Application and Interview
 
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Application Process
During the fall, Rotary District 5650 conducts screening interviews of students who are interested in becoming exchange students during the 2017-18 academic year.  A student's first step is to fill out the Preliminary Application and portions of the Long Term Application. The student should submit the applications to a local Rotary Club and to the Rotary Youth Exchange Chairman.  During September, October, and early November, the student and the student's parents must interview with a local Rotary Club.  If the Rotary Club decides to sponsor the student, then the student and his or her parents go on to interview with the District Youth Exchange Committee in November.  If the District Youth Exchange Committee approves the student, the student needs to promptly fill out the remaining portions of the Long Term Youth Exchange Application and submit them along with a deposit check for the $600 to the District Youth Exchange Chairman.  The process of matching the student with a country cannot begin until the student's completed application has been received.  Early submission of the completed application improves the odds of receiving a more advantageous placement.  Formal orientation for the accepted students occurs in February.
 
How Do I Find a Local Rotary Club to Sponsor Me?
Go back to the home page for Rotary District 5650 and find the button for the Club Directory and Contact.  Clicking this button takes you to a page that lists all the Rotary clubs in District 5650.  In most cases there will be contact information for your local club on this page.  In other cases you need to link to the club's website where the contact information can be found.
 
How Much Does It Cost to Be a Rotary Youth Exchange Student?
The Rotary Youth Exchange Program is one of the least expensive exchange programs. Rotary District 5650 uses a flat fee of $5,500 (the $600 deposit check is the first payment toward the flat fee). This covers direct costs involving the application, plane fare, visa, health insurance required by the host country, and orientation weekends.  Need based scholarships are available for exceptional students.
 
Your host Rotary Club will provide free room and board and schooling.  The Rotary Club in your host country, besides providing host families for your stay, will give you a monthly allowance of approximately $100 buying power in its currency to help with day-to-day spending and incidental costs. 
  
Hosting Requirement.
Unlike a number of other youth exchange organizations, Rotary does not require you to host a student in your home.  On the other hand, finding qualified and appropriate host families is crucial to the success of our overall program.  If our inbound students experience problems with the host family process, we may lose the future opportunity to send a student to their districts.  Therefore, we now require each family of an outbound student to find the initial host family for the foreign student who will be attending the school of the outbound student.  This requirement may be waived if we are unable to place a student in the school of the outbound student.
 
What Does Rotary Do To Help Orient Me for my Exchange?
In February District 5630 (Western Nebraska) and 5650 (Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska) get together with the current inbound students for a weekend long orientation in Grand Island.  Students and their parents are given detailed information about various topics including:
  • Travel
  • Insurance
  • Health Issues
  • Cultural Adjustment
  • Rotary Youth Exchange Creed
  • The Seven Be's:  How to Take Responsibility for Your Exchange
  • Rotary Rules
  • Youth Protection
Students are also expected to attend the Outbound Orientation Camp, which will be held in June at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.