Suggestions for the following materials came from many Rotary Youth Exchange sources. Many of the materials are appropriate for both Inbound and Outbound students and will be noted as such.
     The Youth Exchange Handbook is the first overview of the Youth Exchange process that the parents and student get. As such it is an important primary document to determine whether the student and parents really want to undertake this process.
     The Outbound Handbook 2014-2015 from SCANEX (the multi-district Youth Exchange organization that Hawaii is a part of) is a primary reference source for both students, parents and club Youth Exchange staff (the Club Youth Exchange Officer and the Counselors). A copy of this document should be sent to Outbound students after they have been accepted into the program.
     The Exchange Student Survival Kit by Bettina Hansel ( also available through, Barnes and Noble and other book dealers) comes highly recommended by a number of YEO's in districts across the country. The reading assignment for this book (to be discussed at District Conference) is Survival Kit Homework Assignment and is given out at the first Orientation session with the student and parents in March.
     CultureGrams are concise, reliable, and up-to-date 6-8 page reports on more than 200 countries, each U.S. state, and all 13 Canadian provinces and territories. Outbound students are each given a printed copy of the report for the country that they are assigned to before the first Orientation meeting in March. Inbound students are given a printed copy of both the USA CultureGram and the State of Hawaii CultureGram at their first Orientation meeting in the Fall.
     Learning to speak the language of the Host country. If the student doesn't already have a year or more of the language spoken in the country they're assigned to, then language study for that country must begin immediately after the student learns what their country will be. There are many approaches to this task, a number of which are outlined in the aforementioned Outbound Handbook.  There are also commercially available software packages such as Rosetta Stone and others. Here is a link to an article in a recent PC Magazine issue which rates different materials which are both standalone and online: "The Best Language Learning Programs". Included in that review is the website Duolingo . The website is free to use and several students really are enjoying the style of teaching that it offers. At this time the languages taught are primarily European: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Swedish and Danish. Students should also be encouraged to change their smart phone language to that of the country they will be visiting.
     As part of the language learning process, each Outbound student is given a file called "First Night Questions". This file contains a list of questions which the student and Host family should discuss when the student first arrives and is rested from their trip. There are two columns in the form. The first column is the list of questions in the student's language and the second column is the same list of questions in the language of the Host country. Usually the District YEO will give the student this document at the beginning of their language studies. In case this does not happen, the form can be generated using this link: First Night Questions .