Local Rotary seeks exchange hosts

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Hancock Public Schools Superintendent Kipp Beaudoin seeking community residents to consider hosting exchange students.

HANCOCK — Superintendent Kipp Beaudoin is inviting Hancock residents to consider hosting a youth exchange student as an international student hosted by Rotary clubs.

“And one of the ways we embrace that is students coming from foreign countries, for cultural exchange, and vice versa,” Beaudoin said. “We will also support students in cultural exchange out-country.”

Youth Exchange is a study-abroad opportunity for young people, ages 15-19 years of age, who spend that time as an international student hosted by local Rotary clubs.

A Hancock high school student recently returned from South America, Beaudoin said.

The vision and goal of Hancock High School is to offer a student from another country the opportunity to spend 10 weeks attending the school.

The International Rotary Youth Exchange is the opportunity of a lifetime for the more than 8,000 students who participate each year, says the Rotary website. The object is to share local culture and embracing a new one, while helping to foster global understanding.

“The purpose of that is cultural infusion,” said Beaudoin. “How do your children learn about other things? You expose them to it. But more importantly, when they come back to you, to your native town, they come back with experiences, and hopefully be able to plant that at home. And with it, how to does that cultivate relationships abroad, and how does that generate a more global community?”

Beaudoin said the program provides participating students with an opportunity they perhaps may not have otherwise. And that, he said, is why is inviting local residents to consider sponsoring a student.

“So, what we’re looking for is other families who are willing to open up their homes, take in an adolescent, provide them with American culture,” Beaudoin said, “and at the same time, provide them a place to live, and support them during a distinct period of time.”

Hosting an exchange student can be a rewarding experience, the website states, providing an international experience without leaving home. Host families provide room and board and share their lives with exchange students, involving them in family, community, and cultural activities.

Those interested can call the Hancock High School at 906-483-2540, or visit the Rotary website at my.rotary.org.

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