HOLA! BONJOUR! KONNICHI WA! NÎ HÂO! Learn a new language, experience a different culture, and make new friends. The Rotary Youth Exchange Student program in this area of New Jersey is seeking high school students to spend a year in a foreign land, and experience the many benefits of studying abroad.

Those who will be a high school student in 2014-2015 can broaden your world view as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in a foreign country. Many for-profit exchange programs cost tens of thousands of dollars for such exchanges.  Rotary has been providing this enriching experience since the 1920’s for a minimal cost to students and their families.

Rotary District 7470, comprised of Essex, Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties, has had student exchanges with Spain, Germany, France, Japan, India, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and many other countries.

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There are two programs for high school students: a full academic year exchange, and a short-term exchange of 3 to 4 weeks during the summer.  

Rotary Club volunteers administer the program at the local level, which helps keep costs low for students and their families. These volunteers often offer years of experience with students and host families, ensuring a safe, nurturing and enriching environment.

While students are overseas, they are treated like a member of the family…their school, their room and board and their food are covered by the host family. In addition, local Rotary clubs provide experiential activities with exchange students from all over the world, and the opportunity for travel is abundant.

High school graduates may also participate in the program by taking a “gap year” between high school and college, as long as they will not reach the age of 18 and a half prior to August 15, 2015.

Applications from interested students will be accepted until December 10, 2014. Interviews will be conducted during December 2014 and January 2015, with final selections made by the end of January.

Is your child interested in becoming a foreign exchange student?  Would you enjoy the experience of hosting a student from another country? For more information, contact Jim LaSala at 973-713-4294 or by e-mail at jimlasala@aol.com

To learn more about Rotary in your community, call 1-844-ROTARY-3.