Thank you for your interest in being a host family for a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. We know you will find this experience rewarding, possibly challenging, but definitely memorable.
Any caring and responsible family with an interest in hosting a young person from another country and culture can be a tremendous host family! The best host families are really just normal families and they don't fall into any one, easy-to-define category.
Rotary differs from many international exchange programs in that our students generally live with 2 – 3 families during their exchange year. This gives the student a more well-rounded experience in a culture, having experienced family life from multiple perspectives. It is also less of a commitment for host families; the typical length of stay is about three to four months instead of a full year.
- Families do not need to be affiliated with Rotary to host Rotary Exchange Students.
- Families with small children make great host families because young children get the experience of having a big brother or sister and the exchange students often enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of practicing their language skills with a younger child.
- "Empty Nesters" or retired couples are good too because they can have more time to spend with their student than younger parents do and they often enjoy having a young person around the house.
- Families with high school age children are ideal because host brothers and sisters can quickly get the student involved in school and community activities.
- A single parent host family with a child in the family also can make a great host family
As a host family, you will be responsible for room and board for the student, supporting and guiding your exchange student through the cultural adjustment and overseeing schoolwork. Generally, you'll treat this exchange student just as you would your own child. Families have to be vetted to US State Department standards, just like we would like to have happen with our own kids. This includes an application, background check and an orientation for anyone over the age of 17 who lives in the household.
Each Rotary exchange student has a Rotary counselor from a local Rotary club. The student’s Rotary counselor will work with you to ensure that the exchange student has a safe and enjoyable time in your home. And if there is a problem, the Rotary counselor will be there to work with the host family in solving the problem.
Host families are not reimbursed or paid for their efforts. Nor is there any charge to become a host family. Tax deductions and/or credits may be available to you as a host. Check with your tax consultant for more information.
The parents of an outbound student are encouraged, but not required, to accept an incoming exchange student in their family.
Would you like more information about being a host family in Rotary District 5190? Just contact us and we will put you in contact with representatives of a local Rotary Club in your community.