Lions International Youth Cultural Exchange (YCE) Information
The Lions Club International sponsor thousands of young people to travel to Lions Youth Camps in other countries each year for a cultural exchange with young people and families of another country. The purpose is to expand and encourage cross-cultural understanding of others, to understand other cultures and perspectives, and to help young people realize that people facing similar problems often find diverse ways to resolve those problems.
I am pleased to be the coordinator for YCE for the Tustin Host Lions Club. Together with our District 4L4 team and the California youth exchange team, we work to enable young people to gain new cultural experiences.
If you are considering this program, please understand the following:
1. The minimum age is 17 for all countries EXCEPT Japan, where it is 16. You must be this age when the exchange begins in late June or early July.
2. The program takes 3 or 4 weeks PLUS travel time. Each camp sets its own schedule. Most countries have multiple camps.
3. Where have we sent Tustin area students and had them have wonderful experiences? I can personally assure you that travels to Italy, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Greece and Japan have all been very successful for students we have sent - AND we have gotten back very positive feedback concerning nearly all of the students we send.
4. Because of the specific nature of this program, each applicant must go through a personal one-on-one interview with me or with another representative of our program, in addition to completing application information.
5. We are fortunate to have supporters who do NOT want a student's family's financial situation to keep them from this experience IF they are the right kind of student for THIS program. So if you have a strong desire, please apply even if you have no idea how you will come up with the approximately $2,500 to $3,000 cost for the program. (And if you ARE accepted and given financial aid, please remember that someone has invested the necessary funds IN YOU and do your best to make a positive contribution to the exchange program in how you act and what you bring to it.)
See the beginning application process below. Once those are completed, there remain several other things we need - we will keep you informed!
If you are a student interested learning more about Lions Youth Exchange, here is how you start the process:
These programs involve a combination of a week or two with one or two host families, where you will learn about the lifestyle of a family in another country in their own city, town or region; followed by a one to two week camp involving young people with a similar interest in cultural learning from nations all over the world doing various activities together. The activities can vary tremendously. I have TWO lists now of SOME of the 2020 camps – those which have provided some information already – is here at this web site: http://www.scambigiovanili-lions.org/campi-lions-esteri-nel-mondo
YES, this site is compiled by Italians in Italian for Italians, but if you try you will find that you can in fact figure out what country is meant by its Italian name. If you click on a particular camp, the information is usually in English!
Or look at the link below that shows camps we know of as of November, but provides less detail.
Based upon the previous experiences of our exchange youth, I can definitely recommend camps in Denmark, Italy, Germany and Holland / Netherlands (Orlanda on the list!)
Yes, there is a substantial cost – particularly for airfare, but also for insurance and so forth. AND we also have a set of financial backers who are committed to assuring that NO young person in our area who is qualified to go is unable to go because of their limited family income.
While there are MANY documents and other information that will be needed before we are done, IF you have an interest in going, I would like you to send me FIVE things by email to me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org:
1. Please let me know what COUNTRIES you would be interested in visiting – ideally no more than three. (Specific camps if you know them.) Write me a paragraph or two - less than one page please - as to why YOU want to be part of this program. (Parents, I know you like to help - but I need to hear from the students and I need the students to complete these documents.)
2. Please complete IN EXCEL the attached “YCE Application for 2019” as completely as you can, and send it to me. Email me the Excel document, NOT a printout, and I will complete portions V, VI and VII and send it back for your signature and the signature of ONE parent. You will find the link to this below OR email me and ask me to send it to you!
3. Please complete IN WORD or other word processing software the attached “2020 Cultural Exchange Scholarship App” as completely as you can, and send it to me in PDF or WORD please! Find the link below, or ask me to email it to you!
4. Please let me know this: DO YOU HAVE A CURRENT PASSPORT? IF YES, when does it EXPIRE? If NO, please apply for one RIGHT AWAY!
5. IF you have a Passport and can, please SCAN a copy of the page with your photo on it and email it to me as well. This together with your application enables us to start inquiring as to what camps may still have space for you.
The most popular camps fill up FAST, so please ACT TODAY if you have an interest in attending. If you have questions, or your parents have questions, let’s arrange to speak by phone or in person.