Interested in Hosting an Exchange Student?
- Interested in hosting an Exchange Student, but not sure where to start? Click here for more information?
- To participate in the Mountain & Plains RYE Program, a club must make a commitment to host almost one full year in advance. Your club provides this information to your District Youth Exchange Chair by submitting a Club Agreement to Host by November 10, 2017.
- Club are also responsible for interviewing the Applicants. The interviews are to be done by November 10, 2017 and the following form submitted: Club Interview Selection Form.
- Once your commitment is made, IT IS FIRM. Exchange Agreements with international exchange partners are made in the fall. Students are interviewed and selected based on these agreements. Your exchange student will arrive in August the following year.
- Your club may specify the gender and nationality of the student to be assigned to you. Be advised that we have little control over how students are placed with us. Your District will honor your request as it can.
Yeah! My Club is Hosting an Exchange Student! Now What?
- Host Clubs will be notified when the Inbound Students are ready for selection (early April). Once the club selection is confirmed, the Host Club Youth Exchange Officer is responsible for completing THREE documents: 1) High School Letter 2) Host Club Letter 3) Visa Guarantee Form Section F (VGF)
- When these documents are complete, the YEO takes one photocopy of each document. The YEO keeps the original set and photocopy set.
- Scan the documents and upload into YEAH: https://yehub.net/MPR.php
- Email the three scanned documents to the Country Coordinator: http://mountainandplainsrye.com/about/country-coordinators.
- 5. If the emailed documents are correct, the Country Coordinator will request you mail the original set to him/her.
- Once the original set is received, the Country Coordinator will ensure the next steps are completed:
- All Student Documentation: 1) Online Application 2) English Proficiency Form 3) Passport Page Photo 4) High School Letter 5) Host Club Letter 6) Visa Guarantee Form Section F (VGF)
- All Host Family Documentation: 1) Application 2) Background Check 3) Personal References (emailed from YEAH to the reference provided) 4) First Visit (Completed in YEAH) 5) Home Visit/Interview Report 6) WESSEX Host Family Orientation Form.
- NOTE* You are required to have a completely vetted first host family before the student can be issued the documents needed to obtain a student visa.
The VGF makes a very long journey and passes through many hands, including school officials, club Leaders, and the vetted host family. By the time the above paperwork and steps are complete, your student has already been waiting at least 60 to 120 days. Please return completed documents as instructed to the appropriate Country Coordinator and do not delay! Your student cannot make an embassy appointment to apply for his travel visa until those completed documents are in his/her hands. Waiting periods for appointments can be as long as 3 months!
Yeah! All the Paperwork is Complete! Now What?
- Contact your student! Introduce yourself and instruct your host families to do the same.
- Student arrival dates will vary based on the practices of the overseas Rotary District. Some students are free to coordinate their travel dates directly with their hosts, while others travel in one group on a determined date. Your student should arrive no later than 7-10 days prior to beginning school. This provides time for school registrations, recovery from ‘jet lag’, and basic cultural adjustments.
- We do NOT recommend a student arriving several weeks early, unless your club has planned a busy schedule for him/her. Especially in the early days of exchange, a student who is not actively participating in social activities may run a higher risk of suffering culture shock and a potentially failed exchange experience.
Yeah! Our Student is Here! Now What?
- Meet the student at the airport along with the first host family.
- Plan a “Welcome Event", but do give your student time to recover from jet lag first. Be sure to include high school students with whom the exchange student will be going to school.
- Arrange for your student to attend a Rotary Meeting and do a presentation on his or her host country as soon as the student is comfortable with mastery of the English language.
- Within the first week, meet with your student and arrange to:
- Check the passport and visa for expiration dates (the visa should be a J-1 Multiple Entry Visa). Record the number on it for future reference. The student will need it when he or she changes families. It begins with “N00".
- Check the airline ticket to assure that it is an open return. If not, make note of the date and make arrangements to schedule the student’s actual return before that date
- Make photocopies of all documents and give those to your student. Keep originals in a safe location. The Department of State requires that students be allowed to keep their original passports
- Assist the student in depositing the emergency funds he or she has brought. The student is required to bring US$500 as an emergency fund. This money can be deposited in an account separate from the student’s bank account to which the student’s monthly allowance and money wired from his parents can be added. The emergency account must NEVER go below US$500. You must return this money to your student in cash on departure
- Explain the proper uses of the emergency fund to the student. Be sure that your student is aware of the US$100 deductible and 20% co-payment on the insurance
- Assist in registering the student in school. Some classes may require extra fees (photography, art, etc.). Your club is responsible for these items. School lunches packed from home are the responsibility of the host family as part of the room and board obligation they assumed when they agreed to host the student. If the student prefers to buy a school lunch, that is her or her personal responsibility.
- Generally, your student will need more guidance in the beginning and will become more independent over time. Your role will vary depending on the needs of your student, and the capabilities of your host families. You should continue to engage your student in Rotary Club activities regularly. Ensure that he continues to meet the expectations of the Rotary program, as described in the Student Handbook.
Wow! That Went By Fast! Our Exchange Student is Going Home? Now What?
Pre-Planning for Departure
- Assist the student in signing up for RYE optional trips that occur in June/July. Sign-up occurs in September or October at the required Inbound Orientation. Assist the student in making return travel plans (January-March).
- Notify the Inbound Coordinator and District Chair of student’s return travel date.
Prior to Departure:
- Be sure the student is invited as a speaker to your Rotary meeting. Your student will want to thank you!
- Plan a ‘Send Off’ event with your Club.
- Assist the student in closing any accounts opened.
- Return student emergency fund IN CASH. Obtain a signed receipt.
- Be sure the student fills out debriefing forms for the District. This helps us to improve our programs!
- Assure transportation to the airport on date of departure.
*Note: If there are any special requests for students to depart sooner or later than the parameters given, the request must come from the YEO to your District Chair. The RYE program officially ends on June 1 for most students. A return date before this is considered an “early return” and must be reported to Rotary International by the District Chair with a reason assigned.