What an exciting adventure awaits you, as a potential Rotary exchange student or host family, as you look to expand your horizons as they've never been expanded before.
We invite you to explore our site, learn more about the program, and, if it's right for you, take those first steps toward one of the most amazing, memorable, adventurous years of your life.
WHO ARE WE?
Rotary International is the world's oldest and most international service organization, with over 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs, in almost 200 countries. The official Rotary motto is, "Service Above Self", and Rotarians live their lives in accordance with the Four Way Test.
Each year, over 8,000 high school students participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange program worldwide, learning a new language and experiencing a new culture, through the efforts of Rotary volunteers around the globe.
Our rotary club’s RYE program is supported by Ohio-Erie Rotary Youth Exchange Program, Inc., the regional rotary volunteer organization that oversees all the logistics. If you think you might want to be a Rotary exchange student, we would recommend you visit the Ohio-Erie website to learn more. Here you will find more details and links on the Summer Short-term Exchange Program (STEP), Long-term school year programs (Inbound and Outbound), and Host Family information. Navigating to these links will provide you the answers to many of your preliminary questions. Also at these links you will find all applicable forms and applications.
After you review this information, email us and we will be back in touch with you with the more specific information.
Rotary International has sponsored a Youth Exchange program for more than 30 years. The goal of our program has always been the creation of world-wide goodwill and international understanding. The Short Term Exchange Program (STEP) is one of the ways that Rotary implements this goal. Through STEP, young people from many different countries get the opportunity to spend a summer together, learning about different countries and cultures.
Our Program: Your son or daughter will be hosted by his/her matched family in another country for four weeks during the summer. Your family will reciprocate by hosting your matched international student for a similar period. Students traveling to Finland will exchange in reverse, with the Finnish students arriving here in June and our students traveling to Finland in July. Some of the Southern hemisphere countries have “split-exchanges” with each student traveling during their appropriate school vacations (typically December-January). Due to conflicts with school calendars, it is always possible that students may have the added bonus of attending school for a week during their exchange.
What Does it Cost?: The parents and student pay the cost for the student's airline ticket and an administrative fee that includes health insurance for both the Outbound and Inbound student. The total cost for a student is usually less than $1,500.
Who is Eligible?: Any High School student who ranks in the upper third of his or her class, possesses good character, has an outgoing and pleasant personality, is able to accept discipline, and is capable of adjusting to new and sometimes challenging conditions is eligible. a desire to learn about other countries and cultures and to appreciate and accept these differences, is essential. Children of non-Rotarians as well as those of Rotarians are equally eligible to participate. The student must be at least 15 years old and cannot be older than 18 1/2 at the time school begins overseas, usually in late August or early September in the Northern Hemisphere.
How Do You Apply?: Application forms are available for download on the Ohio-Erie website. Once you have given your application to us, you will be interviewed by a member of the Club and given more information regarding the selection process.
Consider the rewarding experience of being a host family to an exchange student from another country. Throughout the academic year, the exchange student will live with three different families, giving them three different experiences.
For more information on these programs, review the Ohio-Erie website, or email us:
Allie was a Charlotte Rotary Exchange Student who spent eleven months in Santiago, Chile. She lived with two different familes and when she returned she spoke fluent spanish. While there she went on three RYE sponsored excursions (Easter Island, northern Chile, and Patagonia in southern Chile). Her year was just like here - going to school, friends and sports, and vacations. And in addition to meeting friends in Chile, she also met dozens of other exchange students from across the world. She now has lifetime friends in more than 20 countries.
Each year, Charlotte Rotary hosts two exchange students from other countries. Your family can have a touching experience and grow a friendship that will last a lifetime.