Last year we had 9 inbounds and boy did we have a busy year!  This year our intake is reduced to just 4;
  • Cristobal from Chile hosted by Plimmerton Club
  • Felipe from Chile hosted by Kapiti Club
  • Maxime from France hosted by Hutt/Petone Rotary Clubs
  • Rebekka from Switzerland hosted by Masterton South and Carterton Clubs.
The reduction in Inbound numbers was planned as the Ministry of Education insists that over all of New Zealand the Rotary Exchange Programme student numbers must, over the course of two years, balance to nil.  To balance we must ensure that our inbound numbers match our outbound numbers as the students are treated as domestic NZ students in the education system. Of course, if we have more overseas students at NZ schools than NZ students in overseas schools, this puts a burden on the NZ taxpayer which the Ministry of Education will not allow to happen.  We put our certification as an EPO (Education Provider Organisation) at risk if we don’t balance. 
NZ is a preferred destination for RYE students and each December/January the District 9940 Committee comes under intense pressure to have overseas students.  It is a tricky juggle as we not only match our inbound/outbound numbers, but try to honour the commitments we have with our exchange partners in other countries.  
It is important that we have NZ students wanting to participate in an exchange so that we can balance our numbers and are able to offer overseas students the fantastic NZ Rotary Exchange experience.
This year we are starting the ball rolling early to enable more efficient management of our numbers and to become proactive rather than reactive. 
So - what does this mean for Clubs? Basically we need your commitment NOW to host students in July 2020. Please discuss this at your Club Board meetings and make a decision to support this fantastic programme.  Students add fantastic energy and liveliness to a club and the benefits certainly outweigh the challenges. It costs around $3,500 to host a student and to dispel the myths and excuses that clubs put up;
  • It is OK to share the hosting with another club - this works well for smaller clubs. 
  • Host families do not need to have children at home (in fact some of the best experiences are with retired people that have more time to spend with the students).
  • Host families do not need to be Rotarians.  More and more outbound student families are becoming hosts to support the programme.
  • It is surprising how much more you see and do when you have an inquisitive and enthusiastic student around. 
  • Students fit into your lifestyle so disruption to the things you normally do should have little impact.
  • Plan your fundraising for the year to include the costs of having a student.
  • Recognise that the world becomes a smaller place with better understanding and connections made by hosting a student. 
As we move into the latter part of the year it would be great to have in place a number of clubs to host students next year - please talk about this and make a positive decision to support your hard-working D9940 RYE Committee.