The Portsmouth Rotary Club's Youth Exchange program offers high school students the opportunity to live abroad for one academic year. The student usually lives with two or three host families who provide room and board, and introduce the student to family life in the local community. The student will attend classes at a local high school, with instruction in the local language, while learning about the culture.
Portsmouth Rotary Club's past "outbound" exchange students have spent their time abroad in countries from Belgium to Indonesia. Last year, we had two outbound students representing our program who attended schools in Ecuador and Indonesia. Additionally, we received two "inbound" exchange students who attended Portsmouth High School last year!
Students should be above average academically, and be well-adjusted, active and flexible. Applicants should also be interested in learning about other countries and cultures. A foreign language background is helpful, but not a prerequisite. Students can be no younger than 15½ and no older than 18½ as of July 31 of their outbound departure year.
The cost of the Rotary Youth Exchange program is much lower than that of most exchange programs. The student's family pays for such items as the application fee, airfare, insurance, passport/visa, clothing, and extra spending money. The host Rotary club pays for school tuition, room and board, transportation to school, and approximately $100 per month spending money (varies by country).
Hosting "Inbound" Students to the U.S.
Hosting a foreign exchange student can be an extremely rewarding experience. Students are placed with host families and normally start their tour with children, preferably a teenager of the same gender. The hosting period generally ranges around 5 ½ months, while the student learns about our country and the host family learns about the student's culture and customs. It is a great way to broaden a family's horizons, while building a lasting long-term relationship with a special person. In 2011, a host family from Portsmouth will be traveling to France to visit a previous "inbound" student and her family!
How to Apply for "Outbound" Opportunities
1) Fill out a two-page preliminary application. The latest applications are available to download here.
2) Submit the completed application to the Portsmouth Rotary Club, Attention Lynn McLaren or Rick Page, by or before October 15, 2011.
3) Applicants will be contacted regarding interviews and a final application process.
For more information on both outbound and inbound hosting opportunities, please contact Portsmouth Rotarians Lynn McLaren or Rick Page.