Youth exchange is one of the most satisfying and tangible projects that a club can do. To see students, bright young people, at the beginning of the year and witness their transition to amazing young adults at the end is exciting, and rewarding. All club members will see they are developing tomorrow’s leaders, leaders who understand different cultures and customs, and can make a better world.
Should we host and sponsor a student?
The Government requires if they educate an overseas student here, another country will educate a student from Australia while they are overseas. So yes, normally clubs will be required to host a student. In any case preparing a student to go overseas and following their progress while away is very interesting, while at the same time you have a young person from overseas brightening your club and finding out more about Rotary. These are the future members of our clubs.
How do we get started with Youth Exchange?
It is great if a club can find it’s own student to go on Exchange. You can do this by contacting schools in your area, sporting clubs or anywhere young people congregate. Children and relatives of Rotarians and their families are eligible. Expression of Interest forms, once completed online, goes directly to the District Youth Exchange Chair, who then allocates them to a club (if they haven’t already suggested one).
The other way of being involved is to host an inbound youth exchange student.
Contact the Youth Exchange committee:
- Gayl Sparnon (chair)
- Helen & David Gooley (Outbound coordinators for long term exchange)
- Roger & Lynne Tretheway (Inbound coordinators for long term exchange)
- Robyn & Geoff Oertel (RANZSE coordinators)
Once the application has been processed the student will be invited to a club interview. If the student is deemed appropriate by the club, a district interview is then conducted.
Which roles do the club need to allocate?
The Rotary Club’s youth service committee will normally organise a counsellor for both outbound and inbound students (with guidance from a District Youth Exchange Committee member). If hosting you will need to appoint host families, ideally four- they do not need to be club members.