Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rotary Interview [The How To's]

Hi everyone! If you've been following my blog you know recently a reader I really like asked me for some help on his (Sorry! XD) rotary meeting. This is what he wrote:

"I have my rotary interview this Sunday at 1pm and i was wondering if you have tips for me?

What do they ask?
how should you act?
tell me everything about the rotary interview that you can please"

The purpose of this post is to tell what you can expect from your interview,  and what your interviewers want to hear.

Before I begin to give you any of that information, allow me to tell you what requirements there are for Rotary.

What you need to have, what you need to understand and agree to:
  • Grades: You don't need to be an amazing student. If you have a 3.0, you're golden. If not, they will look at other things. However, it goes without saying, Rotary cannot send students who have a bad track record. Going a abroad is a serious thing and if you're failing school, I doubt they would send you over. 
  • Age: Please note that if you are going abroad your gap year, you will be limited on which countries you can pick from. Most countries do not like taking older kids. If you are accepted, Rotary will give you a country selection sheet and the requirements of each country can be found there.  
  • Language: This is something that is different everywhere. I know some Rotary clubs will not send you to a country if you already speak the language. Their reasoning is they want you to learn something new. However, some countries, such as France, want you to come over speaking french already. If you are selected, it would be a great idea to ask your club what their take is on this issue. The countries that require some language ability can be found on your country selection sheet.
  • Language classes: If you want to go to a certain country, your club or the country itself, may require you to (pay for and) take a language class before you go. I didn't have to do this. I've heard of some clubs paying as well. Not all countries or clubs require this. But, it is for your own benefit. 
  • Countries: Rotary can only send you to Rotary approved countries. But it is also a club thing. Rotary as a whole this year, couldn't send people to Korea because Korea didn't have things in order. Rotary does send people to Japan, as a whole. BUT, some clubs didn't send students to Japan, or England, or whatever, for personal reasons.
  • Luck of the draw: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE. How Rotary works, is that you pick 5 or countries you'd like to go to. They cannot promise you your first choice. You may get your 2nd, or your 5th, or you may get your 1st. Go into this program with a first choice, but with an attitude that you'll be happy anywhere. Do not put all your hopes into one country. If they feel you are doing this, they may not think this is the program for you, and they may not accept you.
Okay, so those are my only warnings. XD Everything is smooth sailing from here!

What to expect from your interview:
For my interview, I had already been talking to Rotary for weeks and weeks. I had a phone interview first as well. I felt pretty sure I was getting in, but also, nervous I wouldn't.
My interview was held at a nice hotel conference room. It had a warm and welcoming feeling to it and everyone was very nice. Also, an exchange student from a country that slips my mind was there.

You AND your family will be interviewed. Rotary wants your parents support. Rotary wants your parents to be able to let go of you. Rotary does not want pushy parents that will want to parent you when you are away. Rotary will take care of you. If your parents are too overbearing, Rotary will take note of that. Nothing is wrong with love. This is just a little heads up.

Rotary doesn't want you to go home early from whatever country you go to. They will ask you things like, 'if your father got injured, would you want to leave early?' When you go abroad, you need to be a fighter. Stay in your country. Rotary will bring you home if need be. But they really dislike it and it leads to a lot of problems. Of course, if anything health wise happens to you and you can't stay in your country, they will bring you home, no problem. Trust in Rotary.

If you go abroad, remember to be willing to try the food, learn the language, and respect the rules of the country. Show that you're willing in the interview.

Basically, act independent. Voice concerns. Speak for yourself; it's not your parents going abroad; it's you. Answer honestly. And be prepared to tell them why you want to go abroad and why you picked Rotary.

This isn't as organized as I would like it to be, however, I'm rushing through it. I may rewrite this later. I hope this will prepare you! Don't worry too much!

I wish everyone who's going through their Rotary interview the best of luck.

Questions? Ask in the comments. Has this helped you? Let me know in the comments! Disagree? Let me know!


  1. Hey, thanks for this post :)It really helped, if anyone has any questions about the interview i am now knowledgeable :)))))

    I just got done with my rotary interview and I think i did awesome!!! haha lol , yeah seriously it was no problem :)))))I hope thay will like and accept me for the next phase :D

    Thanks again,Love your blog

    Sage Yelm

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. hey sorry about all the comments, Im having a little trouble lol

    Well you said you like my blog but i just now changed to to a better more organized site (blogspot) I hope you like it, its

    oh yeah btw In your article you said

    "This is what she wrote" I just thought you should know if you dont yet that i am actually a guy :D , its ok , i understant the misunderstanding, its happend quite alot onlin for some reason ?

  4. Hahaha, I'm so sorry! I thought about it after, but I decided if you were a guy you'd correct me. XD

    Soooo happy you corrected me.

    Thanks for putting up with me!

  5. It's No big deal , sometime it's hard to figure who someone is without a photo :)

  6. Hey. Saw your comment on my blog at Thanks, it felt nice to know that there's actually someone reading. ^^

    I'm very sorry, but I'm about to just drop a huge comment here with my opinion out of the blue. Hope you won't mind:

    I just wanted to add that I think people should think it through about what countries they'll want to go to and if they are really going to be fine with any country.

    Rotary people have written a lot of stuff about how to be an exemplary exchange student in their eyes but they don't do much to encourage people of also thinking of themselves. If you don't make your limits clear, no-ones going to notice them.

    For me: I really wanted to go to Japan. Very, very much. But only 3 people are exchanged between Japan and Denmark every year. In Denmark you must pick just 3 countries that you wish to go to and they promised that you'd have the same chance of going to 1st priority country if you pick countries with lots of spaces in 2nd and 3rd but that showed up to be wrong.
    Another guy got to Japan and he had only one country on the list, no 2nd or 3rd priority, while I was sent directly on the Brazil team, a 3rd priority I had written down during my interview just in case Japan was too popular. (USA was my 2nd, but at that time I hadn't even and idea that a country such as Taiwan existed.) Those two guys and the girl who went there were nice people and deserved to go there but I got really sad over it, especially because there were only 3 people with Japan as 1st (so they sent one there who had Japan as 2nd). I later found out that actually I wouldn't want to go to Brazil anyway so I should really just have left it at Japan and not added any other countries.

    It all worked out in the end: They found out that actually there were plenty of room for me in Taiwan and I switched to that.

    Point of the story is: Just make sure that you really want to go to the countries you put on your list. Don't add countries just because you feel it will improve your chance of becoming an exchange student. At least that's what I get from it. Going abroad is still great for whatever country you go to, because in the end it's not really that much the country that matters but just being abroad. But it's still better if you can also be a little excited about going before you arrive.

  7. Hello, Michelle:
    this post was extremely helpful to me. i am about to begin my senior year of high school, and i'm considering doing a gap year exchange as well. my friend, Boyce, just got back from Taiwan a couple months ago, and had a wonderful experience. she said that most of her exchange friends in Taiwan were also on a gap year exchange, and they loved it.
    i live in an area with small towns, and close people, so the rotary club in my area is practically trying to recruit students to do exchanges. (my high school, 8-12 grade, has a grand total of around 460 students C:) i am hoping this will up my chances of going to the country of my choice- Japan. Boyce also became good friends with all of the people in the rotary over exchange. she is going to be acting as a sort of ambassador for rotary- soon, coming to my high school to speak about her great experience and how wonderful exchanges are; to persuade others to go for it.
    i'm still very undecided about this whole thing. i'm trying to do as much research as i can on others who have done this to see what their experience was like (i.e. regrets, tips..). i am very happy to have found your blog and will be checking in to see how your trip is going C; this will really help me decide if i want to do an exchange. also, if you ever have any questions about exchanges, or Taiwan, i would be more than glad to talk to Boyce and help C:

  8. "Rotary does not want pushy parents that will want to parent you when you are away."

    You should also warn about bitchy mother's who don't let their children have an interview. that's a slight problem during the process.

    "Do not put all your hopes into one country. If they feel you are doing this, they may not think this is the program for you, and they may not accept you." <--------- I could hear the bitterness in your voice D: i'm sorry. and you should have just told everyone to just talk themselves up a lot, but u went more in depth which was probably better. its sometimes hard for some of the fish online to understand simple things ;D