Rotary District 5080 Youth Exchange:  British Columbia, Idaho, Washington
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Host Families

Hosting a Rotary youth exchange student is a tremendous experience in which your family can share in a young person’s hopes and dreams and develop a lifelong connection with a student and family from another country. It can be challenging to help a young person transition to a new culture and ease into the surroundings but the rewards are immeasurable.

 

“Hosting a Rotary exchange student invites a whole new culture into your home and your family life.  It can expand your understanding of global issues and have a lasting impact on your family and the student who comes to live with you.  It is the start of a lifelong relationship with someone whose background is likely to be completely different from yours, socially, politically, and economically.  It's rewarding and fun.”  Julie and Ray, host family to several exchange students

"We encourage any family who is considering hosting an exchange student to ‘go for it’!  Your lives will be positively changed as you create lifelong friendships, foster international relations in your community and give these students the opportunity to explore and learn about Canada. " Chris and Peter, host family to many exchange students.  Read more in Chris and Peter's entire article, "What Being a Host Family Has Meant to Us"

"It was my privilege to be a Mom away from home for these students. Sometimes it meant helping them through challenging times, learning about their country and language and seeing them adjust to a new school, make friends and become part of the community.   My life was definitely enriched by the experience."  Patricia, host Mom to several exchange students  

Who Can be a Host Family?

Host families in the youth exchange program can be Rotarians or not, and families come in all shapes and sizes.  Families may include young children, older children, or none at all.  The exchange student can benefit from all types of family situations.

Normal families, any caring and responsible family with an interest can be a valuable host to a youth from another country. 

How Long is my Hosting?

Typically, a student stays with up to 3 families in a year so your student would stay with you about three to four months instead of a full year.  Rotary exchange students generally live with two or more families during their exchange year to give the student a more well-rounded experience in a culture, having experienced family life from multiple perspectives. 

What Am I Agreeing to Do and Pay?

As a host family, you will provide room and board for the student and treat this child just as you would your own, guiding the child through the cultural adjustment and overseeing schoolwork. You would involve the student in family activities and chores, enrich the exchange experience by including the student in family, community, recreational and cultural activities.  The sponsoring Rotary club in the exchange student’s country will have prepared the student for this exchange, but expect a surprise or two anyway.  

Host families are not reimbursed or paid for their efforts with money, but the personal rewards to the host families and community can be priceless.  Students are responsible for their own personal expenses.

Am I Required to Host if my Children are Outbound Students?

No.  However, the parents of an outbound student are encouraged to consider hosting an inbound student because it is a very good way for parents to understand the challenges that their own child may experience while away from their own family, country and home. We do request that parents identify potential host families whenever possible.

Application Process
  1. Contact your local Rotary Club and tell them of your interest or send us an email and we’ll let you know who to contact in your area.  

  2. Download and complete the Host Family Application - US   or the  Host Family Application - Canada, as well as a Volunteer Affidavit - US or Volunteer Affidavit - CA for each adult member of the family.  Submit these forms to your local Rotary Club.

  3. Interviewed by local Rotary Club.  

  4. Upon approval by your local Rotary Club, details about the arrival of your Rotary youth exchange student will be provided.   

Further Assistance

Your local Rotary club will stay in contact with you during the hosting period to ensure that your exchange student is well and that your questions are answered fully.  If you have additional or special concerns, the members of the District 5080 Youth Exchange Committee are also available to assist, so do feel free to contact us.

In Summary

Host families are critical to the success of our Rotary District 5080 Youth Exchange program and we thank you sincerely for considering to participate as a host family.   

More Information:

Guide for Host Families

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