Rotary Clubs throughout New Zealand and Australia are offering young students the chance to take part in a special student exchange.
Unlike most other student exchanges where older students are far away from home for up to a year this programme is for younger students, studying in Australia for just one school term.
The Rotary Australia and New Zealand Student Exchange (RANZSE) programme is run by some Rotary Districts in Australia and all Districts in New Zealand.
It is designed for 13 1/2 to 16- year-old students to experience a true “exchange” with a family in the other country. In 2015 New Zealand students arrived in Australia to attend school and stay with their matched student and family during Term 2.
Both students return to New Zealand at the end of June and attend the New Zealand student’s school during Term 3. They stay with the New Zealand student’s family.
Each year it alternates as to which country goes first. In 2015 there are 60 students from Australia and New Zealand involved in the programme. In the past 10 years more than 1550 students have participated in this life-changing experience.
One of the aims of Rotary International throughout the world is to bring about better understanding between people. Through Youth Exchanges each student has an opportunity to experience another country’s way of life, the people, their outlook and beliefs. Much as there is a need for this among people of different nationalities, Rotary believes there is a growing importance for Australians and New Zealanders to understand one another better.
They say Student Exchanges are one of the best ways to help achieve this and also develop lifelong friendships between individual students, families and the people they meet during the exchange.
Students are matched, where possible, with students of similar interests in the other country. The costs of the exchange are mainly covered by the participating families.
Sponsoring Rotary Clubs in New Zealand and Australia provide a mentor for both the outbound and inbound student and the club’s contribution goes towards the cost of their student’s RANZSE gear (polo and rugby shirts, jacket, backpack and duffle bag, passport holder and name tag etc.). Any excess goes to defray the cost of the exchange for the students.
Rotary is looking for 2016 students to take part. Expressions of interest forms which were sent out in April, need to be returned by June 30.
When EOI forms are received, the District RANZSE chair sends out the full application forms. If students follow through with this, clubs are notified. Students may also apply online at www.rotary9930.org/Page/youth-ranzse.
Clubs participating in the exchange are responsible for conducting a home interview (in August) of the student and their family, and providing a Rotarian mentor for each successful match, as well as a sponsorship fee of $500.
The cost to parents/students is approximately NZ$4500 to cover airfares, insurance, week- long Safari in the opposite country, bonding weekend in both countries, and spending money for their son/daughter. www.ranzse.org