club. Announce the name, age, country
and other pertinent information about the student at one of your weekly meetings.
Action to be Taken Upon the Arrival of the Inbound Student

Once your exchange student has arrived the orientation process intensifies.

      Meet the student at the airport. Host parents should also be at the airport to
      meet the student, if possible. The District Committee representative should
      also collect the $500 USD Emergency Fund from the student. Because the
      student has been traveling for many hours it would be advisable not to plan a
      big welcome party at the time of arrival; let the student get over "Jet-lag" and
      settle in with the first host family.

      Encourage the student to ask the host family the sample first night questions.
      These can be found in the appendices and can also be located in both the
      student’s native language and the language of the host country on the website. The questions are an excellent way to work
      through some of the practicalities of the exchange/host family experience.

      Make the necessary arrangements for safekeeping of money and passport/visa
      and arrange for registration at the high school.

         o Make arrangements to have the passport, visa and airline ticket kept in
           a safe place. Take copies so that there is a reference if any of these
           should be lost.
         o Assist the student and host parents with the registration at the school.
           The student should discuss courses to take their first semester with the
           school counselor, giving consideration to any language problem that
           may exist.

      Make sure that students have the following contact information:

         o   Rotarian counselor
         o   Club president
         o   District YE Chair and Governor
         o   Two non-Rotarian resource people, one male and one female
         o   Local medical and social services
         o   Local law enforcement agencies

      Arrange for transportation to the required meetings/events held by District
      7040, beginning with the inbound orientation to be typically held within one
      or two weeks of the student’s arrival.

Make arrangements for the student to present at least two programs for your
Rotary Club during his/her stay. One of these should be a final "Thank You"
program just prior to the student's departure for home. The student should
not be asked to present a program until they have been in the community at
least one month or until they have an adequate command of the English
language. Have the student attend some of your regular meetings prior to
presenting their program.

Make arrangements for the student to attend at least one regular meeting of
your Rotary Club each month. Some students will request that they be
allowed to attend more, or all of your Rotary meetings.

Provide the exchange student with a monthly allowance. The allowance is
generally in the neighbourhood of $75- 100USD and is decided upon by the
sponsoring club.

Keep in contact with your exchange student and document monthly contact
between the student and the counselor. Invite students to cultural and social
gatherings and continue the orientation as needed to help your student cope
with specific cultural issues.

Facilitate moves to new host families – Keep in mind that students making a
transition from one host family to the next will likely require the same sort of
attention and orientation that they received when they arrived at the home of
their first host family. To make this process as smooth as possible:

   o Give the student advance notice. If possible, arrange for the student to
     meet the family and visit their home before the move.
   o Provide the new host family’s contact information to the student and the
     student’s parents or legal guardians before the move
   o Use the same greeting-acquainted activities with each new host family,
     including a discussion of the interactive first night questions
   o Help the student move all belongings to the new home.

Inform the District Chair immediately of a change in host family. In the rare
event that a student changes schools, this must also be reported immediately.

Refer any problems or concerns you have during the stay of the student to the
District Chair. If the issue involves the potential safety and well being of the
student, contact the District Chair or an member of District 7040 YE
Committee immediately. Don't wait until a problem becomes so bad that you
are requesting to send the student home before contacting District officials.

Maintain regular contact with the student’s sending district throughout the

Dealing with Early Returns

Approximately 3 percent of all exchange students return home early. Some leave
because of homesickness, illness, or problems back home. Others are sent home
because of problems that occur in the host country during the exchange. A student
can be sent home for violating a district Youth Exchange program rule or for
geopolitical crises or other health and safety issues that may arise during the
exchange. However, a student must not be sent home solely for reporting problems,
especially incidents of abuse or harassment.

 Students and Crime

 In the worst case scenario, a student can be involved in a crime during an
 exchange. If a student is a witness to or victim of a crime, the decision to return
 early or stay should be left to the student and his or her parents. This choice is
 especially important for sexual assault victims, who may feel that being sent
 home early from the exchange is a punishment for reporting the crime. If a
 student elects to return home, confirm with local law enforcement that he or she
 isn’t needed in the host country as a witness before making travel arrangements.

 If a student is accused of a crime, local law enforcement will determine if and
 when the student can leave the country.

Although orientation on program rules should always focus on the consequences of
rule violations, breaking a rule is not always a reason to send a student home.

Early returns should be managed delicately and always with the full knowledge of
the sending club and district and the student’s parents. Whatever the cause of the
early return, do not send a student home until both the hosting and sending district
agree to specific travel arrangements and the student’s parents have been notified.
When the sending and hosting districts disagree about an early return, district
governors should be notified and assist in mediation.

When faced with an early return of an inbound student, take the following steps:

   1. Discuss the situation with the student and the Rotarian counselor. Ensure
      that all options to avoid the early return have been attempted or explored,
      including warning students when initial problem behaviours surface or
      mediating in difficult host family situations.
   2. Contact your counterpart in the sending district, and specify the exact
      reason(s) the student is being sent home. Copy any relevant multidistrict
      groups on the communication.
   3. Allow the student to contact his or her parents, or offer to contact them for the
   4. Work with the sending district contact and the parents to arrange an
      acceptable return travel itinerary.

   5. Help the student make departure arrangements and facilitate leave-taking
      from the host family and school friends.
   6. Notify relevant government agencies about visa status.
   7. Notify the district governor and RI in writing that a student is being sent
      1. Include the name of the student, sending district, date of return, and
         reason(s) for return.
   8. Ensure that the student has arrived home safely.

Responsibilities at the End of the Exchange

During the final weeks of an exchange, many students struggle with conflicting
emotions about leaving the new friends they’ve made and returning home. Work
with students in the following way to make the transition as smooth as possible:

      Assist the student in making return travel arrangements (should be done
      before March 1).

      Assure that transportation is provided to the airport and that the student
      knows who will be taking him/her to the airport.

      When travel arrangements and departure date has been determined, send the
      details to the host District YE Chair.

      Arrange for return of the Emergency Fund to the student

      Be sure the student is invited to the last Rotary meeting prior to departure
      date. They should have the opportunity to thank your Rotary Club for the
      hospitality and assistance during their exchange year.

      Conduct evaluations. Survey all program participants – students, host
      families, and Rotarian counselors. A copy of these evaluations can be
      downloaded from Ask for suggestions on how the program
      may be improved, what the student liked and disliked. They are more likely to
      be honest and open just before their departure.

Youth Exchange Web Resources
Rotary International –
        For Youth Exchange Handbook, Primer for Exchange Students, Primer for
        Host Families, Long-Form Student Applications, Making a World of
        Difference (brochure), Short Term Youth Exchange (brochure), Abuse and
        Harassment Prevention Training Manual and Leaders’ Guide, Youth
        Exchange e-Newsletter, and links to other youth exchange web sites.

District 7040 Youth Exchange –
         For ―What’s New,‖ Countries we exchange with, Pictures of Inbound ,
         Outbound and Rotex students, Information for short-term exchanges,
         Pictures from events, Flipbook link, District Committee, Downloads for club
         use and training (including preliminary applications)

District 7040 –
         For information pertaining to the Rotary District, including the Youth
         Exchange Calendar and various forms.

Youth Exchange Officer Resources –
        For a vast wealth of Rotary Youth Exchange information, including the 1st
        night questions.

Country Profiles -
        For valuable resources, including maps, facts, statistics and social and
        cultural insights

US Department of State -
       For facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions,
       economy, and foreign relations of independent states, and areas of special

Travel Warnings –
        For US Department of State travel warnings

Foreign Affairs -
        For Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada supports Canadians
        abroad; helps Canadian companies succeed in global markets; promotes
        Canada's culture and values; and works to build a more peaceful and
        secure world.

Consular Affairs -
        For information and assistance for Canadians abroad


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