Rotary seeking host families

Hosting a Rotary Exchange Student can be an enriching experience for all members of your family, from adults to children to grandchildren and extended family members. Rotary Exchange Students learn about the culture of their host country from the inside out by living with local families, attending local schools and participating in local activities. Host families are the primary means of teaching International students about America and Americans — how we really are, what we are really like. In turn, your family experiences another culture and learns about a world beyond our own shores.

It is expected that the exchange student will become a member of your family, with all the associated benefits and responsibilities. He, or she, should have the same rules as other American teenagers and be expected to participate in household duties. The host family is asked to become a family for the young person who is so far from home. It is hoped you will be the surrogate parents that you would want others to be for your child in a strange land. It is a responsibility, but the rewards last a lifetime.

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Rotary provides an excellent support system for both the students and the host families. Each student is hosted by a local Rotary Club who works through our District Committee and Rotary’s ESSEX (Eastern States Student Exchange). The Rotarians in the local club become an extended family for the student. Each Rotary Club has a Youth Exchange “Counselor” who provides individual assistance and support for both the student and the host families. Our District Committee, ESSEX and Rotary International have additional resources and experience to draw upon. All students come with health insurance and spending money in addition to a modest allowance from the local Rotary Club.

The Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club is looking for three host families. The exchange student will arrive sometime in August 2011, and return to their Country at the end of the school year in June 2012. Families must live in the Eastern Regional High School District.

For further information on hosting an exchange student and the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, please contact Ilean R. Stein, Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club, Rotary Youth Exchange Counselor, at ileanrstein@verizon.net or call (609) 320–7276.

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