Sherwood Rotary Youth Exchange welcomes Tomas from Slovakia
The Sherwood Rotary Club is hosting a student from Slovakia this year, while a Sherwood High School student is attending school in Austria.
The student swap is done through Youth Exchange, one of Rotary International's oldest programs — dating back to 1929. The Sherwood Rotary Club has participated in the program for many years, receiving an "inbound" student and sending an "outbound" student.
This year, the club welcomes 18-year-old Tomas, a student from Slovakia who joins the senior class at Sherwood High.
Levi Britton is Sherwood's outbound student. He's living and going to school in Vienna, Austria — not far from Slovakia in Central Europe — for the year.
Youth Exchange students live with as many as three different local families during their stay, improving their language proficiency and immersing themselves in the local culture. They learn the customs and traditions of their host country while experiencing daily life from the perspective of different families.
Students are also expected to regularly attend classes and socialize with peers from their host country.
Local Rotary clubs help provide guidance and resources for exchange students. They may also invite exchange students to speak to the group, giving them an opportunity to practice their language skills and public speaking.
Host families are also screened by Rotary clubs and receive training and orientation from Rotarians. Families typically host a student for about three months during the school year.
Interviews for prospective host families are conducted in November.
Last year, the Sherwood Rotary Club hosted Sumi, a student from Japan. In past years, Sherwood students sponsored by Rotary have studied in Argentina, Brazil, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, India and Turkey.
More than 8,000 students worldwide participate in Rotary Youth Exchange every year. Rotary's mission through Youth Exchange is to promote world peace and understanding.
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