District 5180 Rotary Clubs and RYE
Rotary clubs that participate in the Long Term Exchange (LTE) program are demonstrating their commitment to International Service in one of the best, most direct, most meaningful, and most fun ways possible. Clubs will seek out and sponsor local (outbound) students to spend a year overseas in a remarkable, life-changing experience, and will host one or more foreign (inbound) students for a year in your community.
Under the leadership of a club Youth Exchange Officer should reach out to local high schools and/or local community organizations to inform teenagers of the opportunities in the RYE program, meet with interested students and their parents, and interview the students to determine their suitability for the program. Children and grandchildren of Rotarians are eligible to be an exchange student. Clubs are urged to invite their outbound candidates to one or more Rotary meetings before the student leaves, to help them learn more about Rotary and the sponsoring club. Students chosen as the club’s Outbound should be given club banners from their Sponsor club to exchange with clubs in their Hosting country.
For the club’s inbound students, they are responsible for assisting with host family approvals and arranging for schooling via the student’s Club Counselor. Clubs also provide the Inbound student with a monthly stipend/allowance that is determined by each club. Ideally, there should be three different host families throughout the year, so the student gets to enjoy a variety of experiences and no one family is over-burdened. Being a Rotarian family is not a host family requirement, although it can be helpful if the first host family are. This can aid in forming the relationship between the club and inbound student. Any reputable family in your community is eligible to host a Rotary exchange student.
The Inbound student’s Club Counselor obtains approval from a local high school for the student's enrollment there, and that information, along with the identity of the first host family, must be submitted to the RYE Inbound Coordinator at least three months before the student's arrival. This information is required for the Inbound student to obtain their education Visa for the exchange.
The host club is responsible for designating club members to serve as the outbound and inbound students’ Counselors. Counselors must meet with the student on a regular basis, keep on top of the student's progress through the year, help resolve problems, and provide a direct link to the Rotary club. The Counselor can be the Club’s Youth Exchange Officer, but the Counselor cannot be the current host parent or someone directly involved with the student (i.e. Inbound or Outbound Coordinator, RYE Chair, school principal, etc.).
Host clubs should bring their inbounds to at least one Rotary meeting per month. This helps the student become part of the Rotary club, meeting as many members as possible. It's highly recommended that the club involve the student in club activities, whether they are community service efforts, social events, or whatever. These events allow the student to meet more Rotarians, and vice versa, opening up wonderful opportunities for future times together and greater international understanding.
A list of D5180 Rotary Clubs with their President’s email on the D5180 RYE website is available HERE.