3 The Outbound Student

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District 7080, Canada
Youth Exchange Manual
Chapter 3
The Outbound Student
1. Rotary Youth Exchange Students must be at least age 15 on January 1st but not yet 18 years of age on September 1st, of the year of departure.
2. Outbound students must be Canadian citizens and be able to travel on a Canadian Passport.    
3. Applicants must have above average academic ability.
4. Applicants must display maturity, be self-reliant and have an outgoing, pleasant personality to qualify for the role of ‘ambassador’ for Rotary and Canada.  They must have the ability to accept discipline and be capable of adjusting to new and different living conditions, cultures, customs, food and language.
5. Applicants must be of good character and reputation.
6. Sons and daughters of both Rotarians and non- Rotarians are eligible. All candidates are selected solely on merit.
Credits for courses of study may be granted on the student’s return at the discretion of the school principal and/or Ministry of Education.  Students should not expect to receive them.
PARENTAL OBLIGATIONS                                    
Parents, guardians or parent having custody of outbound student candidates must make themselves available with their son/daughter for a club selection interview. Parents of successful applicants must attend District orientation meetings and sign the District 7080 Agreement entitled,GENERAL INFORMATION AND  EXPECTATIONS FOR OUTBOUND YOUTH EXCHANGE STUDENTS AND PARENTS and other formal Application documentation.
The District Youth Exchange Committee holds several orientation meetings for all Outbound students.  It is compulsory for all Outbounds and their parents to attend as specified.  District meetings will be;
·         District Interviews in January, Friday night & Saturday; (parents on Saturday afternoon).
·         Winter camp in early February, 4 days; (no parents).

·         Placement Announcements in March, ½ day; (student and parents; siblings and other family members are welcome ).

·         Final Orientation weekend in May, 2 days; (parents 1 day).             

Topics covered during orientation include travel arrangements, medical insurance, passport and visa,  money, language adjustment, travel while away, luggage, health, safety and sexuality,  banking and cash transfers, gifts, commitment to the program, reports to District, knowledge of Canada and knowledge of the host country.


The parents of an Outbound Student are required to meet the following financial obligations:

Travel - The cost of their son or daughter's transportation and other travel expenses to and from the host country.  Depending on the destination this could be anywhere from $1000 to $3000.  Students are required to purchase a one year open ticket, without any limitations, on a regularly scheduled airline.  It is essential that a student is able to be returned home immediately should it be necessary.

Insurance - The provincial health insurance plan does not provide adequate health insurance for the duration of the exchange. We insist that students have adequate health insurance. We can either assist with a review of any extended health care insurance you may have, or recommend a suitable policy.

 Certain districts overseas insist that incoming students buy their approved insurance.  We have no power to override their requirements.  It is a Rotary principle that the rules of the hosting district prevail on such matters.  However outbound students should note that they can also purchase additional insurance to pay for expenses that may not be covered by required hosting country insurance.(See also Chapter 7)

Emergency Reserve Fund

 Parents are required to provide and keep replenished a reserve fund of $500.  This is available to meet extraordinary out of pocket expenses, and is usually jointly controlled by the student and a Rotarian from the hosting district or club.


It is expected that the hosting club will provide the student with a regular but modest monthly allowance, usually in the order of $100, (or a local buying power equivalent).

Students are not permitted to do paid work to supplement their allowance. Non-paid volunteer work is permitted and encouraged subject to the rules and practices of your hosting District.


Telephone calls to or from the student, while easily made, should be saved for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas or other holidays as otherwise they can dilute the exchange experience.  

Some hosting districts forbid telephone calls home [other than an initial "I've arrived" call] within the first three months to speed adjustment to their culture. 

Now that emailing, Facebook and Twitter are common, communication with family and friends back home is easy and usually quite instantaneous. With programs like Skype, phone calls now become free, with no charge to the host family. With this internet connection, host families may find it difficult to control how much internet time a student has (especially when internet cafes are available). However, students should try to limit their internet use (especially in the first quarter of the year) to no more than an hour a day. This will allow them to focus more on the culture at hand and not the one back home. Communication with friends in your host family can be done in other ways (cell phones etc).

Correspondence by fax, E-Mail, or old fashioned letter writing work just as well and can be shared with more people.   Writing letters is still a fantastic way to communicate with home because it makes writing home a fun process, and is exciting when you receive a new letter. It also makes contact with people back home more special but also more limited. 

It is recommended that natural parents correspond regularly with each host family.


Visits by parents and/or family are not forbidden but are not encouraged. 

Visits by friends from home are strictly prohibited. 

The arrival of parents on the scene can be disruptive to both student and hosts.  Some districts take the position that a visit by parents is the termination of the exchange.

Planned visits should be discussed with the District 7080 Chair and have the approval of the hosting district and club. Visits should not be considered until the student has completed more than 9 months of the exchange year.  Visits should be of short duration and should not interfere with the student's normal routine

or conflict with planned Rotary activities including the optional trips.

Host parents, clubs and districts are under no obligation to provide accommodation or transportation for any parents or relatives visiting the student.  Removal from school during visits is inappropriate, and may lead to future difficulties with the school authorities.
Students participating in the program are expected to conform to the rules of both the sending and hosting districts.  Certain rules are contained within the formal application form and are acknowledged and agreed to by the student and natural parents as part of the application process.
Each Rotary district is autonomous.  The hosting district, club, and families are responsible for each student's cultural, physical and spiritual well-being, and have the responsibility of setting their own rules and guidelines.
Final travel arrangements are the responsibility of the student and parents. Arrival date should comply with host club recommendations. The process of arranging travel can be greatly simplified by using the D7080's recommended travel agent, who is fully familiar with the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, and the needs of all destination countries.
Students need a valid Canadian passport and a student visa in order to enter their exchange country.  A passport should be obtained as soon as the student is accepted into the program.  The host country will require that students have a valid STUDENT VISA before arrival.  The visa will be issued by the closest consulate or embassy of the host country and the student will be responsible for making application for it.  The host district will complete and return the guarantee form (pages 9 and 10 of the long application form) which is essential for the visa application.  The visa is usually issued a month or two prior to departure.
As soon as the student has been notified of placement and the name of the host Rotary Club, they should write to the host club and first host family. 
Sponsoring and host Rotary Clubs are expected to appoint a counsellor to advise and assist the student during his or her participation in the program.  The host counsellor should be the student's confidante.  If one is not assigned, the student should request one through the Youth Exchange Chair or club president.


If you are presently receiving prescription medication take a sufficient supply to last at least one month. 

If you require this medication during your year on Exchange, take a clearly-typed letter from your physician stating the nature of your problem and the prescribed treatment so that it may be continued under the supervision of a physician while away.  Physicians should be asked to use generic terms rather than brand names when specifying medication.

Customs officials may question unidentified medications. Take your supply of medication in the original prescription container.  The cost of medication is the student's responsibility.

If you require corrective glasses take an extra pair and a copy of your current lens prescription.


In order to get the most out of the exchange a student should be prepared to take an active part in the family, school, and community life. By contributing their talents and having open minds, students will make friends and enjoy a life-enriching experience.  Friendships should always be sought beyond those of other exchange students.


It usually takes three months or so to become comfortable in a foreign language.  Some countries run a language camp early in the exchange, most do not, and students will have to use their own resources to learn the language.  Any effort the student makes to learn the language before arrival will be rewarding and is encouraged.


Unsupervised travel will be subject to restriction as deemed appropriate by the hosting club and district.  Travel with host parents or club usually does not require special permission, but the student's counsellor and district personnel must be kept informed.

Students should not make travel arrangements without discussion and permission and then expect the hosts to agree to the travel.

Many districts run a tour to other parts of the country or continent.  The cost of this tour is the responsibility of the student.  Information on tours will be provided by the host district.


School fees or tuition, if payable, are the responsibility of the host club.  Books, uniforms and other supplies may or may not be free.

District 7080 will supply outbound students with a red Youth Exchange blazer.  This is often a passport to recognition and acceptance.  It should be worn at all Rotary functions while on the program. It is particularly important for the blazer to be worn when entering and leaving the country.
District 7080 will provide outbound students with a supply of business cards, and an identifying name tag.
Rotary clubs often exchange small banners as souvenirs. A sponsoring club will usually give a departing outbound student a supply to give to Rotarians and clubs overseas.  Lapel pins are popular, and 200 to 300 should be a sufficient supply.  Many students take a full size Canadian flag for presentation to their host club or town mayor.
Most cultures appreciate or expect small gifts from visitors and guests.  Such gifts need not be expensive, but should be Canadian made.  Birthdays and anniversaries of host families should be recognized.  And don’t forget special days, (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.)  Each country will have its own special days.
During your Exchange year, you will be expected to speak to Rotarians, other Service Clubs, youth groups and school groups.
When you will do this presentation will vary, some students may have to present earlier on in their exchange, others at the end, while others may have to do small presentations throughout their exchange.
Being prepared is the best option. Before arriving it is best to prepare a small slide show or PowerPoint (on the computer, memory stick or CD).
Many students also bring a picture album of photographs to show to host families, school friends, Rotarians or people you visit for dinner or on weekends.
It is suggested that the presentation and picture album should cover the following aspects:
·         Your family and home.
·         Your special interests such as school, sports, trips, hobbies.
·         Special local sites, historic and scenic points of interest, national points of interest, festivals.