Youth Exchange Success

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Transcript Youth Exchange Success

Youth Exchange Success

From zero to 9 outbounds and 10 host families in 3 years

Why should your club do Youth Exchange?

• Energize the club members & families • Makes it more fun to be a Rotarian • Creates connections with local schools • Creates connections with local non Rotarians • Great PR opportunities

A little story…

Once upon a time, there was a business owner who was having lots of problems with finding and keeping customers and employees… He was having so many problems that he finally went to a high paid consultant to see if they could help him out. When the consultant asked him what he needed help with, the answer was easy: “I need to find more customers and better employees. Can you help me?” Well, I think I can. Is it OK if I ask you a couple of questions?

Yes, of course.

Are your customers happy with your product?

Oh. It’s a GREAT product and the price is unbeatable.

Putting that on the side, are your customers happy with it?

Well, my customers love the product at first. Then they get so frustrated and sad that they cry a lot and they often talk about cancelling the contract, and then at about half way through the contractual agreement, they start to like it again. Most of them love it after they stop using it. But once again, our product is the best and the cheapest, so I think all I need is a really great advertising campaign… OK. What about your employees, are they happy with their job?

My employees? Well, if they are stupid enough to sign on. I tell them thanks for taking the job and then I leave them to figure out things on their own. It’s a 24/7 commitment and even though I tell them it’s just for 3 ½ months, after I have them on board, I usually try to manipulate them to stay on for a full year. I also tell them that they can call their customer service (counselor) if they need help. However, our customer service person knows absolutely nothing about our product or the job situation of our employees and he or she is happiest if they never call... You know, this is a seasonal job, and for some reason, it’s really hard to have old employees come back and work again... As you can see, I really just need better recruiting trick… Can you help me?

How we made it happen…

1. Leadership 2. The committee 3. Happy inbound students 4. Happy host families 5. How to recruit outbound students 6. How to recruit host families 7. Marketing materials availble

1. Leadership

• Your job as a leader is to create, document, and continuously communicate your vision • How do I do that? Well, you can steal our strategic objective. Here it is…

Youth Exchange – strategic objective

• • • • • • • • • • By the end of the 2007-2008 year, the Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise is the number one club in district 6690 when it comes to all areas of the Youth Exchange program. We host 2 inbound long term student (1 arriving in the fall and one in January) each year and three short term students each summer. We also send two long term and three short term outbound students each year. Our process for recruiting, selecting and preparing all the out bound students and the host families for the inbound students ensures that we always have more qualified applicants than we need, so we can be selective in our choices of students and host families.

Because of our systematized approach, all students and host families feel appreciated, informed and loved. We make sure that everybody in our Rotary club knows how important the Youth Exchange program is. Each club member knows the benefits for the club, themselves, the community, the host families, and the students.

All students and host families have written instructions for all important parts of the exchange, and we have communication systems that insure that pertinent information goes quickly to the right persons.

Pretty much every inbound student is worried about not having any friends, so we will go out of our way to make the exchange as easy and pleasure filled as possible for both the host families and the students. Rotary volunteers will help out by inviting the students to their homes on a weekly basis, and the Interact Club at WNHS is creating processes to help the students feel welcome at school.

The youth exchange committee will look for activities that the student can participate in. Drawing on past experience, we have a list of activities that many students have enjoyed, and the counselor together with each host family makes sure the student is signed up for after school activities that will help him/her making friends and make sure they don’t have much time to feel home sick.

Hosting an exchange student is a wonderful but also demanding task. Therefore, the youth exchange committee is always on the lookout for ways to help the host family. The Youth Exchange Committee is no longer requiring on a strong chair person. In stead, the Youth Exchange Committee has documented all procedures and the tasks are evenly delegated among the members. Utilizing the strategy of quantification, creation, and orchestration ensures that all of our systems continue to develop making sure that this year of excellence will be surpassed over and over by our club in future years.

2. Your committee

• YE chair (the rain maker) • TLC chair (critical to make students and host families feel loved and appreciated) • Senior Counselor (if possible, even more critical to for the students and host families) • Admin chair (there is a lot of paper work… great job for the right person)

3. Your customers (inbound students)

You’ll need to have plans on how to make the student feel loved and help them fight home sickness. If you don’t, you may not want to bother with YE… Don’t worry! It’s really not very hard. Here are a few of easy ways…

Before the student arrives

1. Counselor and host families need to communicate continuously with the student from the moment you receive the application 2. Coach host families on the importance of signing up the student in after hours activities + look for friends in advance 3. Coach the host family and Rotarians so you have a welcome group at the airport.

Remember, the Americans need to be coached on giving lots of hugs - not hand shakes!

4. Plan the welcome party (must include students from the hosting school)

After the student is here

1. Make sure he or she is signed up in after hours activities 2. Once a week, a different club member takes the student home/out for dinner, activities, etc. 3. Have student come to every club meeting 4. Have TLC chair and Counselor focusing on fixing problems before they happen

4. Your most neglected employees (host families…)

1. Help with the student to minimize home sickness 2. Make sure that the host family feels supported by the club 3. Train them well before the student arrives 4. The counselor needs to be proactive 5. Go out of your way to make sure they feel loved and appreciated

5. Proven ways to recruit outbound students

• Lots of students and parents are thinking about youth exchange or language trips. Rotary is by far the safest, most fun, and most affordable program • All you need is to get the word out to the public. Remember to compare our program with others!

1. Your club members: Present to club in April and August 2. Educate all high school counselors: In April and August/September, setup a meeting with all counselors in a school. Use movie and leave behind poster + brochure + card. Explain how safe, fun, and affordable it is. Compare with other programs 3. Motivate your inbound and outbound students to help with recruiting 4. Use the 4 opportunities for newspaper articles: 1. Inbound students after arrival (August/September), 2. Outbound students when they have their host country (February/March), 3. Rebound long term students (June/July), and 4. rebound short term students (July/August) 5. Share YE with everybody. The parents and kids needs to start thinking about it when the kid is 12-13 so they are mentally prepared to apply when they are 14-16 • Remember: Be selective! This program is not for everybody

6. Recruiting host families

Myth: Rotarians will selflessly volunteer to be host families Reality: 1. Parents host because they want their kids exposed to a student from another country and culture 2.

Host families without kids do it because it’s fun and interesting

Recruiting host families Myth: It’s best to wait with hosting until my kids are about the same age Reality: 1.The only time we have problems with kids/YE student interactions is when they are the same age… 2.Families with small kids are great because small kids are the best language teachers

Recruiting host families Where do I find the host families?


Rotarians (that’s why the weekly dinners/activities are so important) 2. Scan (in color) the students application and email the PDF file to all club members 3. Mothers at soccer, swim, etc. practice 4. Neighbors and friends. If they have kids, speak to the home maker • Be selective! Not everybody is cut out to be a great host family!

7. Marketing materials

• PR: Educate your club + get newspaper articles • Movie:

click on long term tab and the movie link is on the middle of the page. Save the file on your computer and play it to your club and to the school counselors • Poster • Brochure: Free from the district. Put your own sticker on it • Card: Print up a bunch

How to get started…

1. Create, document, and communicate your vision 2.

If you don’t plan to make your inbound students and host families happy, don’t even bother with Youth Exchange!

3. Be ready to more fun than you have ever had before in Rotary!