Experience different cultures and build international friendships through Rotary Friendship Exchange
Friendship Exchange is an international exchange program for Rotary members and friends that allows participants to take turns hosting one another in their homes and clubs
What are the benefits?
- Broaden international understanding
- Explore a specific profession or job in a different context
- Build enduring friendships
- Establish a foundation for peace and service
- Gain opportunities for active project involvement and support
- Learn about a region’s people, food, languages, customs, and history
- Find partners for grants
When Rotarians from Malaysia visited the United Kingdom, they broadened their international understanding through cultural immersion and meetings with leaders.
Rotarians from Latvia visited historic sites and enjoyed traditional food and dancing in Mexico.
When Rotarians from Romania and Moldova visited the United States, they experienced the strength of working with a community while building homes for low-income families.
In Lhuwhawha, Uganda, Rotarians from England helped at a medical clinic and delivered clothes, medicine, mosquito nets, boots, and latex gloves.
What is an exchange like?
Friendship Exchange participants travel as individuals, couples, families, or groups, and may include Rotary members and nonmembers. Prospective exchange teams communicate in advance to decide on the purpose, format, timing, logistics, and duration of each visit.
Exchanges offer unique chances for cultural immersion and interchange. They might include opportunities for professionals, including young professionals, to build global understanding and boost vocational and leadership skills. They can provide cultural experiences, vocational activities, fellowship, and much more.
Read Friendship Exchange stories for an in-depth view of the program.
How much does it cost?
All exchanges are funded by the participants or their districts. Hosts are not expected to assume a significant financial burden. Visitors enjoy warm hospitality and an international travel experience unlike any other. Hosts are rewarded with new friendships and cultural exchanges while showing their part of the world to visitors. Club or district funds may be available to offset the costs of exchanges with a vocational emphasis.
How can I participate?
To find potential exchange partners, contact a district Rotary Friendship Exchange chair, or take advantage of opportunities to connect with Rotarians from other parts of the world at events like the annual Rotary International Convention.