Posted by Thomas Neveau on Feb 02, 2017
Be a Host Family
As a host family for a Rotary exchange student, you assume parental responsibility for this young ambassador from another country, to provide shelter and sustenance, guidance and counsel, and love and support to the child of strangers who may live thousands of miles from you. They have their own insurance and pocket money – you will provide room and board. Rotary does not pay any stipend to host families.
Rotary Clubs are always looking for potential host families. If you’d like to enrich your family’s experience by bringing in a Rotary exchange student, contact your local Rotary Club.
What are the responsibilities of a host family?

To accept the exchange student as a new member of your family. The student will be governed not only by the rules of the program but by the rules of your household. You are responsible for the safety of the exchange student the same as for your own children. Although you might become a bit more of the soccer mom or dad for normal everyday activities, it is not your responsibility to act as a taxi service or a tour guide. Rotarians for the hosting club will be helping in these areas. Rotary International has published a very detailed guide for Host Families.
What are the qualifications of a host family?

While the hosting of an Inbound student by the parents of an Outbound student is not an obligation, our District has discovered that many parents of Outbounds find enjoyment in taking part in the program when they open their hearts and home to an Inbound student for three months. An ideal exchange is one that places an Inbound in two to four different homes during a school year. It is not essential that hosts be Rotarians. In fact, Clubs are encouraged to seek non-Rotarian families to serve as hosts, and these families may or may not have children.
Successful exchanges also take place in single parent households. Regardless of the host family format, motivation is a critical factor. The family must be realistic about their reason for wanting a foreign student in their home – NOT because they think it is something they should (or feel that they have to) do or certainly not out of a desire for prestige or social acceptance. All members of the family must want the student and the opportunity to experience a different culture within the home. EVERYONE who participates in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, from the student who wants to study overseas, his/her parents, and Rotarians in sponsoring Clubs, needs to be aware that for this program to continue providing students an opportunity to study overseas, our Districts have to rely upon parental, community and Club support to obtain host families for our Inbound students.