|Exchange student in training
A useful requirement for your outbound students
District 5020 (British Columbia, Canada; Washington, USA) recently shared one of its requirements for outbound students with Youth Exchange staff. The district asks all outbound students to complete an extensive research paper on their host country before departure. Below is an excerpt from the research paper outline provided to the students. For a copy of the full outline, please visit the following link.
- What are some of your host country's defining geographical features?
- What is the capital city, and why is it located where it is?
- What countries border your host country?
- What were your host country's original boundaries? How have they changed over time? For what reasons?
- What is the early history of your host country?
- What have been the patterns of immigration into your host country ?
- Have there been any civil wars in your country? Are there lingering effects?
- What was your host country's involvement in any other major world conflicts?
- What is the economy based on? What are some of the biggest/most important imports and exports?
- What products are traded between your host country and your home country?
- What products/services is your host region famous for?
- What is the per capita income? The gross national product (GNP)? What is the unemployment rate? When and how do people retire?
- Educational system
- How is the educational system organized?
- What do you see as the biggest differences between your educational systems, especially as they relate to high school and college?
- What are the requirements to graduate from high school?
- What are the relationships like between teachers/students/students' families? Can you be friends or friendly with your teachers, or is it a more formal connection?
- What are some of the foods that your host country is famous for?
- What are some dishes that are indigenous? What are some regional differences in food in your host country?
- What new fruits and vegetables will you get the opportunity to taste?
- What spices are used in cooking?
- What is the history of Rotary in your host country?
- What is the history of your host club? How long has it been involved in Youth Exchange?
- How many members are in your host Rotary club? How many of them are women?
- Where do they meet? What time of day?
- What local projects is your host club involved with? What international projects? Does it have a big fundraiser that you can help with?
Ask a Youth Exchange officer
What tips can you give a new Youth Exchange officer on outbound student recruitment and orientation?
Albertine Perre, governor of District 1570 (The Netherlands) and 2008-09 multidistrict orientation coordinator, replies:
After receiving the application forms, all applicants in the multidistrict are invited to attend a screening day. All students need to be proficient in the English language and in good physical health. Our exchange program is intensive, introducing students to many new ideas, different cuisines, and climate changes.
Students are asked to discuss their goals and expectations for the program with the Youth Exchange officers, who spend time covering specific elements of the exchange year. The interview focuses on the following criteria, which the student is graded on:
Motivation. Students need to be motivated and have a realistic perception of the Youth Exchange program. They also need to be aware of our expectations along with their own future goals and expectations.
Support. Students need to have their families' support before participating in the program to minimize the chances of becoming homesick. It is important to be realistic, however, so emphasis is placed on how to handle homesickness. It is also important to highlight school and host-club attendance to fill their surroundings with familiar faces.
Drugs and alcohol. Students need to understand the zero-tolerance rule regarding drugs and alcohol. Smoking is rarely accepted. When a student shows interest in experimenting with drugs or alcohol, that is an immediate strike toward their application.
Assertiveness. A student needs to be able to come up with creative solutions to problems and execute them. During the interview, several fictitious situations are described. In some scenarios, a student needs to know when to ask for help.
Extracurricular activities and social engagements. Applicants need to be aware of their surrounding social environment, show some interest in volunteering, and demonstrate proactive steps to further their ideology.
Social skills. Good communication, including social and presentation skills, is important. Adaptability is also a critical skill that is needed during an exchange year.
Culture and tradition. It is essential that a student has an interest in and respect for other cultures and traditions. It is critical that students understand that during the exchange, they will be asked to accept and obey rules set by their host family, even if they're much different from their home situation.
Knowledge. Students need to have a general knowledge of their own country's culture, geography, history, art, and political background. This will give them the confidence they need to be good ambassadors while they are abroad.
After the initial interview, selected students are asked to return for an additional meeting, organized by Youth Exchange officers and former exchange students, to receive extensive information on how to handle a case of abuse or harassment. Additionally, topics pertaining to culture shock, daily issues, and homesickness are covered. Traditionally, parents are always included in these information sessions.
Making dreams real:
Youth Exchange students work to eliminate child mortality and promote literacy
The close of a Rotary year can be a time for reflection. With that in mind, the Youth Exchange team would like to share with you a shining example of two former exchange students who have heeded the call of Past RI President Dong Kurn Lee to Make Dreams Real in 2008-09. The following story was written by journalist Jamilyn Mohr, the daughter of Terry Mohr, of the Rotary Club of North Clackamas Sunrise, Oregon, USA.
A few miles outside of Naga City in the northeastern Philippines, down narrow one-lane roads and sprawling rice fields, lies a tiny, one-room building. This structure, hardly large or sanitary enough for one person to live comfortably, is home to eight: a father, mother, and six sons. Both parents work at manual jobs every day while their sons attend a public school. Despite their long hours, the family brings home less than the equivalent of US$3 a day. This pays for their daily food, which is always rice. All of the children are sickly thin, constantly on the verge of starvation.
The youngest boy, Christian, reached the point of starvation at six months of age. His parents dropped him off at a local orphanage, and he was immediately taken to the hospital. Christian is not the only child who lives at the orphanage despite having a family to go home to. In fact, nearly all of the children are there for the same reasons as Christian.
While the orphanage is the best alternative to living at home for many of its residents, it is not a suitable place for children to grow up healthy and well adjusted. The orphanage lacks the funding and caretakers to give Christian and the 32 other children what they require, either physically or emotionally. This leaves the orphanage relying heavily on volunteers to keep it running.
Lorenzo Rosales, a respected pediatrician and member of the Rotary Club of Naga East, Camarines Sur, volunteers at the orphanage. During one of his weekly club meetings, he met Rotary Youth Exchange students Josh Babcock, 19, and Lisl Stadler, 17, both from Washington, USA. After hearing that Stadler wanted to assume a more humanitarian focus during her time in the Philippines, Rosales took her and Babcock to the orphanage. The children they met and the conditions they saw left lasting impressions, driving them to volunteer often. With the orphanage so limited in staff, supplies, and care, Stadler and Babcock knew that the children could use their help, no matter how small the resulting change. They spent every spare moment they had with the children, doing anything that required doing, but they knew that the children needed more than what they alone could offer.
Since the end of their exchanges in May 2008, Stadler and Babcock have been able to collect some monetary contributions from people in the United States. The knowledge of the overwhelming need for help has driven them to set up a nonprofit organization to multiply their efforts and continue benefiting underprivileged children throughout the region.
The Bicol Change Education Foundation works to raise money not only to feed and clothe the children but also to send them to school, which will give them the education needed to expose them to greater opportunities. Funds also go toward the education of the staff running the orphanage in health, development, and child care. Stadler and Babcock hope Rotary clubs will support their efforts, pay attention to their cause and, if possible, take on the foundation as a project and assist in fundraising.
Change Education Foundation)從事的募款活動，不僅為了提供兒童衣食，還用來讓兒童就學受教，如此才能讓兒童獲得所需教育，進而獲得更龐大的機會。募款亦用來教導孤兒院員工健康、發展與兒童照護課程。Stadler與Babcock希望扶輪社能支援其活動，留意到其活動原因，如果可能，則將該基金會評為專案計畫以協助募款。
August is Membership
In anticipation of next month's focus on membership, we encourage Youth Exchange officers to promote the program by sharing with fellow Rotarians the importance of membership development and how it relates to Youth Exchange. This connection is particularly important given this year's theme of The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands. The theme presents a perfect opportunity for district Youth Exchange officers to share the value of Rotary with a new generation. As RI President John Kenny has said, "It is our responsibility, yours and mine, to forge solid links to Rotary's future." Youth Exchange plays a vital role in developing that link.
To promote Youth Exchange, consider passing along the following article, which highlights how the Rotary Club of Kanagawa Shonan, Kanagawa, Japan, worked to welcome program alumni into Rotary.
Young clubs welcome program alumni into Rotary
Rotary International News -- 28 May 2009
A five-year-old Japanese Rotary club is expanding its membership by recruiting Rotary Foundation and Rotary International program alumni.
The Rotary Club of Kanagawa Shonan, Kanagawa, which began as a gathering of young professionals, was chartered on 15 December 2004 with 23 former Ambassadorial Scholars, Group Study Exchange team members, and Rotary Youth Exchange students. The club now has a few members who have not participated in Rotary programs, but it continues to actively recruit alumni. Club leaders hope their example will inspire other young professionals to join Rotary.
The Kanagawa Shonan club is different from typical Rotary clubs. The average age of its members is 38, and the club dues of ?70,000 (US$740) are about a third of the dues for other Rotary clubs in Japan. Because many members speak English, they have been able to make contact with clubs outside of Japan and cooperate on World Community Service projects.
The club's first Rotary Foundation Matching Grant project financed the digging of three wells and the repair of a fourth in 2007, helping 10,000 children in the Philippines gain access to clean water. During another international project, club members raised money for young survivors of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand by setting up a booth in their community to sell handkerchiefs that the children had painted.
On the Philippines water project, the Kanagawa Shonan club cooperated with two other alumni-formed clubs: the Rotary clubs of Colombo Reconnections, Western Province, Sri Lanka, and Mandaluyong-Pasig-San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines.
All three share another connection: Lina Aurelio, past governor of District 3800 (Philippines), helped charter the Philippine and Sri Lanka clubs in 2002, and met with Japanese Rotarians during the RI Convention in Osaka, Japan, in 2004. The Kanagawa Shonan club was chartered later that year. Aurelio maintained contact with all three clubs, linking them by e-mail.
A fourth alumni club, the Rotary Club of Osaka Next, Osaka, was formed in 2007. Another, the Rotary Club of Chubu Nagoya Mirai, Aichi, recently received its charter.
Recruiting alumni has been an important focus of Rotary's membership development efforts. A 2006 report on alumni recruitment from the RI Membership Development Division found that 58 percent of clubs admit that they don't recruit alumni, and as few as 22 percent of clubs both recruit alumni and have alumni as members. Only about 3 percent of current Rotarians are program alumni.
The 2007 Council on Legislation adopted changes that made it easier for alumni to become Rotarians.
Adapted from an article in the English edition of The Rotary-No-Tomo, the certified Rotary regional magazine serving Japan.
|Newly certified districts|
Every two weeks, the list of Non-Certified districts is updated here.
Get your idea highlighted!
Please consider submitting information to share with your fellow Rotarians on how you conduct your inbound orientations or recruitment.
Upcoming Youth Exchange events
If you would like information on your national or international conference published in upcoming editions of this newsletter, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
2009 Summer South Central Rotary Youth Exchange (SCRYE) Conference
Contact: Don Peters, email@example.com
57th EMMA Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland
4-6 September 2009
Australian Rotary Youth Exchange Chairs Conference
SurfAir Marcoola Beach Resort
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Contact: Neville Woodforth,
29th Annual Brazilian Youth Exchange Conference
19-22 November 2009
Serrano Resort Convention and Spa Hotel
Granado, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Contact: Frederico Malab
Questions and comments
Please send any questions, comments, or ideas for future issues of this newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Questions to ponder:
"What are some tips or games for inbound orientations?"
"What is unique to your New Generations programs?"