The Rotary Friendship Exchange program offers a fun way to experience the international part of Rotary. It gives Rotarians and their families the opportunity to host and visit Rotarians around the world. In addition to experiencing other cultures and making lasting friendships, an exchange provides a strong foundation for carrying out other international activities and service projects.
The primary goal of a Friendship Exchange is to build greater international understanding and goodwill among Rotarians and their families. In addition, exchange participants can:
- Learn how their vocations are practiced in other parts of the world
- Observe new customs and cultures
- Promote an appreciation of cultural diversity worldwide
Rotary Friendship Exchange Topics
ABOUT OUR DISTRICT
Oregon–Northern California, USA
Rotary District 5110 encompasses the southern two-thirds of the state of Oregon and the very northern part of the state of California. Geographically the district has a diverse landscape, from the rocky shores of the Pacific Ocean to snow-covered 10,000-foot mountain peaks to dramatic deserts.
Rotary Friendship exchanges can include:
- Jet boat rides on the Rogue River
- Visiting any of the fabulous wineries of the Willamette Valley
- Touring some of the State’s fastest growing microbreweries
- Beach walks and lighthouse tours
- Sand Dunes National Recreation Area with a dune buggy ride
- Walking among the California redwoods
- Scenic walk at Crater Lake, Oregon’s only National Park
- Visiting tax-free factory outlet stores at Lincoln City
- Sporting events or tours of the University of Oregon or Oregon State University
Boundary Cities include Lincoln City in the northwest; Madras and Prineville in the northeast; Lakeview in the southeast; Tule Lake, Montague, Scott Valley, and Yreka in the south; and Brookings on the very southwestern tip of our district.
There are 68 Rotary clubs and 3,800 Rotarians in the district, including one eClub. Each club has local community service projects of various types and many clubs engage in or support international service projects. We include a short service project as part of each exchange.
SOME OF THE SCENIC HIGHLIGHTS OF DISTRICT 5110 INCLUDE:
On the Pacific Ocean, our district includes a portion of the redwood forests in northern California. Oregon is a lush and slightly wild state offering many scenic tourist attractions. US Hwy 101 runs along the coast, a holiday paradise par excellence with resorts, beaches, and parks. Newport, one of the popular coast towns, has the Hatfield Marine Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Our rivers, such as the Deschutes in the Bend area and the Rogue in Southern Oregon, cut through many scenic areas with trails and waterfalls. The McKenzie River is world-famous for fly-fishing. The Willamette National Forest features such spectacles as Sahalie, Koosah, and Salt Creek Falls.
Eugene and Corvallis are thriving university towns, with nationally-ranked athletic teams. Some of our exchanges include a visit to a college sporting event. These cities also have active arts and cultural events, featuring the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, and the internationally-recognized Oregon Bach Festival.
We also have the most covered bridges of any other county except Madison County in Wisconsin.
Crater Lake is the number one tourist attraction in Oregon. This features a wonderful old lodge and amazing views of the deepest lake in America.
The Siskiyou Mountains in Southern Oregon is the home of Oregon Caves National Monument. It has spectacular stalagmite and stalactite formations and is visited by guided tours. Nearby Ashland has the nationally-known Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
The Bend area is a mix of national forests, ski hills and dry plains. It is in the center of Oregon and features the High Desert Museum. It has excursions to the volcanic landscapes of Lava Butte, as well as Mount Bachelor Ski Resort for wonderful mountain views.
A Rotary Friendship Exchange With our District Usually Includes Three Stops.
Because of its size, we try to give a glimpse of a coastal city, central Oregon, and a stop in the Willamette Valley that includes Eugene, Springfield, or Corvallis. We can adapt stops to the interests of visiting teams.
For more information, contact:
Camille Ronzio or Ted Stevens
District 5110 Friendship Exchange Co-Chairs, 2019-20
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
COME EXPERIENCE OREGON!
Inbound team from Nova Scotia
Outbound team to Pennsylvania
Outbound team to Philippines
Outbound team to Southern Louisianna
Incoming team from Southern Louisianna
Outbound team to South Africa
District 5110 Rotary Friendship Exchange Guidelines
The purpose of this document is threefold: (1) to guide the District 5110 Rotary Friendship Exchange Committee in the selection of outbound teams, (2) to prepare them for travel, and (3) to provide basic information to inbound RFE teams. It will be reviewed at least every two years.
The goals of Rotary Friendship Exchanges are to experience how Rotary operates in different countries and other parts of the United States, to share service opportunities, to build understanding of different cultures and customs, and to build good will between Rotary Districts. These guidelines were created with these goals in mind. First and foremost, please be aware that a RFE trip in not a vacation experience. Second, District 5110 team members are ambassadors for our District in the world. To this end, all team members must be prepared to see and participate in Rotary projects and attend Rotary meetings as team members.
FOR INCOMING (INBOUND) TEAMS:
- Inbound teams will usually spend 15 days in District 5110. Teams will normally spend five days in three different areas of the district, with travel between areas occurring on the fifth day. This schedule allows visitors to get to know their hosts and the part of the district in which they are visiting.
- Host areas will assist in the transportation of an inbound team from one area to the next. This will be organized by the team leaders in each host area.
- District 5110 will host teams of eight to ten individuals (using no more than six beds) and send outbound teams using this same model.
- We include a short service project as part of each exchange.
FOR OUTGOING (OUTBOUND) TEAMS:
- Outbound teams can consist of:
- Rotarian couples,
- Single Rotarians,
- Rotarians with a spouse or significant other,
- Rotarians with an adult child, or
- Rotarians with a parent or adult sibling.
- The District 5110 RFE Committee is primarily self-funded. To cover expenses associated with its operation and help defray some of the costs for hosting inbound teams, the Committee collects fees from all outbound team members. These fees are set on an annual basis and are non-refundable. In addition to these fees, outbound team members are responsible for
- Passport and Visa,
- Airfare and related travel costs,
- Gift for each host,
- Some restaurant meals, and
- Other incidental costs, such as admission fees, sightseeing excursions, etc.
- Accommodations outside host family home stays
Team members often contribute a set amount to a team treasury to cover these latter expenses.
- The team may participate in a half-to-full day service project selected by the host district. Each team member will also make a financial contribution to an identified project during the exchange. The team will decide which project and the amount of each individual contribution. (Suggested amount is $50 per team member.)
- By no later than ONE month prior to an exchange, each team member should have a passport and necessary visas and immunizations, round trip tickets for travel, and travel insurance. Two months are preferred. This is to allow alternates to go if one or more individuals selected for the team cannot go.
- The team leader will be selected by the District 5110 RFE Chair. The team treasurer will be selected by the team or leader prior to departure of the team.
RFE Criteria for evaluating outbound applications
Rotary Friendship Exchange teams (RFE) are usually composed of 8 to 10 people, can be singles or couples (where one or both are Rotarians).
- Three to four people can be new to outbound RFE trips and three to four should have made an RFE trip before and willing to act as team leaders, treasurers, service project organizers, etc.
- For the others, preferential experience in order of importance:
- Host for an inbound RFE team in the past two years,
- Hosted other RFE inbound team members in prior years,
- Been an outbound RFE team member in prior years,
- Hosted GSE, student exchange, or visitors traveling the RI Travel Fellowship,
- Be an active Rotarian with club / district leadership experience (can be committee chair, board member, president, etc.) with an interest in travel and the RFE program,
- Be a Paul Harris Fellow.