Rotary Radio Week got started with Kathy Bellemare joining Alex DeVries in the studio this morning.

They talked about the Rotary Club’s foreign exchange student program.

Bellemare says Rotary is an international organization and there’s a system to exchange students between countries.

“So the process would be, we would recruit a student from the high school here and they would indicate which countries they’d like to go to, they’d give two or three choices. Then, there’s an exchange division within Rotary International and they help make those matches. Then the student gets the opportunity to go to the country for 10 months and live with various Rotary families while they’re over there. When we send a student out, then we get a student into our community as well, and they get to live with various Rotary families during that year.”

Bellemare says there is a cost to the family to send their child abroad, but Rotary does a lot of support for the program. Rotary provides the student with an allowance because there are a lot of activities that happen to show off the country.

Bellemare says this kind of program works best for adventurous students.

“I mean, it’s a big deal to move away from home during your high school year when you’re just figuring things out and then go live someplace else. They actually don’t recommend that parents go visit their child during the Rotary exchange year, just to let them settle in and really enjoy what the community has to offer.”

If you want to get into the program, Bellemare says to contact any of the 37 Rotarians and they’ll get you the information you need. Rotary also goes into the high school to recruit students.

Coming up tomorrow morning on Rotary Radio Week is Clayton Swanton.