You do not need to be a Rotarian or have a sibling participating in the program to be considered as a suitable host family.
There is no typical family structure required. An acceptable family might have small children, older children or no children living at home. All that is expected is a that a caring and friendly family and home atmosphere is provided.
Exchange students are between the ages of 15 years and 18 years and will be attending a secondary school in the area of the host club. Host families voluntarily open their homes to these students for periods of approximately three to four months. This time provides an opportunity for everyone to develop a lifetime of friendships, to learn a different culture and to gain many other rewarding experiences.
Rotary has a well-earned reputation and is recognized second to none as an excellent student exchange program. Because of its structure Rotary provides a well-managed infrastructure which supports the student, the host family and everyone else involved in the exchange.
The shorter hosting period gives more opportunities to share the experience. With the support of a counselor appointed by the local Rotary club everyone is involved in this.
To register your family’s interest please fill out the Host Family application form. This will then be forwarded to the Rotary youth exchange administrator nearest to your home address who will then contact you directly with further information.
All host families and participants in the program are interviewed first and are then subject to the relevant state legislative requirements for persons working or volunteering with children.
There is no commitment on either yourself, or by Rotary for you to host a student. Your interest will simply be recorded and you will be contacted if an opportunity becomes available. There will be certain mandatory requirements regarding personal checks and a personal interview process to further discuss all aspects of the program before any further commitment is sought.
This would normally be between 12 to 14 weeks of a 12 month exchange.
During this time the student is obliged to go to school and participate in all school activities.
Students are expected to become participating members of the host family and share in all of those responsibilities. At times there will be some commitments to their host Rotary club. Indeed you may also find that you become involved in some of the club's activities.
Rotary insists that students have a reasonable academic standard, some spoken English as well as an ability to act as an ambassador for Rotary, themselves and their national country.
All students have received training which prepares them for their year of exchange. This training is provided in areas of public speaking, understanding cultural differences and getting on with people from different persuasions.