Youth Exchange

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Every year approximately 7,000 students ages 15 to 19 go abroad under the auspices of the Rotary Youth Exchange program, either for the academic year or an extended period of time. The increased self awareness and global perspective that they derive from the experience would not be possible without the commitment of the many volunteer host families and the dedication of those Rotarians who serve as Youth Exchange officers. In fact, this commitment and enthusiasm is transferred to many exchange students who continue their involvement after their exchange as members of ROTEX.

Each year, local Rotary districts and clubs worldwide arrange thousands of international Youth Exchanges for high school-aged students. A primary goal of the program is to foster world understanding by way of intercultural exchange. There are two principal types of exchanges:

1.       Long-term exchanges usually last for an academic year, during which the student lives with more than one family and attends school in the host country.

2.       Short-term exchanges vary from several days to several weeks. They often take place when school is not in session and usually do not include an academic program. Short-term exchanges usually involve a stay with a host family, but they can also be organized as international youth camps, which bring together students from many different countries.

Older students, ages 18-25, may participate in a New Generations Exchange. These exchanges are from three-to-six weeks in duration and may be organized for individuals or groups.