Local Rotary clubs would like to hear from students aged 15 to 18 wishing to travel abroad next summer on the Rotary International Short-Term Exchange Program.

Each applicant is matched with a student in the country of his or her choice. Once a match has been made and accepted by both students, their families can arrange travel to suit their respective schedules. In most cases, students spend three to five weeks in each country. While in Maine, students from abroad enjoy being part of ordinary family life, taking part in the usual adventures offered by a Maine summer.

In recent years, students from Maine have chosen Japan, Turkey, England, Spain, France, Belgium and Italy from the more than 20 destinations available on the STEP program. Experiencing a different country has enabled them to see firsthand the accomplishments and challenges of another culture while visiting new places, practicing their language skills and creating strong personal connections with their host families.

As an international service organization, Rotary has been running exchange programs since the 1920s through its worldwide network of clubs. The involvement of Rotary volunteers makes STEP an affordable, high-quality program. Participating students and families cover travel costs, spending money, inexpensive insurance and a modest administrative fee.

Information about Rotary exchange programs can be found at exchangestudent.org. For further details, contact Joan Phaup at 557-1181 or email joanphaup@yahoo.com.