Be part of something great!!!
By opening your home and hearts you share in creating world peace and international understanding. Being a host family is an opportunity to develop a lifelong relationship that will enrich your family’s life for years to come. It requires tact, sympathy and patience, but in return it offers great rewards. Exchange students are here for 9-10 months, are here on an Educational VISA, and are required to attend school. They live with 2-3 different Host families during their stay. Therefore, your exchange student would be in your home for a period of 3-5 months. Host families do not have to be Rotarians.
As a Host family, there are a few simple things to keep in mind:
- Help your student to feel like a part of your family; they are not a “guest”.
- Be patient with language challenges
- Encourage and support your student’s involvement in school and community
- Help your student to balance his/her commitments and be sure he/she has time to develop friendships
- Be accepting of differences and open to challenging your own preconceptions.
- Ask yourself what you’d like to know if you were moving to a new country and into a house with strangers. Try to provide that type of information for your exchange student.
Rotary’s Youth Exchange (RYE) program is structured and provides a lot of support for you and your family. The Host club provides a Counselor and Youth Exchange Officer (YEO) to communicate regularly with you and your student. At the District level you have a RYE Inbound Coordinator and RYE Chairperson that are there to assist you should any issues need to be addressed.
Your exchange student should not only obey RYE program rules but also the rules of your household. You are responsible for the safety of the exchange student the same as for your own children. Although you might become a bit more of the soccer mom or dad for normal everyday activities, it is not your responsibility to act as a taxi service or a tour guide. Rotarians for the hosting club will be helping in these areas.
All RYE students attend Orientations to help them as they start their exchange journey in a foreign country. At these Orientations Host families also receive some training, get to know each other, and, through open discussions, receive information that assists in a successful home experience for them and their exchange student. Host family FAQs and their answers contain more valuable details on being a Host family.
Thanks SO much for your interest……we hope to meet and see more of you!