4 The Inbound Student

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 District 7080 Canada
Youth Exchange Manual
Chapter 4
The Inbound Student

 

INBOUND STUDENT GUIDELINES
The purpose of these Guidelines is to assist you in planning your departure to Canada by providing information on how to obtain your Visa, Student Authorization and other documentation, your responsibilities, our responsibilities, what to expect during your year in Canada and what we expect of you.
 
Read the Guidelines carefully together with the District 7080 Youth Exchange Program Rules.
TIMETABLE
Students from the northern hemisphere and some from South America arrive during July and August with most arriving about the middle of August.  Most students from the southern hemisphere arrive between the middle and end of January.  Plan your arrival and departure so as not to disrupt your education on your return home. 
Our school year is from the beginning of September until the middle of June. The second semester normally starts during the first week of February which is convenient for the January arrivals.
The exchange is a one year exchange.  You should not plan to return home for at least 11 months.
Summer arrivals should be here until at least the end of the school year; January arrivals should expect to spend Christmas and New Years in Canada.

VISA, STUDENT AUTHORIZATION, IMMUNIZATION AND VACCINATION

Once you have received your completed Guarantee Form which specifies the name of the school in which you will be enrolled, you may apply for your Canadian Visa and Student Authorization. You should apply at the nearest Canadian Consulate or Embassy and request an expiration date of the month-end one year from your month of departure.

When applying for your Visa, find out what immunizations and/or vaccinations will be required in addition to those listed on the Immunization and Vaccination Form.  Please be certain that you have protection against the diseases specified by both countries before you leave home.

Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (Ontario), it is mandatory that all students up to 18 years of age attending school be immunized against the following diseases: diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), poliomyelitis, measles, mumps and rubella (German measles), tuberculosis, smallpox and whooping cough.

This Act authorizes the local Medical Officers of Health to order the suspension/exclusion from school of any pupil who is not immunized or in the process of being immunized or who does not qualify for an exemption. Exemptions may be granted for medical and/or religious reasons on completion of the proper Statement of Exemption by your physician.

District 7080 is located adjacent to the United States and many students travel to the U.S. with their host families or on Rotary trips during their stay in Canada. We strongly recommend that you obtain a U.S. Multiple-Entry Permit before leaving your home country.   It will also be required if your travel arrangements require you to enter Canada from the United States.  This must be obtained at the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy and will require documentation of your Canadian status.

 

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Your final destination into D-7080 will be Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, (code YYZ).  As soon as your travel arrangements are completed advise the D-7080 Vice Chairman handling your country of all travel details including airline, flight number, date of departure and date and time of arrival.

You should label your luggage both inside and out with your own name and the address and telephone number of your first Host Family or Host Counselor. 

Do NOT carry packages whose contents are unknown to you for any friends or strangers at any time.

 

ARRIVAL

You must have the Student Visa with you when you arrive in Canada.  Failure to do so could result in your being refused entry.  

On arrival your Student Visa will be validated by the Canada Immigration Inspector.

 Advise the inspector that your Exchange is for one full year and involves student activities after the end of the normal school year.

Failure to do so may result in August to August students receiving a visa valid only to the end of June. This may prevent participation in the month long student trip to Western Canada during July.   [Show this paragraph to the Immigration inspector to help you explain.]

You will be met at the airport by a member of your Host Club and normally your first Host Family.  There may also be a member of the District 7080 Youth Exchange Committee on hand to meet incoming flights.

Carry the name, address and telephone number of your first Host Family or Host Counsellor with you just in case you are not met at the airport as arranged.

CLIMATE 

Ontario covers a large area and has a wide range of climates, grouped into two main regions - an arctic and sub arctic climate area in the north and a humid continental zone in the south.  District 7080 is in the most southerly part of Canada at approximately the same latitude as Northern California, Northern Japan and Southern France.  It experiences a relatively moderate climate due to its proximity to the Great Lakes. The average annual precipitation is approximately 900 mm. with about 42 percent of the annual total falling in the growing season of May to September.

 A blanket of snow usually covers much of the region from December to March.  During this period temperatures may dip as low as -20 C or rise above freezing.  In summer, maximum temperatures in excess of 30 degrees C are not uncommon.  The January mean temperature is -6 C and the July mean is 22C.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND GLASSES
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.
MONEYCanada has a decimal currency system.  We use coins in denominations from one cent to two dollars.   Paper currency is used for larger denominations.
The approximate 2011 Canadian Dollar cost of some normal items is:
Cinema
$12 [$7 on Tuesday]
Lunch   
$10 [for school lunch or at McDonalds]
Bus fare
$3
Jeans     
$30 to $50 
Rock Concert
$75 to $150
 
Your Host Rotary Club will provide you with an allowance of approximately $125 CDN each month and will also provide transportation and accommodations for you to attend the District Conference and various other programs specifically related to our Youth Exchange Program. Students are not permitted to do paid work to supplement their allowance. Non-paid volunteer work is permitted and encouraged.
 
RESERVE FUND
You are required to provide and keep replenished a reserve fund of at least $500 to meet extraordinary out of pocket expenses.  A jointly controlled bank account will be set up with your host counsellor.  Whenever your funds in the account drop below $500 they must be replenished
 
HOSPITAL, MEDICAL, ACCIDENTAL DEATH & DISMEMBERMENT AND REPATRIATION INSURANCE         

Insurance is required to pay for unexpected costs incurred because of accidents or sickness while you are away from home.  Adequate coverage must be in place before you leave your home country.  

We expect Inbound Students to purchase the insurance recommended in Canada.  There are a few exceptions where District 7080 has a reciprocal arrangement with other districts to except each other's insurance as adequate.  Unless you have been specifically told this is the case, you must purchase the insurance recommended in Canada. Only then, are we sure that the host family, host club and District 7080 are protected in the event of a severe loss.

CLOTHING

If you have a distinctive national costume typical of your country or region, please bring it.  There will be many opportunities to wear it and it will be considered suitable for any formal occasion.

You are responsible for having appropriate clothing for the exchange but if you come from a warm country without snow you may find a better and less expensive selection of clothing for the winter months available in Canada. You will need to bring the money with you to cover these costs.

LAPEL PINS, CLUB BANNERS, VISITING CARDS, GIFTS

Most Exchange Students bring 200 to 300 lapel pins to give out and exchange at school, at Rotary and Youth Exchange functions.

Many students find visiting cards with their picture on them very useful.  Check with your Sponsoring District to find out if they are supplied for you.

Inexpensive gifts, typical of your home country, for your host families on departure, birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day and other special occasions are very popular.    A supply of "Thank You" notes should also be included.
SCHOOL
During your stay you will be enrolled in a high school. You are expected to take part in school activities as if you were a Canadian student.  You must attend school full time except when attending Rotary functions or traveling with host Rotarians or families.
Ontario has 2 publicly funded school systems, the Public School and the Separate School Boards.  Public Schools do not normally require uniforms.  Separate Schools do normally require uniforms.  However, if you are enrolled in a school which does have uniforms your host club will assist with the cost and will pay any required tuition.  You may have to purchase some textbooks.
HOST FAMILIES
In most cases, students coming to our District stay with three   host families during the year.  Host families may or may not be Rotarians and may or may not have children at home.  You may have your own private room but this cannot be guaranteed.
While here you will be treated as a member of your host family. This requires a lot of adjustment on your part as you must fit yourself into the life of the host family.
COUNSELLOR
Your Host Rotary Club will appoint an experienced Rotarian as your counsellor, who, with their spouse, will be your main contact and confidant during the year you are with us.  Your Host Club counsellor is responsible for the joint administration of your reserve fund, school enrolment, and your general welfare.
BEHAVIOUR AND ATTITUDE
While you are being hosted as a Rotary Exchange Student in District 7080, remember that you are an ambassador for your country and Rotary.  People often judge your country by your behaviour.  Maintain high standards of behaviour so that you will leave others with a good impression of you, your country and of Rotary.
In the closeness of the Host Family you are expected to accept criticism and comply with discipline.
PARENTS OR RELATIVES VISITING THE STUDENT
As outlined in the Youth Exchange Program Rules, visits by parents and/or family are not forbidden but are not encouraged.  The arrival of parents or relatives in the middle of an exchange is often disruptive for the student and the host family. 
Visits by friends from home are strictly prohibited. 
Planned visits must be cleared with the District 7080 Chairperson and host Rotary 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.
TELEPHONE CALLS AND SOCIAL NETWORKING
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. 
 
PUBLIC SPEAKING, SLIDES & PICTURE ALBUMS
During your stay in Canada, 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.
 

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.

 

LAPTOPS

Whether or not you take a laptop is a personal choice; many former exchange students recommend that you do.

QUARTERLY REPORT 

You will be required to write a brief quarterly report to the District 7080 Youth Exchange Chairperson.  If so requested, copies will be made available to your Sponsoring District.

Optional TRIPS

Canada is a very large country and it is a very diverse country. It is over 9000 kms from east to west. The optional trips made available to our Inbound students provide an opportunity to see more than just Southern Ontario.

Rotary-approved trips at a cost of approximately $3000 are available to Inbound Exchange Students in June and July during the summer vacation period.  The trips are optional and the cost is your responsibility.  Check with your host counsellor as reservations must be made early.  Written parental consent is required.

GENERAL PROGRAM INFORMATION AND RULES

All Inbound students and their parents are asked to carefully read the Expectations for Exchange Students and Parents.  As a condition of accepting a student into District 7080 the student and the student's parents must sign one copy of the rules and return it to the address given on the form.

Exchange Students are here to mix with and make friends with other young people. The more the student participates, the wider the circle of friends will become.  Do not confine friendships to fellow Exchange Students.  Participate to the fullest, sharing the family life, the school life and community life.

                                Welcome to Canada.