Host a Student, Become a Host Family.

Being a Host Family is the next best thing to going on exchange yourself! Host families are the backbone of the Youth Exchange Program- without them, there is no program! 

By hosting a Youth Exchange student in your home, you’ll make a young person’s dream come true, and you and your family will share an unforgettable and fulfilling experience.

Any caring and responsible family with an interest in hosting a young person from another land can be a tremendous host family! The best host families are really just normal families and they don’t fall into any one, easy-to-define category.

  • Families do not need to be affiliated with Rotary to host Rotary Exchange Students.
  • Families with small children make great host families because young children get the experience of having a big brother or sister and the exchange students often enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of practicing their language skills with a younger child.
  • “Empty Nesters” or retired couples are good too because they can have more time to spend with their student than younger parents do and they often enjoy having a young person around the house.
  • Families with high school age children are good because host brothers and sisters can quickly get the student involved in school and community activities.
  • Rotary differs from many international exchange programs in that our students generally live with three or more families during their exchange year. This gives the student a more well-rounded experience in a culture, having experienced family life from at least three different perspectives. It is also less of a commitment for host families; the typical hosting period is about 10-12 weeks.

Thank you for your interest in hosting a foreign exchange student! The U.S. Department of State requires that every family who wishes to host a foreign exchange student complete an application that includes general financial information, 2 personal references with phone and email contact, and photos of the family, room and bathroom where student would be staying, living areas, and exterior of home.  A vetted volunteer must perform a home visit to the prospective host family an dmeet the family members before a host family can be approved.

Under U.S. Department of State rules, host families must volunteer to host and may not accept payment or remuneration of any sort as consideration for hosting a student.

Host Family Applications must be completed online. No paper applications can be accepted.

What are my responsibilities?

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 have a bit more of the soccer mom or dad for normal everyday activities it is not your responsibility to act as a taxi service of a tour guide. This does not mean that you have to arrange elaborate entertainment, but simply make the student a part of your family. Give him or her the opportunity to share in the same aspects of your family life that most teenage students experience in your culture. Rotarians for the hosting club will be helping in these areas.

How long would i host a student?

If you volunteer to be a hosting family you can expect a student to live with you for about 3 months, but it varies depending on how many families are involved, when the move date is convenient for the families and the student, holidays, vacations, etc.

What are my obligations as a host family?

As a Rotary Youth Exchange host family, it is your responsibility to provide room and board for your exchange student. You are also expected to exercise general parental supervision over the student just as you would your own children, and involve him or her in daily household chores and activities.

However, most host families’ involvement with their student does not stop at room and board. The families often share their native background while also learning about their visitors’ culture.  Otherwise, consider yourself to have another son or daughter. Entering into hosting with this frame of mind is the most rewarding. Ask any family that has hosted before.

Other suggested arrangements may include:
  • Meeting your exchange student on arrival in your country and making the student feel at home as part of the family
  • Helping the student master the language and assist with school work
  • Involving the student in obligations similar to those established for your own family members, chores
  • Helping the student meet Rotary obligations, which usually include attending Rotary functions, including club and/or district meetings
  • Seeing that the student meets other young people
  • Providing a safe environment for the student and ensuring the student’s safety

Rotary Youth Exchange is an opportunity for students to live in and learn about another country and culture. Students usually return from their exchange with a better understanding of our world, the customs and language of another country and many new friends. They also grow in their confidence, independence, and maturity.

A Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship has a value ranging from $13,000 – $51,000. Students live in another country, attend school, learn the language, study the host country’s culture and have opportunities to explore the host country and surrounding areas.

Rotary provides a support system for all exchange students. There are Rotary volunteers here in Nebraska who provide support and training for students before they leave on their exchange and throughout the exchange. There are Rotary volunteers in the host countries who provide guidance and support during the student’s time abroad.

Host families do not receive payment and policies are in place to screen host families. Students are sponsored by Rotary Club in central and western Nebraska and hosted by a Rotary club in their host country.

Applicants are screened by their local Rotary Club. If advanced to district interviews, they will be screened again by Rotarians, Youth Exchange Volunteers, and former Youth Exchange Students. Students accepted into the program and parents must participate in mandatory orientation sessions. Rotary Youth Exchange students are expected to follow all Rotary rules as well as the laws of their host country and serve as good ambassadors on behalf of their family, community, state, country, and Rotary.

Rotary District 5630 Host Families & Volunteers

The Rotary Youth Exchange Program appreciates your interest in hosting an exchange student, and we are confident that this will be a truly rewarding experience for you.

Rotary International and government entities require that we obtain the information on this form and conduct background checks on all potential host families. We assure you that the information that we receive will be treated confidentially, and we thank you for your assistance and understanding.