The Rotary Blazer is an RYE tradition. All RYE students should have some sort of blazer or jacket to show themselves off as an exchange student. For example, many airport personnel in major cities are familiar with the Rotary program. Seeing you in your blazer may give them greater sympathy to help you find where you are going. The Rotary blazer is also a type of ‘uniform’ for formal occasions such as District Conferences. The blazers come in many different colours, and you can often tell where a student is from by the colour of their blazer – for example, Australians wear a bottle-green blazer, and Brasilians and Austrians wear red.
Be careful coming home, though, as you are not likely to get through airport security with a multitude of metal pins hanging off your blazer. It’s better to pack it into your checked luggage.
Another Rotary tradition is that of business cards. These are essential in your introductions. They represent you and they show your position as a representative of Rotary International, District 6060 and your sponsoring Rotary Club. They are your marker, your instant tag for all your new friends, and the way you will keep the communications open.
Each student has his or her own business card, with a photo and contact details on it. Students exchange these as well, and try to collect as many as possible.
You will want plenty of cards – 200 to 500.
You can go with just the basics. But, we recommend that you add make it more memorable. Add you picture, add a 6 word “resume”, be sure to include your permanent email address and your blog address.
You should also consider some kind of card holder or organizer for all the cards you will receive. Be ready to make notes on cards you receive (date, place, connection). Keeping these and keeping them organized will help you renew these contacts in the future.
Traditionally, Rotary students also exchange pins with each other and pin them all over their blazers. While many students choose to purchase pins, others make their own from various materials such as ribbons, safety-pins, and bottle caps. Students try to collect as many pins from as many people and countries as possible, and are always on the lookout for more silly trinkets that they can pin on!
- Ribbon in your country’s colours
- Cheap touristy trinkets glued onto a pin
- Hat pins
- Safety pins beaded with your country’s flag
Information on trading pins including sources.