Ian Schatz,

Outbound student officer

-District 5130

Benefits of the Rotary and IYWT Partnership:

"In my volunteer role as a district outbound student officer, I am thankful for the responsiveness of IYWT staff and for the clearly defined processes they provide for our students to apply for their visas and to purchase their open return flight arrangements.  

IYWT does a very good job keeping up with the ever-changing requirements between consulates, embassies, and local differences in the process -- I don't see how we could do it without them!  In many cases, they meet our students at the consulate to assist them with submission of their visa applications.  When student's flights are delayed, they have helped arrange alternate connections at all hours and provided calming can-do support to myself, our students and parents in stressful times.

The IYWT Online System and Best Practices:

In my role, I rely heavily on the IYWT online system and they have continually provided enhancements and improvements in systems and personnel to make the whole process easier on volunteer Rotarians, students, and families.

The multi-user Message Board is an essential tool to keep everyone working in the same direction, and the sample documents they provide eliminate so much potential for confusion. Including parents, students, sponsor club YEOs, IYWT staff, and myself in the same information stream is pure genius. 

Highly recommended for any district RYE program administrator!"

Lynnette Gerbert, 

District Outbound Chair

-District 5160

Benefits of the Rotary and IYWT Partnership:

"There are so many moving pieces and parts to making a successful exchange experience happen for a student and their family…and knowing that IYWT has professionals that are supporting and guiding our volunteer team, the students, and their families through this process decreases the stress and anxiety for everyone involved.

Travel policies, documents, visas, consulates, etc., are all “foreign” to most of the Rotarians, students, and families that are involved in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.  The resources and tools provided by IYWT, guiding us from acceptance into the program, to returning safely in our home country, are priceless and cannot be taken for granted."

Benefits of the One-Fee System:

"With the changes in the value of the dollar related to other country currency, changes in costs of flights (seemingly almost daily), etc., families appreciate knowing, up front, the cost of sending their child abroad for a year.  If we differentiated the costs, student-by-student, country-by-country, year-by-year, families would be much less likely to engage with our program and see the value in what we offer for the one set fee we charge.  We might also have families who might want to pick specific countries based on cost, perceived return on their investment, fluctuations in currency and airfare, etc.  Bottom line: The one-fee system provides the families with known costs and allows our program to create an annual budget that is able to absorb many of the market fluctuations that occur from year to year."

Hal Beals, 

District Chair

-District 5030

Benefits of the Rotary and IYWT Partnership:

"IYWT is a lifesaver for our District. We could not be in business without them. They do the very hard work of obtaining the visa that will allow you to go to your host country and spend the year. They understand the paperwork requirements of each country and will coach you until you have the visa. Once you have the visa, IYWT gets you a round-trip plane ticket with an open return, which is a Rotary requirement. They know the key people at the international airlines and have made all the difference when travel plans change or an emergency situation changes everything."

"IYWT are the professionals. You can trust them to come through for you when there are delays with the visa process, or when travel plans change suddenly."

The IYWT Online System and Best Practices:

"Their online service is without a peer. It is your lifeline to your visa application process. You must look at it every day."