Exposure to different cultures ranks as one of the most powerful ways to promote international understanding and peace. The Rotary Youth Exchange program provides thousands of young students with
the opportunity to meet people from other countries and to experience new cultures, planting the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding.
The program offers numerous benefits to its young participants and their Rotarian hosts and mentors, as well as to the community at large. Through Youth Exchange, students learn firsthand about all
aspects of life in another country. As their concept of the world expands, they mature and develop a deeper understanding of themselves. Immersion in another country’s educational system enhances
their academic and personal growth. Host clubs and families and the entire community are enriched by extended, friendly contact with someone from a different culture.
Types of Exchanges
Rotary Youth Exchange offers three types of exchange programs:
Long-term exchange. These exchanges usually last one year, during which the student lives with more than one family in the host country and is required
to attend school there. Long-term exchanges may be extended to include part or all of the holiday/vacation periods immediately before and after the academic year.
Short-term exchange. These 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 generally involve a homestay experience with a family in the host country, but they can also be organized as international youth camps or tours that
bring together students from many countries.
New Generations exchange. These specialized short-term exchanges last three to six weeks and are open to young people ages 18-25. This program may
include a vocational element.