November 26, 2003

Today’s Youth Want to Travel

Youth Exchange

Carlsbad Hi-Noon Rotary Club’s International Director, Delta M. Collins, is the Chair of Rotary International’s Youth Exchange Program. This program helps makes it possible for young people to visit another country. YE offers one of the least expensive international exchange programs for high school and middle school aged students. They do not have to be related to Rotarians. Rotary will send about 7,000 students to see the world the way it is best seen—from the inside out. Any 15-18 year old is invited to apply.

Irene Macedo

Irene Macedo, a senior at Carlsbad High School, who was reared in Mexico has applied to go to Spain, (now has US residency permit). She is very involved in school activities—and even in personal activities. Irene is fluent in Spanish and English and also speaks French and Portuguese. Her favorite sport is boxing. 

This dynamo Latina is a great Latin Dancer—samba is her favorite.  This probably comes from her part Brazilian ancestry. Then, too, she is proficient in the Brazilian dancing form of “martial art”—Capoeira.

Youth Exchange Eligibility

It is standard practice for Rotary to screen youth interested in the program through applications and interviews. Generally, students are selected based on such things as scholastic record, language ability, community involvement and their potential as a cultural ambassador.

The Rotary Student Exchange program provides two plans whereby students can go to another country. Under the short term plan a student may go for several days to several weeks for a Youth Camp or just be with a host family that includes another student of similar age. Usually when the student returns she brings the foreign student with her to stay in her USA home for the same amount of time. The long term plan allows the student to live abroad with more than one family and attend school in the host country for the scholastic year.

Students may learn a new language; a new way of living and a great deal about themselves. While they are busy learning, the people they meet will be learning as well—about our country, its culture, and our ideas. Students will be young ambassadors and by helping bring the world closer together, they will be making some good friends and aiding in the Peace process Rotary has promoted since its inception.

A primary goal of the Youth Programs is to foster world understanding by way of intercultural exchange. If a student is ready for the challenge and the rewards of living in another land as an exchange student, then they are ready to discover new worlds through Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program. For information about how your student can visit another country: Call Delta M. Collins at 760-730-0055; or email Collins at deltacollins@adelphia.net .

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