The Australia & New Zealand Student Exchange programme is run by some Rotary Districts in Australia and all districts in New Zealand. It is designed for 14 to 16 year old students to experience a true “exchange” with a family in the other country. New Zealand students come to Australia and attend school with their matched student here during Term 2. Both students return to New Zealand and attend the New Zealand student’s school during Term 3. Each year it alternates as which country goes first. In 2010 there are about 120 students from Australia and New Zealand involved in the programme.
It is one of the aims of Rotary International throughout the world to bring about better understanding between people. How better can this be done than through Youth Exchanges where 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, there is a growing importance for Australians and New Zealanders to understand one another better. Student Exchanges are one of the best ways to help achieve this and also develop lifelong friendships between individual students and families.
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. This is typically about $3,000 including all costs such as air travel, travel insurance, living expenses and the week-long Safari in Australia. Sponsoring Rotary Clubs in Australia provide a Councillor for the inbound student and also supply a Student Exchange jacket for the outbound student. This is currently $300 total cost per student.