Time is Running Out to Bring Exchange Students to Soo

Our local Rotary Clubs the community’s support in bringing their incoming Rotary Youth Exchange students to the Soo in August.

“We are in immediate need of two host families for the students’ first semester in Canada,” shared Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie Youth Exchange Chair Melinda Mills. “Many local families have supported this program going back decades to when it was first brought to our community in the sixties, but due to life changes, people moving and downsizing their homes, and other unforeseen circumstances, we have no family ready to take in a high student in August.”

Host families must be secured in order for the inbound students to participate in the exchange program locally.

“These incoming students add to the vibrance of our city. Not only do they get to experience so much about Canadian culture, from skiing in the winter to camping in the summer, but their classmates get a window to a different part of the world and way of life.” 

Rotary welcomes all types of homes. Incoming exchange students may be placed in families with one adult or couples, with older kids, younger kids, or no kids. Being a host family means including the exchange student as part of your family, sharing meals and quality time, as they spend their first semester in a new country and becomes familiar with our traditions and language.

“A host family will give an exchange student the opportunity to have new experiences during the year and make friendships with them that will last forever, even from far,” shared current inbound Rotary Exchange Student, Marina.

Rotary provides exchange students with a monthly allowance and cellphone with plan. Rotarians will pick up the student for lunch each week to spend time with their club (which host families are also invited to) and will arrange for their costs and transportation to several Rotary Youth Exchange conferences throughout the year.  

“We rely on Rotary Clubs from all over the world to provide safe and caring homes for the students we send from the Sault each year on exchange, and it is important that we actively participate in this incredibly rewarding experience for young people,” shared Mills.

Interested parties are encouraged to contact Rotary as soon as possible – no question too small. Those interested in moving on to the next steps will complete an online application, interview with the Rotary Youth Exchange committee, police and home check. The Rotary Youth Exchange Committee will be there to help with every step in the process.

For more information please call the Rotary office at 705-945-1279 or email [email protected].

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