At the Rotary International World Convention in Atlanta, 2017 Youth Exchange Officers from all over the world came together to collaborate and communicate over several topics concerning Rotary Youth Exchange at the YEO Preconvention. One of the workshops carried the name “Beyond the 4 D’s” where an open discussion was held about the future of the 4 Ds. By the end of this workshop the Board of Rotex International was given the task to develop a new approach for the 4 D’s in cooperation with Rotarians and input from Youth Exchange Alumni. This is the first draft of the new “Code of Honor” that is aiming to one day replace the 4 D’s and lead exchange students throughout their exchange. It is put together by ideas, input, and concerns from Rotarians and Alumni working for the Youth Exchange program from all over the world.
The second and following pages provide further descriptions and explain what the Code of Honor expects from the exchange student.
Input, comments, and suggestions are more than welcome at any time since we are striving to develop this new approach with the entire Rotary community and want to achieve new rules everybody can agree on.
I value cultural differences
As a Rotary Youth Exchange student, I understand that I am given the opportunity to completely sink into a new culture and adapt to new values and norms. I am willing to notify, face and value any cultural differences and adjust with an open mind. This experience teaches me what diversity and cultural differences mean. Furthermore, I am aware of my own cultural background and those of others and reflect my actions against the background of this intercultural context. I am an ambassador of my home country and conscious that my behaviour and presentation will strongly impact, create and influence the opinions and images of people I interact with.
I appreciate the support of others
I am aware that Rotarians, host families, schools and many other people are voluntarily enabling this once in a lifetime experience for me, appreciate their engagement and respect their rules. I can presume that every decision taken on my behalf by others is taken out of best intentions for my well-being and experience. Appreciation of the engagement for me and the expectation will gain trust and respect vice versa which will advance my exchange experience. I thus understand the respect and trust that I risk losing if I behave disorderly and know that the consequences of my actions affect not only myself, but also my support system at home and abroad. I strive to not make decisions lightly or behave selfishly as I understand that any consequences I endure, will reflect poorly on everyone associated with me. I remember to be thankful and show it.
I use this opportunity to grow
I understand that I am given a unique opportunity to experience a new culture, learn a new language and eventually gain a life-changing view on the world. I know that the success of my experience depends very much on my attitude and my effort in order to gain the most from it. The exchange year certainly isn’t always an easy one. I am willing to go through difficult, hard and challenging moments during my exchange year, but I am also expecting exciting, great and unforgettable times. I am prepared and willing to seriously appreciate this opportunity offered to me.
I am proud to be a Rotary Youth Exchange Student
Part of growing up is to find my own way. Perhaps it also means that while trying to find the right way, one might make mistakes. But in order to grow, the most important thing is to learn from them. But even if I try very hard, I might make mistakes unintentionally. But I know I have understanding Rotarians at my side who want to help me to learn from them for my future life.
I obey the laws of my host country at all times.
I am aware that any transgressions of these rules will negatively impact my exchange experience and can consult in my dismissal of the exchange program and my return to my home country.