INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS
WHAT IS IT?
The Rotary Youth Exchange Program is arranged by Rotary Clubs for young people to experience a year of education overseas, in a wide choice of countries. It also gives many other opportunities, both during and after the exchange is completed.
The Rotary program is recognised as the best student exchange program by schools, parents and the students themselves because of its sound infrastructure.
Students stay with host families who are arranged by the hosting Club. In the majority of exchanges there are more than one host family. The preferred number being three or four. Host families may or may not be members of Rotary, but are always Rotary approved.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Any boy or girl. Sons or daughters of Rotary members gain no preference in selection.
Applicants should be in high school in the year that they make application. Applicants must be older than 15 years and younger than 18 years on the date of departure. For planning this should be taken as 20th July in the year following application.
Applicants should be making sound progress at school and have a general interest in people and places. They should possess a good general knowledge of Mexico - its political system, socio-economic policies and its involvement in international affairs.
Applicants must have displayed high standards of personal conduct and attitudes which are widely accepted in our community. They must have an outgoing personality and be interested in cultural or outdoor pursuits.
Rotary is looking for young people who can act as personal ambassadors.
HOW ARE STUDENTS SELECTED?
Students are selected by Rotary Clubs on the basis of their application and a personal interview. Applications close with local clubs before the end of October. It is acceptable to apply to more than one Rotary Club, if desired.
Applicants and their parents are interviewed by the Rotary Club. The successful applicant from the Club is then nominated to the respective District Committee. This committee then assesses all nominated applicants before arranging exchanges with overseas Clubs. Students have the opportunity to nominate any preferred countries of exchange that are available. However, there are limited places in any one country and a preparedness to accept an exchange in any of the available countries is necessary.
ROTARY PROVIDES TRAINING
Rotary Clubs have an important role in this exchange. They provide one of their members to act as a counsellor. The counsellor's role is to maintain close contact with the student up until the time of departure of the exchangee. This contact is then expected to continue during the year of exchange, not only with the student but also the student's family. This keeps everyone informed of the progress of the exchange.
The District Committee also provides training days for a wide range of personal development and in many other areas. This is to prepare the student as much as is possible for the exchange. Parents of students are also required to be involved in these.
ARE THERE OTHER OBLIGATIONS?
Students are required to adhere to the rules of the program, as applied in the country of exchange.
These are to do with personal behaviour and the expectations of being an ambassador for their country, their family, themselves and Rotary.
During the exchange year away, students are required to complete a year of high school level schooling. This is even if high school has been completed before leaving.
For students needing to return to high school education in Mexico, there may be credits available for subjects studied whilst away. However, this needs to be checked with the school before departure.
The real bonus for education though is the experience that students get from the exchange itself.
WHAT DOES AN EXCHANGE COST?
Actual costs will vary depending on the country of exchange arid the student's personal budget.
Student and family provide;
Host Rotary Club provides;
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The benefits of the exchange are many and varied. Students grow considerably in self confidence, tolerance and self-reliance through having to accept greater responsibility for themselves and their actions.
They have to adapt to unfamiliar and different surroundings and ways of life which are different from home. For some it will be the first extended period of separation from their own family. This will bring about many trials and tribulations which they will need to overcome arid by so doing develop many "survival skills".
To live away from home for the 50 weeks duration of the exchange is a demanding yet rewarding experience. It is not always smooth sailing and requires a great strength of character, tolerance and a clear understanding of one's self.
The exchange provides a unique opportunity for young Mexicans to experience at first hand the many cultures of a different country, a new way of life and in some instances another language. Often, the friendships they make will be life long arid important in achieving the aims of the exchange - the building of goodwill and understanding between countries.
WHAT TO DO NOW?
If you are interested in making an application, you must do this on the appropriate application form. These are obtainable from the La Paz Guaycura Rotary Club Youth Exchange Officer or any other participating Rotary Club. This application is sent to the Rotary Club which will make a selection from the applications it receives.
The Club's successful applicant then completes a final application which is then considered in conjunction with a personal assessment by the District Committee. This application includes school and medical reports as well as personal information and parents and students endorsement of the exchange rules.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
EXCHANGE DISTRICT COMITEE