Create International Bridges by Supporting a Youth Exchange Student
If your Rotary Club is seeking ways to make a powerful, lasting difference in our local and global community, search no longer: Support a youth exchange student! Your club’s commitment to helping a young person live in Utah changes countless lives. Students really experience our culture, and our community learns about theirs. Bridges & friendships are built between two seemingly different worlds.
Through these exchanges, everyone involved develops an understanding and appreciation for those ‘different’ from them– and this is truly the foundation for world peace.
Rotary Clubs play a critical role in helping young exchange students, as exchange students are not allowed to come to Utah without a Rotary Club sponsor. Here is what is expected from Rotary Clubs that sponsor an exchange student:
- Select 2-3 suitable host families for your student.
- Enroll your student in his or her high school (for long-term exchanges) and pay fees.
- Appoint a Rotarian as a Counselor to each exchangee (for long-term exchanges). Counselors cannot be a member of the host family. Counselors attend the Inbound Orientation meeting, meet the exchange upon arrival, notify sending district of student’s safe arrival, and maintain monthly contact with the student and host family throughout duration of exchange.
- Pay the exchangee a monthly allowance of $100.00 per month for long-term exchanges.
- Pay the student’s RYLA fees and District Conferences fees.
- Include your student at your socials, Rotary meetings, and service projects. Help your student have a great experience in Utah!
Information for Host Families
“We were really anxious about taking in a complete stranger. But it turns out, it was one of the best things we could have done for our family. We love our student, and all the culture, warmth & sense of completion she brings to our home.”
Hosting is a tremendous experience in which you can share in a young person’s hopes and dreams and develop a lifelong connection with a student and family from another country. It can be challenging to help a young person transition to a new culture and ease into the surroundings, but the rewards are immeasurable.
Host families take care of student’s food, transportation, and day-to-day needs. They treat their student as if they were one their own: exchange students are expected to follow family rules, do chores, follow curfews, etc. Also, we ask that host families include students in their activities, family reunions, trips, etc.
We highly encourage host families to review some interactive first night questions.
These questions are designed to help students and their host families get to know each other’s customs, culture, and how things run around the host’s home. Additionally, here is the Host Family Orientation.
For more information, contact Youth Exchange Officer Kahrin Sharp