How it works
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
Read more in the Short-term Youth Exchange Brochure (PDF)
New Generations Exchange
- Ages 18-25
- Three weeks to three months
- Ideal for recent secondary school graduates
- Can include homestays, tours, camps, or specialized internships
Read more in the New Generations 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 or young professional 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
How much will it cost?
Youth Exchange is coordinated at the regional level by Rotary districts and at the local level by Rotary clubs. Costs vary greatly from one area to another. Typically, participants and their parents cover the following expenses:
- Round-trip airfare
- Health and accident insurance
- Travel documents
- Clothing and other necessities
- Spending money
- Emergency funds for unpredicted expenses
- Ancillary travel and tours
In most clubs and districts, participants do not pay placement fees, so those with financial constraints can share the exchange experience.
Sharing in the costs are host families (who pay for room and board), the host community (who cover school tuition and arrangements) and host Rotary club (who offer a small stipend of usually US$50-100 monthly.)
What are my responsibilities?
As a Youth Exchange student, you agree to
- Act as an ambassador for your home country
- Abide by all program rules of your host Rotary club and district
- Accept the supervision of the host family, club, and district
- Ask questions of your host family and local Rotarians
- Be an active participant in your exchange
Where will my exchange be?
Exchanges can take place in more than 150 countries and geographical areas. Please note, however, that the countries you visit depend on your home Rotary district. Contact your local club or district for more information. Locate the club nearest to you through Club Locator or your local phone listings, or find out whether a club or district has listed its website with Rotary International.
Do you offer scholarships or university programs?
RI doesn’t offer scholarships or university programs specifically for Youth Exchange students, but local Rotary clubs and districts may offer financial assistance. Contact Rotarians in your area to find out. If you’re interested in university programs, explore Rotary Foundation scholarships.
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.
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.
As a host family, you will
- 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.
- If you’re interested in hosting a Youth Exchange student, read A Guide for Host Families (PDF), which details student and host family responsibilities, Rotary’s role, and frequently asked questions.
- Identify your local Rotary club through Club Locator or phone listings, and find out if a club or district has listed its website with Rotary International.
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.
Read more about working with youth.