The value of the Youth Exchange program becomes evident upon the return of our own students from the many districts we exchange with worldwide. They are self-confident and become staunch advocates of Rotary’s values on international goodwill and understanding.
Our clubs, counsellors, host families, and community members touched by our students, inbound and outbound, all benefit in small ways with the learnings these young people impart because of the experiences they gain through our program.
It’s not easy being an exchange student. Our Rotary clubs and district committee members work hard to prepare our outbound students for a successful exchange, and conversely, our clubs welcome our inbound students and take them in like we do our own children. In the end, each student must overcome the struggles of learning a new language and recognizing and embracing the values of a culture very different from their own. We encourage and applaud the efforts of these students.
It’s my privilege to take on the role of District Chair for our Youth Exchange program. And I need help! Help in finding students who are adventuresome and open to a whole new world; help in hosting students who arrive in our country and need the love and compassion they deserve as ambassadors of their cultures and countries; help in mentoring our students – both inbound and outbound.
Yours in Rotary,
Rotary Club of Lethbridge East
Chair, Youth Exchange Program, District 5360