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Projects & Activities > Rotary Youth Exchange

Rotary Youth Exchange

Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program is recognised as one of the best in the world. In the Rotary Youth Exchange program students of high school age are able to either spend up to a year living with host families and attending school in a foreign country in Europe, America, Japan, Africa, Asia or as an alternative, choose a short term exchange of several months in New Zealand.

Whether they participate in Rotary’s long-term or short-term Youth Exchange programs, students become ambassadors, teaching people they meet about our country, culture, and ideas at the same time they will learn and experience a new way of living, a great deal about themselves, and maybe, even a new language. In this way students can help bring the world closer – and make good friends in the process.

Throughout the world more than 8,000 young people each year have experiences like these through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.

Our Rotary District 9600 has a Youth Exchange Program committee responsible for both incoming and outgoing exchange students focusing on the welfare and safety of all participants, students, Rotary Clubs, host parents and counsellors. If you would like to be an exchange student or you may know of someone, a friend, relative or school-mate who would enjoy the experience send us an email. Click HERE.

All incoming and outgoing students participate in the Sunshine Safari, brainchild of Rotary Club of Noosa Heads member Tony Oxley and wife Anne, a member of the Noosa Daybreak Rotary Club. Tony was a member of the District 9600 Youth Exchange committee for many years.

Tony and Anne’s daughter Carol was an Exchange student in South Africa and experienced a mini safari within her Natal district. Prompted by this experience Tony suggested a week-long tour combining both incoming and outgoing students within our District immediately following year 12 exams in December. In 1990 the first Safari took place with 19 students, enjoying home hosting in Caloundra, Noosa, Gympie and Kingaroy. The main objective of the tour was to further prepare our Queensland outbound students for their year away. Firstly they would spend a quality week with their counterparts from overseas as many would be staying with an inbound student’s family in their host country and secondly to help our students get a better understanding of the diverse nature of life, business and farming in SE Queensland while they were travelling around the District. While on Safari inbound students are able to give the outbounders an idea of life overseas and teach them a little of their country and language.

The Sunshine Safari became extremely popular. As it grew additional accommodation was sourced at schools and youth camps. A variety of activities was arranged, including visits to National Parks, Museums, Farms, Country Dancing, Outward Bound Courses, etc. Along the way Rotary Clubs hosted Lunches and Dinners and the students put on a concert to entertain their hosts. This programme is still going strong some 25 years later and it is now compulsory for all Outbound Students to attend. No exception or otherwise no Exchange. Tony and Anne ran the programme for the first seven years, before handing over to members of the Youth Exchange Committee.

It has become traditional for the Rotary Club of Noosa Heads to include on their social calendar a special Safari Night for members and guests to meet the inbound/outbound student teams. Following dinner, a highlight of the evening is when visiting and outgoing students surprise and entertain us with creative performances often featuring traditional songs and international acts. We look forward to these Safari nights each year.

Check out the Rotary Youth Exchange website Click HERE.

Rotary Youth Exchange Rotary Youth Exchange

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