A host family is a vital part of the cultural exchange, immersing the student in a variety of activities while in the host country. The host family plays a large role in offering the student a view of another country and gains the opportunity to learn about a new culture from a young leader. Hosting is a tremendous experience in which you can share in a young person's hopes and dreams and develop a lifelong connection with a student and family from another country.  It can be challenging to help a young person transition to a new culture and ease into the surroundings, but the rewards are immeasurable. 

Host families in the Youth Exchange program come in all shapes and sizes.  They can be Rotarians or  non-Rotarians and may include young children, older children, or no children at all.  Not only will you provide an unforgettable service to a student from abroad, but you also will educate your family about the world around them.

What is expected of a host family?

As a Rotary Youth Exchange host family, it is your responsibility to provide room and board for your exchange student. You are also expected to exercise general parental supervision over the student just as you would your own children, and involve him or her in daily household chores and activities.

Most host families' involvement with their students does not stop at room and board.  The families often share their native background while also learning about their visitors' culture.  This does not mean that you have to arrange elaborate entertainment, but simply make the student a part of your family.  Give him or her the opportunity to share in the same aspects of your family life that most teenage students experience in your culture.

What is expected of the host Rotary District?

Rotarians work to take care of the logistics of the exchange.  As all Youth Exchanges are carried out at the local level, the local Rotary club and district will arrange school enrollment, tuition, and other educational matters with the local secondary school.  All program volunteers are devoted to the safety of the students, and the host club and district maintain policies and procedures to protect the students.  Local Rotarians also introduce the student to the other club members and organize some social and cultural functions for the student to attend.

For long-term exchanges, the hosting club or district appoints a Rotarian counselor and arranges a monthly allowance for the student. The Rotarian counselor maintains contact with the host family and the student throughout the exchange.


To find how to host a Rotary Youth Exchange, contact your local Rotary club.