Advise For Future You 2023-11-12 08:00:00Z 0
Hear From Our Students 2022-03-09 08:00:00Z 0

Is Youth Exchange Service?

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Youth exchange volunteers are often asked how youth exchange fits into the world of Rotary service. The people who are the most obvious beneficiaries of the program aren’t yet Rotary members and it can seem like there is an awful lot of work that goes into sending one person off on an academic year in another country. While those two things are true, youth exchange is also a program with a very long view on things. Let me explain by telling you a more personal story.

Is Youth Exchange Service? 2021-01-11 08:00:00Z 0

My Life During Covid-19

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Living overseas as a high school student can be a tough thing for anyone, including the strongest willed and strongest minded. I know many people that have said they would love to go on exchange, but they would miss their friends too much or would fail immediately. I thought this as well going into my exchange, as I felt relatively unprepared in comparison to other exchange students I have seen, past and present. There were even moments where I considered dropping out! Leaving my friends and family behind to live in a foreign country with virtually no knowledge of the language was, without a doubt, the most challenging thing I have done. But I saw it through, and I never looked back....


My Life During Covid-19 2020-06-19 07:00:00Z 0

Exchange as an Introvert

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As I sit back and close my eyes, I can almost feel like I am there—the wind blowing through my hair as I walk towards my uncertain fate: a twenty passenger aircraft. As I settled in my seat, I remember feeling chills down my back as the realization flooded my head. 

My life was about to change forever. Nervous excitement coursed through my veins as the announcements began to play overhead as my first flight to Seattle was about to begin. The wheels started to turn faster and faster. The plane shuddered violently as the plane.....


Exchange as an Introvert 2020-05-25 07:00:00Z 0

Molly's Update...Now that it's all over

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How My Exchange Has Changed Me
Dateline: Belgium...It’s been about 10 months since I stepped on a plane, scared out of my mind, and flew to Belgium. I had heard from many people that I would change, my friends and family would change, that things back home would change, and a year ago that scared me. The idea of change was so bad and so weird to think about. Now, here I am, reaching the end of the best year of my life.           
Molly's Update...Now that it's all over 2018-09-14 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary, language, friendships, travel and more…my first five months in Germany

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Karlsruhe, Germany: Katie R. an exchange student sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Nanaimo, B.C. has done quite a bit of traveling since arriving in Germany in the fall of 2017. She reports that in her first weeks she found herself in three different regions of the country. The first weekend after she arrived she traveled with her host family to a city called Münster, which is about a 5-hour drive from her host city. Enduring jet lag she still found the trip interesting. Katie said “Constantly being surrounded by a very close, very large German family brought about many headaches, lots of confusion, but also seemed to be the most welcoming way possible to spend my first days in Germany".
(Pictured: Downtown Münster)
“My first week was simple and relaxed, I got myself settled in and explored my city with my host family, and met some friends.”
“At the end of the week we took another family trip, this time in two parts:....
Rotary, language, friendships, travel and more…my first five months in Germany  2018-04-28 07:00:00Z 0

Wow, It's Already Half Over!

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Molly M., an exchange student sponsored by the East Jefferson Rotary Club in Chimacum, Washington USA, can’t believe that her year in Belgium is already half way over! Sending her District 5020 Country Officer, Julia, her halfway report she is actually counting her days abroad…. “Today is day 170 of my exchange here in Belgium”.
Currently Molly is living with her second host family. She stayed with her first host family for more than a third of her exchange, 4.5 months actually. “It was hard at first because I felt homesick all the time… but I still had a great experience there”! Molly feels very supported by her host families and. “It was a refreshing feeling to start again with a new family”.  Changing families can be like hitting the restart button.
Wow, It's Already Half Over! 2018-04-28 07:00:00Z 0
More Stories Here 2018-02-13 08:00:00Z 0

A Former Inbound - What's She Doing Now

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A Former Inbound to Bremerton, Washington in 2011-12 Sends an Update On What She Is Doing Now
Dear Tom:
I think after several months, or might have been a year already? - I am in need of writing a small update on what I have been up to these days. 
After 3 years I have finally and successful completed my undergrad double degree education. After being accepted into an international double degree program I received the opportunity to study not just in Austria in the field of Tourism and Leisure Management, but also in France in order to gain a second Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration. Whilst the end of my studies I more and more had to opportunity to focus on brand management in the outdoor industry, in which field I also want to gain my Graduate Degree in. After graduating in June 2017,
A Former Inbound - What's She Doing Now 2018-02-12 08:00:00Z 0

Hola From Chile - An Outbound Update

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San Fernando, Chile - Abby McD., an Outbound Student sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tacoma, Washington USA, is thoroughly enjoying her exchange in San Fernando, Chile this year. She found some of her experiences when she first arrived were not as she had expected but she feels she is learning from her host family about life in Chile and developing independence. Abby, an only child back in the United States loves getting to know her host family and her host siblings.
This picture is of me learning the Cueca (national dance)
Being in the southern hemisphere their school year is on a different schedule as in the northern hemisphere. When Abby arrived in August.....
Hola From Chile - An Outbound Update 2018-02-04 08:00:00Z 0

British Columbia High School Student tells her story of her year in Netherlands with Rotary Youth Exchange

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Parksville - Qualicum Beach British Columbia - Taylor Hunter, a Kwalikum Secondary student, returned from a nearly year-long trip to the Netherlands arranged by the Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach and a Rotary Club in the Netherlands this past July.
It’s a trip that’s changed who she is, and her direction in life.
Even now, months after returning, Hunter said ……
To read the complete story  written by Adam Kveton printed in the Parksville Qualicum Beach News on Thursday October 19th, 2017 go the the link:
British Columbia High School Student tells her story of her year in Netherlands with Rotary Youth Exchange  2017-11-10 08:00:00Z 0

A Student Says Goodbye After 10 Months in the US

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Hello everybody, here is a summary of my last month in the US!

I had a lot of things going on at the end of the school year and I had a fun time travelling around and spending time with my friends and my host families and I wanted to share it with you.


June rhyme with sun, prom, end of the school, graduation, travels…

A Student Says Goodbye After 10 Months in the US 2017-07-16 07:00:00Z 0

Former Outbound Student Receives Paul Harris Fellow

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Sasha Katzalay; outbound exchange student to Japan in 2010-11 was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow by her sponsor Rotary club, Port Townsend Sunrise, for her continued support of Rotary and Rotary Youth Exchange. Sasha is a member of her University Rotaract club and has for years participated as a facilitator at the Outbound Orientation and served as a panel member on District Interview teams for future RYE students. She epitomizes what we as Rotarians hope to see our young people strive for in the world of Rotary. Because of Sasha’s dedicated efforts on behalf of Rotary her sponsor club presented her with this award in August of 2016. It was an overwhelming surprise to her, but a well-deserved award.
Sasha is pictured here with Ana; inbound student from Brazil 2016-2017
To read her complete story; 
Former Outbound Student Receives Paul Harris Fellow  Jayne Neu 2017-05-20 07:00:00Z 0
Rotary Exchange Students Learn Skills For Life 2017-05-20 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange Students Entertain at District Conference and DTA

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At the most recent District 5020 Conference and DTA held at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino and Resort in Pouslbo, Washington this past May 4th - 6th, 2017 Rotarians had the privilege of being entertained by several of the current inbound exchange students. Ailsa from Indonesia performed a traditional country dance in full traditional costume, Milosz from Poland showed off his film making skills with A day in a Life of an Exchange Student and the classes most recent excursion to the Comox Valley Rendezvous. Matej from Slovakia sang and played the electric piano to a Slovakian Folk song; he even twirled Governor Joann around the floor in some fancy dance moves. Devrim from Turkey played his guitar and crooned a Frank Sinatra classic; Fly me to the Moon and Adina from Finland sang Imagine while Matej from Slovakia accompanied her on the piano during the Memorial segment of the program
Rotary Youth Exchange Students Entertain at District Conference and DTA 2017-05-07 07:00:00Z 0

Exciting News for Rotary Youth Exchange in District 5020!

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At the recent NAYEN (North American Youth Exchange Network) Conference hosted in Calgary, Alberta, the Rotary Youth Exchange Program of District 5020 was honoured with the Dr. Abe Kuttothara Award as the “outstanding Rotary Youth Exchange District in North America”.   The award is given annually to a District from Canada, the U.S., or Mexico that exemplifies the ideals of Rotary Youth Exchange fostered by a North American Youth Exchange Network pioneer, Dr. Abe Kuttothara.
Exciting News for Rotary Youth Exchange in District 5020! 2017-03-17 07:00:00Z 0

Interview with past Lee Belas Financial Award recipient: Issac Alvarez Rueda

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Each year, a financial award is given out to a Long Term Outbound Rotary Exchange student in Rotary District 5020.   The financial award in the amount of $3 000 U.S. helps to offset Rotary Student Exchange Program expenses reducing the financial burden of participation for any student.

    Lee Belas was an exchange student to Belgium in 1985/1986, an experience that changed his perspective of the world and redirected his plans for the future.  He discovered that he loved learning other languages and wanted to someday be an ambassador.

Interview with past Lee Belas Financial Award recipient: Issac Alvarez Rueda 2017-02-22 08:00:00Z 0