Friendship Exchange


RFE

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A Rotary Friendship Exchange is a program which have a group of Rotarians from one Rotary district in the word travel to another for fun and fellowship. It is usually reciprocal.

If you are interested in participating in a Rotary Friendship Exchange, contact Chair Danielle Mullen at:  travelady2@comcast.net 

Rotary Friendship Exchange is a great way to travel. Learn about how the locals live in their land.. make lifelong friends.. Discover cultures and communities in a unique way. And of course enjoy Rotary fellowship. Often you share Rotary projects and ideas.

Do you like to travel? Enjoy meeting Rotarians from other countries? Want to get more out of touring? Want to learn more about Rotary in other regions? A RFE may be for you

Rotary International has handbook that explains the program (see the list on the left side of this page). Each district does it a little differently.



District 5050 usually organizes a Rotary Friendship Exchange this way:

• There is a RFE District Chair that communicates with potential districts to travel to.

• Once a district is chosen to partner with, word is distributed via the clubs seeking participants.

• Each participant funds his or her own way. Couples and singles are welcome. All Rotarians are invited and their partners.

• Generally a RFE lasts 2 weeks.

• Around 8 – 12 Rotarians form the team, which includes a team leader.

• The team lands at the pre-determined date in the host country. From there the team is hosted by local Rotarians.

• The RFE team is home stayed, usually changing host homes ever few days. Several communities are visited.

• The host Rotarians show their guests local sights of interest, parks, museums, things they are proud of. There are often Rotary hosted parties. Rotary projects may be toured.

• The hosts generally cover lodging and home meals. Transport, admissions or extraordinary costs such as restaurant meals are covered by the guests.

• The visit is then reversed with the foreign district visiting ours.

• RFE participants are expected to host for a few nights and participate when they visit here. (i.e. volunteer to host them for some or all of their days in the 5370 community you reside in.

• The above is reversed if it is decided the foreign district visits here first. If that’s the case those that host are given priority to be on the outgoing RFE team.

• The pace is usually brisk. Get up in the morning, maybe tour a Rotary project, then maybe see a point of interest or two. In the evening there may be a Rotary meeting or party in the teams’ honour to attend.



Benefits:

• Make lifelong friends

• Live “with the locals”.

• Certainly cost efficient

• Expand your Rotary knowledge

• See parts of the world you may otherwise never see.


Obligations:

If you go on an exchange, you may get asked to host when their team visits us. This usually means 3 nights in your town. Or you can help in other ways – transportation, coordinating the return visit, etc. Ideally you would participate in their 3 days in your community.

We ask you to be active in your club and community seeking host families from your club or towns’ clubs, and being active in the planning of their days in your town when they visit. Be an RFE ambassador

You will travel with a group and your tour will be mapped out by the hosts. We often give input to preferences but generally what they plan is what we do.


Tips:

• Bring club banners.

• Bring gifts for host families, maybe the local RFE chair, family members, kids you meet, etc.

• Be open and flexible. Some of the things you see may not interest you – but often they turn out the most interesting!

• Expect the unexpected. We are all volunteers coordinating between clubs that may be many miles apart. Some may be wildly organized. Some maybe less so.

• Fun and flexible is our motto!



Participants experience other cultures and build friendships by staying in the homes of Rotary club members in another country.


The Rotary Friendship Exchange program advances international understanding and peace through personal contact across borders while developing interclub relationships that lead to fellowship and service projects.


If you are interested in participating in a Rotary Friendship Exchange, contact Chair Danielle Mullen at:  travelady2@comcast.net