Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange

BEN ARRIVATA                   DI                       EVENTI                       SCAMBI                   METTE IN EVIDENZA              CONTATTO

2019 Youth Exchange

Welcome to the 2019 Summer Youth Exchange Resource Page

  • Overview
    • Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange
    • Why Belluno Italy?
    • ​2019 Summer Time Frame
    • ​Costs
    • ​Reviews
    • ​NEXT STEPS
  • Contact Information
    • ​Steve Lelli                     stevelelli@gmail.com 
    • Bruce Abernathy          abernethy9@aol.com
    • Kit Carmiencke             kcarmiencke@gmail.com
    • Helen Tompkins ​
  • Links to previous Summer Exchanges​​



Reviews - 


"Our family had the privilege and pleasure of being a part of the 2018 Bend-Belluno Sister City Rotary Exchange.  Although at first I was a little apprehensive about my daughter fitting in with another family
(would she behave, be polite, communicate), and even more so about a stranger coming to our home, I can tell you that this was the best experience we could have hoped for.  Our Italian sister/daughter instantly
became a part of our family and we knew from day 1 our hearts grew three sizes.  I believe both girls enjoyed their time immensely and truly grew from the experience.  It is hard to put into words all we gained from the exchange, but I think we all have more confidence, awareness and aspirations because of the exchange."  Molly Slough, host mom 2018


"I can't say enough positive things about this program and would totally send my child on it in a heart beat. They prepare, travel and exchange as a group, but still have the individual experience of living with their own host family. The relationships with Belluno are fantastic."  Jill Trekell, Rotary Program Director 


We had so much fun while our Italian exchange student, Gio was here!!  We did a few family trips (Portland, Oregon Coast, and Seattle) to show Gio the different cities and a few professional games….and the boys did a lot on their own as well.  They did a lot of day trips to different areas around Bend (hiking, swimming, golfing, etc).  The group also got together a few times (rafting trip, BBQ’s, swimming).  So it went by really fast!  I tried to plan as much as we could as a family, but really most of it was the kids planning that morning what they wanted to do (teenagers are not good at planning ahead…haha!).   We stuck to our normal schedule and Gio went with the flow on activities, meal times, what we ate - we LOVED introducing him to new foods he had never had….peanut butter was his favorite!!   Judi Hein, host mom 2017


Special invitation to students and their families interested in learning more about the 2019 Bend-Belluno Summer Cross Cultural Exchange. We have scheduled an informational “open house” with short presentation for Wednesday evening November 7 at the clubhouse at Sunrise Village from 6 to 7:30.  There will be a very short program to give an overview of the international cross cultural exchange with time to visit with committee members and students and parents from previous exchanges. We are planning a small Italian dessert so need an RSVP to any of our committee members for planning. 

This is where you’ll find all the information you need to apply for the Bend-Belluno Summer 2019 Youth Exchange.
The Bend-Belluno Sister City Committee working through Rotary International's Short Term Exchange Program (STEP) is offering a seven week cross-cultural exchange opportunity to students from Bend.

This program is open to high school students who have completed their junior year, who would like to experience life as part of an Italian family in our sister city of Belluno.  This is a reciprocal exchange, Bend students stay with a Belluno family for 3+ weeks and then would host with their family an Italian student from Belluno for 3+ weeks in Bend.  If you want to experience the daily life in an Italian family and be part of our sister city of Belluno, then this program is for you.


Informational "Open House" for 2019 Summer Exchange

 The  Summer Vacation - That Lasts a Life Time

Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange
This summer high school students from Bend will have the opportunity to participate in a seven week cross-cultural exchange. They will experience life as part of a family in our Italian sister city of Belluno. This is a reciprocal exchange, Bend students stay with a Belluno family for 3 weeks and then would host with their family an Italian student from Belluno for 3 weeks in Bend.

This short term international cultural exchange program matches youth from Bend into an Italian home with an exchange brother or sister, but this is not a tourist sight seeing trip. The highlight of this international exchange is living and being part of an Italian family and culture.


Why Belluno, Italy?
As sister cities we have had the opportunity to visit and develop friendships with citizens of Belluno.
This will be the third summer of short term student exchange.
Just 45 minutes from Venice and at the foot of the Dolomites - many similarities to Bend
Belluno like Bend is a safe community, very low crime rate, but very few tourists.
Belluno is known as the “Citta delle Bambini” - a city full of “Italian Mothers” - “you know the ones who will never let their kids out of the house on a chilly day without a hat, scarf and coat.”

If you want to experience the daily life in an Italian family and be part of our sister city of Belluno, and share Bend and our culture with an Italian student then this program is for you


Summer 2019 Time Frame

​Belluno, Italy
During the third week of June travel with four other students from Bend to Venice, Italy where you’ll be greeted and driven to your Italian home for the next three weeks. Expect some group activities and adventures to learn and experience living in Belluno plus hiking in the Dolomites.

Bend, Oregon
During the second week of July return home with the Bend team. Within the next few days your exchange brother/sister will arrive and will be hosted by you and your family, sharing Central Oregon for the next three weeks. Again expect some group activities and adventures with the entire Bend/Belluno youth team including a volunteer project. 


Costs - There is a $350 Program Participation fee.  Other costs include airline ticket, insurance, passport phone plan and incidentals. Fund raising opportunities to cover partial expenses are encouraged.

Next Steps


  • Contact member of 2019 Bend-Belluno Rotary Summer Exchange committee to announce your interest.  We will attempt to meet with you and your parents to discuss this opportunity with you in more detail.
  • Plan to attend "Informational Evening and Dessert" to learn more about program and visit with students and their families from last year.  November 7th 6:30 to 7:30 at Sunrise Village
  • At your request you’ll receive an online Rotary Youth Exchange Application Form.  Application deadline is December 4, 2018.
  • Later in December all applicants and their families will be interviewed and selections will be made shortly thereafter.


Finally, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact any member of our committee. We are excited about this opportunity for you to learn and grow through a cross-cultural exchange. Good luck in being selected to put your best foot forward in representing Bend in our new sister city of Belluno, Italy.