Rotary Exchange in Wooster
The Rotary Youth Exchange gives students across the world the opportunity to live abroad and experience the culture of another nation for a year in order to create a more expanded world view and broadened cultural understanding.
According to woosterrotary.org, over 7,000 students nationally participate in the program.
Mike O’Donnell, Wooster Rotarian and Interact liaison, asserts that learning about cultures different than one’s own is essential to grasping context to society globally.
“One of the big benefits of the program is that it makes the world seem smaller. As someone touched by the exchange program, I think you learn that people from around the world are more alike than they are different,” O’Donnell said.
Cathy McConnell, the District’s Outbound Chair, concurs with O’Donnell’s assessment, asserting that exchanging provides students with a valuable opportunity to mature and improve language proficiency.
“Students end up growing and maturing over the year… they’ve got to really problem solve and figure out things from a significant distance away from their families and away from environments that are familiar to them,” McConnell said.
Those interested in experiencing the Rotary Exchange Process can reach out to a local Rotarian and inquire about involvement.