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Second Year Exchange - Overview

Page history last edited by Rachayita Shah 3 years, 9 months ago

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Second Year Exchange

Overview  |  Guides  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download

The Second Year Exchange is designed to connect one Bonner Program and campus with another. It can inspire in students a sense of the broader magnitude and place in the service and civic engagement movement in higher education and strengthen a sense of belonging in a national network of students and programs.


Typically, the Second Year Exchange is a 1-2 day event that occurs during the second year a student is in the Bonner Program. The Exchange requires that the second year cohorts of two or more Bonner Programs (Scholar and Leader) meet and network, and participate in service or training activities. These events are meant to facilitate community building in the larger Bonner network and provide expanded opportunities for training, service and reflection.


Exchanges need not be limited to service days. While many Bonner Programs decide to plan the Exchange with campuses within their region, some campuses choose to send their second year students to a national conference such as IMPACT or another regional conference (like the Gulf South Summit) where a number of Bonner students will be in attendance. Additionally, the Exchange can be an educational event, such as training for diversity and cultural competencies, involving both campuses' students and may even be done with local or national community partners.


The Exchange is generally held in a geographic region outside of their campus community in order to have both schools share in the driving or transportation responsibilities. However, if a campus environment is deemed beneficial and/or necessary, the visiting institution will host the exchange the following year.



Second Year Exchange —Before, During, and After


  1. Engage second year students in identifying potential partner schools. This is a chance to build cross campus connections.
  2. Engage students as planners and leaders. This can happen by strategically using your Class Meetings to organize the exchange.
  3. During Class Meetings, engage in preparation for the Second Year Exchange. Identify strategies that link the Exchange to student development. For example, providing advocacy training. 
  4. During the Exchange, engage in a wider array of meaningful activities. The goal of the Exchange is to expose Bonners to the bigger goals and build a sense of the movement. 
  5. After the trip, have your students process what they have learned and share reflections with the broader Bonner and campus community. 



Student Leaders in Planning

 We highly encourage the Exchange to be a student-led initiative with Bonner Staff involvement. A carefully selected student planning team with representatives from all campuses involved in the Exchange can take the reins in designing, planning and leading the event. Student involvement develops networking, communication and event planning skills that will aid them in their professional development. Student roles in the preparation of the trip can range from educational research for programming to organizing logistics. Student involvement in the planning phase of the Exchange is also critical for generating enthusiasm and interest in the event. We suggest including the Bonner Senior Intern or upper class students who have been on previous Exchanges as leaders, guides, and support for the planning team. This allows Bonner Staff to provide encouragement/motivation for overcoming obstacles and providing access to budgetary and transportation information.


Note: Bonner Scholar Program Funding for Second Year Exchange


Bonner Scholar Programs have access to funding for their Sophomore Exchanges through their administrative funds based on the allocation report for their campus, and are required to organize an Exchange with at least one other Bonner Program each year. 


Best Practices

  • A Second-Year Exchange requires much planning and coordination. It is essential to begin planning early in the year.
  • Coordinate the Exchange with at least one other Bonner Program in the Network, though it has been the most common to collaborate based on geographical region.
  • Including students, especially the second year participants and one or a few upperclassmen student leaders, on the planning of the Exchange is effective at encouraging ownership and enthusiasm around the event.
  • Service is not mandatory during the Exchange. Some of the most successful Second Year Exchanges focused predominantly on training and enrichment, cultural immersion, or community building. 
  • Be sure there is clear programming for the Second Year Exchange. Come with workshops and activities planned. 
  • Prepare students for the Exchange prior to the actual event. This can occur at class meetings or more informal settings, however be sure to set clear expectations and give students information relevant to the Exchange (i.e. issue-based readings, context on the location, etc.).
  • Community and relationship building is a key component to the Exchange. Build in fun, casual opportunities for students across the Network to get to know one another as well.