Rotary Youth Exchange builds peace one young person at a time. Students learn a new language, discover another culture, and indeed become global citizens. Exchanges for students 15 to 19 years old are sponsored by Rotary clubs in more than 100 countries. Exchange students unlock their real potential to: Develop lifelong leadership skills, learn a new language and culture, build lasting friendships with young people from around the world, and becoming a global citizen. Long-term exchanges last a full academic year, and students attend local schools and live with multiple host families. Short-term exchanges last from several days to three months and are often structured as camps, tours, or homestays that take place when school is not in session.
Speaking about high school travel programs, the Program Coordinator said, “All Rotary Study Abroad students in the Long Term Exchange Program (LTEP) are required to attend high school while on an exchange. Eligible students who have just graduated from high school and going on exchange during their gap year are still required to attend high school full time in their assigned foreign country; it’s a mandatory part of the cultural immersion.”
What are the costs? One may ask. Room and board are provided, as well as any school fees. Each program varies, but students are usually responsible for Round-trip airfare, Travel insurance, Travel documents (such as passports and visas), Spending the money and any additional travel or tours. How can one apply? Candidates are 15-19 years old and are leaders in their schools and communities. Contact your local Rotary club to see what exchange opportunities are available and what the application process involves.
The Program Coordinator added, “With the foreign exchange student program and scholarship, you will have the opportunity to learn a new language, discover another culture and indeed become a global citizen. You can choose from a short-term exchange in the summer, a full academic year of high school or a gap year.”
Short-term exchanges vary in length from several days to several weeks. Although you generally would not attend school in a host country, you may be able to tailor the exchange to match your interests or to include tours of specific places or regions. The four most common types of short-term exchanges are homestays, tours, family-to-family, and international youth camps.
Anyone can host an exchange student. Hosting an exchange student can be incredibly rewarding for the family, bringing an international experience directly into a home. Host families provide room and board and share their lives with exchange students, involving them in family, community, and cultural activities. All host families are screened and trained. If interested in learning more about being a host family, contact a Rotary club in the area.
About Rotary Youth Exchange
Rotary Youth Exchange is a Rotary International student exchange program for students in secondary school. Since 1929, Rotary International has sent young people around the globe to experience new cultures. Currently, about 9,000 students are sponsored by Rotary clubs every year. Typically, students are sent to another country for a year-long stay, generally living with multiple host families during the year and being expected to perform daily tasks within the household as well as attend school in the host country. Short term exchange programs are also quite common. These typically involve direct student exchanges between two families arranged through Rotary to coincide with major school holiday periods.