Rotary Clubs need host families for exchange students

RENO, NV (KOLO) -- The Truckee Meadows Rotary Youth Exchange is gearing up to host roughly eight exchange students this academic school year through its international youth exchange program. It teams with other Rotary clubs around the world in more than 100 countries and provides scholarships for students to travel, attend school, learn new languages and give back to their respective communities.

The local Rotary club hosted an open house event at the Elm Estate Thursday, May 23, 2019 for people to learn about the program and what it takes to become a host family. Students learn a new language, discover another culture and become global citizens. Exchanges are for students ages 15-19 and are sponsored by Rotary clubs worldwide.

"To see and live with someone from another culture, to be able to experience the world the way that they view the world, and to watch them accept our culture as part of their life, it teaches you to accept their culture as part of my life," Claire Zybert, member of the District Youth Exchange Committee, said.

Host families who decide to participate in the program are volunteers who can see the value in having a foreign exchange student stay in their home. These students become part of the family with all the rights and responsibilities as their own children. If there are children in the home, these young people also see how valuable it is to learn of other cultures and the potential for going out on exchange themselves.

For each student, the club needs three host families throughout the year. This gives the students a broader experience and allows them to be a part of and to influence more families in the community. As a result, the hosting of a student is not overly burdensome, lasting three to four months only.

If you'd like more information about becoming a host family, click here.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019