Read this information 5-7 days prior to departure!
Print this page using the button below and take it with you
Leave English in the USA and Canada
For the first 3 months write letters home
Try to stay off the phone, your computer, e-mails, texts etc back to North America
Registering with the US and Canadian government is at the bottom of this page
You can say THANK YOU ! ! !
by remembering to send your Reports as your district requested
Long Term Departure Information
(Print this out and take it with you)
Read this information 5-7 days prior to departure so you won't be doing everything at the last minute. You'll have enough time to e-mail us with questions on items you don't understand if you read and familiarize yourself with the process ahead of time!
Night Before Leaving Home
- Reconfirm Seats, Space, Departure Times and Baggage online [see Airline Info]. (Remember, all dates are expressed DDMMMYY ie 08AUG11 on the the itinerary you receive from IYWT).
- Airlines sometimes change the scheduled departure times and flight numbers, so continue checking. If changes occur your ticket is still valid and does not have to be reissued.
- If you pay for your baggage charges on-line, some airlines offer a discount. Just print out the receipt at the end and give it to the airlines the next day. You will have to pay all baggage charges-even if you are in a 'One Fee' District. You can avoid extra bag charges by shipping 'surface' items you don't need immediately (ie host family gifts, winter clothes, sports equipment, etc)-and it's usually cheaper by surface than as excess baggage at the airport. (in your Yellow Pages, find 'Freight Forwards' and tell them the items are 'household good'-shipping time is usually 4-6 weeks by boat and truck).
- Label you checked bag(s) with your Host Family's address and phone number and take a picture of each bag and make a list of the contents. Do not put the pictures of your checked bag(s) in a checked bag. Either leave it in your phone, and email the picture to yourself or print the pictures and put them in your hand carry bag.
- Reconfirm with your Hosting Rotarians/Host Family the date and time (on the 24 hour clock) of your arrival at your final destination airport in their country and where they will meet you at your destination airport.
- Also go online to www.TSA.gov to find out about any restrictions for your hand carry items and what you can carry on your person.
- Print out your itinerary with confirmation codes and ticket numbers.
Day of Flight
- Before leaving home, be sure you have:
Your passport-- you should have a black and white laminated photocopy in your billfold
A 5 day supply of any prescription drugs--in pharmacy bottles (the balance of any prescription medicine should be in your hand carry bag with appropriate documentation from your doctor and pharmacy)
The pictures of your bag(s)
Phone numbers for your Sponsoring Rotarians, Hosting Rotarians, your Host Family and your mom and dad (A copy of your Host Guarantee Form is perfect as it has your first Host Family/Rotarian information)
Be sure you have a copy of your itinerary
A print out of this page on your person
Any documentation your Hosting Rotarians have asked you to bring to the Host country
On Arrival in Host Country
- Double check your seating area for all items brought on board.
- First you will clear Immigration. Put on your Rotary Blazer or Polo or T-Shirt again, and just follow the other passengers off the aircraft, as all doors will be locked-you'll have no choice but to go to immigration. Have your passport in hand. Be sure you choose the right line-by nationality. These lines only move as fast as the people in front of you. When you meet the immigration officer, answer all questions honestly-you have nothing to hide.
- Proceed to Customs. Take your checked baggage off the carousel and put it on a cart (they're free in customs). IF YOUR BAGS DO NOT ARRIVE-tell Customs and immediately make a claim with the airline, using your checked baggage claim check and give them a photo of the bag(s). Ask Customs how your bag(s) will be cleared when they do arrive. Continue on to the customs tables-most countries use the 'green' light/'red' light system. As long as you see 'green' lights, keep pushing you bag cart. If you see a 'red' light, STOP, and follow the directions of the customs agent. Each country reserves the right to thoroughly inspect all of your baggage, your clothing and your person. Wearing your Rotary blazer, will in most circumstances avoid this. Again, answer any questions honestly. After Customs, GO OUT THE CUSTOMS DOOR.
- If you have connecting flights, look for the 'on going' bag belt near the customs door. You can drop your checked bags with the employees there. (In some airports, you may have to take your bags to the ticket counter of the next airline to have them re-checked). Proceed to your connecting flights' gate. (Check the departures board if in doubt or ask an airline employee).
- If you are being met after Customs or after your connecting flight-go to the pre-arranged 'meeting area' you agreed upon the night before.
- NO UNMET STUDENTS: Remember Ed's 'Second to the last' rule. If you are second to the last and your Rotarians/Host Family meet you-tell them there is one more student with you. They can assist the unmet student or take that student with all of you and sort it out closer to your new homes. If you are the only student on the flight and no one is there to meet you, STAY in the airport. Call your Outbound Chairman collect and they will solve the problem. This can be as simple as heavy airport/city traffic or a confusion about the arrival time. Do not leave the airport or try to find them, they will find you.
- Collect your checked bag(s). IF YOUR BAGS DO NOT ARRIVE-immediately make a claim with the airline, using your checked baggage claim check, and give them a photo of the bag(s)-ask if they will deliver them when they do arrive.
- On arrival at you first host family's house, CALL YOUR PARENTS before you go to sleep-they've been worried ever since they said good bye to you. Then try to stay off the phone, e-mail, and texting for the next 3 months-write letters-your parents and friends will appreciate them more, and your parents/grandparents may even reward you with a little extra in your ATM account. Speaking in English is the worst thing you can do in the first 3 months. Find the little kids and spend time with them, you'll be surprised at how fast you learn the language with them.
- Check with your Inbound Chairperson to see if there is anything you must do upon arrival to make sure your status in the country is not in jeopardy for the duration of your stay. (In some countries, you have to register with the local authorities within a certain amount of time, or your visa will revert to a Tourist Visa only good for 90 days).
LASTLY, be sure you go online, usually on the host family's computer or a Rotarian's computer to to register your new residence with your home government. You will need to create an account one time, so remember your user name and password when you do this. This will help your government contact you if there is a family emergency back home, or if there is a crisis where you are traveling. This is a new requirement for all Outbound Rotary Youth Exchange students. You must do this every time you change families. Be sure to mention in your monthly reports to your Sponsoring (Home) District that you have met this requirement.
For US Citizens - https://step.state.gov/step/ (In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts will not be released to others without your express authorization).
For Canadian Citizens - https://www.voyage2.gc.ca/Registration_inscription/Register_Inscrire/Login_ouvrir-une-session-eng.aspx
Now stow your passport (unless Rotary is going to hold it)
in the zippered compartment of your suitcase and . . .
Have a great exchange ! ! !
Your parents, Rotary and It's Your World-Travel! have given you the tools to succeed!
So now we entrust the World into Your Hands ! ! !
It's Your World-Travel! will be here the entire time you are away. (For Year-Long students, we will send you a request form for your return date in January of next year-any dates / flights you see online are for maintenance only and ARE NOT your Return Date). AND remember, any requests you may have of IYWT during your exchange, must FIRST BE CLEARED with your Hosting AND Sponsoring Rotarians before IYWT can take any action.