Rotary Youth Exchange E-Newsletter

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July 2015 | Connecting students and communities around the world
Youth Exchange students connect at Rotary Convention
Youth Exchange students connect at Rotary Convention 

Rotary leaders from around the world converged in São Paulo at our 106th Rotary International Convention to share ideas, learn best practices, and make new friends. And Rotary Youth Exchange students also enjoyed this exciting annual event. Rotarian champions of the Youth Exchange program shared stories with students and colleagues at the Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention. As Rotary cultural ambassadors, students were invited to present the flag of their country at the flag ceremony celebrating the start of the convention. Mel Iris, a blind student from Brazil, inspired thousands by recounting her life-changing experience in Canada. And the instantly recognizable Youth Exchange blazers, covered with decorative pins, appeared everywhere on Instagram. Relive the excitement and fun of the Rotary Convention and find inspiration for another year of friendship, service, and action. Are you ready to answer President K.R. Ravindran’s call to Be a Gift to the World?

It’s not too early to register for the 2016 Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention and Rotary International Convention in Seoul!

What’s happening

The Rotary Youth Exchange I dreamed about The Rotary Youth Exchange I dreamed about

When Thando Gwatyu left South Africa for a year in Germany, he was both excited and nervous. His first trip away from home was sure to be a challenge — learning a new language, discovering a different culture, and adapting to life in a foreign home. But with an adventurous attitude and support from his new friends and family, he is already having a life-changing experience. He even gave a presentation about his experience at a Rotary conference entirely in German. He’s not only having the Rotary Youth Exchange experience he dreamed about, he’s already dreaming of a future studying law and eventually running for president of South Africa! Read more.

International Youth DayInternational Youth Day

Over 15 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly designated 12 August as International Youth Day to acknowledge the potential of youth in our global society. This year’s theme is Youth Civic Engagement. Celebrate the role that Rotary Youth Exchange students and alumni play, and show how, through Rotary, you invest in the next generation of leaders. Organize a community youth forum to seek solutions to common challenges, invite youth leaders to share their inspiring stories, plan a service project for students and families, or recognize outstanding young people with an award for service, leadership, or activism. Post your International Youth Day plans on Rotary Ideas to get connected with other youth advocates around the world.

Finding a second homeFinding asecond home

Brazilian Youth Exchange student Thiago Lacerda discovered more than delicious local food, traditional festivals, and a talent for the Chinese language while on an exchange in Taiwan from 2011 to 2012 — he found a second home. Currently attending a university in Taiwan to continue his language studies, he recently was invited by his host district to give a speech about his exchange student experience at the annual multidistrict conference. In addition to relating how the exchange had altered the course of his life, he talked about how being a part of the Rotary family had made returning to Taiwan feel like “coming home.”

News and updates

District 3202 (India) has been added to the list of those that are fully certified to participate in Rotary Youth Exchange and can now both host and send exchange participants.

The Macau portion of District 3450 (Macau; Hong Kong; Mongolia) is now certified for outbound-only exchanges. Note: Hong Kong and Mongolia are not certified to plan any type of exchanges. District 3292 (Nepal) is also now certified to participate in outbound Rotary Youth Exchanges. Both districts can send, but not host, exchange participants.

View our complete listing of noncertified districts.

Do you have a Rotary Youth Exchange story

If you have a story from your year abroad, if your experience as a host family changed your life, if you met new friends and professional connections through your alumni association, tell us about it! Send your story to It could be featured in this newsletter, on the Rotary Voices blog, or on our Rotary Reconnect Facebook page.


Rotary International

Help us raise $150 million by 2017 to build a permanent endowment for the Rotary Peace Centers program, our international training program for peace leaders.


Rotary alumni can connect with Rotary members and alumni around the world through My Rotary discussion groups. Join a group today!


Upcoming events

Note: This list is informational only and does not constitute an endorsement of any event. Please contact event organizers for details.

2015 EEMA Conference
Antalya, Turkey
4-6 Spetember

35th National Meeting of the Leaders of the Youth Exchange Program
Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
29-31 October

North American Youth Exchange Network (NAYEN) Conference 2016
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
25-27 February

Nostalgia: Youth Exchange Conference hosted by District 3060
Salcete, Goa, India
13-15 March

2016 Youth Exchange Officers Preconvention
27-28 May

2016 Rotary International Convention
28 May - 1 June

Do you know of an event we should add to this list? Email us at


Resources & reference

Rotary Youth Exchange LinkedIn group 
Rotary Service Connections blog
Rotary Code of Policies
Youth Exchange Directory (district and multidistrict Youth Exchange chairs can access by signing in to


Youth Exchange is a source of news, resources, and event details for those who promote global understanding through the Rotary Youth Exchange program available every other month.

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