Rotary Youth Exchange
Whether you participate in Rotary's long-term or short-term Youth Exchange programs, you'll learn a new way of living, a great deal about yourself, and maybe even a new language.
Making a world of difference
As a Rotary Youth Exchange student, you'll spend up to a year living with a few host families and attending school in a different country.
Whether you participate in Rotary's long-term or short-term Youth Exchange programs, you'll learn a new way of living, a great deal about yourself, and maybe even a new language. You'll also be an ambassador, teaching people you meet about your country, culture, and ideas. You can help bring the world closer and make some good friends in the process.
More than 8,000 young people each year have experiences like these through Rotary Youth Exchange. It's the opportunity of a lifetime. Are you ready for it?
Find out what countries participate by contacting us. For more information, read the following resources:
and see Lorna Beedham's presentation to District 1020 Conference in York 24 October 2009
Why Youth Exchange?
For over 75 years, students and host families have broadened their horizons through Rotary Youth Exchange. More than 80 countries and over 8,000 students each year participate in the program, which is administered at the regional level by Rotary districts and at the local level by Rotary clubs.
Rotary clubs are made up of volunteers who are involved in community service, emphasize high ethical standards, and work toward peace and understanding in the world. Over 1.2 million Rotarians in more than 32,000 clubs create the extensive network that provides support for Youth Exchange.
A commitment to youth
Rotary maintains a strong connection to youth and young adults. Besides Youth Exchange, Rotary clubs sponsor youth service clubs such as Interact, Rotaract, and RYLA and offer career development and mentoring programs.
Rotary is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for all participants in its programs, including Youth Exchange.
Rotary club volunteers administer the program at the local level, which helps keep costs low for students and their families. These volunteers often offer years of experience with students, host families, and fellow Rotarians who are involved in the program.
Rotary Youth Exchange is open to young people ages 15-25 worldwide. There are two basic types of exchanges: short-term and long-term.
General short-term exchange
- Ages 15-19
- Several days to several weeks long
- Don't involve attending high school, but students can tailor their experience to match their interests
- Can include homestays, tours, and international youth camps
New Generations Exchange
- Ages 18-25
- Three to six weeks
- Ideal for recent secondary school graduates
- Can include homestays, tours, camps, or specialized internships
Read more in the short-term Youth Exchange brochure (PDF).
- Ages 15-19
- One year
- Involves living with a few host families and attending a local school
Read more in the long-term Youth Exchange brochure (PDF).
How do I qualify?
- Above-average student with demonstrated leadership in the community
- Open to new experiences and cultural differences
- Sponsored by a local Rotary club
- Completed written application and in-person interview
I'm interested. How do I apply?
Youth Exchange is administered by Rotary clubs and districts. Contact Rotarians in your area to apply. Read more.
Rotarian host families
By hosting a Youth Exchange student in your home, you'll make a young person's dream come true, and you and your family will share an unforgettable and fulfilling experience.
- Provide room and board
- Supervise the student just as you would your own children
- Involve the student in family activities and chores
- Enrich the exchange experience by including the student in family, community, and cultural activities
Host families aren't compensated financially. The program is run entirely by dedicated volunteers, which helps keep costs low.
Dedicated Rotarian volunteers have kept Youth Exchange vital for decades. Rotarians work behind the scenes to handle the logistics of each exchange. For long-term exchanges, the host club and district arranges school enrollment, tuition, and other educational matters.
Youth Exchange officers are the program's leaders. Elected at the club and district levels, these volunteers are trained to serve as liaisons between students and the district Youth Exchange committee.