2010 Outbound Orientation Handbook by stariya


									 Rotary District 5440

 April 23-25, 2010
Douglas, Wyoming
                             TABLE OF CONTENT
                            OUTBOUND HANDBOOK
History of Rotary                                                               1

Object of Rotary                                                                2

      Service Above Self                                                        2
      Four Avenues of Rotary Success                                            2
      Four Way Test                                                             3

Youth Exchange Program Objectives                                               4

World Peace Commitment                                                          5

Crisis Management Plan                                                          6

Youth Protection Policy                                                         8

Absolute Rules and Guidelines for a Successful Exchange Year                    14

Cultural Differences, Current Issues, Geography and Preparing to Discuss Them   17
      The Sunglass Analogy                                                      18
      Some American Values, Attitudes and Beliefs                               19

Morals & Values – Personal Behavior                                             20

Gifts and Helpful Hints for an Exchange Student                                 21

Banner, Pins and Contract Cards                                                 22

Language Barriers                                                               23

Communicating & the Value of Monthly Reports                                    24

      Sample of a Monthly Report                                                25

First Night Host Family Questionnaire                                           27

Travel and Parental Visits While On Your Exchange                               29

Budget, Finances and Getting Money Around the World                             30

Culture Shock and/or Home Sickness                                              31


Insurance                                                                       33

Passports, Visas, Flight Information, Packing & Immunizations                   35

Chain of Command - Who Will Help?                                  37

Recording Your Year                                                38

Attitudes and Tips on Being a Good Exchange Student                39

Farewell – „Your Bridge to the Future‟                             41


      A Motto By An Exchange Student                               2
      Guidelines for Youth Exchange Emergencies                    3
      General Suggestions for An Exchange Student                  6
      More from Dennis White                                       9
      It Takes Time to Know a Country                              15
      Public Speaking Tips                                         16
      House Rules                                                  20
      Words to „Love In Any Language‟                              21
      One World or Many?                                           22
      So You Think You Are Home Again: Some Thoughts For
      Exchange Students Returning "Home."                          26
      The Psychology of International Living                       30
      Available Resources/Websites                                 32
      List of District Committee Members/Country Representatives   33
      List of Outbound Students and Contact Information            34

                                       History of Rotary
Rotary began on February 23, 1905 in Chicago, Illinois. The founder, Paul Harris, had invited three
friends to explore his idea that had been developing for several years. The idea – a club of business
and professional men who could and should be friends. Harris was a lawyer; his friends were a coal
dealer, mining engineer, and merchant tailor. The aim of the first Rotary Club was the
encouragement of friendship, fellowship and mutual assistance.

The name ―ROTARY‖ was suggested by Harris; prompted by the original plan of the members to
meet in rotation at their various places of business.

District 5440 was established in 1987 although many of the clubs existed prior to the establishment
of the District. It encompasses all the State of Wyoming, the county of Scottsbluff, Nebraska and
the counties of Moffat, Routt, Larimer, Weld, Logan, Phillips, and Sedgwick in Colorado and Teton
County, Idaho.

Cowboy Country Youth Exchange was incorporated in January 2006 and is the official name of
District 5440 Youth Exchange.

District 5440 Statistics:                    The Rotary World Statistics:

51 Clubs                                     32,462 Clubs in the World
3,330 members                                1,209,790 Members in the World
111,800 square miles                         529 Districts in the World
                                             168 Countries Represented

                                  OBJECT OF ROTARY:
       The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of
       worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

       1.     The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
       2.     High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness
              of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his/her occupation
              as an opportunity to serve society;
       3.     The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to his/her personal, business
              and community life;
       4.     The advancement of international understanding, good will, and peace through a
              world fellowship of business and professional men and women united in the ideal of

                                 SERVICE ABOVE SELF:

The main objective of Rotary is service—in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the
world. Rotarians build goodwill and peace, provide humanitarian service, and encourage high
ethical standards in all vocations. The Rotary motto is ―Service Above Self.‖ This motto is carried
out in the Four Avenues of Service outlined below:

                     FOUR AVENUES OF ROTARY SUCCESS!

       1. Club Service                              3. Community Service
              Rotary Information                          Projects
              Membership Development                      Fund Raising
              Club Extension
              New Member Orientation

       2. Vocational Service                        4. International Service
              Career Guidance                               World Community Service
              Interact                                      Rotary Foundation
                                                                   3-H Program
                                                                   Group Study Exchange
                                                            Youth Exchange


Of the things we think, say and do:


                           Youth Exchange Program Objectives

The objectives of this program and yours as the student are as follows:

    1. To further international goodwill and understanding.
    2. To enable students to advance their education by studying for a school year in another
    3. To broaden the student‘s outlook by learning to live with, and meet people of different
    4. To act as ambassadors for the United States.

The first documented exchanges were initiated by the Rotary Club of Copenhagen in 1929 and
involved only European participants. The first long-term exchange was between Myrtlewood,
Australia and our own District 5440 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska some 51 years ago. In 1972, the
Rotary International Board of Directors agreed to recommend Youth Exchange worldwide as a
worthwhile international activity. The program has grown to include approximately 80 countries
and more than 7000 students each year. Cowboy Country Youth Exchange regularly exchanges
between 20-25 students each year with from 15-20 different countries.

                                  World Peace Commitment
The Rotary Youth Exchange Program is the premier Youth Exchange Program in the World. It is
not politically or religiously affiliated. Rotary is in the majority of the countries of the World, and
Rotary is attempting through this program and others to bring about World peace through cultural
understanding, tolerance and goodwill.

During times of political or civil unrest, be assured the safety/security of the student is paramount to
us and the program. Trust in the judgment of the Hosting District to make security decisions on
behalf of the student. The best resource during times of crisis will be the student‘s Host Club and
District. Most Districts have a formal Crisis Management Plan that is put into effect if the students
face danger for any reason.

During times of crisis, we have a few recommendations that might make the student feel safer:

             1. Use your good common sense!

             2. Consult with your parents, Host Club, Host District and us, your Outbound

             3. Contact the US Consulate in your Host Country so that they know who you are,
                where you are and can reach you if necessary.

             4. Depending on the political climate, it may not be appropriate to flaunt the
                American flag in clothing, accessories (including baseball caps), and actions.
                Blending in may be more appropriate.

             5. If you are being pushed into publicly vocalizing your position about the political
                crisis/unrest, this is the time to use all your Ambassadorial skills. Be a conduit or a
                bridge. Turn the conversation around to hear their opinions. Try not to take a
                position that might cause bad feelings and put you in a tough position.

         Please remember, all maps do not have the United States in the center.

                 Cowboy Country Youth Exchange Crisis Management Team

Chairman                                          Co-Chairman

               Bobbe Fitzhugh                                    Beth Vandewege
               873 Esterbrook Road                               515 East 22nd
               Douglas, WY 82633                                 Cheyenne, WY 82001
               1-307-358-6457 (home)                             307-638-1273 (home)
               1-307-359-3311 (cell)                             307-630-2441 (cell)

               bobbefitzhugh@gmail.com                           dayfam2@msn.com

Country Contact               Dependent upon country(s) involved, refer to current contact
                              information for Country Representative

CCYE Counselor                Kathy Majerus, L.C.S.W.
                              2622 Pioneer Avenue
                              Cheyenne, WY 82001
                              307-637-3404 (work)
                              307-631-7502 (cell)

Unless otherwise noted, the Chairman will be the point person for contact during the course of the
investigation. In the absence of the Chairman, the Co-Chairman shall be responsible for leading the
Crisis Management Team.

All persons should recognize and appreciate that timely, accurate and concise information is critical
to effectively manage the situation. Please keep this in mind when providing information relating to
any allegations.

Crisis Management Team Members are expected to respond immediately upon notification. If the
Chairman will not be accessible via the listed contact information, he/she will provide temporary
contact information to the CCYE Committee. In the event the Chairman will be inaccessible, the
Co-Chairman will become the contact person and leader of the Crisis Management Team.

Crisis Management Team Members will endeavor to remain accessible in the event of an
emergency. If members will be away and not accessible (checking phone messages and e-mail),
they will notify the Chairman of their absence.

                              OUTBOUND CRISIS PROCEDURE

This guideline addresses an emergency involving a student hosted by an overseas District or an
emergency involving a student hosted by an overseas District experiencing a regional or country

In the event that a Cowboy Country Youth Exchange representative is notified of the death, serious
injury, serious illness, danger from civil unrest or war, or other problem involving a Cowboy
Country Youth Exchange Outbound Student, Country Representative notified shall contact the
District Chairman immediately and provide the following details as a minimum:

          Name of student involved
          Sponsoring club name
          Host District number (overseas)
          The nature of the crisis and as much detail as possible involving the crisis.

The Chairman will:
       Immediately contact all members of the Crisis Management Team and pass on the crisis
       As necessitated by the nature of the crisis, request team members to contact or research
          information relative to the crisis, using the ―Guidelines for Youth Exchange
          Emergencies‖ as a baseline.
       Continue to keep all members of the Crisis Management team informed and advised of
          the crisis status.
       Contact Host District Chairman for region where crisis is occurring and work through
          this person to resolve crisis.
       Contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in the host country for the student.
       Notify the District Governor and keep him updated throughout the crisis.

                                End of Crisis and Follow Through

Based on developments in the crisis, the Chairman will determine when the crisis has ended and
will notify the Crisis Management Team that the crisis has ended. While the crisis may have
passed, the need for additional follow through will continue into the immediate future.

Within one month after the crisis has passed, the Crisis Management Team will gather to critique
the effectiveness of the Crisis Management Plan and determine what changes are necessary.

                                YOUTH PROTECTION POLICY

The most powerful force in the promotion of international understanding and peace is exposure to
different cultures. Youth Exchange provides thousands of young people with the opportunity to
meet people from other lands and to experience their cultures.

Cowboy Country Youth Exchange (CCYE) is committed to creating and maintaining the safest
possible environment for all participants in Rotary activities. It is the duty of all Rotarians,
Rotarians‘ spouses, partners, and other volunteers to safeguard to the best of their ability the welfare
of and to prevent the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of children and young people with whom
they come into contact.


Cowboy County Youth Exchange will:

    1. Adopt and adhere to Rotary International‘s zero-tolerance policy against abuse and

    2. Take any allegations or reports of abuse or harassment seriously and do everything in our
       power to ensure that young people involved in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program are
       protected from abuse, harassment and neglect.

    3. Ensure that district programs are provided to young people in a safe and caring environment.

    4. Prevent contact with known persons who are either prohibited by law from working with
       children, or who are considered by CCYE to be inappropriate persons for working with

    5. Report any allegations of abuse in compliance with state law and facilitate the timely
       reporting of incidents where children are at risk or harm.

    6. Ensure the prompt notification of allegations of abuse, harassment or neglect of children
       where allegations involve Rotarians or persons involved with Rotary programs.

    7. Appoint a District Abuse Prevention Coordinator (DAPC). The DAPC will assist the
       Chairman in ensuring that complaints are dealt with according to applicable law and the
       interests of the affected person are protected to the extent possible.

    8. Work with Clubs to inform all Rotarians of their obligation under this policy and to ensure
       that appropriate training is made available.

    9. Establish a screening process to assure the suitability of any person wishing to work with
       District youth.

Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse refers to forcing or encouraging a student to engage in sexual acts with
another person of any age, of the same sex or the opposite sex as defined in applicable state law.

Examples of sexual abuse could include, but are not limited to:
    Non-touching offenses
    Indecent exposure
    Exposing a child to sexual or pornographic material.

Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment is deliberate or repeated behavior of a sexual nature that is
unwelcome, unasked for or rebuked. It refers to sexual advances, requests for favors or verbal or
physical conduct of a sexual nature. The definition of sexual harassment includes conduct directed
by men towards women, men toward men, women towards men, and women towards women.

Examples of sexual harassment could include, but are not limited to:
    Sexual advances;
    Sexual jokes, written or verbal references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one‘s sex life,
      and comments about an individuals sexual activity, deficiencies, prowess, or sexual
    Verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
    Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures or drawings;
    Sexual leering or whistling, any inappropriate physical contact such as brushing or touching,
      obscene language or gestures and suggestive or insulting comments.

Student: Youth involved with Rotary Youth Exchange, regardless of whether they are of the age of

Volunteer: Any adult 18 and over involved with Rotary Youth Exchange activities who has direct
interaction with students. This includes, but is not limited to, district committee members, club
youth exchange officers, club counselors, chaperones or host families. All volunteers (except those
with only casual or occasional interactions with Youth Exchanges students), who have one on one
unsupervised student interaction or contact must: Complete the CCYE Volunteer Affidavit and
authorize the district to conduct appropriate background checks. Be subject to personal interviews;

     Provide a list of references for CCYE to check.
     Meet Rotary International and CCYE eligibility for working with students.
     Understand and comply with Rotary International and CCYE guidelines for the Youth
      Exchange Program.

Host Family Screening Requirements
Host families shall undergo a comprehensive interview that determines their suitability for hosting
exchange students. This should include:
    Demonstrated commitment to the safety and security of students
    Motivation for hosting a student is consistent with Rotary ideals of international
       understanding and cultural exchange
    Financial ability to provide adequate accommodations (room and board) for the student
    Completion of written application
    Home visits shall be conducted for all host families, including repeat host families.
    Unannounced visits, both prior to and during the placement, are also recommended.

      All counselors and individuals over the age of 18 who reside in the home of the host family,
       must meet the selection and screening guidelines, and will be subjected to an appropriate
       background check assuring they:

     1. Have not admitted to, been convicted of or otherwise found to have engaged in an offense
        which resulted in harm to an individual, including assault or sexual assault or sexual battery.

     2. Have not been convicted of any offense, which in the opinion of the DAPC, suggests an
        unacceptable risk of harm to a person in the care of that individual.

     3. Are not subject to a court order or decree prohibiting a person from being in contact with
        any other individual.

     4. Have no children under the age of eighteen living in or frequenting their residence that have
        been convicted of or treated for sexually inappropriate conduct.

In the event the DAPC determines that an individual is not acceptable as a club counselor or host
family, he/she shall be advised that the applicant is not acceptable, but details of the reason behind
the rejection will not be disclosed in order to ensure the privacy of the applicant.

Counselor Screening
In addition to the above volunteer screening requirements:
     Counselors must not be a member of the student‘s host family.
     Counselors shall be trained in responding to any problems or concerns which may arise
        during the exchange, which may include instances of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or

                           STUDENT SELECTION AND SCREENING
All students interested in participating in the CCYE Program shall:
     Complete a written application and be interviewed for their suitability for participation in the
        Youth Exchange program.
     Attend and participate in all district orientation and training sessions.

All parents or legal guardians of students interested in participating in the CCYE program must:
     Be interviewed to help determine the student‘s suitability for participation in the Youth
       Exchange program.
     At least one parent or legal guardian shall attend and participate in outbound district

All volunteers who participate in this program shall participate in at least one training session in
which these policies and procedures are explained and discussed. Training shall be provided under
the direction of the CCYE Chairman and/or using training materials provided by CCYE and Rotary
International. Written copies of this document will be distributed to all Clubs and District officials
involved with Youth Exchange on an annual basis.

CCYE will:
   Develop and provide standardized training materials on Rotary International‘s youth
     protection policy, specific district guidelines, local customs, cultural issues, and legal
     requirements for Club use and as part of District training responsibilities.

        Develop a calendar for training and define the frequency of training required for each
         volunteer position, including descriptions of who is to participate, when training should
         occur, and how training will be conducted.
        Conduct specialized training sessions for the following Youth Exchange program
             o District Governor and District Governor Elect
             o District Youth Exchange committee members
             o Club Youth Exchange committee members or other designated club representatives
             o Students (inbound and outbound)
             o Parents and legal guardians of students
             o Other Rotarians and non-Rotarians who participate in Youth Exchange activities,
                 such as tours or other district events.
        Establish guidelines to ensure that all those required to be trained have undergone such
         training every three years.
        Maintain records of participation to ensure compliance.

Participating Clubs will:
     Be responsible for disseminating standardized district training information to:
            o Rotarian counselors
            o Host families
     Establish guidelines to ensure that all those required to be trained have undergone such
        training every three years.
     Maintain records of participation to ensure compliance.

Students: If you are sexually, physically or emotionally abused, or are accused of sexually,
physically or emotionally assaulting or abusing another person, you must follow this procedure:

     1. Report the situation to your host club Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) Officer immediately.
     2. Report the situation to the host District RYE Chairperson if you feel you cannot tell your
        local RYE officer.
     3. If you cannot report the situation to either your local RYE officer or the host District
        Chairperson, report the situation to any member of the host District Rotary Committee who
        you feel comfortable reporting it to, or to your Sponsoring CCYE Country Representative,
        District Chairman or the District Abuse Prevention Coordinator.

Parents: (Host or Natural): If your son/daughter notifies you that they have been assaulted, abused,
or are accused of assaulting or abusing another person, or if, after talking with your son/daughter
you feel that they have been assaulted, abused, or are accused of assaulting or abusing another
person, you must follow this procedure in compliance with the CCYE Crisis Management Plan:

     1. As soon as possible report the situation to the D5440 RYE Committee member who is
        responsible for your son/daughter‘s country (Country Contact).
     2. If you are not able to contact the CCYE Country Contact, or do not feel comfortable
        contacting the Country Contact, then contact either the RYE Committee Chairman, Vice-
        Chairman or the District Abuse Prevention Coordinator.

                             INVESTIGATION BY DISTRICT
The procedure that CCYE will follow upon report of an abuse or harassment incident is:

     1.   The CCYE Chairman will be notified IMMEDIATELY. The District Chairman is
          responsible for ensuring that such complaints are dealt with according to applicable law and
          the interests of the affected person are protected to the extent possible. The District
          Chairman will report all criminal allegations and serious incidents to Rotary International
          within 72 hours. The District Governor is the ultimate authority on all district matters and
          will be notified that there is an incident under investigation.

     2. The District Chairman will then take action to assure the safety of the student. In the case of
        an outbound student, this will include immediate communications with the host District
        RYE Chairperson, and/or with the host Rotary Club.

     3. At all times, the confidentiality of the student and any person against whom allegations are
        made will be respected in accordance with applicable law.

     4. The student shall be offered immediate support services, including independent therapists,
        counselors or legal counsel.

     5. Any adult involved in a Rotary youth program against whom an allegation of abuse or
        harassment is made will be removed from all contact with youth in a Rotary context until the
        matter is resolved.

     6. Any allegation of abuse will be immediately reported to the appropriate law enforcement
        agency according to state law.

     7. Pursuant to Rotary International policy, a club must terminate the membership of any
        Rotarian who admits to, is convicted of or is otherwise found to have engaged in sexual
        abuse or harassment. A non-Rotarian who admits to, is convicted of, or is otherwise found
        to have engaged in sexual abuse or harassment must be prohibited from working with youth
        in a Rotary context. A club may not grant membership to a person who is known to have
        engaged in sexual abuse, illegal sexually oriented acts or harassment. Upon obtaining
        information that a club has knowingly failed to terminate the membership of such a
        Rotarian, the RI Board will take steps to have the Rotarian‘s membership terminated,
        including action to terminate the club‘s charter for failure to comply.

     8. If an investigation into a claim of abuse or harassment is inconclusive, then, for the safety of
        youth participants and the protection of the accused, additional safeguards must be put in
        place to assure the protection of any youth with whom the individual may have future

     9. No student will be sent home unless their personal safety requires it and the District
        Chairperson has approved the return or the student desires return.

                                    CLUB RESPONSIBILITIES

Clubs wishing to participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program shall be required to undergo
the District Certification Process for compliance with these procedures Upon request from CCYE,
all clubs that wish to apply to the District for certification must provide a copy of the following for
review and approval:

        Copies of all materials produced in the Club to promote and support the Youth Exchange
         program, including, but not limited to, promotional materials and brochures, applications,
         policies, Web site links, etc.
        List of services in the area (rape and suicide crisis hotline, alcohol and drug awareness
         programs, law enforcement agencies, community services, school counselor and available
         school programs, etc.)
        Club abuse and harassment prevention training program participation documentation.

Participating clubs must agree to:

        Complete and return signed compliance statement that the Club is operating their program
         in accordance with CCYE and Rotary International policy.
        Require all volunteers (except those with only casual or occasional interactions with Youth
         Exchange students), who have one on one unsupervised student interaction or contact to:
            o Complete the CCYE Volunteer Affidavit and authorize the District to conduct
                appropriate background checks. These forms must be returned to the DAPC for
        Understand and comply with Rotary International and CCYE guidelines for the Youth
         Exchange program
        Conduct interviews of all outbound applicants and applicants‘ parents or legal guardians.
        Develop a comprehensive system for host family selection and screening that should
         include both scheduled and unannounced home visits and interviews both prior to and
         during the placement of inbound students.
        Conduct personal interviews for host families and club counselors;
        Check references for potential host families and club counselors as necessary.
        Conduct follow-up evaluations of both students and host families.
        Establish procedures for removal of a student from the host family if necessary.
        Ensure that all hosting is voluntary. Parents of outbound students and club members must
         not be required to host students.
        Ensure that students have multiple host families and that a single-parent family hosts only a
         same-sex student.
        Provide each student with a comprehensive local services list such as rape and suicide crisis
         hotline, alcohol and drug awareness programs, law enforcement agencies, community
         services, school counselor and available school programs, etc.
        Provide the names and contact information of at least three people to contact for assistance
         with any issues or problems to all Youth Exchange students. These people must include
         both males and females, not related to each other, and individuals independent of the host
         family and club counselor.
        Ensure that the Club counselor for each student is not a member of the student‘s host
        Assist the Club counselor in obtaining training to respond to any problems or concerns that
         may arise during the exchange, including the prevention of physical, sexual, and emotional
         abuse or harassment.
        Be responsible for disseminating standardized District training information to Rotarian
         counselors and Host families
        Establish guidelines to ensure that all those required to be trained have undergone such
         training every three years.
        Maintain records of participation to ensure compliance.
        Follow the Youth Protection Reporting Guidelines adopted by CCYE Program.
        Report all serious incidents (accidents, crimes, early returns, death) involving Youth
         Exchange students to the District Youth Exchange Chairman immediately.
                      RULES AND CONDITIONS

Strict Rules and Conditions - Violations will result in student‟s immediate return to United

1) Obey Laws of the host country - If found guilty of violation of any law (shoplifting, drug or
   alcohol possession, theft, etc.), student will be returned home as soon as authorities release
   him/her. This applies regardless of whether criminal charges are filed.

2) Delinquency –The student‘s most important duty is to attend school regularly. He/she must
   make an honest attempt to succeed and must maintain a ―C‖ average. All absences from school
   must be approved IN ADVANCE by the host family and the Rotary Club Counselor. Credits
   for course work taken in the host country cannot be guaranteed. This is between the student‘s
   home school and the host school.

3) No Drugs - Student is not allowed to possess or use illegal drugs. Medicine prescribed by a
   physician is allowed.

4) No Driving – The student and parents have signed the guarantee form which makes up part of
   the application form. In this, all agree that the student WILL NOT under any circumstances
   drive a motorized vehicle of any kind (automobile, all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile, motorcycle,
   boat, airplane) during the period of the exchange. The student is also not authorized to
   participate in a driver education program. In addition, the CISI/Bolduc health and life insurance
   policy WILL NOT cover any injuries while operating any motorized vehicle.

5) No Drinking - The drinking of alcoholic beverages except as noted is expressly forbidden.
   EXCEPTION: If the host family offers a student an alcoholic drink, it is permissible to accept it
   under their supervision in their home provided the student does not leave the home after
   drinking and provided the student‘s own parents approve. Under no circumstances may
   students drink alcoholic beverages in public places. The culture of the student‘s Host Country
   may be more relaxed concerning alcohol consumption then our own culture. Personal values
   must be set and adhered to.

6) Devotion – Webster‘s definition of devote is as follows: ―to give up or apply oneself or one‘s
   time, energy, etc. to some purpose, activity, or person‖. Devotion especially with regards to
   love interests or dating is not permitted. Students should avoid serious dating which would
   cause him/her to center all of his/her interest on one person to the exclusion of the Rotary Youth
   Exchange Program. Abstain from sexual activity and promiscuity. This can lead to serious
   problems including sexually transmitted disease or unwanted pregnancy.
7) Downloading – Excessive or inappropriate use of the internet will not be tolerated. Students
   are prohibited from accessing any pornographic internet sites.

8) Disfigurement – Tattoos and body piercings, regardless of location (ears excepted), are
   considered in poor taste and are not tolerated by many countries. Under Rotary International
   rules students are prohibited from obtaining new tattoos or body piercing while on exchange.

9) Travel - Travel is permitted with host parents, on school-sponsored trips or on Rotary
   authorized functions with proper adult chaperones. Students may not travel alone or
   accompanied only by other students. Other travel must be approved by the Host District
   Chairperson upon submission of the following:

        a) Written detailed description of the trip, reason for trip, and schedule of travel. This
           should include airline itinerary and airport transfer arrangements.
        b) Written approval of host family and Rotary Club Youth Exchange Chairman.
        c) Written release from student‘s own parents exempting Rotary of responsibility and

10) No Employment - The student may not seek employment while in this program. The student‘s
    visa does not allow for gainful employment under U.S. Immigration and Naturalization
    regulations. Volunteer activities are encouraged and expected.

Other conditions and things to know about your exchange:
1) Health Insurance - All students must carry a United States sickness and accident policy
   through CISI/Bolduc. Premium cost is included in the student‘s application fee.

2) Club Counselor - The student will be assigned a club counselor who is able to provide advice
   and guidance to the student. The student should maintain frequent contact with the counselor
   and discuss any problems with him/her. He or she is available to help and will welcome the
   opportunity to act as a mediator. If a counselor is not assigned, the student should tactfully ask
   that one be appointed as soon as possible.

3) Host Family – Hosting arrangements are the entire responsibility of the Host Club. The usual
   arrangement is for the student to be hosted by three or four different families, but some clubs
   may vary from this. The student may be assigned to a single family for an entire year.

The host family is responsible for the student‘s well being. The student should respect their wishes
and requests. The student should become an integral part of the Host Family, assuming traditional
duties and responsibilities as a son or daughter in the family (making bed, cleaning room, dishes,
etc.). The student is not to consider himself/herself as a guest in the host family with special
privileges or treatment.

     If problems arise on the host family level, the counselor must be consulted and may be able to
     assist. Students should not expect their parents or sponsoring club to ―solve the problem.‖ If all
     else fails, the sponsoring country representative or District Chairperson should be consulted.

4) Discipline - The student should respect the discipline in the family, obey host parents, keep host
   parents informed as to plans and activities (who, what, where, when and how), and follow the
   house rules set by the family.

5) Authority - Students are under the Hosting District‘s authority while participating in the
   exchange. Parents/guardians have signed release forms giving Rotary authority to make
   decisions about your sons/daughters if necessary. Such decisions will often be in regard to
   emergency medical treatment. Be assured that in any case where it is necessary for Rotary to
   make such a decision, parents will be contacted immediately. If the student has relatives in the
   host country, they will have no authority over the student while the student is in the program.

6) Rotary Priority - Attendance of the student will be required at some Rotary-sponsored events.
   Mandatory Rotary Youth Exchange events have priority over all other activities.

7) Public Speaking - The student may be asked to talk to various groups such as other Rotary
   clubs, schools and other organizations. The student should accept these invitations once they
   have been cleared through the club counselor. The student should be prepared for these public
   speaking opportunities.

8) Friends - The student should ask for and heed the advice of host families, counselors and school
   personnel in choosing friends.

9) Church - If the student wishes to attend the church of his/her faith, he should discuss this with
   the Rotary Counselor and the host family. If possible, this should be arranged. Host families
   should not attempt to ―convert‖ student to any one religion or force student to attend church
   against their will.

The host Rotary club and host Rotary district shall have final authority in enforcing rules and
conditions and any other rules and conditions which may be imposed with due notice.

       Cultural Differences, Current Issues, Geography and Preparing
                                To Discuss Them

What happens when bright, enthusiastic young people, like you, decide to participate in Rotary
Youth Exchange? For starters, you will begin to look at the world from a different angle – one that
is wider, more flexible, and that can accommodate a diverse array of viewpoints. You will learn
that there is more than one way to solve a problem – that the world offers a rich variety of foods,
customs, and philosophies to sample – and that, despite such diversities, people around the world
share a wealth of similarities.

As you learned in Bafa-Bafa, culture is an integrated system of learned behavior patterns that are
characteristic of members of any given society. Culture includes attitudes and feelings. In a new
culture you must be aware of the differences in attitudes and feelings - you will need to be
thoughtful while learning to participate. Try to understand and accept the differences with an open
mind and without criticism. Remember the U.S. in not at the center of everybody‘s map. More
importantly, the host culture most likely will not adapt to you, you need to adapt to the host culture.

Pay attention to what‘s going on in the United States now. During these difficult times, if you are
asked for an opinion on our government‘s actions or agendas, either in a one-on-one scenario or in
public, use your ambassadorial skills to build a bridge with your new country. Consider turning the
conversation around to hear their viewpoint and try and be a conduit towards peace and
understanding. Tolerance doesn‘t mean giving up your culture; just respect the host culture and
their opinions.

Know how your government works. You will be expected to voice opinions. Don‘t put down
your host country. Defend your country but do so with respect for the differences. Sometimes you
will need to quietly get along. Express your opinion, and stress that it‘s not necessarily fact.

Subscribe to Time or Newsweek to keep up on current events.

The rest of the world spends more time studying the United States than we do studying the rest of
the world or often even our own country. You are apt to find that people in your host country know
more about America than you do, or than you know about their country. Our students have said in
their reports that they wish they had prepared better before they left. Learn about your country!
Learn about the country you are going to.

                                     THE SUNGLASS ANALOGY

Here is a simple fable to explore. It clearly helps us to understand what culture is, how our culture
is like an invisible prison, and how we can free ourselves from that prison so we can learn and
understand about other cultures.

Imagine, if you will, that in your own country, from the time of the first people, today, and far into
the future, everyone that was ever born or will be born, was born with two legs, two arms, two eyes,
a nose, a mouth and a pair of sunglasses. The color of the lens in the sunglasses is yellow. No one
has ever thought it strange that the sunglasses are there because they've always been there and they
are part of the human body. Everyone has them.

Take the yellow sunglasses off and look at them. What makes them yellow are the values, attitudes,
ideas, beliefs and assumptions that American people have in common. Everything that Americans
have seen, learned, or experienced (past, present and future) has entered into the brain through the
yellow lenses. Everything has been filtered and interpreted through all these values and ideas that
have made the lenses yellow. The yellow lens thus represents our attitudes, beliefs, values, and
represents our "America-ness."

Thousands of miles away in another country (Japan for example) from the time of the first people,
today, and far into the future, everyone that was ever born or will be born, was born with two legs,
two arms, two eyes, a nose, a mouth and a pair of sunglasses. The color of the lens in the
sunglasses is blue. No one has ever thought it strange that the sunglasses are there because they've
always been there and they are part of the human body. Everyone has them. Everything that the
Japanese people see, learn, and experience is filtered through their blue lenses.

A traveler who wants to go to Japan may have enough sense to realize that to learn about Japan
more thoroughly he will have to acquire some Japanese sunglasses so that he can "see" Japan.
When the traveler arrives in Japan, he wears the Japanese sunglasses, stays for two months and feels
he really is learning about the values, attitudes, and beliefs of the people of Japan. He actually
"sees" Japan wearing their sunglasses. He comes home to his own country and declares that he is
now an "expert" on Japan and that the culture of Japan is green!

What happened? He didn't remove his own American filters of yellow. The moral of this fable is:
Before we are open and free to learn about another culture (and put on their sunglasses) we have to
remove our own, so that our interpretation of the new culture will not be "colored" or filtered by our
own values, attitudes, and beliefs. We are not there to judge another culture, but to learn about it.
We need to develop "double vision" or the ability to see more than one side of an idea.

How do you remove the yellow sunglasses? It's simple. By being able to understand and describe
the values, attitudes, beliefs, ideas and assumptions of American culture, the lighter the yellow color
becomes and the more blue the other culture becomes. The more we can verbalize and really
understand what it is that makes us American, the easier it becomes to lighten the yellow filters, and
put on the blue lenses, and see a truer shade of blue.

                                  Compiled by Judith M. Blohm

Time Conscious - "time is money," must be on time for an appointment; may give the distance
from one place to another in time rather than linear distance.

Personal Achievement is Basis of Identity - rarely achieve status by who family is; educational
institutions, degrees, professions for which one prepares himself/herself and accomplishes
         determine status.

Problem Solvers - rarely take attitude that one must bear what life gives; have ability to change their
life for good or ill by own action; interested in conquering the unknown, solving mysteries (such as
causes and cures for disease).

Interest in Technology - bigger, faster, more efficient machinery to free one's time for other things.

Value Youth - desire to appear, act young; not particularly respectful of age (age and wisdom not
necessarily equated).

Belief in Equality of Persons - refers to desire to give all people equality of opportunity, not that all
people are equal in abilities; lack of emphasis on titles, informality in work and social settings;
respect for achievement not mere titles.

Progress - look to the future, anxious to make a better future, don't dwell on the past.

Settlement of Disputes by Compromise - exact determination of right and wrong not always as
important as settling in a way both parties are somewhat satisfied with.

Distrust of Authority - government systems of checks and balances to insure that power can't get out
of hand; very strict moral standards for persons in public office.

Ignorant of Outside World - historical development has focused our interests to developing our own
rich content with little concern for or interest in or need for the outside world.

Movement of People - frequent changes of homes for upward mobility in jobs; changing jobs for
personal betterment.

Honesty - strong demands for honesty in children, public officials; "white lies" only permissible in
certain situations; cheating in school strongly disliked.

Fluid Social Structure - people can move from one social class to another through their own

                          Morals & Values – Personal Behavior
While you are being hosted as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student, please remember that you are an
ambassador for your family, your community, country, and for Rotary International. You should
also bear in mind that the manner in which you conduct yourself will often determine whether your
host club, your host families or your school will wish to accommodate another Rotary student in the

If you are now sexually active – stop now! Sex is not part of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.
Tattoos and body piercing are not a widely accepted or appreciated form of art. Please refrain from
these activities. Many countries feel that U.S. women have lower moral standards than they do and
perhaps some of you young ladies will be tested in this area.

You should also ensure that you are dressed appropriately for any occasion and that you are well
groomed. Once again extreme appearances are not always appreciated and you may be treated
differently as a result of your extreme appearance. Our students have, over the years, earned a very
high reputation abroad. Hence, we are asking you to maintain or even enhance this image by your
own behavior and conduct.

                  Gifts and Helpful Hints For An Exchange Student

You should carry with you, or arrange to have sent at a later date, a gift for each of your host
families. These do not have to be expensive, but something typical of your State or the West is
suggested. In addition, smaller tokens of appreciation should be brought for others who may assist
you during the year. Again, these should be things that will remind the receiver of where you come
from…rather than being something he/she would be readily able to buy for themselves in your host
country. At this time ―USA‖ tee shirts and flags are not recommended.

Examples of gifts are: regional books, items that represent the history of your hometown or State,
unique manufactured food items from your hometown or State (remember these things will need to
go through customs once you arrive in your host country), handmade crafts that you might have
made, etc. Because of high glycerin content, soaps are not recommended due to airport security
measures that may flag such items as possible bomb materials.

Souvenir Collections

You are bound to accumulate a surprisingly large amount of booklets, souvenirs and pictures during
your year away. You are advised to sort through them on a periodic basis and ship some of them
home by surface mail (ask your host family or counselor for advice on the best way to do this).
Failure to do this may result in some very expensive excess baggage charges on your trip home.

                            Banners, Pins and Contact Cards

The Cowboy Country Youth Exchange Committee provides you with a distinctive Rotary Youth
Exchange blazer (the cost of this is included in your application fee) and a name badge. Contact
cards and lapel pins representative of your State or community, which you can present and/or
exchange should be purchased well in advance of your exchange.

Cowboy Country Youth Exchange has purchased pins showing the three represented states and
District 5440 Youth Exchange Program. These pins can be purchased from the Committee for a fee
of $1.25 each.

Some alternate sources of pins may be your local Chamber of Commerce, a local print supply shop,
or the outbound student can make pins. Some ideas for pins are pins showing your home State, the
flag of the USA made out of safety pins and beads, a pin showing a particular place or event that
represents your hometown, etc.

Next to an address book and a language dictionary, a supply of personalized photo-address cards is
another valuable item exchange students can take with them. The cards save time, are convenient,
and become a lasting remembrance. Friends, classmates, and other exchange students will
appreciate having the photo, home address and email address. Contact Cards look similar to
business cards and contain information that you might like to share with those you meet. The
essential information needed on the card is a photo of you, an email address, home address (USA)
and a place to write in your host family address (this most likely will change while on the
exchange). Your local print shop can assist you with this. If you are computer literate you might
be able to produce a quality card using your computer.

                                 Susie Q. Student
                              Rotary International
     YOUR PICTURE           Youth Exchange Program
     HERE!!!            Cowboy Country Youth Exchange
                               District 5440 - USA
                                   125 S. 7th Avenue
                               Mitford, Wyoming 81345
                  Telephone: 011-307-654-9876 email: sqstudent@aol.com

Your sponsoring Rotary club should provide you with a supply of their club banner to present to
your host club and any other Rotary club you may visit or address during your year abroad. Be sure
to ask your sponsoring club well in advance of your departure, in case they need to order extra
banners for you. Banners received in exchange should be presented to your sponsoring club upon
your return.

                                      Language Barriers
Students who are sent to countries where a language other than their native tongue is spoken will be
expected to learn the language of the host country as soon as possible.

Countries where readily accessible languages are spoken, such as Spanish, French and German,
require a certain level of proficiency prior to arrival. You should aim to become proficient in your
new language no later than 3-4 months after your arrival in the country. Start learning the language
as soon as you are notified of your host country.

Some countries, including the Scandinavian ones, have special language camps or ―crash courses‖
which help students get a basic knowledge of the language and culture at the start of their exchange
year. There is usually an extra charge for these camps, which must be borne by the student or
his/her parents. Ask your country representative for details.

If you have studied the language in school, don‘t be surprised if you find everyday usage in the area
where you are going doesn‘t match exactly what you have learned. American English is fairly
homogeneous, but just stop to think how many different regional accents and idioms we have.

And even if you are going to an ―English speaking‖ country, you may encounter words or phrases
which are in common usage with entirely different meanings than those to which you are
accustomed. Some may even be offensive or have double meanings to you. Or you may find an
innocent phrase you utter may cause embarrassed laughter among your listeners. Try to become
familiar with local usage and meanings as soon as you can; in the meantime, be careful of slang.

Failure to learn the language is the number one reason why students fail to assimilate into the host
culture and often lead to early return.

                   Communicating & the Value of Monthly Reports
Making Contact with your Host Family – It is not always possible to finalize hosting
arrangements well in advance of departure. When you get your guarantee form, be sure to contact
your first host family. This will help tremendously in the ―settling in‖ period in your new

Communicating with folks back home –
Parents – Have a letter ready to mail so that it gets to the host country when the student does. Dads
- be sure to write too – it means a lot! Don‘t say ―Wish you were home.‖ Don‘t tell the student
what is going on at school and home all the time, this could cause further homesickness.

Students - call when you arrive. Share letters from home with your host family.

Telephone – Excessive cell or telephone calls are not suggested. Not only are they costly, but they
can often be unsettling to both parties. Don‘t call all the time; call at pre-arranged times –
Christmas, birthdays, etc. The student is expected to pay any bills incurred promptly. Permission to
use the family telephone must be asked for, and reimbursement made to host family each month for
long distance calls. Calling cards are an excellent gift idea for students. Do not expect your US cell
phone to work in your host country.

Email – While email is a convenient and easy way to maintain contact with family and friends, do
not overdo it. Many students tend to use email to set up social meetings among themselves and not
with the locals or with their host families. This increases homesickness and prevents students from
fully living in their new surroundings. The student should adhere to a one-hour limit on internet

Monthly Report - Monthly reports are a very important connection to us. We read them and want
to know what‘s going on with you. These are important to help us make future decisions about the
program and this orientation.

You will get a dozen - that‘s one a month and two to lose. The name of your country representative
is at the bottom of the report. That‘s who it goes to!

E-mail is also an easy way to communicate with your Country Representative. You can do this
instead of mailing the form if your country representative has e-mail (we all do).

If you have a serious problem, don‘t wait to tell about it in a monthly report. Call or FAX or e-mail

A sample copy of the form is attached.

                                     MONTHLY REPORT

Student Name:                                 Host Club:
Host Rotary Club Counselor:
        Name:                                 Phone:                         Fax:
Present Host Family:
        Name:                                 Phone:                         Fax:

        A:      Public Speaking Engagements

        B:      Rotary Meetings Attended

        C:      Places of Interest Visited

        D:      Social and Sporting Activities (include visits to private homes)

        E:      Contact with Other Exchange Students

Contacts With Counselor:

Have you contacted your Sponsoring Rotary Club? (The Rotary Club in your home country)

Have you experienced any illness, difficulties or problems with your Host Family, Rotary Club,
Counselor or School? If so, give a brief description.

If you know the names and address of your next Host Families, please list:
2nd Host Family:
        Name:                                             Phone:
3rd Host Family:
        Name:                                             Phone:

Please use this space to continue report. Include comments, suggestions, requests, complaints, impressions, etc.
Remember that comments on mattes that you may regard as unimportant could be of interest. Anything different or
unexpectedly similar to home, suggestions to improve the Youth Exchange Program are especially important. Use
another sheet of paper if necessary.

«FirstName» «LastName»
«City», «State» «PostalCode»

                       FIRST NIGHT QUESTIONAIRE

In general ask the questions that you feel are the most important the first night and then ask the
other questions over the next few days. Remember, when in doubt ask, and always try to be open
and honest with your host family and your Rotary counselor. Good communication is essential for
a successful exchange. An interactive First Night Questionnaire is available at the following
website http://yeoresources.org/First_Night_Questions.htm. An actual copy with English and your
new language would be very beneficial to take with you so you have it available.

1.     What do I call you?

2.     What am I expected to do daily other than make my bed, always keep my room tidy, and clean the bathroom
       every time I use it?

3.     What is the procedure for dirty clothes?

4.     Where do I keep clothes until wash day?

5.     Should I wash my own clothes and underclothes?

6.     Should I iron my own clothes?

7.     May I use the iron, washing machine, and sewing machine at any time?

8.     When is a convenient time for me to use the shower/bath (a.m. or p.m.)?

9.     Where may I keep my toiletries?

10.    May I use the family‘s bathroom toiletries (toothpaste, soap, etc.), or am I responsible for purchasing my own?

11.    What time will meals be served?

12.    What can I do to assist at mealtimes (help prepare meals, set the table, wash dishes, empty garbage)?

13.    May I help myself to food and drink any time or should I ask first?

14.    What areas of the house are strictly private (parents‘ bedroom, study/office)?

15.    May I put pictures or poster in my room?

16.    May I rearrange my bedroom?

17.    What are your rules for me with regard to alcohol and smoking?

18.    Where can I store my suitcase?

19.    What time must I get up (on weekdays, on weekends)?

20.    What time must I go to bed (on school nights, on weekends)?

21.    What are the rules for going out at night and at what time must I be home? Can exceptions be made if I ask in

22.    May I have friends spend the night or visit during the day?

23.    What are the rules about me using the telephone? Must I ask first?

24.   May my friends call me?

25.   May I call my friends?

26.   May I make long-distance calls?

27.   How do you want me to keep track of the costs of my telephone calls?

28.   What is the procedure for mailing letters? What address do I use for my incoming mail?

29.   Do you have any dislikes, such as chewing gum, wearing a hat or curlers at the table, loud rock music, or

30.   Do my host brothers or sisters have any dislikes?

31.   What are the dates of your birthdays?

32.   What are the transportation arrangements (car, bus, bike, walking, etc.)?

33.   May I use the stereo, TV, computer, etc., at any time? Are there any restriction on the computer and Internet

34.   What are the rules about attending religious services?

35.   Would you like me to phone home if I will be more than 30 minutes late?

36.   When we go out as a family, should I pay for my own entrance fee, meals, etc.?

37.   What arrangements should I make for school lunch?

38.   Does the Rotary club pay my cost of travel to school?

39.   Am I to attend Rotary club meetings? If yes, how will I get there?

40.   What else can I do around the house (yard work, help clean, baby-sit)?

41.   Please tell me how to interact with the house servants (where applicable).

42.   Is there anything else you would like me to know?

                 Travel and Parental Visits While On Your Exchange
This is a cultural exchange, not a travel exchange. You should not enter into the program with the
expectation of traveling in your host country or the surrounding countries. Host district, club and
parents are under no obligation to provide or permit travel.

Some Rotary Districts sponsor student exchange tours, the cost of which is generally borne by the
student. Ask your host club counselor about what opportunities might be available and what the
cost might be.

You may also experience travel due to the generosity of your host club members or host families.
Should this occur, it is an added benefit of your exchange, not entitlement. When travel by host
club or district is permitted, you must abide by all the rules and regulations stipulated by the host
club and the district chairman. Please remember to establish at the outset what the rules are
governing travel in the host club.

Travel is permitted with host parents, on school-sponsored trips or on Rotary authorized functions
with proper adult chaperones. Students may not travel alone or accompanied only by other
students. Other travel must be approved by the host District Chairman upon submission of the

              Written detailed description of the trip, reason for trip, and schedule of travel. This
               should include airline itinerary and airport transfer arrangements. Written approval
               of host family and Rotary Club Youth Exchange Chairman.
              Written release from student‘s own parents exempting Rotary of responsibility and
               liability. This release requires original, not faxed signatures.

You may not, under any circumstances, make travel arrangements on your own and then expect the
host club or district to go along with these arrangements.

Family visits abroad to your son or daughter are often not permitted until the last third of the
exchange. This is the time when the student is usually well adjusted, and provides an opportunity
for the family members to meet most of the people who have played a role in the student‘s life
during the year abroad.

Any decision to visit the student must be given careful thought. The student‘s host counselor, club
and host parents must grant permission before even contemplating the trip. Host parents and rotary
clubs are under no obligation to provide the parents with accommodations. The student may not
necessarily be permitted to miss school in order to accompany the parents on a tour or other travel.


Going Home - Students must return home directly by a route mutually agreeable to the host district
and the student‘s parents.

               Budget, Finances and Getting Money Around the World
Use of credit or debit cards is a very easy method to manage your finances while abroad. Wiring
money from home takes both time and extra bank fees to process. You should NOT carry a large
amount of cash when you travel.

The host club will provide you with a monthly allowance of $75-$100 U.S. This must cover
personal needs such as postage, film and entertainment. It is necessary to budget carefully. Should
you fail to receive an allowance, you should bring the matter up as tactfully as possible with your

The host club will pay for school fees and uniforms. You may be required to pay for any sporting
equipment that may be necessary.

Emergency Fund - Students are required to have a $300 emergency contingency fund when they
arrive. This fund should be turned over to the club counselor or placed in a checking account upon
the student‘s arrival and is not meant to cover day-to-day expenses. The student‘s parents must
replenish this fund as it is depleted. Unused funds are returned to the student at the end of the

Financial Responsibility - Any costs relative to the student‘s early return or any other unusual
costs (language tutoring, tours, etc.), shall be the responsibility of the student and/or his/her own

                          Culture Shock and/or Home Sickness

“Culture shock is not a one-time event, but rather a process of increasingly
subtle immersion into a culture”.

This statement was made by Dennis K White, Ph.D. of Sturgeon Bay, WI. He is Rotarian, a parent
of a former exchange student, a clinical and consulting psychologist, and involved in the Central
States Rotary Youth Exchange Program. He is a valuable resource for us a committee, you as a
student and your parents. Most of the information provided below is from published articles some
of which are attached.

The four typical stages of Culture shock and/or homesickness is as follows (and most typically a
student will repeatedly cycle through these stages):

Euphoria and Enthusiasm: Almost non-stop enthusiasm (and talking/writing) about your
experiences and awareness that you have become a ―citizen of the world‖. Everything is exciting,
new and interesting. Sometimes this is considered the honeymoon phase where people do not
expect you to be fluent in a new language. Your host family still treats you a little like a guest.
There is a lot of attention towards you.

Disillusionment and Negativism Phase:      Everything is better in the US! The food here stinks!
The people are arrogant! My host family thinks I should do the dishes and empty the garbage! The
house isn‘t clean enough! Why won‘t my host family and school friends speak a little English with
me? They are all fluent in English! Everyone here is a problem! EXCEPT me! At this point in
your exchange you are becoming painfully aware of the differences in the cultures. This could be
described as the ―Disease Phase‖. You have been infected with the negative virus. Is it possible
that some of the problems could be caused by your attitude?

Gradual Adaptation Phase: Your viral infection is improving. You‘re becoming tolerant and in
fact thinking you may enjoy this year after all. Things are falling into place – you can understand
most everyone – if they don‘t speak too rapidly. You are feeling more at home with your host
family. School is actually getting a little easier. Friends are beginning to include you in outside
school activities. You may realize that you have begun to think and dream in a foreign language.

Bicultural Competence:     Your host country looks more and more like home. Actually the food
is great! Your host mom is one of the best cooks you know! Your friends count on you now as
―one of the group‖. The only sad thought you have now is that your exchange year is nearing an
end! Congratulations you made it!

These phases are a necessary component of successfully developing intercultural sensitivity and
bicultural competence. They cannot and should not be avoided. In other words expect some

There are going to be times during your exchange year that you will feel boredom and
homesickness and the thought of returning to the U.S. early will cross your mind. At these times
take a moment to reflect and remember that you were chosen to participate in this program. It is a
competitive program and there were other candidates who didn‘t get this opportunity. Try your best
to work through boredom and homesickness by finding new activities and friends. Remember, you
are all creative, capable and intelligent people and with some extra effort you will be able to work
through these problems. You have the rest of your life to work, get married or speak English – you
have just one year to experience Rotary Youth Exchange! When the going gets tough - stick it out!

Did your host country and its‘ people really change so very much during this year that it turned out
to be a great experience? No – you did!

Re-adjustment Period – When the student returns home after becoming a more independent and
mature adult, a very trying time of re-adjustment often occurs. Each student will have experienced
several years of normal growing up all condensed into one year, while the parents still think of
him/her in the same way as when he/she left home. Tremendous horizons have opened up for the
student during the year abroad and students do find it difficult to adjust when they ―return to earth.‖
A lot of patience and understanding is required of parents in this difficult adjustment period, but the
ultimate rewards for all concerned are great! The more successful the exchange the more
difficult the re-entry. Some recommendations to make this time easier are as follows:

          Treat son/daughter as an exchange student once they return. This gives you both a
           chance to get to know each other again.
          Consider using the first night questionnaire upon your child‘s return. There is a culture
           curve that the student must go through. They are now used to a different culture that
           they might feel is better. They will need to relearn our culture.


Part of the agreement each Rotary District has with the countries it exchanges with concerns health
insurance. Our District (5440) guarantees each exchange student sent outbound will have a basic
health insurance policy either with a provider that is based in North America or with the country
that is hosting the student. The agent selected by the committee for District 5440 is CISI-Cultural
Insurance Services International-Bolduc and the underwriter is American International Group, Inc.
(AIG). You must have either the AIG policy or provide verification of enrollment in the plan of
your hosting country. Please confirm that such coverage provides portal to portal coverage!

Some commonly asked questions with answers:

1. WHY MUST WE HAVE SPECIAL INSURANCE? The District recognizes that most
students are covered by their parents' health and accident insurance policies. We are also aware of
the claim by many providers that their policies are ―good anywhere in the world." It has been our
unfortunate experience to find that this statement can be misleading. Our policy is written by the
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) that has offices in every country with which we exchange
students. While your claim will be processed in the Delaware office, there should be a local office
in your exchange country where you can get answers/assistance if you need it. It is our intent to
never have one of our students become a financial burden on his/her host club.

2. DOES THIS POLICY COVER EVERYTHING? No, it does not. It is basically an 80%-20%
co-payment policy with a deductible and it has specific limits. The booklet you receive with your
policy spells out these limits.

3. WHY DOESN'T IT COVER EVERYTHING? Two reasons: (1) To obtain 100% coverage
on all claims would require a prohibitively expensive premium and (2) we are dealing with 16-18
year olds who, as a general rule, are healthy.

POLICY? NO, definitely not! In fact, if your child becomes ill or injured, parents should make
claim to both AIG and their present policy – what AIG does not cover the other policy may.

AIG offers two other coverage options besides the basic Plan A. One option is the basic Plan A
plus a sports rider and the other option is Plan B. The premiums are higher for these other options,
so if you choose one of them you will need to pay the difference between basic Plan A and the other

their own policy be purchased by all inbound students. Unfortunately we have no control over this.
On one hand it may seem that an excessive amount of insurance is being required for an exchange
student to spend one year in another country. On the other hand, we are meeting Rotary
International requirements, as well as complying with the exchange country‘s system of providing
health care to its citizens. If you are required to purchase additional insurance or another policy
in your host country, you may waive the option of enrolling in the policy from our District.

7. WHEN IS THE AIG POLICY ACTIVATED? The Rotary policy is activated on the day the
exchange student leaves home to travel to their host country. The policy remains active as long as
the student is part of the Rotary Exchange Program and until the exchange student returns home
(not to exceed one year). CISI/Bolduc (Agent for AIG) is provided approximate dates of departure
by District 5440 and works closely with the travel agency Bokoff/Kaplan* for each student‘s exact
date. About 2-3 weeks prior to the departure date, the exchange student should receive an envelope
containing an insurance card (will need to be folded to fit into a wallet), a claim form and a
brochure explaining coverage, deductibles, etc. Students, please carry the insurance card with you
at all times! Parents, you may wish to keep the claim form and brochure at home with you in case
you need them for reference.

*    Bokoff/Kaplan is the travel agency through which many Rotary exchange students book their
     airline tickets.

              River Plaza
              9 West Broad Street
              Stamford, CT 06902-3788

                Passports, Visas, Flight Information, & Immunizations
                                 Passport and Visa Applications

You should apply for a passport as soon as you hear that you have been selected as a Rotary Youth
Exchange Student. The application is available through the Clerk of District Court or Post Office.
You will need to have two passport photos taken to send in with the passport application. You will
need a certified copy of your birth certificate, your social security number and a driver‘s license.
You may need additional photos for your visa application. It can take up to six weeks for your
passport to arrive once application is made. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT THAT YOU APPLY

You cannot apply for your student visa (the official permission from your host country government
allowing you to enter that country for a specified period of time) until the completed Rotary
Guarantee Form has been returned (usually via your Country Representative). A copy of the
Guarantee Form is attached. This form will be signed by an official of your host Rotary club, by an
official of the school you will attend and will have information about your first host family. Do not
consider your acceptance definite until this form arrives.

Be sure to maintain an on-going conversation with your country representative, rather than waiting
until the last minute; failure to work ahead could cause otherwise-avoidable delays and conceivably
even the cancellation of your exchange.

                                        Flight Information

You are welcome to utilize the services of any travel agency or book your flights on your own.
However, due to the complicated nature of visa application processes and the strict time frames that
often occur when these forms are delayed, our Committee strongly recommends that you utilize the
services of Bokoff-Kaplan Travel Services.

Most students will leave between the end of July and mid-August. Bokoff-Kaplan tries to arrange
your departure so that you will be traveling with other Rotary Exchange Students to your host

You will travel on a ticket with a designated return date, which can be changed to your actual return
date for a nominal fee ($50 to $200).

                                   How to Pack/What to Pack

 Luggage should be light, sturdy, durable, easy to handle, and easy to close. Suitcases with
  wheels are helpful. The international flight weight limit is two 50 pound bags and one 15 pound
  carry-on bag.
 Pack less than you think you‘ll need. You must be able to carry your luggage yourself – you
  will need to walk a long way in airports and through customs without assistance.
 Pack coordinating clothes and don‘t pack clothes that you think you might wear ---Only bring
  what you DO actually wear.
 Bring your baggiest pants/jeans instead of the pair that fit snugly now – a year is a long time to
  suck in your stomach. You will gain weight!

 Girls – don‘t bring 5 pair of dress shoes- you won‘t wear them. If you need shoes, buy them
  there and be right in style.
 Electrical appliances – you will need to take adapters for the electrical current.
 Leave some room in your suitcase. You will buy things there and you will still have to come
  home with the same two suitcases and one carry on bag.
 If you wear contact lenses, pack extra solution – your brand might not exist overseas, or it might
  be very expensive.
 Heightened airport security can damage film in checked luggage as well as carry-on.
 Make your carry-on as light as possible. In your carry-on you should have your ―cannot live
  withouts,‖ your host family‘s and chairman‘s telephone number, your passport, ticket, money,
  medication and a copy of ―Travel Sense.‖ YOU ARE ALLOWED ONE CARRY-ON.
 Carry a ―safe pouch‖ inside your clothes with your passport, money, tickets and other important
  papers protected from pickpockets or accidental loss.
 Take $75-$100 worth of U.S. currency of the country you are going to. Wait until you get in
  country to exchange large amounts of money – you will get a better exchange rate.
 Wear your Rotary Blazer on the trip – it helps you make connections.
 Due to possible anti-American sentiment in some countries, wearing clothes that identify you as
  an American maybe unwise!


The student must have proof of proper immunization. Check with your local health department to
determine required or recommended immunizations for the country you will be going to.

                                          Your Arrival

If by some chance you are not met as planned, or an emergency arises, you will need to contact
someone. Before you leave home, get the phone number of one or two people in your host club –
preferably your host family and your counselor – as well as the phone number of the host district
contact, carry these on your person as you travel. Otherwise, contact an airline representative for
assistance. You can also contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate explaining all circumstances.
Lastly, call your sponsoring District Chairman collect.

                             Chain of Command - Who Will Help?

You may have problems during your year of exchange. If these problems cannot be solved by you
and your host family, or if the problem is with the host family, then follow the Chain of Command.

       1.     Contact your hosting Rotary Club Counselor or the Rotary Club Youth Exchange
              Chairperson or Responsible Officer. (This individual could be one and the same.)
              If this person is unable to help, continue through the Chain of Command.

       2.     Contact the hosting Rotary Club President; if problem still exists continue through
              the Chain of Command.

       3.     Contact hosting District Youth Exchange Country Correspondent. This is the
              person who arranges the exchanges with your sponsoring district. If necessary
              continue through the Chain of Command. By this time your Country Representative
              in your sponsoring Rotary District, District 5440, should be involved.

       4.     Contact the hosting Rotary District Youth Exchange Chairperson person may
              possibly also be your hosting Country Correspondent. This person will generally
              contact your sponsoring District Rotary Youth Exchange Chairman if necessary.

Note that your own parents are not part of the official chain of command. While we expect that
you will contact your parents about a problem, please make sure you and/or your parents follow
chain-of-command in handling the issue.

                                    Recording Your Year
You should take slides or photographs to share with your host families, Rotary meetings and other
groups. These should include pictures of your family, home, pets, school, town and the local
countryside, plus an assortment showing a cross section of your state, its flora and fauna and some
of the major tourist attractions.

Take a good camera and remember to use it during your year! Digital cameras are good for sending
photos home to friends and family. Video cameras are difficult to carry and the format may not be
compatible with the equipment in your hosting country.

Use a journal to record your thoughts, feelings and impressions of your year.

                                ROTARY INTERNATIONAL
                               YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAM


1. Do not ask to do things that you know you may not do. Accept the fact that rules do exist and
you are to go by the rules.

2. Write and mail your monthly reports on time. At first you may want your host parents to help
you with this report. We do check and make sure that they are sent in monthly and we carefully
read each one. If necessary, use these reports to report a problem you can not talk about with your
host family or host club.

3. Plan travel well enough in advance so that you can arrange for travel documents, permission
letters from you parents, host family, and Rotary counselor, plus itineraries, well before your
planned departure. Remember that the student may not travel to other parts of the country without
permission from the District Chairman, unless she/he goes with the host parents.

4. Write thank-you notes for EVERYTHING: Anytime someone entertains you or gives you
something, write the person a note.

5. Get involved at school. Join at least one club, music group, choir, or athletic team, and
preferably, join two or three. Try not to limit yourself to school groups--join a church youth group
or some other group outside of school.

6. When arriving at a new host family, go over your (First Night Questionnaire Form) immediately.

7. When traveling with your host family or with a group, send post cards to your other host

8. Be sure to write or fax home to your own parents regularly. At a MINIMUM you should write a
letter every two (2) weeks. You should also write to your friends at home and to your sponsoring
Rotary club at home. Fax communications are usually readily available through one of the Rotary

9. Cook an American meal for your host family at least once. (This goes for the boys, too). If
you've never cooked before, ask your host mother (or other family member) to help you. Make sure
items are not too expensive.

10. Learn to keep a happy balance between spending too much time alone in your room and
spending too much time with your host family. Remember that everybody needs some time to be
alone; you do and so do your host parents, brothers and sisters. Nobody likes an exchange student
who spends all his spare time alone.

11. If you smoke and your host family does not, be very careful where you light up that cigarette. If
you must smoke, we suggest you do so outside. Violations may result with expulsion from school
or civil penalties.

12. Always make sure your host family knows the following:

       Who are you with?
       What are you doing?
       Where are you going?
       When are you coming back?
       How are you going and returning?

If you are late, your family will worry. Call them if you cannot be home on time.

13. Take your schoolwork and homework seriously. It is required to attend classes and maintain
satisfactory grades. This can be defined as C or better in all subjects. If you plan to graduate from
your host high school, you need to make the necessary arrangements early in the school year.

14. Offer to speak in your classes about your home country or its politics. Your audience may have
many misconceptions about your country. Use this opportunity to be a positive ambassador. Don't
take criticisms about your country personally.

15. If your host parents are doing a project around the house (washing the windows, cutting the
grass, shoveling snow, etc.), offer to help.

16. Contact your Counselor regularly even if he does not contact you. Tell him/her you just wanted
him/her to know that everything is going well. If you have a problem, discuss it with him/her.

17. Contact your previous host families occasionally for a friendly conversation or visit.

18. Make your bed every morning and always keep your room neat.

19. Coordinate your laundry schedule with the rest of the family. Do not ask your host mother to
wash and iron your jeans just before you need them.

20. Invite friends to your host home after getting permission from your host family.

21. Be willing to try new things. Try new foods, new experiences.

22. Be creative with your spare time. If your family spends five (5) hours a day watching TV, then
it's OK for you to do so, too, unless you have homework or some other project to do. Learn to read,
write letters and cards! Keep a diary, draw or paint, work on a puzzle, play cards and games with
the family, knit or do needlework! If all else fails, write your monthly reports.

23. When you receive letters from home, share parts of them with your host family.

24. Attend as many Rotary meetings as possible. Try to sit beside a different Rotarian each time.
Talk to them; don't wait for them to talk to you. If you aren't invited to the Rotary meetings, ask
your counselor or some other Rotarian to take you.

25. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!

26. Give your first impressions a second chance.

                             Farewell - Your Bridge To The Future

                              A BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE

An excerpt from an article written in ―The Rotarian‖ by Nathan Mather, a former Rotary Youth
Exchange Student from Muscatine, Iowa to Germany in 1996:

“For the last six months, I have been residing in the city of Cologne, Germany, on the picturesque
Rhine River. I feel honor bound to express not only my thanks, but also the thanks of all those who
have benefited from your selflessness. The efforts of Rotary have allowed me to do many things and
see many places during my stay here.

I prefer to think of myself as a tool in the hands of humanity. We may not notice a change on the
global scale right away, but we cannot fail to influence the world in some way.

Engineers assigned to build the first bridge across Niagara Falls were at a loss as to how to begin.
There were no helicopters to fly cables across the rapids. They nearly wrote off the project as
impossible. Impossible that is, until they noticed a young boy flying a kite across the river. Then
the problem was solved. The engineers used a kite string as the first cable, slowly but surely
attaching larger and larger ones across the river until a bridge could be built. Today the results
are undeniable. People now cross the bridge without a second thought.

What an honor and responsibility to be that kite string. The world that we live in already has a few
connections, but the more we forge, the easier it will be to bridge the gaps between us. I just want
to thank the Rotary Club of Muscatine, Iowa, for allowing me the privilege of serving as a kite
string to the world.”


                  A Motto By An Exchange Student:
                  I have a little motto I always have close by,
            It comes in very handy on the days my sun won‘t shine.

                      Being here in this far away land,
          I sometimes get this wish to have my family close at hand.

                     The first months were so hard for me.
       I couldn‘t understand the language and there was so much to see.

              The months have quickly gone and now it is routine.
          I force myself each day to dig for new and exciting things.

                      I started on the right foot here -
               Now so much is expected I sometimes am in fear.

              People don't seem to realize I'm just a human being.
       I have faults like everyone else - but they say seeing is believing.

                     I always keep a smile upon my face
                And keep my schedule going at a real fast pace.

                    I get involved with all sorts of people
                  And find myself eating even if I'm not able.

                   "Carry your burdens with a smile," I say.
                        For me there is no other way.

                        A smile brightens up my day
                  As well as the people I pass along the way.

                     So when my stomach's tied in knots,
                     I smile a smile worth 10,000 watts.

                      The brightness beams to all around
          And it gives me the strength to stand firmly on the ground.

                     So "carry your burdens with a smile" -
    I have and it‘s made being an exchange student all the more worthwhile.

                      Guidelines for Youth Exchange Emergencies

Although they are rare, unfortunate emergency situations do occasionally arise during Youth
Exchange activities. Preparation for any possibility is an essential part of a Youth Exchange
program. How the exchangee‘s family and the media perceive that the emergency was handled
will have a direct impact on the program. The following guidelines outline how to prepare in
advance for a possible emergency, the individuals to contact should an emergency occur, and the
steps to follow during an emergency.

Each Rotary club hosting a Youth Exchange student should have a small committee to help share
the work in the event of a tragedy. Suggested committee members are the host parents, the club
Youth Exchange chairperson, the club counselor, and the club president.

Tips for emergency preparedness

• The club counselor should keep the student‘s passport and airline ticket readily available at all
times. Store these items in a safe place so that they can be accessed 24 hours a day if necessary.

• The district chairperson should have copies of the airline ticket and passport should the student
be traveling or in case the student‘s documents are not accessible through the club counselor.

• The district Youth Exchange officer should obtain consent from the student‘s parents or legal
guardians to reissue a student‘s passport in the case it is lost, stolen, or inaccessible at time of

• The district Youth Exchange chairperson should share with the sponsoring Youth Exchange
Officer the student‘s itinerary and know who will meet the student at the airport upon arrival.

• The sponsoring club should outline who (e.g., club, district, student‘s parents, a combination of
sources) will pay for the student to return to finish the exchange after being evacuated in the case
of political or civil unrest.

• The Rotarian counselor and current host family should know details regarding all of the
exchangee’s travel plans and should ascertain that these travel plans have been approved by the
natural parents/legal guardians of the exchangee, especially if the exchangee is traveling to
another city or country during the exchange.

• The exchangee‘s parents should issue a written authorization letter (or powers of attorney)
naming the host Rotarian counselor, host families, and another Rotarian of the host/receiving
club (preferably the host club president), any of whom is to act for the parent in the event of
injury or death. This is very important because most government departments and local
authorities require it. Some districts have the parents/legal guardians sign a number of parental
consent forms separate from the application form to ensure that each host family and counselor
has a copy of the form.

The letter mentioned above should also authorize the incurring of:

• Funeral expenses (cost of claiming body, embalming, casket, compliance with legal and
government fees, and transportation of casket/body, cremation cost, etc.) to be reimbursed from
the insurance policy;

• Expenses of authorized persons (Rotarian counselor and/or host parent) to act on behalf of
parent (transportation and hotel charges for travel to place of accident, etc.), to be reimbursed
from the insurance policy. The handling of expenses is important as not every host club can
afford to incur such immediate expenses. The ability of the club or district to handle immediate
costs can prevent a tragic situation from becoming worse and increasing the agony and anguish
of the student‘s parents. The host Rotarian is committed to treat the exchangee as though he/she
is his or her own child and will do everything a natural parent would do. However, if a host
Rotarian has to spend a substantial amount of money for immediate needs, other Rotarians may
be discouraged from becoming host parents and counselors in the future.

It is therefore recommended that either the host Rotary club or the host Rotary district establish
an emergency fund to cover immediate expenses in the event of a tragedy. The insurance money
received will reimburse this fund. Many hosting districts require the students to have an
emergency fund to assist in the event of an emergency.

When a tragic event occurs, things need to be done quickly. Tasks should be assigned to the
various members of the club/district emergency committee. The following people need to be
informed immediately:

• Parents/Legal guardians. (In case of death, obtain clear instruction concerning burial, cremation
or return of body. Also ask about memorial service. Consideration must be given to the religion
of the deceased.)

• Host family, club counselor, and district Youth Exchange chairpersons.

• Host district governor and the governor of the sponsoring district.

• Host Rotary club, for assistance and guidance.*

• Insurance company (and remember to follow up).

• Embassy Officer, to obtain his/her advice.

Procedures to follow when the death of an exchangee occurs:

• Ascertain that the deceased is the exchangee.

• Contact all of the above individuals.

• Check with local police for local regulations and obtain a copy of the police report. Reclaim the
deceased‘s possessions, especially the passport.

• Check with the local hospital and mortuary for the claiming of the body and regarding an
autopsy. Obtain the death certificate.

• Contact a local undertaker and embalmer. Ensure that the embalmer possesses an
internationally recognized practice license so that the embalmed body may cross national
borders. (This is to prevent the spread of disease.) Obtain the embalmer‘s certificate. Order a
suitable casket and arrange transportation to exchangee‘s home country, or arrange for burial or
cremation, according to the parents‘ wishes.

• Obtain the ―sealing certificate.‖ For the casket to cross national borders, the inside must be
metal-lined and sealed. Sealing must be officially witnessed, to prevent smuggling. In order for a
sealed casket to leave the country, an export permit is required. For the sealed casket to enter the
exchangee‘s home country, an import permit is required. An established undertaker should be
able to deal with these matters. The embassy can assist in obtaining the two permits.

• Appoint a reputable air-transport agent to airlift the casket to the exchangee‘s home country.
This is to ensure that all connecting flights are correctly scheduled without risk of the casket
being accidentally off-loaded at an intermediate airport. The arrival flight details should be
correctly passed to the deceased‘s parents so that they can make arrangements to receive the
casket. Give copies of the death certificate, embalming certificate, casket sealing certificate,
import and export permits, and passport to the transport company and must accompany the
casket on the airplane.

• Hold a memorial service for the exchangee.

Remember to write a complete report to your district governor. Send copies to Rotary
International and to the exchangee‟s home district and Rotary club.

* If accident occurs away from the host area, you may want to contact a local Rotary club for
assistance and guidance.

                        Suggestions for the Exchange Student:

Prior to Departure:
 Write to companies and local, state, and federal government agencies for pins, flags, maps,
   etc., of your home country.
 Obtain banners from your sponsor Rotary club.
 Attend a club meeting of your sponsor Rotary club.
 Prepare a power point presentation of your home, school, family and friends to take with you
   on your exchange.
 Learn as much as possible about your host country before you go (customs, currency,
   climate, voltage requirements, geography, government, history, language, etc.).
 Write to your host family, counselor, and club before you go.
 Send articles to your school and local newspapers to tell them about your upcoming trip.
 Review political situations, industries and populations in your home country and community
   before you depart (for example, take a tour of a local industrial plant, business, newspaper,
   radio station, law-enforcement agency, etc.).
 Make a list of goals or things you want to accomplish during your exchange experience.
 Bring thank-you notes with a picture of the scenery, of your home state, or a national
   monument. Rotarians who take you places will appreciate your thank-you notes, and they
   are a nice souvenir to remind them of you and your country.
 Bring a few native gifts for your host families. Make sure that you choose items that are
   non-breakable and can pack easily (perhaps tea towels, pins, or a calendar).
 Bring an address book. Have ―business‖ cards printed with your picture to give to all of the
   friends you meet while on your exchange.
 Get in touch with former Youth Exchange students or community members who have lived
   in your host country. Discuss with them what you need to bring, things you may wish to see,
   and other relevant issues.
 Make two copies of your signed passport, of your plane tickets, and insurance cards. Take
   one copy with you (keep it separate from the originals) and leave the other copy at home with
   your parents. If either document is lost or stolen, the photocopy will assist you in replacing
   the item.
 Make a list of everything that you put in your suitcase. Keep this in your carry-on bag. This
   will help you if your bag is lost or stolen en route.
 Take a picture of your luggage and carry the picture with you.
 Put unique identification marks or tags on all your luggage. Many bags look alike.
 If you wear glasses, bring an extra pair. If you wear contacts, bring glasses and your
 Bring a camera and some extra film. Make sure your name is on your camera and camera
   case in a way that it can not be removed.

Are you really ready to go?
 Do you have your passport and visa?
 Have you made your travel arrangements?
 Have you corresponded with your host club and host family?
 Have you made any language preparations? Do you have a bilingual dictionary and
    language tape? Can you introduce yourself in your new language?
 Have you prepared your power point and/or photos for presentation? Take 20 or 30 good
    pictures of yourself, your family, school, local sights, etc. Have you rehearsed your
 How are your parents going to send you money? Do you know the exchange rate?
    How will you handle initial homesickness and loneliness?
    What gifts will you take for your host families and people who become special to you?
    Do you have your ―business‖ cards and thank-you notes?
    What questions are you going to ask of your host family upon arrival? Do you have your
     ―Sample Questions to Ask your Host Family‖?
   Do you have your sponsoring club banners?
   Have you done your homework on your new country – its‘ history, geography, politics,
   Have you made all your insurance arrangements? Have your parents signed the necessary
    release forms?

On the flight:
 Put a toothbrush and other toiletries in your carry-on bag. Do not pack any prescription
   medication in the event that your luggage gets lost. Carry it with you.
 Bring your blazer on the airplane with you and wear it in the airport when you arrive and
   when being picked up by your host family. (It will allow you to be easily identified.)
 Do not let strangers carry your bags. Keep your carry-on luggage with you at all times.
 Bring a book to read and a variety of activities (e.g., a crossword puzzle, cards).
 Drink plenty of liquids (juice or water rather than caffeinated beverages) on the plane so you
   do not become dehydrated.
 Get up and walk around to keep your circulation going. Do not disturb those passengers
   around you.
 Bring a small amount of money with you so that you can exchange currencies in any airport
   where you have a connection. You may want to buy something to eat or drink in the airport.
   In addition, you may need money for transportation once you get to your host country. It‘s
   also a good idea to bring traveler‘s checks and credit cards instead of a lot of cash.

During your exchange
 When you arrive, give your passport and airline ticket to your counselor or host family to
   keep in a safe place. Make sure that they put it somewhere where it can be accessed 24 hours
   a day in case of an emergency.
 Keep a copy of your health insurance policy with you at all times in case a medical
   emergency should arise unexpectedly.
 Learn the language of your host country to the best of your ability. This will help with your
   transition and impress your hosts. If the hosts want to learn your native language, set aside
   some time to help them but speak your native language as little as possible otherwise.
 Work hard to be a good student.
 Get involved in local and school activities. Continue with activities you participate in at
   home and try new ones!
 Be polite and say thank you.
 Smile.
 Try new things. This is your chance to experience the culture of another country.
 Learn to listen and observe. Do your best to adapt to life with your host family.
 Help with household chores as needed.
 If you are not sure about something, ask – and listen to the answer.
 Keep a travel diary and include souvenirs so that you will be able to share your time abroad
   with family and friends at home.
 Get involved with your host Rotary club. Think of ways to meet all of the Rotarians in the
 Participate in Rotary club projects.
   Write to your sponsor Rotary club. Rotarians gave you this opportunity and they would love
    to hear how much you are enjoying the experience.
   Try all foods offered to you.
   Be flexible and adapt to your new environment.

After your exchange
 Keep in touch with the friends you met abroad.
 Be patient and realize that it will take time for you to readjust to returning home.
 Share your experiences with your family and friends.
 If possible, contact people in your community who were born or lived in your host country.
   This will enable you to maintain your newly acquired linguistic skill and reflect on your
 Give a presentation to the Rotary club that sponsored you, sharing all the highlights of your
 Stay active with your district‘s Youth Exchange program. Help with the interviewing,
   selection, and recruitment of students.
 Join an exchange student alumni group or ROTEX group if available.
 Join an Interact club or a Rotaract club or attend a RYLA camp.
 Continue to promote international understanding and goodwill.
 Write to your host families, counselor, and host Rotary club to thank them for their support
   during your year.
Keep in touch with your sponsor club. They will be interested to hear from you even years from

                                   MORE FROM DENNIS WHITE

Most of us have a fairly good idea of what culture is, at least in terms of differences in customs,
language, food and clothing. And most of us have a fairly good idea of what values are –
concepts like honesty, fairness and the common good – ideals set forth in Rotary‘s own Four
Way Test. However, we start to get in trouble when we begin to talk about cultural values –
because it not unusual for people to assume that most, if not all values are universal. And even if
they don‘t think the values are universal, they think that their values are the correct ones. In
reality, values vary considerably from culture to culture. And since values are the basis of much
of our behavior, understanding those differences in values can go a long way toward explaining
what otherwise seems like strange and often completely irrational behavior.

But learning to genuinely understand another culture is really very difficult. And we usually see
and hear what we expect to see and hear, even if we are mistaken. Sometimes it takes a lot of
work to see it another way. But that‘s what happens metaphorically, when we begin to ―see‖
another culture for what it is. If we are looking at what we think is familiar, we may never see
the real differences that are so important.

When we speak of culture, we are talking about an integrated pattern of thoughts, feelings and
behaviors shared by a group of people. These patterns are usually very logical and consistent
when viewed from the inside, although they often appear illogical and inconsistent when viewed
from the outside. And the thoughts and feelings beneath the behaviors are often unspoken,
unseen, and unconscious. Behavior may be seen as the tip of the cultural iceberg, representing
only about 1/8th of what is there. The bulk of the cultural iceberg, 7/8ths, is beneath the surface.
It is often difficult to understand the behavior exhibited in another culture, even when we can see
it. It is even more difficult to understand the hidden values - that underlie them. And since there
are at least two hundred recognized sovereign nations on earth, and over two thousand
identifiable ethnic cultural groups, there is still plenty of opportunity for misunderstanding, both
between nations, and among cultures within nations.

We have all had encounters where we misinterpreted or otherwise misunderstood culture-based
behavior, especially if we thought it was familiar. In the United States, the ―thumbs up‖ gesture
is a sign that everything is OK. But in much of the world, it is actually an obscene gesture of
contempt, equivalent to ―giving the finger‖ in the US. I was in Iran in the American Peace Corps
when the American astronauts were landing on the moon. They would gesture that everything
was ok with the thumbs up. Imagine, in newsreels, Neil Armstrong getting out of a space
capsule and instead of doing a thumbs up, giving the finger to everyone!

This spring, talking to a Youth Exchange orientation in Illinois, I heard a modern update to this
story. A middle school teacher was helping her students study the ongoing conflict in Iraq. She
had explained the meaning of this gesture to her students, as they watched American troops
moving through a street crowded with Iraqis, doing the thumbs up. She explained that the
gestures might not be as friendly and welcoming as the soldiers thought. A few minutes after
explaining this, the middle school principal dropped in the classroom. Her students
enthusiastically greeted the principal with a room full of thumbs up gestures!

Simple mistakes in language can cause misunderstanding too. The Swedish manufacturer of the
vacuum cleaner Electrolux was starting a new advertising campaign in the US. Now the word
―suck‖ has several meanings in America. One meaning is to draw air or water through a
vacuum, which is how a vacuum cleaner cleans the dirt from a carpet. But the word is also used

in contemporary America to mean ―terrible, awful or disgusting‖. The slogan they came up with
was ―Nothing sucks like Electrolux‖! That ad didn‘t last very long.

When we do make the inevitable mistakes that happen when we cross cultures, it certainly helps
if we have a sense of humor. When President Kennedy and his wife Jackie visited Mexico,
Kennedy admired a beautiful watch that the president of Mexico was wearing. Now in some
countries it is customary if someone compliments a possession that you have, for you to offer it
as a gift to the person making the complement. As the president was offering the watch to
President Kennedy, one of Kennedy‘s aids explained the custom. So President Kennedy, trying
to be culturally sensitive, graciously accepted the watch. Later, the president of Mexico
commented to President Kennedy on how beautiful he thought Mrs. Kennedy was (pause)….
Without any hesitation, President Kennedy said, ―Mr. President, please take your watch back‖.

There can be much more difficult and serious misunderstandings at the level of attitudes and
beliefs. This is due to the basic phenomenon of ethno centrism. This is the tendency for ALL
cultures to see their own practices, beliefs and values as the correct way, sometimes the only way
to view reality. An ethno relative view of the world is more difficult and complicated, but it is
the only effective way to confront the very real differences that exist among people. Ethno
relativism is the acquired ability to see the validity of other cultures, even if we strongly disagree
with them. Ethno relativism says that we don‘t have to all be alike or agree in order to get along.
Consider this statement from Canadian anthropologist Wade Davis, who puts it rather bluntly,
but eloquently when he says, ―The world in which you were born is just one model of reality.
Other cultures are not failed attempts at being like you. They are unique manifestations of the
human spirit‖. And yet, the almost instinctive tendency to view the world ethnocentrically is
difficult for some people to give up.

Having our ethnocentrism confronted can at times be humorous. When Mahatma Ghandi was in
England, reporters asked him what he thought of Western Civilization. His reply, ―I think it
would be a good idea‖. It is not unusual for an American student to ask an Italian exchange
student if they have pizza in Italy! There is a supposedly true story about a statement made by
President George Bush. I don‘t know for sure if it is true, but I won‘t let the truth get in the way
of a good story. At one point when the president was being critical of France, for, among other
things, what he considered to be their lack of competitive spirit in business, he is reported to
have said, ―The trouble with the French is - they just don‘t have a word for entrepreneur‖.

How do different cultures develop so many fundamentally different values? All cultures must
answer five basic questions:
 1. What is Human Nature?
 2. How Do Humans Relate to the Environment?
 3. What is the Time Focus of Human Activity?
 4. What is the Nature of Human Activity?
5. How Do Humans Relate to One Another?

All cultures answer these questions, but we don‘t all answer them in the same way. And
depending on the particular combinations of answers, we get some very specific cultural values
and resulting behaviors. Some of these values can best be understood by viewing them from
opposite poles. For example, Individualism vs. group orientation, Formality vs. informality, Past
orientation vs. future orientation, Directness vs. indirectness and Change vs. permanence, to
mention just a few.

Let‘s look more closely at a few examples. Take change vs. permanence. In the United States,
change is almost always considered good. For many years, General Electric had as its slogan,
―Progress is our most important product‖. If something is new, it is the same thing as saying it is
better. Contrast this with much of the Muslim world. There is an Islamic proverb that says,
―Better 1000 years of tyranny than one day of chaos‖. When Saudi Arabia was celebrating an
anniversary of its founding, it had as a slogan,―60 years of progress … without change‖.

We can also look at Individualism vs. group orientation. In the United States, we talk a lot about
family values, but we almost always are referring to the nuclear family, a mother, a father, and
dependent children. When children grow up, they leave the ―nest‖ and often move hundreds of
miles away. We don‘t pay very much attention to extended family relationships, beyond perhaps
a first cousin. The individual is the main focus of activity, achievement and attention. In other
cultures, extended family relationships are much more important, and the language is much more
specific. In Iranian Farsi, one phrase tells me that someone is my father‘s, brother‘s oldest son.
Americans would just call him a cousin.

 In any culture, people say they value family. So that may seem to be universal. But, let‘s do a
little survey. How many Americans have pictures of their children in their wallets, in their
purses or on their desks at work? Now, how many of those same people have pictures of their
parents or grandparents in those same places? Not many. If you went to an office in China,
there would be photos of parents and grandparents in the places Americans have photos of their
children. So both cultures may use the word ―family‖, but they may not be referring to the same
thing at all.

Now, let‘s complicate things even more. Look at attitudes toward change versus permanence
and then combine them with family, ethnic and religious loyalties. Americans and many other
westerners are baffled by factionalism in the Middle East. But in much of the middleeast, loyalty
is not to the abstract idea of a nation. It is more often to a regional, ethnic, religious or even
extended family entity that has remained unchanged through literally thousands of years of
occupation, empires and dictatorships. We had a Fulbright exchange teacher from Jordan in our
local school last year, and she explained that basically, her entire city is one big family clan.
Everybody is related to everybody else. So we have a culture that both values permanence and is
loyal to family, as are many Middle-eastern cultures. As change threatens their stability, they are
more likely to turn inward to their clan than to extend themselves to an abstract concept like
―nation‖. And they will lay low and wait until whatever political entity changes, to be replaced
by yet another one to which they will have limited loyalty. Cultivating democracy and western
nation-states in such an environment is a formidable task.

Another values dichotomy is formality vs. informality. In many cultures, more formal dress,
speech and the use of last names and titles are preferred. In the United States, on the other hand,
informality is carried to its extreme. We are so informal that it is almost impossible to shock
Americans with more informality than they are already comfortable with. But I think I have
found a way! Actually it just gives an illustration of how people from other cultures can be
shocked by our informality. When many foreigners in the USA are addressed by their first
names, or when their hosts insist that the foreigners call them by their first names, they are
extremely uncomfortable. It would be the equivalent of me asking you, to call me sweetie pie.
Even the Americans in the audience would probably be uncomfortable with that … or at least I
hope they would! Why? Because we don‘t know one another well enough for such intimate
terms. Some of us assume that everyone would be more comfortable if they are informal. In
reality, in many cultures, people are much more comfortable with formality.

Let‘s look at one more example – Directness vs. Indirectness. In many countries, indirectness
has been developed as an art form to maintain social standing and harmony – or what is often
called ―saving face‖. (A foreigner studying Japanese culture once wrote an article called ―30
ways to say ‗no‘ without saying no‖.) Polite saving face is a value in many other cultures, and
someone from a direct culture will be lost, confused and frustrated with this value. Consider the
case of an Ecuadorian host mom and an American exchange daughter. The daughter says ―I
would like to go with my friends to a movie tonight‖. The host mother says, ―I hope you have a
good time‖. The American daughter‘s reaction: ―It must be ok‖. Months later when informed
that her host mother didn‘t really approve of her going out so often, she said, ―But she didn‘t say
no. If she didn‘t want me to go, she should have said so‖.

What did she miss? There were clues. For one thing, the mother never said yes. Did she notice
what the other Ecuadorian teenagers were doing? (Actually, she had noticed, but didn‘t
understand – as she commented to her real mother when the family visited her later in the year.
She said to her mother– ―These Ecuadorian teenagers stay home with their families all the
time‖). Did she ask other Ecuadorians what the usual customs for teenagers going out would be?
Did she consider having someone else ask the mother indirectly to let her know how she was
doing? None of these options would come naturally to the American girl. It would be like trying
to write her name with her opposite hand. She could do it if she had to, if she thought carefully
about it. But she certainly wouldn‘t do it unless she thought about it. But if she did what came
naturally, she would do exactly what she did.

These are but a very few examples of the kinds of values that underlie cultural differences. We
could come up with hundreds of other examples, and I hope you will share yours with me. Many
of us have examples of exchange students encountering these cultural differences. I know that
we also experience them as YEOs as well. When we struggle with issues like insurance and
abuse policies, just two examples, I think differences in cultural values are often at the heart of
the problem. Keep in mind, that whenever these differences are pointed out, most people are
shocked to hear that everyone does not view the world as they do, and they are even more
dismayed to find that the values they cherish so much are seen as being negative by others.
Consider this encounter in a play by Tom Stoppard: One British character who has spent some
time in America is explaining Americans to a fellow countryman.

 He says:
―Americans are a very patriotic people. They are very open and they wear their hearts on their
sleeves. They don‘t stand on ceremony. They take people as they are. They make no distinction
about a person‘s background. They say what they mean, with real forcefulness. They invite you
to visit them in their homes from the moment they meet you. They are irrepressible, good-
humored, ambitious and brimming with self-confidence in any company.
Aside from all that, I have nothing against them.‖ (From Dirty Linen and The New-Found-

Whenever I do training on the topic of developing intercultural sensitivity, to Youth Exchange
programs around the country, and in other parts of the world, or to educators, businesses and
other organizations, they are actually quite eager to hear this kind of message. When I started
making similar presentations to Rotary District Governor‘s conferences, I was initially concerned
that they might be much more defensive and not as accepting as the normal Youth Exchange
audience. But I was wrong, and I had to confront my own inaccurate stereotypes about the lack
of international concern among Rotarians in general. They can laugh with good humor at a
description like the one from Tom Stoppard, and they can learn to think from an ethno relative
point of view.
I have a story that illustrates successful ethno relative thinking in an exchange. An American
exchange student was spending her first evening with her new host family in Germany. They all
spoke English quite well, so language was not a critical barrier. She decided to try to adapt to
what she thought she knew about German culture. Normally, in America she would ―break the
ice‖ with small talk – talking about herself, her likes and dislikes in movies, music, fashion, and
asking the same of her hosts. Instead, she had been told that Germans often prefer to use topics
such as politics or religion to get to know someone. This would be very risky opening
conversation in America. But she took a risk, and asked her hosts what they thought about the
continuing American presence in Iraq, ready to retreat at the first sign of danger. Well, the
family responded immediately with lively discussion, with a wide range of opinions on many
different topics, all with enthusiasm. Actually, she didn‘t say much, other than to keep asking
them questions and acknowledging what they said. At the end of the evening, after the student
had gone to bed, the host parents commented to one another that this American didn‘t seem as
superficial as others they had encountered. For them, discussing these topics is how to get to
know someone. Good outbound preparation. Good exchange student.

Among the lessons from this example are: First, when in another culture, do not assume that your
cultural values are shared by the people you are dealing with. Second, to understand the
differences we might encounter, we need to be more aware of our own cultural values. Third, if
you want to adapt and succeed in another culture, it will require taking some risks and trying
some behaviors that do not feel natural or comfortable. The student successfully focused on
cultural differences instead of similarities, and was quite successful doing so. If she had done
what was comfortable, by just ―being herself‖ she would not have been nearly as successful.
Fourth, what is the best advice to give exchange students? It is not to ―just be yourself‖. Instead,
I tell them to be like Mickey Mouse. Why? He has big ears to listen carefully, big eyes to see
ever thing, and a fairly small mouth that doesn‘t say much, at least at first. Better than
memorizing a long list of dos and don‘ts, I just say, when crossing cultures, be like Mickey

There is a story told about a Japanese interpreter, assisting an American businessman in Japan.
Americans have a habit of starting speeches with some sort of a joke, as a way of showing their
informality, and their ability to be ―just one of the fellows‖, two very strong American cultural
values. These values are not particularly important in Japan. But he told the joke. The Japanese
audience did not understand why the American was bothering to tell the joke and the interpreter
knew that the joke did not make any sense in the Japanese culture. When it came to the ―punch
line‖ the Japanese audience just sat there politely staring, but certainly not laughing. After the
speech, the businessman, who really liked this joke, explained it to the interpreter, convinced that
if he could just translate it properly, it would be a success.

True to his cultural values of non-confrontation and saving face, the interpreter simply smiled
and promised that he would try to do better next time. Finally, at the end of the trip, the
interpreter tried a different approach. When the American started the joke, the interpreter said:
―This American is now beginning to tell a joke. It is a peculiar custom they have at business
meetings. Please smile attentively. In a moment, he will come to the conclusion of the joke,
where you are expected to laugh. OK, you should laugh politely – now.‖ And they did. Well, the
American was thrilled. After the speech, he repeatedly complimented the interpreter saying, ―I
knew that joke was funny, you just had to know how to tell it right!‖

Of all the groups that I work with in Youth Exchange, I have the greatest emotional attachment
to the Rebounds. I would like to close by talking about them. They represent the immediate
outcome of all of our hard work. They demonstrate the incredible growth produced during an
exchange year, but they also embody the often conflicting emotions that go with that experience.
They love their native countries in ways they never before imagined, but they also now love at
least one other country almost as much. They are not quite ready to relinquish their exchange
student status, and they have trouble explaining it all to anyone who might be interested.

Each of you in this room personally knows Rebound students like this. I have one in my family.
She was the student I referred to in my story about Ecuador. I would like you to keep those
students you know in mind as I recite a poem. Imagine your students, with their thoughts and
hearts in two different places at one time. The poem is called ―Finlandia‖, but I like to call it
―The Rebound Prayer‖. It expresses the essence of ethno relativism:

This is my prayer, oh God of all the nations, a prayer of peace for lands afar and mine, This is
my home, the country where my heart lies; here lie my hopes, my dreams like stars that shine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating, with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine. My
country‘s skies are bluer than the ocean, and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine, But other
lands have sunlight too, and clover- and skies are everywhere as blue as mine. Oh hear my
prayer, oh God of all the nations, a prayer of peace, for their lands, and for mine.

My fellow Youth Exchange Officers and guests from around the world – let‘s keep doing youth
exchange. Let‘s overcome whatever obstacles we face, so that we can make youth exchange
bigger and better than ever. As we continue to do our work, never forget this – what we do in
youth exchange is helping to bring peace – for all of your lands and for mine.

                IT TAKES TIME
             TO KNOW A COUNTRY

              It takes time to know a country
                    Time to see the land,
                  Time to meet the people,
                   And time to understand.

               Time to know your neighbor
                    On the other side,
                  Time to learn to labor
               In the vineyard of his pride.

               Time to watch the reaping,
              Tell the wheat from the chaff,
                Find the reaper weeping,
             And learn what makes him laugh.

             For the great road we're walking
                Has many a pit and bend,
               And who can tell for certain
              Just where the road will end?

                 We know it's full of danger
                   So walk it hand in hand.
              It takes time to know a country
                   And time to understand.

     -James W. Symington
     "The Stately Game"


Speaking to community groups is one of the most effective ways to promote the ideas of Youth
Exchange. You get exposure to large groups of people and project the image of "expert" in your
field. It is difficult to take full advantage of this marketing opportunity, however, if you are one
of the millions of people who find speaking before a group an experience even more terrifying
than going to the dentist.

If the last time you got up before a group you felt butterflies as big as birds in the pit of your
stomach, an anvil weighing down your chest, a tourniquet around your neck and a mouth full of
hot cotton, take heart. You can learn a few simple techniques that can help you build an
admirable reputation as an interesting and entertaining speaker in your community. Thorough
preparation can reduce your anxiety, compensate for lack of talent and ensure that your speech
will be a success.


As a general rule, plan on spending twice or three times as much time preparing your speech as
you do delivering it.

Begin by selecting a topic. Make sure your subject is related to your field of expertise, but don't
just stick to the same old ―rah! rah! America line‖. Try and find an interesting angle to these
subjects or a new innovation that may interest your audience.

Once you have picked a subject, organize your talk in three sections: the opening, the body, and
the conclusion. Using this format, you will; (1) tell the audience what you are going to tell them,
(2) tell them, (3) and then tell them what you told them.


Your opening should gain the audience's attention. Do this by using a dramatic gesture, a
startling statement or statistic, a compelling quotation or a challenge to your audience.

The first thing you say to the group is critical to your ability to hold their attention for the rest of
your speech. A good opening line gives your audience a reason to want to stay with you. Don't
blow this opportunity to capture your audience by starting off with a self-conscious apology-
"Unaccustomed as I am to speaking...." Once you have gained the attention of your group, give
them a quick preview of your subject, and then move into the body of your speech.


As you prepare the body of your speech, look for ways you can involve your audience with the
information you are presenting to them. Ask questions; refer to a member of the group whom
you know, use audiences volunteer. The people you are addressing can participate in a wide
variety of ways as long as they have fun and you don't embarrass them!

Make sure also that your talk flows in a logical sequence and each idea builds onto the idea
before it. Smooth transitional words and phrases should bridge the audience from one thought to
the next.


The close of your talk should draw a conclusion, tie your information together, and wrap things

Remember that a good speech has a definite beginning and a definite ending-the two shouldn't be
too far apart! Know how much time you have to make your presentation and stick to it. There is
almost never a good excuse for going too long. Beginning speakers are usually worried about
not having enough to say, but once they get started, they tend to run on. Practice until you can
gauge your speaking time to within a few minutes.

You can prepare your speech by either writing it out word for word or just writing key phrases.
Either way you should have a clear, almost word-for-word idea of what you plan to say. Do not
bring a prepared text and read to your audience. If you must use notes, bring small cards on
which you have written key words and phrases that will move you along from one major point to
the next. Whether you use notes or not, don't expect to memorize your speech. Memorization
has its own problems and usually guarantees a dull delivery. The best preparation is simply
familiarizing yourself with your material to the extent that you're confident about what you're
going to say in each section of the talk.

Another important part of preparation is to know your audience. What are their ages, sex, and
level of education and common interest? Find out if you are their first Youth Exchange speaker,
and if not, make sure you don't duplicate you predecessor's topic.


The best way to practice delivering your speech is to use a tape recorder. Even an inexpensive
recorder will reproduce the sound of your voice very well. Say your entire speech into the
recorder and then play it back in order to check your voice for speed, clarity and volume. Listen
to see if you sound as if you are enjoying yourself. Your voice should be pleasant and have
some variety in tone, volume, and rate. Avoid a monotone! Most people have great vocal
variety in their natural speaking voice, but for some reason, they lose it when giving a speech.
Especially if they are reading from a prepared text!

Your rate of speaking may be hardest to change. Generally, your family background and your
region of country determine how fast you talk. If you are too fast, you can be hard to understand,
too slow and you may become boring. The best speakers tend to have a rapid rate, with great
vocal variety.

Clarity and volume will be affected by your posture. Stand straight, head up, and speak out to
your audience. If you are speaking with an amplification system, be sure you are familiar with
the microphone before you start.


Listen to your recording and check to make sure you say each word clearly. Like many people,
you may have acquired some poor speech habits, like dropping word endings, and a recording
may be the only way you can catch yourself. Frequent use of filler words and syllables like "uh,"
"well" and "you know" are another speech habit your recording will reveal.

Gestures and eye contact also are important to effective delivery. Good gestures are natural and
appropriate to their context, they should add to the speech, not detract from it. If you use a
lectern, avoid leaning on it for support, swaying or rocking back and forth.


To achieve optimum eye contact, really look at your audience. Don't just sweep them with your
eyes, or dart from one person to another, look at individuals as you speak. Eye contact
establishes rapport with the group and increases audience involvement. This is another reason
not to read a speech. You can't read and look at your audience at the same time.


Visual aids can greatly enhance your talk. If you plan to use a visual aid, practice with it
beforehand. One slide in backwards can cause your audience to lose interest. Make sure your
visual aids are clear and professional.

A chart that can't be read, slides that are out of order or upside down, a "stick figure" drawing, or
getting lost in your visuals when you're in mid-sentence conveys to your audience an impression
of incompetence that can seriously undermine your professional image.


Humor is an excellent way to keep the attention of an audience, but it must be used carefully. If
you generally aren't a funny person, if you have a hard time telling jokes and getting a laugh,
then don't try to force humor into your speech. If you do use humor, it should relate to your
subject. Don't tell a joke at the beginning of your speech just because you think you should. Use
humor only if it helps you make a point.

By following a few simple guidelines, anyone can become an effective public speaker. The best
approach is to learn the basics and then practice.

If you want further training, you might consider getting involved with Toastmasters, an
international self-improvement organization that teaches people how to become good speakers.
A Dale Carnegie course also might be helpful, as would speech courses at your local community
college. Remember that as you improve you speaking skills, your self-confidence will increase.
You may not be able to eliminate the butterflies entirely, but at least you can get them flying in

Four things you should never do when speaking!
1.    Don't run overtime. In addition to becoming boring, you will demonstrate to your
      audience that you have no respect for their time.

2.    Don‘t read your speech. Your voice will likely degenerate to a monotone, and
      your opportunity for making eye contact with the audience will be greatly
      reduced. Rapport with your audience is essential for effectiveness.

3.    Don't fake an answer. If a member of your audience asks you a question, and you
      don't know the answer, admit that you don't. Offer to get more information, but
      don't try to fake it. If you're caught in your pretense, your credibility will be

4.    Don't promote yourself. Your audience is interested in what you represent, what
      you believe in. They need some biographical information about you and your
      family, but do not need to be told how wonderful you are.

                                     HOUSE RULES

     1. If you opened it, close it.

     2. If you turned it on, turn it off.

     3. If you unlocked it, lock it.

     4. If you broke it, admit it.

     5. If you cannot fix it, call someone that can.

     6. If it has value for you, take care.

     7. If you borrowed it, give it back.

     8. If you dirtied it, clean it.

     9. If you removed it, get it back.

     10. If you don't know how to use it, leave it alone

     11. If it is not broken, don't fix it.

     12. If she stands out someday, tell her!

     13. Leave things the way you found them!

                    Love In Any Language

                   The sounds are all as different
                 As the lands from which they came
                 And though our works are all unique
                    Our hearts are still the same


                  We teach the young our differences
                      Yet look how we‘re the same
                 W love to laugh, to dream our dreams
                       We know the sting of pain
                     From Lenningrad to Lexington
                        The farmer loves his land
                     And daddies all get misty eyed
                      To give their daughter‘s hand
                       Oh maybe when we realize
                       How much there is to share
        We‘ll find too much in common to pretend it isn‘t there


     Though the rhetoric of governments may keep us worlds apart,
         There‘s no misinterpreting the language of the heart

                         Chorus, three times


             Love in any language, straight from the heart
                   Pulls us all together, never apart
                    And once we learn to speak it
                        All the world will hear
                        Love in any language
                        Fluently spoken here.

               ONE WORLD... OR MANY? By Dennis White, Ph.D.

In discussing the purpose and many benefits of international exchange programs, one of the most
commonly heard assumptions is that when people from different cultures live together, they can
eventually cut through the barriers of language and custom to find that, all over the world, people
are basically alike. This has been dubbed by some the "One World" theory - the idea that
language and other cultural differences are relatively superficial, and that basically people are the

This widespread belief is one of the motivating factors for many of the thousands of people,
around the world, who dedicate countless hours of time to promoting and organizing a wide
variety of exchange programs. It is also a belief that seems to be largely validated by the
experiences of those people who see how much understanding and brotherhood are enhanced, at a
person-to-person level, by these programs. The close and lasting relationships that are developed
in exchange programs are legendary. There is probably not a person with experience in exchange
programs that do not have stories of students, host families or parents returning for weddings or
other events, years after the initial exchange.

While the "One World" theory may be a positive motivator, there are some fundamental obstacles
in it that make approaching intercultural relation from another point of view worth considering. In
fact, it may be that some of the problems in international exchange programs come from an over
emphasis on the "One World" theory. For example, most people are relatively familiar with the
concept of culture shock - the physical, emotional and intellectual disorientation that often
accompanies immersion in a totally new cultural environment. While most exchange students are
trained to expect and cope with this phenomenon and eventually get through it, many do not.
They experience what might be termed a chronic culture shock. Although there may be complex
reasons for this, and each case is unique, this never-ending shock may be in part due to being
stuck in the "One World" approach.

After adjusting to superficial differences, and after finding some common ground, some exchange
students become frustrated by differences that appear to be at a very fundamental level. They are
confronted with the new reality that, at a very basic level, different cultures may view the world
differently in how they think, what they value and how they view relationships, among other
things. When confronted with these differences, they may react by rejecting the host culture. This
may be as "mild" as never really liking it but sticking it out, or as severe as returning early. As a
part of this rejection they may either think that there is something wrong with them or wrong with
the host culture, when, in fact, it is not a question of right or wrong, good or bad, but just

Another problem that can come from this unexpected confrontation of fundamental differences is
when exchange students over-adapt to the host culture, rejecting their own culture as bad and
adopting the new as good. This is sometimes referred to as "going native." While this may appear
to be a positive adjustment, it is often only when it is time to return home that problems appear.
While they may physically return home, psychologically they feel homeless. Does this mean that
the "One World" theory is bad and must be abandoned? Not necessarily. In fact, it is almost
always the initial point of view of exchange students when they first get involved in exchange

Instead, it may be more helpful to look at the "One World" theory as an important developmental
stage, but not the final stage, in intercultural awareness and sensitivity. Instead of beginning with
the basic assumption of similarities, it may be helpful to take the approach of cultural

anthropologists and experts in intercultural communication who, instead, make a basic
assumption of differences. This means, for example, that people differ not only in language, but
that they differ in how they answer such basic questions as the character of human nature, the
relationship of humans to nature, the importance of time in human activity, the purpose of human
activity and the nature of human relationships. While all cultures address these questions, they
don't all answer them the same way.

As people grow up in their own cultures, they view the way they do things as right, natural, and
possibly the only way to respond. This is the basis of what is called ethnocentrism - the tendency
to view one's own culture as the right, natural and only way. When one encounters another
culture that is different, one then unconsciously judges that culture by one's own cultural frame of
reference. The very first encounter with the culturally different almost always provokes an
extreme ethnocentric response of defensiveness toward people of the other culture, by criticizing
or feeling superior to them.

After repeated exposure to another culture and the development of some cultural awareness, some
people move on to a position where they can no longer deny the existence of differences between
cultures, but neither can they accept the fundamental nature of those differences. This then
becomes a stage of minimization of those differences, essentially recognizing they are there but
are not as important as the basic underlying similarities between people. The "One World" theory
is an example of this. The similarities are sometimes viewed in terms of physical needs (such as,
we all have to eat, procreate and die) or in universal transcendent terms (such as we are all God's
children, or all people want and need to realize their individual potential).

While people in this stage are able to recognize and accept cultural differences, they are
uncomfortable with emphasizing those differences and resolve them by minimizing their
significance. But the resolution is still basically ethnocentric, in a more subtle way. For example,
an American exchange student preparing to go abroad might be advised, "When in doubt, just be
yourself and you'll do okay" (because people are people, and if you act "natural" others will
respond in kind). This is subtle ethnocentrism in that it assumes that one's natural self will be
automatically understandable to others, and further, that the natural self will be valued and
appreciated in another culture. In fact, being "natural" on the part of an American may be seen as
being rude and disrespectful in another culture. When similarities are seen, they are also more
commonly seen as "They are just like us ". Seldom does one hear the phrase, "We are just like

People in this "minimizing of differences" stage of cultural awareness are certainly interested in
other cultures. And many are able to participate effectively in most aspects of exchange
programs. It is just that their tendency to resolve differences in this fashion is still ethnocentric,
and thus, limits their potential for further understanding. The limiting factor is their own cultural
frame of reference. There are further potential stages of cultural sensitivity, and they almost
always come only after extended immersion in another culture, along with the development of
substantial cultural competence. As a result there is a major shift from ethnocentrism to ethno
relativism. Ethno relativism is conceptually different in that it assumes that cultures can only be
understood relative to themselves. There is no natural, right standard that can be applied to all
cultures. This assumes that one's own culture is no more central to reality than any other,
regardless of one's own preferences.

The move from ethnocentrism to ethno relativism is usually difficult, both intellectually and
emotionally. If no one culture is inherently right or wrong, but just different, many people
mistakenly conclude that they must necessarily approve of all aspects of all cultures. Although
there is no necessity of ethically agreeing with all cultures in this stage, many people believe that

is what they must do. As a result, they are often overwhelmed by this apparent dilemma, and
either move on to a more developed stage of sensitivity, or fall back to some form of

On the other hand, moving to ethno relative thinking can be liberating and exciting. One learns to
expect and look for differences, knowing that understanding those differences will help give the
new culture meaning and help make sense of it. Instead of judging another cultural practice as
bad, because it is different, one looks for differences in behavior and values and tries to
understand why they occur from the point of view of that culture.

For example, Americans tend to pride themselves on punctuality, especially in matters of
business. In trying to make a business appointment in another culture, an American might find
that his or her business counterpart arrives late, keeps them waiting, and then allows all sorts of
interruptions, other business and social events to interfere. An ethnocentric interpretation might
be that the other person isn't very businesslike, is rude, disrespectful and disorganized. An ethno
relative view might be to try to understand why those behaviors and values are present and what
they mean. It assumes that the above behavior is normal for that culture and that the person is
behaving exactly as he or she should. In that culture, it may be that time is very past or future
oriented, not present oriented. It may be that business and social life are constantly mixed, not
separated. It may be that no disrespect whatsoever has been shown, and the other person may be
behaving quite ethically, within the values of that culture.

Acceptance of these differences and trying to understand them leads to the ability to learn to
adapt to them, when operating in that culture. Adaptation then becomes another developmental
stage in ethno relativism. It is more than the adage, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do,"
because such behavior comes with an understanding of why it is important. As one might expect,
this stage takes a considerable degree of cultural competence and the time in which to develop it.
Many exchange students are just getting comfortable with this stage when their exchange year

The final stage of ethno relative awareness is an open-ended one. It usually doesn't come until an
exchange student returns to his or her own native culture for a while. It is a stage of true
integration of a multicultural point of view. The person is essentially at home and competent in at
least two cultures, often ones with radically different points of view on many basic aspects of life.
Paradoxically, the person is also not really at home in either culture. This is the comment of
countless students, even years after their return. Because they can now see their own culture from
another point of view, and because they have lived life from that point of view, they can never be
exactly as they were before. On the other hand, no matter how well they adapted to the host
culture, they know that is not completely "them" either. Without some help in understanding this
process, these returned exchange students can spend a long time only experiencing the negative
side of this cultural "no man's land".

In time, and with some help interpreting their experiences, they can come to see that they now
view their own culture more clearly, often appreciating it much more, while also being more
critical of it. They develop a sharper concept of who they are and what they stand for. At the
same time, they understand and appreciate at least one other culture that is different from theirs,
and different at some fundamental levels. They have learned to appreciate those different
behaviors and values as being just as right and valid for that culture as theirs are for their own

People with a true multi-cultural or at least bi-cultural orientation, who have integrated those
aware nesses, think not in terms of one world, but instead, of many worlds. But they are not so

concerned that these differences exist. They not only tolerate differences, they appreciate them.
They become part of an ongoing process of moving in and out of their own cultural context. Since
they are not bound by their native cultural frame of reference at all times any more, they are able
to shift, appropriately, among points of view.

When we send exchange students around the world and tell them it will be the experience of a
lifetime, we are speaking the truth. By learning to be culturally competent and by developing a
high level of cultural sensitivity, we are helping them change so much that they will never really
be the same. They can learn that people are basically alike in many ways, as in the "one world"
theory. But they can also learn to function in, and think of the world, as many very fundamentally
different cultures. They can learn to understand and value the "many worlds" of our planet.

Dennis White is a clinical and consulting psychologist, educator and a member of the Rotary
Club of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in District 6220. He is a former U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the District 6220 Rotary Youth Exchange
Program. He is a Program Consultant to District 6220 RYE as well as to the Central States Rotary
Youth Exchange Program.

He may be reached at:

Clinical & Consulting Psychology
207 S. 4th Avenue Sturgeon Bay, WI. 54235 Telephone: 920-746-1346 Fax: 920-746-1347 E-
mail: DKWHITE@itol.com

                      So You Think You're Home Again:
             Some Thoughts for Exchange Students Returning "Home"
                             By Dennis White, Ph.D.

Initial Culture Shock

Remember what it was like those first few weeks and months going abroad? It was new, exciting,
often confusing, and always changing. And while your whole year may have been exciting, it
wasn't always pleasant. You probably became irritated with, and even hostile to, your host culture
when the deeper differences between your culture and their culture became apparent. As you
began to develop real language skills, and you better understood fundamentally different cultural
values, you began the slow process of adapting. Eventually, maybe only at the end of your stay,
you began to realize how you could really fit in - adapting fairly well to your adopted culture,
while maintaining your own native cultural identity. You became bicultural. And then, just when
it was getting good, the year was over and you had to go "home".

Most people who live abroad for an extended time go through similar successive stages of culture
shock. These stages are generally recognized as being:

     1.   Initial Excitement or Euphoria
     2.   Irritability and Hostility
     3.   Slow and Gradual Adaptation
     4.   Eventual Adjustment to Biculturalism

 If your experience was anything like this, you learned that culture shock is not just adjusting to
jet lag and different food. It is an on-going process of developing increased cultural competence,
by being "shocked" by differences, adjusting to them, learning new skills and eventually
adapting. And when you prepared for going abroad, you had some expectation that you would
experience culture shock. It is not possible (or even desirable) to avoid culture shock, but at least
anticipating it made it somewhat easier -and kept you from thinking it was all your fault, or all the
new culture's fault.

Reverse Culture Shock

As you return home, you are likely to experience some very similar, but possibly surprising
reactions that are part of what is known as reverse culture shock, or re-entry shock. In the first
few weeks back, many people feel the effects of jet lag, general exhaustion from lots of changes,
fatigue from an overdose of "welcome home" parties and trying to do and see everything and
everyone at once. This flurry of activity can cause a significant degree of disorientation, making it
difficult to tell exactly what thoughts and feelings you are having.

Mixed in with all of this are two distinct and often conflicting reactions. One is the same
excitement stage as in initial culture shock. It may be very exciting to be back, to see family and
friends, to tell about your adventures and to do things you have missed for a year. If this reaction
occurs, it fairly quickly wears off, and is replaced by the second stage of culture shock -
irritability and hostility. This stage often comes much more quickly than in initial culture shock,
and can be much more severe and disturbing. It also may be the first reaction you have to coming
home, with no excitement stage at all.
There are several reasons that you may not feel excitement at all, or for very long. Remember,
when you went abroad initially:

      1.   You wanted to go.
      2.   You expected and looked forward to learning about different things.
      3.   You were warned to expect culture shock.
      4.   Though you may have been sad to leave family and friends, you knew it would not be
           forever - you knew you were coming back.

Now that you are returning at the end of your exchange year:
   1. You may not want to come home.
   2. You may expect things to be just like they were when you left (or at least that things will
        be very familiar)
   3. You may not have been sufficiently warned about reverse culture shock (or you didn't
        think it would happen to you).
   4. You may be very sad to leave friends and "family" in your host culture because you know
        there is a possibility that you may never see them again.

 If reverse culture shock is so unpleasant, why not try to avoid it? Because Reverse Culture Shock
 is impossible if your exchange year was successful. In fact, the extent to which you immersed
 yourself in your host culture, and truly adapted, is probably the best indicator of how much
 reverse culture shock you will experience. People who don't have much trouble re-adapting to
 their native culture probably didn't get very involved in their host culture. They didn't change
 much, so they don't have to readjust much.

 The Extent of Change

 If your exchange year was a success, you have changed in ways that you probably cannot
 describe, or completely understand yet. You have become a skilled world traveler. You are a
 skilled bicultural person. You can actually get along quite well, not just be a tourist, in another
 culture. You have learned to think of things differently by looking at the world from someone
 else's point of view long enough to really understand it. In a sense, you have become a citizen of
 the world, so it may be more than a little confusing to think of where "home" is. Some of these
 things will probably happen to you. You will find yourself thinking or dreaming in your new
 language. You will try to explain something to someone back home and not be able to give a
 precise translation of what you are talking about. You will talk to your parents about one of your
 host parents, calling the host parent "mom" or "dad". You will think your hometown is very
 small, or that your friends think in "small" ways.

 So don't be too surprised if your family and friends seem a bit uncomfortable with you. They
 probably are, because you aren't the same person who left them a year ago. Don't underestimate
 how much you have changed and how strange you may seem to those who knew you before. You
 may be very proud of your independence, self-confidence and internationalism. But they may see
 you as self-absorbed, critical of everything and not interested in fitting in.

 Remember that those around you may have changed as well, if not in the same ways you have. If
 you are expecting things to be the same, you will have more of a shock than if you are looking for
 changes. Your friends have had a year of growing and maturing, and your family situation may
 have changed (deaths, divorces, moves, job changes). You missed some important events in their
 lives, just as they missed some important ones in yours. Even those things that haven't really
 changed may seem quite different, because you see them differently. Though you may love your
 native country more than ever, you are also much more likely to be critical of it, and question
 common cultural practices that you took for granted before you left.

Ways to Deal with Reverse Culture Shock
The single best thing you can do is to anticipate and accept that you will experience some degree
of reverse culture shock. The worst thing you can do is to deny it, or try to avoid it. People often
try to deny it because they think there might be something wrong with them if they admit it. It is,
in fact, very normal, and you will have more problems than necessary if you try to deny it. More
than anticipating and accepting reverse culture shock, you can actually view it as a positive, if
sometimes painful, growth experience. It is, and can be, the completion of the circle of change in
an intercultural experience. I like to think of it as the third year of your exchange. The first was
the year preparing to go abroad. The second was the actual exchange. The third is the year when
you can more completely appreciate the changes you have made, the readjustment to your native
culture, and the fact that you will be bicultural for the rest of your life. In subsequent years you
will have times when you re-experience reverse culture shock, and when you feel like you just
got home again; but it will never be as shocking an experience as that first year back.

You can also help yourself by talking about your feelings as often as you can. You may wear out
lots of initially sympathetic ears doing this. You may notice that you seem to have an almost
incessant need to talk about your experiences. Your friends, especially, may get impatient with
you, so you may need to learn to be selective with whom you share your experiences. There is
often a conflicting urge to keep it all to yourself, because you think people won't understand or
don't care, or because you think that talking about it in the past tense confirms that it is over - and
you don't want to accept that. (Many students don't completely unpack for months, for the same
reason - they don't want to admit that it is over.) Of course, that's the issue - it's over and it isn't.
The experience is over, but not the memories and the impact on your life.

Sometimes it's best to find other recently returned students, or even people who have been back
for years. You can tell how this feeling lingers when exchange students, Peace Corps Volunteers
or missionaries start talking about their experiences, even if many years ago. They get excited,
they can't stop talking, and they get a glassy, far-off look on their faces. And don't underestimate
your parents as listeners. Sometimes they are the only ones who will politely listen as you tell a
story for the hundredth time. But however you do it, talk. It is in this way that you can help others
understand you, and more importantly, learn to clarify your thoughts and feelings and better
understand yourself.

You can also make things easier for yourself by trying not to make too many big decisions, unless
you absolutely have to. Don't be impatient with yourself if you have trouble making decisions.
Your goals in life may have changed. Because you have a new perspective, some of the plans you
made a year or more ago may not seem as relevant now. Remind yourself, your family and
friends that you are going through a period of adjustment; and it may take time for you to sort
things out.

Finally, don't be too concerned if the course of your reverse culture shock doesn't seem to follow
the pattern described here. Each of your experiences abroad was unique, and so will be your re-
entry. While your year abroad was probably of great value to you, you may not have had the same
emotional attachment to people that other students describe. So you may not have as much
trouble letting go of those attachments and getting on in life with new and renewed friends. Going
on to college or university is also quite different than returning to high school, and some of the
issues are different for these two situations.

Feeling "At Home"

Reverse culture shock subsides, though it never disappears. Eventually you will come to terms

with yourself and your "new" native culture, incorporating the fact that you are now a member of
another culture as well. You can learn to be at peace with true biculturalism. This is the ability to
move from cultural practice to cultural practice, with skill, as the situation calls for it. And while
you may somewhat sadly come to accept that you can never truly come "home" again, you can
learn to feel "at home" in the world at large.

Dennis White is a clinical and consulting psychologist, educator and a member of the Rotary
Club of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in District 6220. He is a former U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the District 6220 Rotary Youth Exchange
Program. He is a Program Consultant to District 6220 RYE as well as to the Central States Rotary
Youth Exchange Program.

He may be reached at:

Clinical & Consulting Psychology
207 S. 4th Avenue Sturgeon Bay, WI. 54235 Telephone: 920-746-1346 Fax: 920-746-1347 E-
mail: DKWHITE@itol.com

                      By Dennis White, Ph.D.

What is the psychological impact of living or traveling for extended periods abroad? What
happens to people when they live, work or study for an extended time in another culture? And
what are the implications for them when they come home? These are questions studied by experts
in intercultural communication who work with youth exchange programs, international
businesses, missionaries, government agencies and other groups that, increasingly, send people
overseas. Although the average person may never leave his or her native soil, it is actually
surprising how many people, from all over the world, end up spending some significant time in a
foreign culture. And almost all of us know of a family member, friend or associate who has lived
or traveled abroad, or who has hosted an exchange student or someone else from a foreign

Nevertheless, few of us understand the significance of this experience on one another, both during
the stay abroad and, some times more significantly, after the return. Most of us are at least
familiar with the term "culture shock". We may think of it as the temporary disorientation that
comes from being exposed to a different language, different customs, food, etc. What we don't
often realize is that it is usually a rather profound reaction to fairly significant other differences,
in the way people view the world, in the way they think and what they value. Tourists often
experience culture shock at a superficial level. People who actually live in another culture can
experience it as an on-going reaction and adaptation to basic differences. Culture shock usually
proceeds through fairly recognizable stages. These include:

Initial euphoria
This is the "high" feeling that usually comes with being exposed to so many new, strange and
interesting things. It doesn't really matter that we can't always understand all of it, because there
is so much to see and do. However, this is often followed by:

This is a feeling of rejection and alienation when real differences are experienced, but not
understood. People in this stage understand that things are really different, but they also can't help
feeling they are also wrong. It just doesn't feel natural to them. If people don't give up in
frustration at this stage they usually then enter a fairly long phase of:

Gradual Adjustment
In this phase people begin to learn skills that make them culturally competent, like language
fluency and putting cultural practices in the proper context. Finally, when they become skilled
enough, they enter the last phase of:

In this phase, they may not function like a native, but they can function in such a way that they fit
in relatively well to the culture in which they live. And they can move back and forth, from
culture to culture, with some ease.

People know they are in the third or fourth stages when they notice things like dreaming in the
new language, or learning an idiomatic expression in the new language that doesn't have a precise
translation into their native language. They may notice that they have overcome a natural habit
from their own culture and replaced it with a new one, such as a gesture or a way of eating food.
But perhaps the most interesting and least understood aspect of living abroad comes upon the

return home.

While most people understand and expect some sort of culture shock when going abroad, few
understand and expect that they will experience a similar reverse culture shock upon returning
home. They usually don't expect it because they assume that they already know their own culture,
so it shouldn't be strange to them. They also don't expect it because they seldom realize until they
get home just how much they themselves have changed. In fact, they usually think it is their
friends and families that have changed.

After an initial euphoric period upon return, during which everything may seem so wonderfully
normal again, there is often an uncomfortable rejection of some or all aspects of one's own
culture. Because they have learned alternate ways of doing things and viewing the world, they
may find that some of these ways seem better to them than the practices of their own native
culture. They may even become super critical of their own culture. This is the hardest period for
them, and for their friends and families, who may become very tired of having "home" judged so
negatively. They may seem "stuck up" and excessively critical. But eventually they move into a
phase of adaptation back to their own native culture, often appreciating why their country is the
way it is much more than ever before. Eventually, they can come to a stage of true biculturalism,
where they can see the world from at least two points of view, and can move back and forth in
their thinking, as the situation calls for it.

People who live for a time in another culture and return home go through some significant
psychological stressors. As a result, they are changed in ways they could never have imagined.
While the change is often difficult, they almost universally see it as positive, and extremely
broadening. And if the international experience has been successful, we expect both culture shock
and reverse culture shock to occur. They are signs that the person is being challenged and
broadened by the experience. So rather than trying to avoid these phenomena, the best preparation
is to expect them both in going abroad and upon returning. Although they generally return home
and remain loyal citizens of their own countries, participants in exchange programs and other
extended intercultural stays know that they are different. They have begun to be citizens of the
world. They have brought back a part of another culture with them, and their concept of "home"
will never be quite the same again.

Dennis White is a clinical and consulting psychologist, educator and a member of the Rotary
Club of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in District 6220. He is a former U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer
and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the District 6220 Rotary Youth Exchange
Program. He is a Program Consultant to District 6220 RYE as well as to the Central States Rotary
Youth Exchange Program.

He may be reached at:

Clinical & Consulting Psychology
207 S. 4th Avenue Sturgeon Bay, WI. 54235 Telephone: 920-746-1346 Fax: 920-746-1347 E-
mail: DKWHITE@itol.com

                                 Helpful Web Sites

News Sources:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/default.stm BBC

http://www.nytimes.com                               New York Times

http://www.cnn.com                                   CNN

U.S. Government sources

http://www.state.gov                                 U.S. State Department

http://travel.state.gov/crisis1.html                 U.S. State Department Crisis

http://www.senate.gov                                U.S. Senate Home Page

http://www.house.gov                                 U.S. House of Representatives

http://www.cdc.gov                                   U.S. Center for Disease Control

http://ins.usdoi.gov                                 U.S. Immigration and Naturalization

www.TSATravel.Tips.us                                Transportation Security Admin.

www.UnitedStatesVisas.gov                            U.S. Visa policies/consulate location

Rotary Sources:

http://www.rotary.org                                Rotary International Home Page

http://www.rotary5440.org                            District 5440 Home Page

www.bokoffkaplan.com                                 Bokoff-Kaplan Travel Services

www.culturalinsurance.com/rotary/cisibolduc.asp      CISI/Bolduc Insurance

www.yeoresources.org                                 USA/Canada Rotary Organization

www.rotaryyouthexchange.net                          Rotary Youth Exchange for

                     Cowboy Country Youth Exchange Committee
 Long-Term Chairperson                  Co-Chairperson                    Responsible Officer
      Bobbe Fitzhugh                    Beth Vandewege                       Dave Bostrom
   873 Esterbrook Road                   515 East 22nd                         P.O. Box 98
 Douglas, Wyoming 82633               Cheyenne, WY 82001                  809 S. Railway Ave.
    307-358-6457 Home                 307-638-1273 (home)              Worland, Wyoming 82401
     307-359-3311 Cell                 307-630-2441 (cell)                307-347-3227 Home
 bobbefitzhugh@gmail.com               dayfam2@msn.com                    307-347-6151 Work
      France, Belgium                  Argentina, Ecuador                  307-347-6227 Fax
                                                                           Immigration Issues
        Insurance                        CCYE Counselor                         Treasurer
      Anne Bluemel                         Kathy Majerus                  Josephine Gilpatrick
       P.O. Box 247                        2622 Pioneer                    3914 Village Drive
      1205 Elk Street               Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001            Riverton, Wyoming 82501
Kemmerer, Wyoming 83101-                307-638-0281 Home           307-856-6466 Home, Office, Fax
           0247                          307-631-7502 Cell             gilpatrick@wyoming.com
   307-877-4924 Home                    307-637-3404 Office
   307-877-4455 Office                   307-638-0281 Fax
    307-877-4457 Fax             kmajerus@traumahealingcenter.com

           Secretary                     Bill Moellenhoff                       Sonja Stump
          Terry Collins             1900 Willow Springs Way                   102 Cedar Ridge
       108 N. Bent Street          Fort Collins, Colorado 80528                 P.O. Box 830
   Powell, Wyoming 82435               970-282-3630 Home                  Thermopolis, Wy 82443
     307-754-2272 Work                 970-225-3443 Office                  307-864-5336 Home
       307-754-9577 Fax                 970-226-5036 Fax                   307-864-5688 Office
      307-254-3914 Cell                  bgmoe2@q.com                        307-921-1039 Cell
    terryc08@bresnan.net          Germany, Switzerland, Norway,              307-864-5797 Fax
    Mexico, Chile, Taiwan,              Denmark, Sweden                  sstump@directairnet.com
            Thailand                                                            Australia, Italy
         Kris Hammond                         Julie Yates               Club Compliance Liaison
        P.O. Box 772566                      215 Cajetan                        Rene Kemper
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477            Ft. Collins, CO 80524                920 South 5th Street
         970-879-0726                   970-219-9613 (cell)                Douglas, WY 82633
    hammond8@mac.com                       julie@jyates.net                307-358-4402 (work)
Brazil, Czech/Slovakia, Turkey           Event Coordinator                  307-351-0470 (cell)
  Bus Trip Coordinator                      Patrick Day                       Linda Vomaske
     Gentry Moellenhoff                   515 E. 25th Street              311 E. Magnolia Street
 1900 Willow Springs Way               Cheyenne, WY 82001                 Fort Collins, CO 80524
Fort Collins, Colorado 80528            307-638-1273 (home)                    (970) 222-5305
    970-282-3630 Home              Risk Management/Legal Issues     linda.vomaske@vistasolutions.net
      bgmoe2@q.com                     pday@hollandhart.com

     District Governor                District Governor Elect              District Secretary
        Bryan Cooke                     Mary McCambridge                      Kellie Tovar
     1933 21st Avenue                 312 North Shore Circle                3729 W. 22nd St.
  Greeley, CO 80631-5213                Windsor, CO 80550                 Greeley, CO 80634
   970-353-8303 (Home)                 970-674-3379 (Home)               970-506-1036 (ph/fax)
  cookesahib@yahoo.com               marymac5440@gmail.com              Rotary5440@yahoo.com

                    2010-2011      STUDENTS                         D5440
Name                Phone/Cell     email                            Sponsor Club        Host Country

ANDERSON, Sarah     970-225-6922   Cutetoboot007@aol.com            Ft Collins          Brazil
                    970-219-6123   fcsprinklers@aol.com
ARNESON, Sara       970-581-1141   tripcolor@comcast.net            Estes Park          Norway
                    970-412-2593   tahoetuck@comcast.net
                                                                    Fort Collins
CZAJKOWSKI, Elly    970-266-1058   ellyczaj@yahoo.com               Foothills           Italy
                    970-556-4882   william.czajkowski@us.army.mil
DINNEEN, Claire     307-637-6805   clairedinneen23@gmail.com        Powell              France
                    307-421-1666   jdinneen@lonetree.com
ELSTON, Zane        970-736-2629   elston.zane@gmail.com            Steamboat Springs   Thailand
                    970-819-4902   welston@q.com
ERNST, Kelly        970-870-4270   juliaearnst@comcast.net          Steamboat Springs   Switzerland
                    970-846-6208   kel_bel_1243@comcast.net
                                                                    Fort Collins
FEAVEL, Emily       970-223-3959   emilyjae@comcast.net             Breakfast           Argentina
LAWRENCE, Kirby     307-322-2919   kirbyKLawrence@hotmail.com       Douglas             Ecuador
                    307-331-4975   MaryKat@aol.com
MAJOR, Alli         970-846-8978   1-jesusfreak@zirkel.us           Steamboat Springs   Australia
                    307-286-5648   Fitz-2004@zirkel.us
MOYTE, Ariel        307-514-4777   Airel_Pentaflower@yahoo.com      Cheyenne            Brazil
                    307-286-5648   Tmoyro7@yahoo.com
ROSING, Emily       970-282-9470   emily@peakfive.com               Riverton            Ecuador
                    970-372-8098   cathy.rosing@hp.com
SKEENS, Michelle    970-226-2868   sneeks22@comcast.net             Jackson Hole        Belgium
                    970-222-6880   joskea3@comcast.net
SPRINGOB, Mikayla   970-402-5448   saygoh@rocketmail.com            Loveland            Belgium
                    970-412-3259   bspringob@yahoo.com
STEWART, Katie      307-634-9021   goldenk8e@msn.com                Cheyenne            Argentina
                    307-214-3333   grstew01@msn.com
STINE, Chloe        307-347-3586   chloe_stine_11@hotmail.com       Worland             Czech/Slovakia

VASELIN, Colter     307-684-2384   c_vaselin@hotmail.com            Buffalo             Denmark


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