rotary youth exchangeThe Ross Redmond Short Term Youth Exchange Program to Japan is looking for one or two Rotarians to serve as leaders for this year's program.

Being a leader for this program is an experience of a lifetime. Below are a list of FAQ's regarding the role and responsibilities of being a leader for this program.

Contact Ross Redmond Short Term Youth Exchange Chair, Jim Allison, at (201) 213-6382 if you have questions or need additional information. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates of the 2014 trip?
The trip to Japan will depart for Osaka, Japan on Thursday, June 26, 2014, and return on Thursday, July 17. The departure will be either from Newark or JFK (there will most likely be a connection in Tokyo). 

How many leaders will there be in total?
On the trip itself, there will be 2-3 leaders (hopefully one male and one female leader) and 28 teens, ages 16 to 19.

What are the primary responsibilities of the group leader?
Leader responsibilities include the following:

The primary responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all participants.

  • Keep the group together when necessary; ensure all students are present
  • To endeavor to ensure that each student has a positive experience
  • To enforce standard of good behavior for all
  • To be a representative of District 7470 and serve as an ambassador and liaison with District 2670
  • To  ensure that students and leaders understand and are respectful of Japanese culture and traditions
  • To assist in the interview and selection of students for participation in the program
  • To assist with orientation and team building events before departure.
How much does it cost to participate as a leader? 
Cost for participants will be $2,700. Leaders pay $2,000, which covers everything except your personal expenses, incidentals, souvenirs, etc.  

How does it work in Japan?
District 2670 is our partner district. They take on the responsibility for managing the trip experience in Japan: setting the schedule, make home-stay arrangements and assignments, arranging tours and events, hotels, etc.  

Whenever the entire group is together, (arrival and first two days of touring, welcome party, moving from prefecture to prefecture, visit to Hiroshima, farewell party and departure), our Japanese hosts are with and assisting the entire group. In the event of an emergency, serious problem, medical problem, the U.S. Leaders and Japanese Rotarians will figure out a solution. If necessary, help from the U.S. is a phone call away. 

How much time is spent directly with the kids?
Approximately 60% of you time will be spent in direct contact with the students. Forty percent will be spent with your local host families touring the local attractions. You are always on call, and our Japanese hosts will know how to reach you in the event of any problems with any of the students.

What if there is a serious behavior problem with one of the students?
Leaders should use their skills to resolve behavior problems between students and with students who are not respectful to Japanese leaders or host families or Japanese culture. If necessary you can get help from the Japanese Rotarian leaders of contact committee members in the U.S. Worst case scenario is a student can be sent home early. This has not happened in the last 10 years since we do a good job of screening students in advance.

What will my accommodation be like?
Your accommodations will be identical to that of the students. There will be approximately 4-5 nights in hotels. You will most likely have a private room. You will have four home stays of approximately four days in each of the four prefectures on the island of Shikoku.  

Your home-stay host will be responsible for providing meals and accommodations as well as touring and activities in the area visited. This may include local touring, parties/dinner in your honor, Rotary meetings. During the day you might do a joint activity with some of the kids and/or the other leader.

What are the physical requirements?
The physical requirements would be the same as any active vacation. There will be lots of walking, carrying luggage, up and down stairs, cobblestone streets, etc. The climate will be hot. Generally, the temperature will be in the 90s with high humidity.

How many Rotary Clubs and official visits will the group have?
It would be common to attend at least 4-6 Rotary meetings, one in each prefecture for sure and several other events like the welcome and farewell party. You will be asked to give a short talk at each venue. Generally there will be a translator to interpret what you say.

What if I have allergies to foods or similar considerations?
You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire answering these types of questions in advance of the trip. The information will be sent to Japan and your hosts will be aware of what you write. Additionally, each host takes notes on your likes and dislikes and passes them on to the next family.

What about medical insurance?
You will need to check with your U.S. insurance provider to determine what kind of coverage you have in another country. Many companies will provide coverage but you may need to pay for your medical expenses in full and then be reimbursed by you insurance company upon return with proof of payment abroad. It is recommended to obtain a supplemental policy 

Can I use my accumulated airline points to fly first class?
Generally, the group rate tickets that are purchased for the trip cannot be upgraded.  

Can I stay longer in Japan or take a side trip to another city to visit friends or relatives?
No, the leaders must stay with the program and with the group.