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Applications sought from Kiwi youngsters

Applications sought from Kiwi youngsters seeking 'true' student exchange experience across the ditch

Source: Rotary Australia and NZ Student Exchange

Rotary is currently accepting applications from New Zealand students who want to experience a "true" exchange with a family on the other side of the Tasman - including a week-long "safari".

Celebrating 50 years of exchanges in 2017, the Rotary Australia & New Zealand Student Exchange (RANZSE) programme is regarded as one of the most respected and safest student exchanges in the world.

Often referred to as a "matched twin exchange", RANZE is primarily aimed at students between the ages of 13½ and 16, who will be in Year 10 or Year 11 in the year of travel.

The exchange covers two school terms. Direction of travel alternates each year, but in 2017 New Zealand students will firstly travel to Australia for one term, before they host their Australian "match" in the second term.

Chair of RANZE in New Zealand, Max Patmoy, from the Rotary Club of Ahuriri in Napier, said by becoming part of another family and attending school in another country, the Kiwi students experienced personal growth and development, enjoyed improved confidence and maturity, and learnt responsibility.

"RANZSE differs from most youth exchanges in that the student stays with the matched family in the other country with the support of the RANZSE committee and the local Rotary club in each country. It is for a shorter time away from home, the student participants are younger, and they reciprocate the hosting experience with their match family," Mr Patmoy said.

There was an approximate cost of $4,500 to parents, Patmoy said, but that included airfares, spending money a supervised bonding weekend and a supervised week-long ‘safari’, among other things.

A contribution from the student’s sponsoring Rotary Club would go towards the cost of their RANZSE gear, including polo and rugby shirts, jacket, backpack and duffle bag, passport holder and nametag. Any excess money would be used to offset the cost of the exchange, he said.

On her RANZSE trip to New Zealand this year, Australian student Lily Collins from Muswellbrook in New South Wales, was "matched" with Ana Rathbone, from Havelock North in Hawke’s Bay.

Together they attended Anzac Day commemorations and travelled to the South Island, where they rode on the luge in Queenstown, visited Te Anau Glowworm Caves and cruised Milford Sound.

"I [had] the pleasure of attending the ANZAC Day services, I was the only one who knew the Australian anthem - I got a couple of weird glances. I am so grateful to everyone who made the student exchange happen … I will never forget how amazing that trip was!" Collins said.

Expressions of Interest forms can be found at which need to be returned by June 30.

Students may also apply online at

More information can be found at the RANZSE Facebook page (


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