This is from the set of papers send by Lion Club International District 308B Malaysia. You will be receiving it when you are informed that you are accepted as a Youth Exchanger by mail.

Lion Club International

District 308B Malaysia

Exchange Visitor Guide, Your Voyage of Discovery


    Congratulation on being selected to participate in the Lion Youth Exchange program !
    The Lions volunteering to make your exchange possible are proub of their commitment to foster international goodwill. We hope you feel as we do that exchanges between countries can be a major step toward greater understanding among the people of the world.
    Your Lions sponsors and hosts will do everything they can to make your stay enjoyable and rewarding. Your willingness to make the most of your trip, however, will determine your success as an exchange visitor.
    From the vantage point of a different country, you will see your native way of life from a distance. It may be an uncofortable distance, at least at first, but you use the opportunity wisely, you will learn a great deal about yourself and the world in which we live.
    Your likes and dislikes, values and beliefs, customs and expectations will affest your understanding of new culture. Be aware of your cultural biases before you leave home, and you will better appreciate the cultural differences you encounter when you arrive in the host country.

Before Departure


    After you have thought about yourself and your country, take some time to study the country you will be visiting. Gather some facts about your host country's:
    To obtain this informtaion, consult your local library or look through newspapers and magazines for articles dealing with the country. If you have the chance, talk with someone who has lived or traveled there, including former exchange visitors. The orientation provided by your Lion's sponsors will also give you useful knowledge to make your visit a success.

Language

    Most of us do not realise how much we rely on language to communicate until we find ourselves in a country where a different language is spolen. Those who have studied one or more different lanugages in school will ilkely have a much easier time feeling comfrotable in a new culture. Although fluency in the host country's language is not required for acceotance in the Lions Club Exchange program, participants are expected to have some lanugage ability. Phrase books and pocket dictionaries are inexpensive and can help you with simple communication.
    The more familiar you are with the language, the easier communication will be between you and yuor host. Knowing even a little can impress your new family and show them you are truly interested in their culture. Even if the language they speak is the same as yours, be aware of the differences in pronunciately, vocabulary and usage.
Correspondence With Host Family
    You will have included a letter of introduction to your prospective host family in your application. however, once you know their name and address, write to them again directly. Tell about your hobbies, ambition, and home life. The more your host family knows about you before you arrive, the better they will be able to prepare for your stay.

Health

    For travel most parts of the world, vaccinations are no longer needed. Still, you should check with your sponsoring Lion Club to determine if there are any special requirements. See your dentist before you depart. If you wear glassese, carry along an extra pair or have your doctor write out your prescription. If you are taling prescription drugs, carry them in clearly marked bottles and bring the prescription with you in case a custom offices ask to see it.
    If you have any special medical needs, be sure to tell you sponsoring Lions Club about them. As a precaution for an emergency, carry an indentification card with you. stating medical conditions, special medications you may need, allergies and blood type.
Insurance
    When travelling abroad, never underestimate the importance of insurance. Before you leave home you should purchase adequate medical, life, personal property and liability insurance to cover the entire duration of the exchange visit. You should check to make sure that the insurance you have is recognised and accepted in the host country. You may be required by the host Lions to purchase additional insurance if, provided adequate coverate in the host country, they feel it is advisable.

Passports and Visas

    To enter and return from the country you will be visiting, you will probably need a passport. As processiong a passport will take time, be sure to make an application well in advance of you departure date. To apply for a passport you will beed proof of citizenship, several recent indentical photographs of yourself, indetification, and possibly other documents. When traveling, always carry your passport with you and keep it in a safe place. Loss of oa passport is a serious matter and should be reported immediately.
    In addition to a passport, you may need a visa - official permission to visit a country granted by the government of the country. Visa requirements vary considerably, so check with the country's embassy or conculate. Since photos are usually required for visas, you should order extraswhen getting yur passport pictures. Some countries may require a tourist card to enter. The country's embassy or consulate can tell you if it does.

Clothing

    The adage, "Bring half the clothes and twice the money", usually hold true when deciding what you will bring on your trip. Nevertheless, find out the climate you will be entering and pack accordingly. Your sponsoring Lions may require you to wear an offical jacket or blazer.

Photographs

    Photographs and slides of your family, house, school and community can tell your host family a great deal about your home culture. Slides especially amy some in handy should you be invited by the host Lions Club to give a presentation about your country.

Money

    They best way to carry money when abroad is in the form of traveler's cheque. You should obtain them from a bank that is reconised and has branch officers in the host country. Before converting your money to the host country's currency, be cure to shop around for rates. Not only do rates fluctuate, but hotes and restaurants usually have less favorable rates than banks, for example. In some countries, you may find exchange shops whish fluctuate, but hotels and restaurants usually have less favorable rates than banks, for example. in some countries, you may find exchange shops which offer better rates than even banks. Do not exchange more money than you need, since you pay a commission each time you exchange. When you exchange money, be sure to keep a copy of the receipt recording the transactions, as you may need it to convert back any local currency you may have left over at the end of your trip.
    Bring enough personal spenging money wity you. Any extra expenses you incur, including long distance telephone calls, gifts, and personal incidentals, will be your responsibilty, not your hosts'.

Gifts

    You should bring a small gift for your host family as an expression of appreciation for their hospitality. Something characteristic of your country is appropriate. Bring a gift for each family if you will be staying with more than one. For the host Lions Club, your sponsoring Lions Club may be provide you with bannerettes or other small gifts. Whatever gifts you bring, they need not be expensive. It is the thought that counts, not the price tag.
    If you have personalised stationery, take it with you. This way, you can mail acknowledgements for any gifts, entertainment, or other courtesies as you go along.

Emergencies

    Once plans are made, you should adhere rigorously to them, Last minutes changes can distrupt the schedules of many people. If you have an emergency that will affect your travel plans, you mush inform your Lions Youth Exchange officer immediately.

Being There

    The philosophy of the Lions Youth Exchange Program is to give exchange visitors the opportunity to live win a new culture as members of a family. it is participation in family life that distinguishes a Lions exchange visitor from an ordinary tourist.
    You will likely to be hosted by more than one Lions-approved family during your exchange visit.
    Family life in a new culture can be very different from what you may be accustomed to in your won home. You will undoubtedly find yourself in un-familiar situations that will challenge your assumptions about things and put your adaptability to a test. As it would be unreasonable to expect your host family to adjust to your habits, it will be your responsibilty to maintain a flexible attitude and an open mind. Althought adjusting to new situations amy beem difficult at first, in the long run it will provide you with a better appreciation and understanding of our richly diverse human heritage.

Standart of Conduct

    The degree of formality within families varies greatly by culture. In some countries, it may be the norm to affress one's elders by first names of nicknames, be casusla about punctuality and appoinments, wear whatever clothes happen to be comfortable, and display affection openly. IN others, however, there same modes of behaviour may be regarded as taboo and consequently avoided.
    Since accepted forms of conduct are so diverse from one culture to antoerh, allow yourself a few days immediately after your arrival to take note of standard rulese of social behaviour, and guided accordingly.

Food

    One of the most difficult addjustments you will have to make as an exchange visitor maybe dietary. Perhaps the best advise is to be adventurous and try everything that is offered to you. Your host will be delighted by your willingness to share their taste, and you may even discover that some os the foods, which you mgith never dreamed of eating, are actually quite good.
    However, if you have legitimate dietary restrictions, whether for medical or religious reasons, you should make them known to your hosts.

Alcohol

    Once in the host country you will be bound by its laws, which may include restriction on the cunsumption of alcohol by minors. It may be acceptable in certain cultures for minors to drink alcoholic beverages with meals or socially; however, as a Lions exchange visitors you will be expected to abstrain regardless of the position on alcohol in either your home country.

Romance

    Romantic attachment are not the purpose of your exchance visit and you should therefore avoid them.

Drugs

    The illegal use of drugs is strictly prohibited.

Driving

    You are not permitted to drive a motor vehicle during the exchange. This restriction includes any type of vehicle, whether it be a snowmobile, motorcycle, motorboat, go-cart, tractor, etc.

Travel

    you may travel with your host parents or in connection with Lions-sponsored functions. Other travel must be approved by the host Lions District Youth Exchange Chairman, the host Lions Club, and your parents in writing. You will not be permitted to travel alone. If you wish to return home by an indirect route after the exchange, written consent from your parents will be required in advance; and you will no longer considered a part of the Lions Youth Exchange Program after departure from your host family.

Returing Home


    All too soon it will be time for you to return home and resume your normal life. Before you leave, however, there are a few practical matters you will need to attend to:

A Word of Thanks

    As soon as possible write a note of thanks to your host family. Remember to do the same for all those who entertained you or extended courtesies. Think about how your hosts have volunteered to show you their country. If their hosptality has meant something to you, be sure to express your appreciation to them. you will leave them with a good impression and make them feel that hosting you has been worthwhile experiance.

Back Home


    After you return to you community, your sponsoring Lions CLub may invite you to one of their meetings to speak about your exchange. you may also be asked to complete an evalutation of your visit and perhaps assit with briefing and guiding other youth for future exchanges. In these ways you can help to spread international understnading and goodwill
    May your exchange be successful and rewarding! The Lions thank you for the important role you are playing in promoting friendly relations among the peoples of the world.

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