STEP is a short-term, family to family exchange program. A STEP student is paired with another student in another country.  The students live together with one student’s family for the first half of their exchange, then switch to live together with the other student’s family for the second half of the experience.   STEP exchanges can last for several days up to several months.  Most STEP exchanges occur in the summer, but they may occur at any time of the year.
Although each student is asked where they would like to go on exchange, the key to a successful STEP exchange is the successful matching of students and families.  Thus, STEP applicants must agree to an exchange wherever Rotary is able to locate a suitable match.  Students wishing to go to South America will probably need to host sometime between mid-November and mid-January. You can find more information by contacting the District’s STEP Coordinator.
You must be aged 15 to 19 years, and unlike the Long Term Program, you are permitted to have graduated from high school.
Your initial interview with the Club will be held in September-October. If  initially accepted,  the student will then complete the specialized online STEP application, and the family will begin undergoing the Host Family vetting process.  All requested application materials must be submitted to the District STEP Coordinator no later than December 31st. An orientation is held for students and parents in January. You should expect to be matched with your family by May at the latest.
Travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of the families involved and the travel arrangement preferably should be done through a Travel Agency (We recommend two, links on the left sidebar).
If accepted into the program, there is an administrative fee payable to the District Committee which covers administration and training costs. This program is fully funded by the student and their parents. We estimate costs of approximately $2,000 US to take part in the program.
District 5050 recently resumed its participation in the STEP program.  Our first exchange was with France during the summer of 2018, and in 2019 participation increased to three students.  We hope to grow the program methodically, increasing as interest and our capacity to arrange and manage exchanges grows.  Let us know what your interest is.  If you apply early enough, we may be able to arrange it!
Interested in applying?
The first step is to apply with a local Rotary club as all applicants must be sponsored by a local Rotary club and district.  You will be asked to complete a preliminary application. Your District STEP Coordinator and local club will help guide you through the application and interview process. Rotary Clubs will select students from the applications for an interview.  If selected to participate, the student will then complete the specialized online STEP application, and the family will begin undergoing the Host Family vetting process.