Rotary District 7190
 
Serving New York's Capital District
and Beyond

Youth Exchange

Forms & Application Information

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. 

Rotary Youth Exchange Students

This year about 7,000 young people will see the world the way it is best seen - from the inside out - through the youth exchange program. This could be your year! 

As a Rotary Youth Exchange student, you will spend a year, or perhaps just an extended period of time, living with a host family in a country other than your own. You may learn a new language; you will learn a new way of living and a great deal about yourself. But there's more! While you are busy learning, the people you meet will be learning as well - about your country, your culture, and your ideas. You will be a young ambassador. You will be helping to bring the world closer together - and you'll be making some good friends in the process. 

If you are ready for the challenge and the rewards of living in another land as an exchange student, then you are ready to discover new worlds through Rotary's Youth Exchange program. 

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: 

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.

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. 

Student Selection 
It is standard practice for local Rotary districts and clubs to screen youth interested in the program by using detailed applications and interviews. This process helps ensure that only highly responsible and mature students are sent on an exchange. Generally, students are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Scholastic record 
  • Linguistic ability 
  • Community involvement 
  • Potential as a cultural ambassador 
  • Age