Rotary International began youth exchanges in 1927 when the Rotary Club of Nice, France initiated exchanges with European students. In 1939 exchanges began between clubs in California and Latin American countries, and the program spread to the eastern United States in 1958. Our district has joined with 37 other Rotary districts in New England and the Middle Atlantic States into a consortium called the Eastern States Student Exchange or ESSEX, which was founded in 1966. Since 1972 the Rotary International has recommended Youth Exchange to clubs worldwide as a worthwhile activity.
The program today involves more than 82 countries and over 8,000 students each year. Rotary Youth Exchange takes pride in choosing students who are academically above average, articulate, and demonstrate leadership in their communities.
Benefits for Participants
- Experience cultures other than their own and a broaden their view of the world.
- Gain fluency in a foreign language
- Become more mature and gain a deeper understanding of themselves
- Develop leadership and communication skills
Benefits for Local Rotary Clubs
- Promote the club in a visible activity that advances international understanding and world peace.
- Involves the club with young people and potential Rotarians who are parents of high school aged young people
Youth Exchange Eligibility Students Must Be
- Between the ages of 15 1/2 and 18 1/2
- Restrictions apply for students applying for after their Senior Year
- At the high-school or equivalent academic level
- Above-average academically
- Socially ready to handle living abroad for an extended period
A long-term exchange lasts for an academic year. Students stay with at least 2 host families and are required to attend school in their host country.
Applicants must be Sponsored by their local Rotary Club.
Deadline to Apply for the Long Term Exchange Program is the beginning of November each year. Applicants and their families will be interviewed by the Rotary Youth Exchange Committee in mid November.
Country selection for an applicant is based on a students age, language proficiency, academic record and the rules and requirements of the foreign country.
A short term exchange is family-to-family and lasts from three to six weeks when school is not in session. A student must be sponsored by his or her local Rotary Club to apply for the Program. Applications are accepted from November to April each year. The Deadline to apply for the Short Term Rotary Exchange Program in District 7950 is April 15th each year.
Participants do NOT have to be the son or daughter of a Rotarian. We look for outgoing young people who can easily adapt and have a thirst and enthusiasm to learn.