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Youth Exchange

Guide for our members

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Rotary clubs host exchanges for students ages 15-19 in more than 100 countries.

Types of exchanges

  • Long-term exchanges last a full academic year. Students live with more than one family in the host country and attend school there.
  • Short-term exchanges last from several days to three months. They are often structured as youth camps, tours, or homestays that take place when school is not in session.

Exchanges vary widely among districts; contact your district’s Youth Exchange chair to learn more.

Interested in participating in a Youth Exchange?

Contact your local Rotary club to see what exchange opportunities are available and what the application process involves.

How can my club get involved?

Rotary members, their families, and the community are important parts of a successful exchange. Before you get started:

How can my district become certified?

Rotary clubs and districts are responsible for creating a safe environment for all students. To plan exchanges, districts must be certified by Rotary International and follow all of Rotary’s policies. If your district is interested in becoming certified:

  • Review the requirements for certification and the application process in the Youth Exchange Handbook (PDF).
  • Meet with your district leaders, especially the district Youth Exchange chair and youth protection officer, to determine whether your district is prepared to participate.
  • Contact us at youthexchange@rotary.org to learn more about the certification process.

Don't lose your certification

The safety of young people is a top priority for any Rotary-related activity, especially when travel might be involved. Any district that plans exchanges with a district on the noncertified list will lose its own certification status. Club-level exchanges are also forbidden and jeopardize a district's certification status. Certified districts must follow all Rotary policies to maintain their status.

How to ensure student safety and manage risk

The district Youth Exchange officer, youth protection officer, and district governor prepare for and manage risks, including political unrest, natural disasters, crime, injury, and health concerns.

District Youth Exchange committee and multidistricts

District Youth Exchange committee

The district Youth Exchange committee coordinates the inbound and outbound Youth Exchange activities in your district and communicates regularly with Rotary International, the district governor, and clubs sponsoring exchange students. All district officers are also responsible for protecting Youth Exchange participants from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by making sure exchanges follow Rotary certification requirements and local laws.

Connect online

District Youth Exchange chair

District governors may appoint a Rotary member to serve as a district Youth Exchange chair. Download Lead Your District: Committee Chair (PDF) to learn more about this role. Youth Exchange leaders have secure access to the Youth Exchange Workgroup, where they can find an officers directory, resource guides, and other tools.

Multidistricts

Districts often work together to coordinate Youth Exchange programs across a large region. These groups, called multidistricts, are recognized by the RI Board of Directors. Every multidistrict operates differently. Some help manage administrative duties like obtaining visas, while others help with student orientations or student placements. Contact your district Youth Exchange chair to find out if your district is part of a Youth Exchange multidistrict.

How to promote Rotary Youth Exchange

  • Customize promotional cards and posters with details about your program or download a Youth Exchange banner from Rotary’s Brand Center.
  • Purchase cards, stickers, and patches from Rotary’s shop.
  • Work with Rotary’s licensed vendors to design your own materials or buy supplies.

Keep alumni involved

Connect them with Interact clubs, Rotaract clubs, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), Rotary Community CorpsNew Generations Service Exchange or regional Youth Exchange Alumni groups.

Questions?

We’re here to help. Email youthexchange@rotary.org.