The Wonderful World Of Dexter Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program

The Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) scholarship is for high school-aged students (15-18 years of age) who are interested in living and studying abroad for a long-term or short-term exchange. The goal is to promote the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace at the person-to-person level. Exposure to new cultures and customs is a powerful way to promote global understanding and peace. And the students who participate have the experience of a lifetime, learning and growing in ways they could only imagine.

Dexter Rotary believes strongly in the value of RYE, and it commits a great deal of member and financial support in order to provide this wonderful opportunity to the students of Dexter. If you are interested in learning more about how to participate in any way, either as a student or as a host family, please contact Caryl Burke of the Dexter Rotary at 734-476-5232 or by email at

Rotary offers 2 types of exchange, long term and short term. In a long term exchange, the student travels to another country and completes a full school year there while living with 2-3 host families. Short term exchange (aka STEP) is more of a family-to-family exchange, typically during the summer. The student/family are paired with a student/family from another country. Student 1 travels to live with Student/Family 2, typically for about a month, and then both students return to Family 1 and live there for around a month.

The Rotary Club of Dexter has sponsored 4 outbound long term exchange students from Dexter. In this exciting program, applicants participate in selecting the country they will travel to for 1 school year. Rotary identifies host families in the host country and provides training, support, and resources to the student to help prepare them for their adventure. The student’s costs for this program are limited to flights, insurance, fees for passports and visa, and minimal Rotary fees that help cover the cost of the program. No money for tuition and living expenses is required, as Rotary, host families, and host schools provide the necessary essentials. For the current school year, we have 2 students in this part of the program. Mya Connolly is studying in South Korea and Rachel Rabideau is studying in Germany.

Every year for about 10 years, Dexter Rotary has also sponsored an inbound long term exchange student from another country to come to Dexter through RYE. Each exchange student stays with 2-3 host families in Dexter. The Rotary Club identifies the host families and trains and vets them, provides a monthly stipend to the student, and provides active support to the student and the host families. In addition, Rotary club members ‘adopt’ our student each year, helping to make sure he or she has a great experience by inviting them to family events and local attractions and sporting events. Our student this year is Piero Ramos from Lima, Peru.

In order to make long term exchange happen, we need local families to volunteer as host families. The best host families are those who would enjoy sharing their home with a student from another country, and who feel that they could contribute a positive image of life in Dexter. It is not necessary to be a member of Rotary, we don’t require that the student have a room of their own, and it isn’t even necessary to have other children in the household.

The Rotary short term exchange program is also very active in Dexter. This great program provides the experience of living in another country, but for a shorter period of time. Last summer, 2 students from Dexter, Elise Reich and Ada Osolu, were paired with students from Argentina and from France, respectively, for a short term exchange.

Dexter Rotary is always happy to talk to kids and parents who are interested in learning more about RYE. And we are always on the lookout for people who would like to talk about being a host family. If you have questions and would like to learn more, please contact Caryl Burke at 734-476-5232 or

More from Discover Communities

Hudson Mills Hosting Maple Sugaring Classes Throughout March

It is one of the sweetest times of year and Hudson Mills...
Read More