Rotary Youth Exchange began during the 1920s as an effort between a handful of clubs in Europe. These European exchanges continued until World War II and resumed in 1946. The reciprocal long-term academic exchange grew in popularity during the 1950’s and became the primary type of Rotary Youth Exchange.
District 5080 has been participating in youth exchange since 1981. Members of the Spokane area clubs were the pioneers of exchange in the District. District 5080’s youth exchange program was recognized by Rotary International as one of the top 10 exchange programs in all of the US and Canadian districts.
“Through living as a local rather than a tourist and going to school I got a good perspective on Norwegian life and culture, having so much time to pick up on differences between Canada and Norway. One of my favourite parts of being an exchange student was the challenge of using another language, how communicating went to being second nature from a puzzle that had to be solved. I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to be a Rotary Youth Exchange student; it was a year I’ll never forget!! Lauren, District 5080 student in Norway.
“… there is a very personal relationship that gets established with Rotary families in different countries… [Rotary] is considered to be one of the safest exchanges that you could possibly have.” Exchange student parent, in the video below (Or view directly on You Tube)