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Short-Term Exchange Program (STEP)

RYE6690’s Short-Term Family-to-Family Exchange Program presents opportunities for students to advance their knowledge and world understanding by allowing them to visit a different country for a limited period of time. Participating students live with a matched host family in their selected country for four weeks in the summer under the sponsorship of a local Rotary Club.

The objective of the Family-to-Family Exchange Program is to foster world peace, international understanding and good will by extending international communication at the personal level through the exchange of students of high school age. It is our hope that these students will be able to see firsthand the problems and accomplishments of other peoples of different colors, languages and cultures.

The RYE6690 Family-to Family Exchange arranges for the student’s family to host a matching Rotary applicant (between the ages of 15 and 18 1/2 years) usually during the summer. Exchanges can be arranged between the two families for not less than 3 weeks and not more than 6 weeks (in each country).  The exchange in each country is generally for an equal amount of time.

The cost of travel (including visas and other travel documents), the RYE6690 application processing fee, clothing and personal expenses are the responsibility of the participating students and their families.  Students who remain abroad longer than 30 days are also responsible for additional insurance costs.

Travel to the host country is arranged by each student’s family communicating with the other student’s family, determining dates, times and airlines to be booked for the exchange. Frequently, students who exchange first accompany their host sibling on the return flight home.

Qualifications for Short-Term Exchange Students    

Any student, age 15 to 18-1/2, of good character and suitable personality, and who has a desire to live abroad and host in return may apply for Rotary’s Family-to-Family Exchange program.

Children of both Rotarians and non-Rotarians are eligible.

We have found that students with many of the following traits may be good candidates for the summer exchange program:

  • Demonstrated interest in things international, through language classes, pen pals, cultural studies, foreign travel, and/or hosting inbound students.
  • Mutual desire of parents and the student to participate in an exchange.
  • Politeness, pleasantness, and a confidence.
  • Flexibility to adapt to new and changing environments.
  • Comfortable traveling away from home for 4 weeks or more.
  • Participation in all  monthly Rotary preparation meetings held for future outbound exchange students.
  • Student overall grade point of 3.0 or above (not mandatory, but a good sign of dedication and discipline).
  • Ability to make presentations to sponsoring Rotary Clubs here and abroad.
  • A sense of humor and a positive and enthusiastic outlook.
  • A firm commitment to the STEP program with minimal time and work conflicts.
  • A student’s work schedule should not interfere with entertaining your host brother or sister.
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