North Star Rotary Youth Exchange “The Making of World Citizens.”
Ken Mosier, Lynn Keillor
President Ken Mosier introduced our speaker Lynn Keillor, Minneapolis South Rotary Club, and North Star Youth Exchange Officer.
What is the North Star Youth Exchange?
North Star Youth Exchange encompasses two Rotary districts (5950 and 5960), which are large geographical areas in south-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The area includes the entire Twin Cities metropolitan area, Rochester, St. Cloud, and Mankato.
Throughout this area, local Rotary clubs provide this international opportunity to eager, ambitious, and inquisitive high school students — both to come to our area to experience American life, or to go abroad to one of over 30 countries around the world.
North Star offers three programs:
Long Term
  • One-year high school foreign exchange program
Short Term or STEP
  • Family to Family – a two-month summer exchange
  • Camps – themed camps worldwide
Lynn also shared with us some of the North Star lingo:
  • North Star Rotary Youth Exchange
    • The name of District 5950/5960’s youth exchange program
  • Inbound
    • A foreign student spending an exchange year/summer in the North Star area
  • Outbound
    • A student from Minnesota/Wisconsin who will spend a year/summer abroad
  • Long-term
    • The year-long exchange program
  • Short term, or STEP
    • Summer programs
Some of the stats regarding the program:
  • Sponsored by Rotary Clubs around the world, about 50 clubs (45%) participate in the 5950-5960 area.
  • North Star will send 50 long term students and about 35 short-term students this year. Overall, Rotary exchanges about 6,000 students annually.
  • North Star has 2,463 students in its database as outbounds; 2,240 as inbounds!
  • The US hosts 30,000 students annually; only about 3,000 American high school students study abroad
Typical students that will go on exchange are:
  • Students with an interest in language, culture and adventure
  • Students who want an advantage in college and careers by being global citizens
You might remember some of the following students that Lakeville has hosted over the years:
And some of our outbound students included:
Short-Term, STEP Program
Kat Vandenbos , 2019-2020, June 2019 ,STEP  to Italy 
* Kat was also our January 2020 Rotary Student of the Month
Isabell Demo, 2017-2018, STEP to Spain