Boyertown Rotary exchanges students, encourages families to host visitors

The four Boyertown Area Senior High students who will be travelling are: Sarah Famer, Amanda Balducci, Mahlon Mowrer and Jenny Mahoney.

The Boyertown Rotary has announced the most recent group of Boyertown exchange students; the community is encouraged to become involved by offering to be a host family to students who will be traveling to Boyertown.

For many years the Boyertown Rotary Club has participated in the student exchange. With a goal of better developing goodwill and peace between nations, the program seeks to immerse students in a number of different activities while in their host countries in the hopes of teaching students about different cultures and people.

For many students the program offers them a once in a lifetime chance to experience life in ways they never would while creating lifelong friendships and bonds with their host families and the countries they visit.

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This year four Boyertown Area Senior High students will travel abroad to Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Denmark to represent the community of Boyertown and the United States. Those students are high school seniors Sarah Famer and Jenny Mahoney and juniors Mahlon Mowrer and Amanda Balducci.

Exchange students are chosen through an application process which varies between Rotary districts but usually includes a series of written application and several interviews. Also students must have above-average academic records and have a history of community involvement.

This years group will exchange with two boys, one from Germany and the other from Sweden. To date two host families have gladly accepted the responsibility of caring for the youths. Four more host families are still needed. It is hoped the incoming students will have three families each to stay with to offer each student a well-rounded experience of American and Boyertown culture.

Youth Club Exchange Officer and Counselor Darleen Scott implores people to become host families stating, Hosting a student is so rewarding. Host families are given the chance not only to share their own culture and ways of life with a student but have the chance to learn about another culture and language throughout the experience. For so many it is an unforgettable life experience they will treasure forever.

Host families are asked to not only shelter and care for the needs of the students but to welcome them and treat them as if they are members of the family. Host families can be assured there is much support offered by Rotary clubs to ensure the experience is a positive one for all parties involved. Hosting a student does require a formal interview process to ensure the safety of the students.

Students are encouraged to attend as many community and Rotary events as possible while traveling abroad and to share as much of their culture with the communities they visit. This is done through the sharing of language, food, music, games and a wealth of other activities that enrich the students visit.

To learn more about the program, becoming a host family, becoming an exchange student or would like to learn more about the Rotary events and membership please visit www.Rotary.org or contact Darleen Scott at Dscott@cwmeter.com.

On average, Rotary clubs around the world exchange more than 8,000 students to over 100 countries. All of this is done through volunteer efforts.