The Rotary Club of Enfield has supported this worthwhile program in the past and plans to support a student exchange in 2016. Exposure to different cultures ranks as one of the most powerful ways to promote international understanding and peace. 

The Rotary Youth Exchange program provides thousands of young students with the opportunity to meet people from other countries and to experience new cultures, planting the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding.

Rich Friedman, a member of the Rotary Club of East Longmeadow, MA recently spoke to the Enfield Club about the Youth Exchange Program. The program offers numerous benefits to its young participants and their Rotarian hosts and mentors, as well as to the community at large. Through Youth Exchange, students learn firsthand about all aspects of life in another country. As their concept of the world expands, they mature and develop a deeper understanding of themselves. Immersion in another country’s educational system enhances their academic and personal growth. Host clubs and families and the entire community are enriched by extended, friendly contact with someone from a different culture.

There are two different exchange programs:

 Long-term exchange:

These exchanges usually last one year, during which the student lives with more than one family in the host country and is required to attend school there. Long-term exchanges may be extended to include part or all of the holiday/vacation periods immediately before and after the academic year.

 Short-term exchange: 

These exchanges vary from several days to several weeks; they often take place when school is not in session and usually do not include an academic program. Short-term exchanges generally involve a home-stay experience with a family in the host country.

Rotary Youth Exchanges are administered locally, and all applicants must be sponsored by a local Rotary club and district.

For more information about the Rotary Youth Exchange Program please contact Carol Bohnet, International Chair, Rotary Club of Enfield at 860-741-3701 or email cbohnet@alliedgroup.org.