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2010 Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention Meeting Montreal, Canada June 19, 2010. Re-invigorating your Youth Exchange Program. What are the challenges?. Challenging students Students not mixing in the local culture Early returns Lack of focus and student goals

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2010 Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention Meeting Montreal, Canada June 19, 2010

Re-invigorating your Youth Exchange Program

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What are the challenges?

  • Challenging students

  • Students not mixing in the local culture

  • Early returns

  • Lack of focus and student goals

  • Students not involved in the Rotary club

  • Frustrated clubs/YEOs

  • Disengaged clubs

  • Disengaged district RYE committee

  • No host families

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Philosophy & Tools

  • We’ve been there too

  • We have some tools that can help address the challenges that we have all experienced

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Back to the Basics

  • What are the goals/aims of the Rotary Youth Exchange program?

  • What is one guideline that we all use to prepare our students?

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Our Program Challenges

  • 4 D’s

    • negative, a message of what not to do

    • made fun of

    • students were challenged to break them

    • did not give students problem solving tools

    • How does not drinking promote world peace? How does not driving foster cultural understanding?

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Here is what we did....

  • SWOT Analysis – realized our greatest strength was the passion of our committee

    • Willingness and need to do something different

  • Strategic Planning Session

    • Purpose: to improve the world by inspiring our youth and all participants to be outstanding ambassadors

    • Vision: having fun, working with the best, enriching lives!

  • Shifted our focus/paradigm

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Here is what we developed...

  • The Creed (our philosophy)

    • The 6 Be’s

    • The Rotary Youth Exchange Tree

    • Monthly Reflection Exercise

    • Be Curious Project

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District 5370 Rotary Youth Exchange Creed

This is my experience.

Many have been here before

And many will follow -

But this time is mine.

My journey will present

numerous doors to

Unlimited opportunities.

Some of these doors will be open,

Some will be closed.

But one thing I know for certain,

The key to all doors lies within.

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6 Be’s of D5370 RYE

Be First

I am a person of action!

Be Curious

I seek to understand!

Be on Purpose

I am certain of my outcome and move steadily toward it!

Be Grateful

I focus on things I can be thankful for!

Be of Service

I give of myself!

Be Here Now

I live in the moment!

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TheD5370 Tree of Youth Exchange

Why do some thrive while

others just survive?

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Phase I:Living Within – this is the foundation of your exchange.


- function in the language

- establish rapport with counsellor & host family

- respect, understand and observe local customs & laws and the 4 D’s

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  • Goals:

  • -Regular speaking roles

  • Extensive contact network

  • Deep understanding of local culture

  • High level of functioning in local language

  • Engaging others first about their host & home country

Phase II:Ambassador – growing, sharing and developing – branching out.

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Phase III:Leaving a Legacy – “fruits” of your exchange year are born – giving back.

  • Goals:

  • - Freely sharing passion, gifts and talents for a greater purpose

  • Initiating an endeavour or project that contributes to others

**While not every student’s progression will look the same, the 3 phases described are hallmarks of the students who best represent the program’s objectives.

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Be Curious Project

  • Inspired by D5020 in Washington

  • A positive spin on the “research assignment”

  • Equipping outbound students with valuable knowledge to manage cultural shock, set goals and prepare for their year

  • Used for public speaking events and preparation for their powerpoint

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What this has done...

  • Provided a positive action-oriented framework

  • It’s our decision making tool – will it help with “the climbing of trees”?:

    • Travel approval

    • New training programs

    • District sponsored trips

  • Increased Student Participation

    • Participate in Rotary club meetings, not just eating!

    • How to act at club, school, community and district events

  • Led to clubs and host families buying in

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What’s happened...

  • District Committee Impact

    • Attracted engaged district committee members

    • Gave us selling features to encourage committee growth & attraction

    • Allowed Rotarians to bring their strengths to Rotary

    • Shift from “administrating” to “inspiring and living” the program

    • Shift from authoritative figure to that of a mentor

    • Opportunity to engage on a deeperlevel with students

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What’s happened...

  • Student Impact

    • Equip students with a much bigger vision for their year, given them tools for success

    • Create a compelling purpose – goals for exchange

    • Become a conversation tool for early returns, homesickness, host family conflicts etc.

    • Is a way to tackle life’s challenges (goal setting, confidence, self esteem etc)

    • Builds their trust and relationship with the committee very quickly – shows them we respect them on an individual level

    • Increase Rotex participation and their desire to

      truly be there

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What’s happened...

  • Club & Counsellor Impact

    • Provide an understanding of how to interact with a student

    • See student’s personality emerge much quicker

    • Framework for clubs to the engage inboundstudent and become proficient at outbound student selection

    • Fosters cultural understanding (be curious)

    • Moved the YE program into the new generation (updated paradigms)

    • Counsellors and clubs are stepping up

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What’s happened...

  • Community Impact

    • Raised the profile of Rotary in the community

    • Instills confidence of the community in the new generations (the future of Rotary lies in their hands)

    • Promoted cultural sharing & understanding (i.e. Japanese lessons in Northern B.C.)

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Moving forward – a journey

  • What’s next?

    • Club presidents and club members familiarization with the program shift

    • Integrating these tools with our Senior Rotex

    • Inbound-rebound mentoring program

    • Host Family Training –DVD?

    • Ongoing Club Recruitment – having every club touched by the program

    • Having all trip leaders using the new tools

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Finely tuned program

  • Students, clubs, YEOs, families, community, exchange partners & district committees are all contributing (all gears in the “system”)

  • When in doubt...look no further than your area of the program (be it the district, club or student level)

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“Be” centered

“Be the change you want to see in the exchange”

– District 5370

For more on the YEO’s role in this, join us in Workshop D at 11:30 am today!