We are pleased to provide articles and reference materials that may be of interest to exchange students and their parents, host families, and Rotarians and others that are involved with the Youth Exchange Program.

RYE Dictionary

Inbound: Student coming IN to California/D5180 from any of the foreign countries we currently exchange with. (List in Outbound students’ section)

Outbound: Student headed OUT from California/D5180 to any of our partner countries. Resources for outbound students.

Rebounds/ROTEX: Students who have successfully completed their exchange year, and now assist other students in preparing for their journey.

Host Family

Hosting an exchange student can be incredibly rewarding for your family, bringing an international experience directly into your home. Host families provide room and board and share their lives with exchange students, involving them in family, community, and cultural activities. All host families are screened and trained using State Department, Rotary International, and District regulations and youth protection policies. More details are provided in the Youth Protection section on this website.

For more information and details please look at the Host Family Handbook and go to the Host Families section on this website.

Articles on Culture Shock and Cultural Adaptation

"Culture Shock" by Dr. Dennis White - A basic article on the concept of culture shock and how it may affect Youth Exchange students. The article describes stages of culture shock and a typical progression in a year-long program.

"One World ... or Many?" by Dr. Dennis White - A presentation of the concept of developing intercultural sensitivity by moving from ethnocentrism to ethnorelativism. These concepts, applied to the Rotary Youth Exchange experience, are developed from work by Dr. Milton Bennett of Portland State University

"The Middle Wave of Culture Shock" by Dr. Dennis White - For many Youth Exchange students, there is a potentially difficult period of culture shock combined with homesickness that can "hit" around November or December. This article describes the phenomenon and attempts to help prepare students, parents, host families and YEOs.

"It's Time to Go Home" by Tracy Fordham - A former Rotary exchange student, now a cultural researcher, shares some thoughts about the end of an exchange year, and the challenge of determining where "home" really is.

"So You Think You're Home Again" by Dr. Dennis White - Observations and advice for students returning "home" after completion of their exchange years.

"So You Think They're Home Again" by Dr. Dennis White - A look at the returning student phenomenon for and from the parents' perspective.

"The Things No One Told Me" by Lori Ruhlman - Simultaneously a mother of an outbound student and a host mother for an inbound, the author shares her experiences and emotions from both sides of the program.

"The Values Americans Live By" by L. Robert Kohls - Written originally for foreigners coming to the USA, this article acts as a mirror allowing Americans to view their own culture through someone else's eyes.

"Seven Lessons in Intercultural Communications" - Some lessons that can emerge from cultural awareness exercises, simulation games or other experiences. Taken from the work of Craig Storti, who has published several books on the realm of culture.

Using Films to Explore Cross-Culture Experiences

A partial list of popular films that depict various aspects of cultural differences. The study guides below provide further insight into some of them.