Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange

Welcome to the 2020 Summer Youth Exchange Resource Page

  • Overview
    • Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange
    • Why Belluno Italy?
    • ​2020 Summer Time Frame
    • ​Costs
    • ​Reviews
  • Contact Information
    • ​Steve Lelli            
    • Bruce Abernathy
    • Kit Carmiencke   
    • 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

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 sightseeing 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, a 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 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 2020 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. Fundraising opportunities to cover partial expenses are encouraged.

Next Steps

  • Contact member of 2020 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.​
  • At your request, you’ll receive an online Rotary Youth Exchange Application Form.  The application deadline is November 30, 2020.
  • 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 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.

BEN ARRIVATA                   DI                       EVENTI                       SCAMBI                   METTE IN EVIDENZA              CONTATTO

If you have an interest in participating in the 2020 Bend-Belluno Summer Cross-cultural exchange you are encouraged to contact one of the Rotary Team listed below.

Open house held first in Belluno and then the next night in Bend to share information with prospective students and parents interested in the Bend Belluno 2020 summer cross-cultural exchange.

This is where you’ll find all the information you need to apply for the Bend-Belluno Summer 2020 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 daily life in an Italian family and be part of our sister city of Belluno, then this program is for you.

2020 Youth Exchange

We will be using an on-line application process for the 2020 Rotary Short Term Exchange.   To obtain the link to the on-line application send an e-mail request to Steve Lelli at   

​The application deadline is November 30th

Bend-Belluno Rotary 2020 Summer Exchange Application Process​​

 The  Summer Vacation - That Lasts a Life Time