What qualities are we looking for in a Rotary Youth Exchange student?
Ideal candidates are young, open-minded individuals who demonstrate leadership qualities that will make them excellent cultural ambassadors for their country and the Rotary club and district that sponsor them. Applicants are not required to be involved with Rotary in any way before applying. Children of Rotarians are welcome to apply but are not given preference over children of non-Rotarians. Rotary encourages those with disabilities to apply.
What types of exchanges are available?
Long Term school year exchange is open to high school students ages 14 — 17. Students live with more than one family in their host country and are required to attend school.
Short-term students go on their exchange during the summers of their sophomore, junior or senior year, and are usually 15-19 years old.
Qualities Sought in Youth Exchange Participants
Above average academic qualifications
Good ambassadors for their town, for Rotary, and their country
An inquiring mind open to new experiences and cultural differences
Active in their community
Well adjusted, particularly in their family relationships
Students in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program have the following obligations (Short and Long-term programs):
Students accept the rules of the host Rotary Club and the host parents.
Students enroll at the school designated by their host club, attend classes regularly and participate in school activities.
Students are ambassadors and behave in a manner which will reflect credit on their family, community, country and Rotary.
Do I need to be fluent in my host country’s language?
Host districts do not require students to be fluent in their language when you start your exchange. Once students know which country they will exchange with, they are strongly encouraged to start developing a basic competency before departure. They need to continue their language studies in their host country. Host districts in the Netherlands and Switzerland require exchange students to take language classes after they arrive at an additional cost. An ability to understand the language (which will take several months) is a priority to have a successful exchange. The more proficient in the host country’s language you are, the more comfortable you will become in your new surroundings. Even if members of your host family speak English, you need to speak the host language as much as you can to develop your new language skills.