Rotary program makes exchanges

Cultures and languages are being exchanged this year by local families and by teenagers from local schools.

The Rotary Youth Exchange program brought Ines Schumacher, Switzerland, and Andrea Rameriz, Ecuador, to Jefferson City for a year.

And the following Jefferson City youths are spending a year abroad: Caitlin Dulle, Ecuador; Megan Finnell, Brazil; and Ashley Schwarzer, Ecuador.

Rotary International is the largest and oldest international service organization in the world. With more than 1.2 million members in more than 200 countries, the network of people shares the mission to build bridges of friendship, tolerance and understanding, and to make the world a more peaceful place in which to live.

The Rotary Youth Exchange program began in 1972. More than 7,000 students from more than 80 countries participate in the program annually.

Students are sponsored and hosted by local Rotary Clubs and normally live with three host families during the year.

Rotary Youth Exchange selects exceptional students who are mature, academically successful, adventuresome and ready to meet the challenges of living abroad for a year. Selection is based upon character, poise, academic record, leadership ability, independence, maturity and a desire for adventure.

Rotary District 6080 has longstanding exchange relationships with many countries including Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Turkey, Thailand and Japan.

The cost for the long-term exchange may reach $5,000, which includes the orientation sessions, training materials, airfare, insurance, language camps, Rotary blazer and pins, business cards, flags and other accessories. The host club provides a monthly allowance, room and board, and school expenses.

For more information, see www.rotary6080.org/rye.htm.

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