IYWT is dedicated to working with Rotary Youth Exchange Programs in North America and abroad for the convenience of Rotary volunteers and the safety of students.
Orientation and presentations
We understand that there can be many questions surrounding obtaining legal entry into a host country for students,
and the ever-changing intricacies of international travel. An IYWT team member will come to you -- students, families and Rotarians. By being there to answer questions and address concerns,
we want to make everyone feel more comfortable about the travel process.
Says one district chair after the IYWT presentation: "I appreciate the willingness of IYWT to provide an agent to personally speak with our Outbound students and their parents at Outbound Training regardless of the number of students we send outbound each year."
If an in-person visit is not possible, we can do a personal online "conference" to small groups -- even individual students or families who miss an orientation.
And for Rotary volunteers who want to handle their own presentations, we will provide our PowerPoint presentation and other materials, so that all our students and volunteers are getting the same information.
Best of all, the IYWT "coach" is there for the entire team throughout the entire exchange. When possible, we call every student as they register with IYWT to introduce ourselves, find out more about them, and give them a preview of how we will "have their back" for the duration of their exchange.
Coaching legal entry process
Our team does the research on what every student will need to enter their Host Country on Rotary Youth Exchange.
We wish it were the same for every student, or even the same as last year for every country. But it's not!
Throughout the year, we are monitoring travel bulletins, keeping in contact with consulates, and watching Host Rotary District requirements. Every requirement we find is posted in our online system, and funneled to the students -- and to their families and Rotary volunteers. Depending on the country and the student, it's different for every exchange.
Our services here at IYWT are customized to each student and their exchange: We give instructions for every document, we check the work, we counsel families through questions and problems, we fill out complicated applications, we assemble packets -- we even go with students to interviews at the consulates whenever possible. And yes: We remind them throughout the year of what they might need to be doing to stay in their Host Country, or to leave their Host Country at the end of exchange.
We do all that with special online tools developed by IYWT over 30 years. The online system provides a personalized one-stop website for the student. It tells them what they need to do, how to do it and when to get it done. It tracks their progress and presents it in easy color-coded progress for review by family members and Rotary volunteers.
And when they upload their documents to the system, it provides online storage of those papers where they can find copies throughout their exchange. When a copy will do the job, there's no more paying an extra shipping charge to get a document from back home.
The IYWT online system features the exclusive Message Board. It's personalized to each student, and creates an open file of all the communication between the student, their families, their Rotary Youth Exchange program, and the IYWT team of coaches. The Message Board is both a place of interaction and a reference point throughout the student's exchange.
International air travel can be complicated and expensive, but once you add the special requirements of Rotary Youth Exchange it can be mind-boggling. IYWT uses special contracts to help keep prices down. We use both our personal experience and that of our previous students to determine the best routes and connections. We build "one free change" into our prices so that cost is not an issue when a student needs to travel home in a hurry.
And especially on the "outbound" travel – when schedules allow -- we book students in pairs or groups on the overseas flights so that they can help each other and provide safety in numbers.
Among the IYWT team, we have more than 100 years of personal experience in international travel, the airline industry, youth exchange, Rotary, and even the Peace Corps. We understand the basics of globetrotting, and we also know that it is always changing. We always keep safety of the student in mind, and we are always willing to share our advice.
How Billing Works
IYWT offers two ways of billing: one directly to the Rotary Youth Exchange programs, and one directly to families.
Either way, IWYT services are offered as a package service: orientation, coaching, travel document assistance, exclusive online tracking system, Rotary access to student records, travel advice, airline booking, adherence to Rotary program rules, and a 24/7 hotline. For the duration of a student's exchange, we are there to help.
In either type of billing, we will provide an estimated cost as soon as we know where a student will be going on exchange. That estimate is always high, to prevent unwelcome summer surprises. This way, Rotary or families can budget our part of the exchange from the very beginning of the process.
We also highly encourage Rotary districts to adopt the "one fee" method of supporting their programs. Many of our districts have all their students pay the same fee for their exchange. Ask us how our services work best with that system.