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Rotary Youth Exchange applications available

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POSTED February 5, 2009 4:13 a.m.
Where will it be this summer?  Paddling Lake Como in Italy or exploring the coast of Spain?  Or perhaps touring the Black Forest in Germany or visiting Copenhagen in Denmark?  How about the city of Curitiba in Southern Brazil?  These adventures and others await students who participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange of summer 2009.

“Many travel opportunities are available for teens seeking adventures in summer 2009,” said John Mensinger who oversees Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program in the Central Valley and the Mother Lode.  “Students can choose to travel to one of several different countries and also host a foreign student at home.”

This year’s exchange program includes exchanges to Germany, northern Italy’s Lake District, Denmark, Spain and Brazil.  Depending on the exchange selected, students from the U.S. will stay with host families abroad and upon return will host foreign students.  Some exchanges do not involve hosting a foreign student.  Length of exchange also varies.

Basic food and lodging expenses are provided by the host families.  Students are responsible for program fees, airfare and medical insurance, all of which can range from $1,500 to $ 1,800 depending on the destination, and any additional entertainment and emergency funding based on their parents’ discretion.  Cost should not deter students from applying, as financial assistance may be available from local Rotary Clubs.

Rotary Youth Exchange is open to students aged 15 to 19 who live or attend school in Rotary District 5220, which includes 55 clubs and more than 2,500 members in the Central Valley. The district ranges from Galt to Oakhurst, including Yosemite National Park, and from Tracy to the Mother Lode.

Interested students must complete an application, be interviewed and agree to abide by Rotary’s established standards and guidelines for safety.  Students are notified of selection within a week of their interview.

Early application is encouraged. Applications and information are available online at:   Application deadlines are Feb. 28 for Italy, Denmark, and Spain, and March 31 for Germany and Brazil.  

For more details on youth exchanges contact John Mensinger at (209) 578-5200 or

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