While the hosting of an Inbound student by the parents of an Outbound student is not an obligation, our Districts have discovered that many parents of Outbounds find enjoyment in taking part in the program when they open their hearts and home to an Inbound student for three months. An ideal exchange is one that places an Inbound in two to four different homes during a school year. It is not essential that hosts be Rotarians. In fact, Clubs are encouraged to seek non-Rotarian families to serve as hosts, and these families may or may not have children.
Successful exchanges also take place in single parent households. Regardless of the host family format, motivation is a critical factor. The family must be realistic about their reason for wanting a foreign student in their home – NOT because they think it is something they should (or feel that they have to) do or certainly not out of a desire for prestige or social acceptance. All members of the family must want the student and the opportunity to experience a different culture within the home. EVERYONE who participates in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, from the student who wants to study overseas, his/her parents, and Rotarians in sponsoring Clubs, needs to be aware that for this program to continue providing students an opportunity to study overseas, our Districts have to rely upon parental, community and Club support to obtain host families for our Inbound students.