Rotary Youth Exchange


What is Long-Term Youth Exchange?

The main objective of Rotary International is service – in the community and throughout the world. Rotarians build goodwill and peace, provide humanitarian service, and encourage high ethical standards in all vocations. The Rotary motto is “Service above self.” One of the avenues of service is Youth Service and one of the most successful programs in that area is Youth Exchange.

District 5440 is comprised of 54 clubs including the entire state of Wyoming; the northern tier of Colorado; Scottsbluff-Gering, Nebraska; and Teton Valley, Idaho. About half of the clubs in the District participate in long-term youth exchange. In 2017-2018, we expect to send 20 students abroad and host 25 students in our district.

CCRYE exchanges with 15-25 different districts in Europe, South America, Mexico, Asia and Australia. The countries we typically exchange with include Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic /Slovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey.

Long-term exchanges usually last about 10 months, during which the student attends school and lives with families in the host country. To gain a greater understanding of the culture, the student will live with two or three host families. To ensure their safety, the host Rotary club conscientiously screens and selects all host families.

Objectives of the program

  •   To further international goodwill and understanding by enabling students to learn first-hand some of the problems and accomplishments of people in lands other than their own.

  •   To advance their education by studying for a school year in an environment different from their own and undertaking study courses not normally available to them in secondary schools of their own country, and becoming fluent in a foreign language

  •   To broaden their outlook by learning to live with and meet people of different cultures, creeds and colors and by having to cope with day-to-day problems in an environment different from the one they have experienced at home.

  •   To act as ambassadors for Rotary and for their own country by addressing Rotary clubs, community organizations and youth groups and sharing information with families and acquaintances about their home country and its people.

  •   To study and observe all facets of life and culture in the country where they are hosted so that, on their return to their home country, they can pass on the knowledge they have gained by addressing Rotary clubs and other organizations.


Rotary Youth Exchange programs are open to students ages 15-19. All applicants must be sponsored by a local Rotary club and complete a written application and in-person interview.

Ideal candidates possess several qualities that help them succeed:

  •   Applicants should be above-average students who have demonstrated leadership in their community.

  •   Candidates should also possess qualities such as flexibility and a willingness to try new things that will enable them to fully experience life in another country and become excellent cultural ambassadors.

  •   Applicants must have above average academic ability.

  •   Applicants should be of good character and reputation and possess well-rounded personalities with an ability to think through their problems and to cope with the many problems and stresses of living in a foreign environment.

  •   Applicants should be good ambassadors for their town, family, for Rotary and for the United States. During their time abroad, students may be called upon to address many groups.

  •   Applicants should have an inquiring mind and be actively interested in their environs, and in world cultures and issues.

  •   Applicants should be students who are active in their community through sports, hobbies, youth activities or church. The best students are often those who lead busy, active lives in their communities, though introverts make successful exchange students too.

  •   Applicants should be well adjusted, particularly in their family relationships. The student who cannot adjust to his/her own family may well find it impossible to adjust to more difficult family situations in a foreign environment.

  •   Sons and daughters of Rotarians are eligible for Youth Exchange but receive no special preference in selection. All applicants are selected solely on merit.

    How to apply

    Rotary Youth Exchanges are administered locally, and all applicants must be sponsored by a local Rotary club in District 5440. The first step in being a youth exchange student is to be selected by a Rotary Club. If you need to find a club go to the web site at and click on Club Directory. As a rule the clubs conduct interviews in September but the deadlines vary so you need to contact them as soon as you can. After you’ve spoken with your local Rotary club members you will be asked to complete a preliminary application. Your local club will help guide you through the application and interview process

Program Cost

The program is completely administered by volunteer Rotary club members, keeping program expenses low. Rotary Clubs in the United States and around the world sponsor high school students by recruiting three host families who provide food and lodging for their new "family member." The host Rotary Club also pays a monthly stipend to students and may help students raise money for Rotary-sponsored trips.

As a Rotary Exchange Student You Essentially Receive a Scholarship. It is estimated that if a student had to pay for all of the expenses for a year abroad, it would cost $15,000 to $25,000. So, if you are selected to represent Rotary, your community, and your country as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student, you are in effect receiving a scholarship worth thousands of dollars to study abroad.

Cowboy Country Youth Exchange Fees

District 5440 charges a flat fee to cover most of the costs associated with the exchange. For the 2017-18 exchange year this fee is $5,200. One hundred dollars is refunded to students who attend the rebound orientation in August after they return from exchange.


Included in flat fee:

  •   Round trip airfare with a 12-month changeable ticket and one change (Meets strict Rotary safety guidelines. Departure airport and date selected to reduce cost)

  •   Airport transfers on arrival and departure (students are met at the airport by a program representative)

  •   Rotary-approved health and personal liability insurance

  •   Assistance with obtaining visa and travel arrangements

  •   Language camp upon arrival in host country (if required)

  •   24-hour worldwide emergency assistance throughout the program

  •   Pre-departure and in-country orientations

  •   Rotary blazer

  •   D5440 T-shirt and hoodie

  •   Business cards

  •   Name badge

  •   U.S. Flag and state flag

  •   District 5440 pins (50)

  •   Food and/or snacks for student and

    parents at mandatory interview and


  •   Program administration costs

    Provided by Host District and Families

  •   Room and board (home stay)

  •   School tuition

  •   Monthly stipend

Not included in flat fee:

 Passport and visa application fees  Personal expenses (e.g., toiletries,

clothing, internet, club fees, activities)
 School expenses (e.g., uniform, lunches,

supplies, bus pass, transport to and from

school, school activities, etc.)
 Emergency Fund ($300 to $400 paid to

club on arrival for emergency use,

refunded if not used)
 Physical and dental exams
 Consulate visit to obtain visa (if required)  Language tutoring (if necessary)
 Luggage , camera, cell phone, computer  Year-end tours & recreational travel
 Pocket money
 Lodging at interview or orientation
 Insurance deductibles
 Date change charges for return ticket
 Incidental expenses
 Excess luggage fees
 Additional airfare flying out of smaller

airports or on peak days (flat fee includes Denver, Salt Lake City, Casper and Billings. We will seek alternative airports and departure dates if prices are too high)

 Any other item not specified


A $700 application fee is due with the application on or before October 31, 2016.

3 payments of $1,500 are due January 1, March 1 and May 1. Other payment options can be worked out. Regardless of the payment plan, the full $5,200 must be paid no later than May 1, 2017.


If students are not selected at the December 3, 2016 interviews they will receive a $600 refund of their application fee.

Students who are selected to participate and withdraw from the program will receive a partial refund of the application fee depending on when they withdraw.

Withdraw prior to December 31, 2016 Refund = $300

Withdraw on or after January 1, 2017 No refund of application fee

If a student withdraws prior to May 1 they will receive any additional fees paid beyond the application fee, less any purchases made on their behalf. Refunds after May 1 will be very limited because most of the purchases will have been made, those will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Mandatory Events

Both parents and student MUST attend interview and orientation events. Attending the orientation may require missing prom, athletic events or other school activities. Students and parents should check their schedules and confirm that they can attend these events prior to submitting an application.

District interviews will be held in Cheyenne, WY on December 3, 2016.

Outbound student orientation will be held in Douglas, WY on April 7-9, 2017.

Rebound Orientation

The district holds an event for the exchange students after the completion of their exchange year. It is not mandatory but those who attend will receive a $100 refund of their application fee. The event will be held August 4, 2018 in Casper, WY.