Youth Exchange Program
Annually, 8,000 students from more than 80 countries take part in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program worldwide. Students selected for this program typically spend an academic year abroad. The Meredith Rotary Club typically sponsors one student to participate in this program each academic year. To qualify, a student should be between the ages of 15 and 18 1/2, in the upper-third of his or her academic classes, of good character, emotionally stable, and in good physical condition. Most importantly, he or she must be able and willing to be a good ambassador. The student, or the student's family, is expected to pay travel and insurance costs, as well as provide some spending and emergency money. The total cost is approximately $4,500, but could range up to $8,000, depending on airfare and the cost of Rotary sponsored events in a particular country. The host Rotary club and family provide room, board, and schooling.
The Rotary Youth Exchange program has also brought young people to the Meredith area from all over the world to learn about the United States, promote understanding of different cultures, and study in a new environment. The Meredith Rotary Club typically hosts one student each academic year. Students usually live with two different host families during their 10-month stay and attend Inter-Lakes High School. While the foreign students are enriched by the experience, most host families feel they equally benefit from the program.
For more information about being a Rotary Youth Exchange student or host family or to express interest in the program, please contact Dean Gulezian at 677-7172 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Extensive information about the Rotary Youth Exchange Program can also be found at the following website: http://www.exchangestudent.org/
The Meredith Rotary Club recently hosted 16 youth exchange students from Rotary District 7870 for Columbus Day Weekend 2012. The District covers much of Southern Vermont and Southern New Hampshire. The students were from Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Mexico, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Thailand. Students in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program spend the entire school year with host families in the United States. Three other students joined the group, one from Meredith who spent last year in Chile, and two who are Meredith�s candidate to spend next year overseas.
On Friday evening October 5th, students met their weekend host families at the Meredith Community Center, during a dinner sponsored by the Meredith Rotary Club. Saturday October 6th began with a trip to the Squam Lake Natural Science Center. From there, the group attended the Sandwich Fair, compliments of the Sandwich Fair Association. They then enjoyed winding their way through the corn maze at Moulton Farm, compliments of Rotarian John Moulton. Then it was off to Funspot, the Weirs Beach Go-Kart track, and making tie dye shirts, before ending the day on the Mt. Washington dinner/dance cruise. After spending Sunday morning October 7th with their weekend host families, the students returned home.
Events such as this are rewarding experiences for both the students and host families. Anyone interested in being a Rotary Youth Exchange student in 2014-15 or hosting a student during the 2014-15 school year, should contact Dean Gulezian at 677-7172.
The 2011 Youth Exchange Students at Sandwich Fair
The 2012 Youth Exchange Students at Sandwich Fair