About Youth Exchange

As a Rotary Exchange student, you will spend one year living in another country, usually with three or four host families. You'll learn a new way of living, experience different foods, study different subjects, enjoy a new culture and maybe even learn a new language. In addition you will learn a great deal about yourself and gain confidence and self sufficiency.  You'll also be an ambassador, teaching people you meet about your country, culture, and ideas. You can help bring the world closer - and make some good friends in the process.

The most powerful force in the promotion of international understanding and peace is exposure to different cultures. The world becomes a smaller, friendlier place when we learn that all people - regardless of nationality - desire the same basic things: a safe, comfortable environment that allows for a rich and satisfying life for ourselves and our children. Youth Exchange provides thousands of young people with the opportunity to meet people from other lands and to experience their cultures, thus planting the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding.

You will attend school in your local community, as well as participating in Rotary activities and civic functions. At the same time you will make new friends, see exciting places and experience adventures that will take a lifetime to recount. Rotary's Youth Exchange Program is recognised by participants, parents and schools as the best student exchange program in the world. It is the largest of its type in Canada and is backed up by caring and dedicated Rotarians who provide the infrastructure of the program. You will stay with three or four host families who have been screened by Rotary. These Rotary accredited families are volunteers who will welcome and care for you, supervise your year and introduce you to their culture and lifestyle. You will become part of those families and their community.

History of Youth Exchange

For over 75 years, students and host families have broadened their horizons through Rotary Youth Exchange. More than 80 countries and over 8,000 students each year participate in the program, which is administered at the regional level by Rotary districts and at the local level by Rotary clubs.

The first documented exchanges date back to 1927, when the Rotary Club of Nice, France, initiated exchanges with European students. Exchanges between clubs in California, USA, and Latin American countries began in 1939, and exchange activities spread to the eastern United States in 1958. In 1972, the Rotary International Board of Directors agreed to recommend the Youth Exchange Program to clubs worldwide as a worthwhile international activity promoting global peace and understanding

Age Requirements

Rotary International documents contain Guidelines for Youth Exchange. Districts also develop their own rules, particularly regarding age and eligibility. In District 7080 our age rules are more restrictive and this applies to all Inbound and Outbound students in our District. Our policy is that an exchange student must not be under 15 years and 6 months or over 18 years at time of departure, which is taken to be September 1 in the year they depart. Therefore a student chosen in 2019 must be at least 15.5 years but not yet 18 on September 1, 2020

You should find all the answers to your questions by reading through the links of the left of this page.  Should you have additional questions, please contact Sheila Welham, District Youth Exchange Chair, at .