Serving as liaison between the student, Rotary club, host family, and community at large, the Rotarian counsellor plays a crucial role in the success of the Youth Exchange program. The counsellor serves as the student’s primary Rotary contact, easing his or her transition into the country and the community through regular personal contact throughout the year.
The counsellor should enjoy working with young people and be prepared to advocate on behalf of the student should any issues arise during the exchange. Members of a student’s host family are not eligible. Also, if possible, the Rotarian counsellor should not be a close friend or relative of other volunteers involved with a particular student (e.g., school principal or host family).
The counsellor has the following additional responsibilities:
- Establishing contact with the student before departure or arrival, explaining the expectations of the club and the district and maintaining and documenting
- regular contact (at least once a month)
- Counselling the student in matters such as choosing classes, making friends, and participating in activities
- Helping the student adapt to the culture and language
- Working with the community and the student’s school to ensure that the student is involved in positive activities and community life
- Informing the student about abuse and harassment prevention and creating a supportive atmosphere in which the student feels comfortable discussing any concerns
- Serving as an advocate for the student in any matter
- ensure that inbound student departs to the destination country when the Study Exchange Program is completed
The Rotarian counsellor should be trained to respond to problems or concerns that may arise during the exchange, including allegations of abuse or harassment.
The Club counsellor could not be a host parent.
It is recommended that Club counsellor to be the same Gender of the inbound student, if not they need to have a partner who are willing to support them in their role, and they need to seek approval from the club president.
Counsellors should be assigned to every outbound and inbound student in all exchange programs. Outbound counsellors prepare students for the exchange and maintain regular contact while the student is abroad