Bend Belluno Sister Cities Cultural Exchange

BEN ARRIVATA                   DI                       EVENTI                       SCAMBI                   METTE IN EVIDENZA              CONTATTO

First Student-Parent information night at Deschutes Library in downtown Bend.


Bend-Belluno short-term cross-cultural exchange has been successful in introducing high school juniors to a different culture and a “wider world view”.  Over the past ten years, 89 students have participated in this unique cross-cultural exchange that has at its center a reciprocal and equal relationship.  


mate and our host family the various moments of everyday life, being treated as part of an extended family."

Maria continues " "During the long time we spent with each other, there were obviously ups and downs, however the moments of struggling turned out to be crucial to everyone's growth path, both on a personal and cultural level".   

One direct benefit that we see every year is the friendship and new cultural knowledge that the students have gained with their six-week shared summer experience.  And a strong indirect benefit is the relationship that the host parents quickly develop and maintain with the exchange student.   We are seeing that students have developed lifelong friendships often with their matched student but sometimes even stronger with host parents, brothers/sisters.

The Bend-Belluno short-term cross-cultural exchange is a collaborative effort between the Bella Bend Beautiful Belluno sister city organizations and the Rotary Clubs of Bend and Belluno.

Ciao For Now - in Belluno

Maria Costan Davara, from Belluno who was part of the 2027 cross-cultural exchange writes, "The experience was divided in two different parts: during the first one which took place in Belluno we had the chance to introduce our mates to our wonderful Dolomiti landscapes, our local delicacies and our traditions, letting them become part of our daily lives; in the second part we flew to our mates' homeland and we ourselves became visitors in their places. Where . . . .  we shared with our exchange

Bend Plaque Celebration

Photos by R. Todd Cary

Ciao For Now - in Bend


*The 'Short Term' Exchange Application is on the Rotary of Bend (Rotary D5110 Youth Exchange) website. By clicking the button above you will be redirected to their website. First-time visitors need to setup a login to begin the application process. 

For further information, email Laurel Fishkin:

​   ​2024 Summer Youth Exchange

Thinking about living as an Italian in Belluno this summer? 

​Here is what you need to know.

Welcome Pizza

Welcome BBQ

Whitewater Rafting on the Deschutes River

2024 Youth Exchange

 The  Summer Vacation - That Lasts a Life Time

Ciao For Now - in Bend

Trip to Angelo's Farm

Belluno Plaque Celebration

2024 Bend/Belluno Summer Youth Exchange Critical Information

●   Applications are due Dec 1 and are done online:  They should be as complete as possible with the following guidance.  We do not need medical and dental information at this point; the most important part is the background information and the two letters (your letter and your parent(s)’ letter to your prospective host/host family).  This is where you tell them about yourself, your talents, interests, and experiences, as well as challenges and/or dislikes. This and your interview are the primary information we use to help match you with an Italian student.

●   Interviews will be scheduled in December, before the Winter Break.
●   Our goal is to select six students for this summer, ideally three girls and three boys.  This, of course, 
will depend on matching the applicants from Belluno.
●   Once decisions have been made on applications, you will be notified. Bruce Abernethy will reach 
out to selected applicants to begin the hosting portion of the exchange application (background 
check, home visit, etc.)
●   Starting in late December, we will exchange accepted applications with our counterparts in 
Belluno and work directly with them to find the best matches, based on the information gathered 
from the applications and interviews.
●   We expect to have the matching process completed by mid-February.
Welcome Meeting
●   After matching is completed, we will have our first meeting as a group.  You’ll meet the other 
students you will be traveling with and their parents, plus hear from a few students that went last 
●   This is a critical meeting for students and parents.  We will bring you up to date on plans for 
this year’s exchange and discuss traveling as a Rotary Youth Ambassador.
●   We will try to schedule the meeting for February 21 or another date close to that and will do 
our best to accommodate everyone’s schedules.
●   We will also go over any missing paperwork and check on the status of home visits at this time. 
 Bruce Abernethy will have already contacted you by that time, and we will try to close the loop on 
anything that is still required.
●   At the end of this meeting, you will be “introduced” to your match.
Italian Language and Culture Classes
●   As in the last few years, we expect these classes to be taught by Christina Cappy through the 
Bend Language Institute.  Even if your student has some knowledge of the Italian language, the 
classes will be highly beneficial as an opportunity to get to know the other students and to learn 
about Italian customs and culture.
●   Classes will be held weekly for 7-8 weeks. In the past we have found that holding classes early 
Sunday evening is generally the most convenient time for most students, but we will determine what 
works best for this group.

●   Tentatively Bend students will depart from Redmond around June 19 and return about July 15.
●   Belluno students will arrive around July 17 and return to Italy about August 12.
●   We will be booking and monitoring travel through our Rotary travel office.
●   Once our ticketing agent has confirmed reservations for the group, you’ll need to purchase your 
ticket directly through them ASAP, but definitely within 24 hours.
●   The $500 fee to Rotary covers travel insurance, background checks, processing, etc.
●   Based on last year’s cost, the Italian language and culture classes will be about $500 per 
student, half of which will be subsidized by Rotary, leaving a balance of $250 per student.
●   Roundtrip airfare to Venice in June is now roughly $1,600 to $2,000, but of course this cost 
will be subject to the current pricing when ticketed.​