Rotary Youth Exchange
Fact Sheet for Outbound Students
Who is eligible to become an exchange student?
Students should be between the ages of 15 ½ and 18 ½ at the start of the school year when they depart. Selection criteria are based upon character, poise, academic record, leadership ability, independence, maturity and a desire for adventure.
How are students selected?
Interested students first need to complete the Preliminary Application (found at http://www.rotary6080.org/rye.htm) no later than October 15th. After submitting the application, the student will be contacted by the Youth Exchange Officer of the local Rotary club who will meet with him/her and his/her parents to discuss the program and answer any questions. Once it is determined that the student is a qualified candidate and understands what will be expected, he/she will be directed to complete the Long Term application (located at the same website) and will be invited to participate in the District level selection interviews in mid-November.
What are the costs?
The “flat fee” cost for the Long Term exchange ranges from $4000 - $4500. This includes the Orientation sessions (for both students and their parents), training materials, airfare, insurances, language camps, Rotary blazer and pins, business cards, flags and other accessories and attendance at the District Conference. Costs for passports, visas and miscellaneous personal expenses are the responsibility of the student. The host club provides a monthly allowance, room and board, and school expenses. Some countries offer optional mid-year or year-end trips, but these are not included in the “flat fee”. Families can expect to spend $6000 - $7000 total depending on the country, lifestyle and optional Rotary sponsored trips.
Where can I go?
In recent years our Rotary district has exchanged with Switzerland, Germany, France, Kyrgyzstan, Belgium, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Turkey, Colombia, Italy, Thailand, Spain, Peru and Japan. And periodically we enter into exchange agreements with “new” countries. Candidates are asked to list country preferences on their preliminary application, and we do our best to place students in one of their first five choices. However, there are no guarantees. If none of their chosen countries is available, an alternative will be offered. We suggest students be willing to accept ANY country.
What about school academic credit?
Some school systems will give academic credit for classes taken during the exchange year. Others will not. It is important to check with your guidance counselor/administration to determine their policy.
How long does the program last?
Long-term exchanges typically last 10-11 months and begin in August. Students typically live with three families during their stay in the host country, though this is not always the case. These families are carefully screened and selected by the Rotary organization.
What are the benefits of being an exchange student?
The most obvious benefit is the student’s mastery of another language. The program also promotes cultural tolerance by providing students the opportunity to really understand and appreciate another culture. Rotary believes that this understanding is part of the foundation on which world peace is built. The Youth Exchange program teaches students to seek solutions to global issues by sharing international perspectives and prepares them to become the leaders of tomorrow. And, while students are learning about another culture, they are also serving as “ambassadors of good will” and teaching the people in their host countries about the United States.
Why the Rotary Youth Exchange Program?
Compare!! Rotary Youth Exchange is run by volunteers with local clubs underwriting many of the costs. This makes our program one of the least expensive in the world. But the real advantages are those host families are carefully selected, supervision is superb, and Rotary’s international support network is second to none.