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.
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:
Political leaders, national heroes, and major sports and entertainment
capital, major cities, geographical features and bordering countries.
montary systerm, business hours and units of measurement
principal religions, education system and national holidays
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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'.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Romantic attachment are not the purpose of your
exchance visit and you should therefore avoid them.
The illegal use of drugs is strictly prohibited.
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.
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
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:
confirm your return flight, if you are traveling by air. In most cases
you will need to do this at least 72 hours before departure or risk of losing your
collect the documents you will need(passport, etc) to go though
immigration. Keep any tax-free items and receipts handy for cutoms inspection.
determine how much local currenry you will have remaining. You may want
to convert it or purchase duty-free items with it before you leave. Be aware of any
currency restrictions your host country might have.
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
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.