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District 7080, Canada
Youth Exchange Manual
Chapter 5


The appointment of the Youth Exchange Chairperson is of extreme importance to the success of the program.  He/she should be chosen not only because of an interest in the Youth Exchange Program, but for their interest in young people.   Previous experience on the Youth Exchange committee is valuable but not always possible. Attendance at District Youth Exchange functions and District Assemblies will assist in becoming and remaining acquainted with all aspects of the program.   Close liaison with the Area Coordinator will assist both new and experienced chairpersons.

The Youth Exchange committee members should also have a strong interest in youth and should be prepared to give a considerable amount of time and effort to the task of the committee.
It is the responsibility of the Committee to involve the entire Rotary Club by promoting the program to as many members as possible to make sure that the exchange student has a complete cultural experience.


The Club budget for Youth Exchange involves an expenditure of approximately $2,000.00 for hosting an Inbound Student and $800.00 for sponsoring an Outbound Student.      
Each Club has certain financial responsibilities to each student. These include:  
  • Supplying each Inbound Student with a monthly allowance.   This amount will vary, depending on local conditions and student requirements.  Because Exchange students cannot supplement their allowance through part time work and will have obligations related to their exchange the allowance may be higher than a level normal for a local teenager. Expenditures on students by Clubs in the District should be as uniform as possible to ensure that all students receive similar benefits. (See Chapter 4)
  • The club is responsible for the cost of school tuition, if any, the cost of transportation to and from school and school uniforms if required.  School lunches will be provided by the Host Families.

The Club Youth Exchange Committee is responsible for promotion of the program to eligible students and for the initial selection of an Exchange candidate.  (See Chapter 3)

During September and early October the Rotary Club Youth Exchange Committee should take steps to publicize the Youth Exchange at Club meetings, in the press, through the local high schools, youth groups, church groups, interact clubs and sports clubs.
Most high school principals permit announcements to be made and notices to be posted.  The support and commitment of the Principal and a guidance counsellor is invaluable.
Arrange for one of your Youth Exchange Committee members to meet with interested students to outline the program and its obligations. If you have an Inbound Exchange Student or returned Youth Exchange Student (Rebound) in the school include them in this meeting. 
Preliminary Applications can be downloaded from the District 7080 website. The form is a writeable PDF document and should be completed, printed and signed. The completed document should be either delivered to the local Youth Exchange Officer or returned to the school for the principal's comments and picked up by the Youth Exchange committee member not later than October 30th to allow the interview and selection process to be completed by November 15th..


Select a committee of Rotary members to interview the applicants and parents.  You may also find it very useful to include a returned Exchange student (Rebound) and a host mother to assist in your interviews.
Notify the applicants of the time and place the applicant and parents will be interviewed by the Selection Committee.  Students and parents both must be interviewed and the Rules and obligations thoroughly reviewed.  The Selection Committee must be satisfied that the parents support the application

Notify each applicant advising them of the interview results.

The formal Application Form must be completed by the successful applicant(s) in accordance with the instructions provided with the forms.  Make certain that all forms are properly signed and witnessed. 

Please be sure to have all documentation in the hands of the District Chairperson before the 10th of December to allow for processing prior to the District interviews in early January.


The idea of hosting an overseas student should be discussed fully within the Club.  The proposal should be discussed with the members' spouses who also have to make a commitment to making the project a complete success. 

District Committee members are available to attend these meetings. The host club has an obligation to arrange suitable host families for a period of 12 months. It is desirable to have the Inbound Student live with 3 or 4 host families. Some should be Rotary families but they need not all be. It is desirable but not essential to have the names of all host families when deciding to host a student.  [see Chapter 6]
The Youth Exchange Committee, with the help of the Counsellor, will select all host families and provide for their orientation. Each family should be given a copy of Guidelines for Host Families and Youth Exchange Program General Information and Rules.

Upon receipt of the application from the District 7080 Vice Chair of your next inbound student the club chair should:
  • Obtain prompt acceptance from Club Board of Directors and return the Guarantee Form signed by Club Officers and School Officials to the District 7080 Vice Chair for the student's Country. Initiate correspondence with the accepted student informing him/her about the local area, schools, etc.
  • Supply name and address of first host family.
  • Find out the date, time and place of arrival of the student and be sure he/she is met by a club representative or first host family at the airport.

Upon arrival of the student the club chair should: arrange for the student to be met  by his or her Counsellor, the club chair or a  member of the Youth Exchange Committee and members of the first host family and subsequent host family members if known.

Notify District Vice-Chair of the arrival of student. Assure that student has read, signed and understands the rules of the program.

The committee will schedule the duration of the student's stay with each host family, introduce the student to all the host families and advise the student of the moving dates in advance. 

It is important to have the student attend Rotary Club meetings, especially during the early stages, to give the student and members an opportunity to become acquainted.

If your student is to attend your Rotary meetings consider asking a different club member to bring the student to the meeting each week.  

Arrange for the student to attend all special club events, especially those with spouses in attendance . This is a good opportunity to ask different members to pick the student up and be responsible for hosting the student for the event.

The Committee should arrange for the student to speak to the club on at least two occasions after the student has a grasp of English.

Many exchange activities such as taking the student to a sports event, home for dinner or to the cottage provide an opportunity for non-hosting Rotarians to invite the student for a short stay. 
Clubs, host families and exchange students when planning activities for the student or involving other exchange students should avoid conflicting with activities sponsored by the District such as District weekends and District Conference. It will be necessary to arrange for student's transportation to orientations, District Conference and District approved events.

At the departure time of the student the chairperson should:
" Discuss with the student the expected date of departure and assist in departure plans.
" Notify appropriate Vice-Chair for the student's country when the student departs District 7080.


The Club Youth Exchange Committee Chair will appoint a counsellor for the outbound student and a counsellor for the inbound student.  

Student Counsellor - Outbound Student
The role of the outbound counsellor is to give the outbound student a liaison with the sponsoring club.  The counsellor should foster a feeling of belonging and pride between the club and student and should provide a security blanket to the outbound in the event of situations that cannot be resolved between the student and the host club.  

The counsellor must be familiar with all rules and procedures.

Prior to departure  the counsellor should:
  • Meet with the outbound student and his or her parents to discuss the exchange, the role of the counsellor and to review the Youth Exchange Program Rules. 
  • Ensure that the student begins corresponding with the host club and/or counsellor and first host family.
  • Provide the student with a supply of club banners for presentation to Rotary Clubs during the exchange and letters of introduction and greetings from the sponsoring club President to the hosting club President.
  • Make sure that the student regularly attends Rotary meetings and special club events between the time of selection and actual departure.
  • Arrange a farewell on departure.

After departure  the counsellor should:
  • Correspond regularly with the student and the host club counsellor.
  • Arrange for the student to receive your club bulletin.
  • Alert the District Committee if any problems appear to be developing that may require intervention. 
  • Correspond regularly with the student and the host club counsellor.
  • Arrange for the student to receive your club bulletin.
  • Alert the District Committee if any problems appear to be developing that may require intervention. 
On return to Canada the counsellor should:
  • Arrange for a welcome home.
  • Arrange for the student to address the Club on the exchange as soon as possible after returning to Canada.
Student Counsellor - Inbound Student

The counsellor should be an experienced Rotarian with a well-balanced outlook and an ability to relate to teenagers.  He/she should be able to coordinate and inspire the Club membership and host family involvement with the student. 

The counsellor must not be a host family member in order to maintain an independent position.  

The counsellor, with his/her spouse, will be the inbound student's main contact and confidant during the year the student is with us. He/she should be tactful and possess empathy and patience in the exercise of his/her duties.  

It is necessary for the counsellor to be prepared to protect the rights of the student and enforce the rules of the District Committee.  The protection of the student's safety and well being will take precedence over all other considerations. 

The counsellor must be familiar with all rules and procedures.
  • The counsellor is responsible for the joint administration of the student's emergency fund, school enrolment, and the student's general welfare.
  • During the early stage of the exchange the counsellor must meet regularly with the student to discuss the progress of the exchange.  Where a student becomes homesick, experience has shown that the best antidote is to be sensitive, cheerful, positive and to keep the student extremely busy.
  • The counsellor is expected to consult frequently with the student throughout the exchange.  An attempt should be made to solve any problems at the local level. If this is not possible consult with the Area Coordinator before going to the District Committee.

The Youth Exchange Program requires attendance at high school. Arrangements should be made to enroll the student in a high school chosen by the committee. The counsellor is responsible for enrolment of the student at school. The counsellor will also meet with the school guidance counsellor with the exchange student to arrange the study program. The counsellor will assist the student to get any books or supplies and to complete other requirements. 

Some students will have completed their secondary school education before beginning the exchange.  The counsellor should assist in arranging course of study involving subjects not normally available to the student at home.  It is the counsellor's responsibility to ensure that the student attends school and is kept fully occupied.

The counsellor should consult with school officials with respect to the student's progress to ensure that the student obtains proper credits for subjects studied.

To avoid possible conflict with school board funding it may be important to ensure that the Inbound receives his /her education from the same school board as the club's outbound. 


As soon as the Student's Application is accepted, the counsellor should write the student a letter of welcome and should encourage the first host family to do the same.

Whenever possible the counsellor should meet the exchange student on arrival.

It is beneficial to have the student spend the first few days or week with the counsellor and spouse before moving to the first host family.  This enables the counsellor, their spouse and the student to become acquainted and establish a rapport. 

At the earliest opportunity, the counsellor should orient the student to local conditions of schooling, family discipline, the need to conform to normal Host Family practices and the shared responsibilities of the home.  Rules concerning smoking should be discussed.  The Youth Exchange Program Rules and financial arrangements should be clarified.

A joint contingency account should be opened as soon as possible in both the student's and counsellor's names.  The student's $500 contingency fund should be deposited in this account.   At the same time, a Savings and/or Chequing Account should be established in the student's name for the deposit of the student's allowance upon which the student may withdraw sufficient funds for incidentals.

Encourage the student to send reports and letters to his/her sponsoring Club and District not less than once every three months.