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Ithaca, NY – The Rotary Club of Ithaca seeks host families for two international students coming to Ithaca for the upcoming school year. Two females, one from Thailand and one from Poland, will arrive in late summer.

Host families need not be affiliated with Rotary to host Rotary exchange students. The typical length of stay is about three to four months, instead of a full year, which makes for a manageable commitment and gives visiting students flexibility in experiencing family life from multiple perspectives.

Families are responsible for room and board for the student, supporting and guiding the child through the cultural adjustment, and overseeing schoolwork. Generally, host families treat and include the visiting student just as they would their own child.

Rotary’s host families run the full spectrum of possibilities and in the past have included families with small children, “empty nesters” and retired couples, families with high school aged children, same sex partners, and single parent families. All are welcome to apply.

Host families are not reimbursed or paid for their efforts, nor is there any charge to become a host family. Students come with emergency money that is held by the Rotary club’s treasurer. Host families may not be on public assistance and must live in the Ithaca City School District. To become a host family, individuals must file an online application with two references and have a criminal background check completed, followed by a home inspection and a required two-hour Department of State orientation.

For more information about becoming a host family, please contact Youth Exchange Committee chair Erick Schnell (607-280-0891 or or Marshall McCormick (607-280-0455 or More on the Ithaca Rotary Club may be found at:

The Rotary Club of Ithaca gathers every Wednesday at 12:15pm for luncheon meetings at Coltivare, 235 S. Cayuga Street, downtown across from the Hotel Ithaca. The public is welcome to attend and learn more about Rotary; cost is $15 at the door. Ithaca Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.” Membership is open to all community members who share in this belief; new members are accepted year-round. CallMembership Chair Ron Provus at 607-351-8539 or

Featured image courtesy of Flickr. 

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.