Long Term Youth Exchange Program


Rotary’s Long-Term Exchange presents opportunities for high school students to advance their education, become a better person, and contribute to world understanding by allowing them to attend high school in a different country. Students live with host families in their adopted land under the sponsorship and supervision of the local host Rotary Club. It is our hope that these students will be able to see firsthand the problems and accomplishments of other people of different colors, creeds, and cultures. Because of the lengthy history of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, our long-term exchange program is the largest in the world. And because arrangements are made by local Rotarians, it is also one of the safest youth exchange programs in the world.


Qualifications for the Long-Term Exchange Program

Through many years of experience, we have found the following general qualifications useful:

  • Above average academic standing. Students do not have to be at the top of their class, but we do find that students who are in the upper third of their class have a better exchange experience.

  • Students should be good ambassadors for their town, for Rotary, and for their country. During their year abroad, they may be called upon to address many groups. They should possess a pleasant personality and have the ability to communicate with other people easily and to express themselves clearly.

  • Students should possess well-rounded personalities with an ability to think through their problems and the stresses of living in a foreign environment.

  • Students should have an inquiring mind and be actively interested in their own environment, in the world in general and in world problems.

  • Students should be active in their community through sports, hobbies, youth activities or church affairs. Successful students invariably are those who lead busy, active lives in their communities.

  • Students should be well-adjusted, particularly in their family relationships.

  • Students should not be older than 18 1⁄2 years old when they depart in July or August. Rotary encourages students to take their sophomore or junior year abroad. In this way, they return to their American high school for at least one year before graduating. However seniors may apply and defer college one year while they complete the exchange year.

Responsibilities of Outbound Long-Term Students

Students who are sent abroad under the Rotary Youth Exchange Program are required to accept the following obligations:

  • Students are expected to obey the laws of the host country at all times and accept the discipline of the host district, club, school and the host parents (if you don't, your exchange will be terminated and you and your parents will bear any travel surcharges).

  • Students are required to sign a written statement that they will not, under any circumstances, drive a motor vehicle while under the supervision of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.

  • Students will not be permitted to "go steady" with a boy or girl friend. Dating, preferably in company, will be tolerated, but for obvious reasons, romantic involvement is strongly discouraged to the extent that a student breaching the rule could be sent home.

  • Students are required to attend a high school determined by the host club and to attend classes regularly and participate fully in all school activities.

  • Students may be required to address Rotary Clubs, other service organizations, youth groups and community groups during their stay in the host country and will, on their return to the United States, be expected to address similar groups on their experience as an exchange student.

  • During their stay abroad, students may be expected to attend the annual Rotary Conference in their host District as well as other official Rotary and Youth Exchange Program functions as directed by their host club.

  • Students are ambassadors for their home countries and must at all times behave in a manner which will reflect positively on their families, communities and countries.

  • Students must travel directly to the host countries and return directly to their home countries upon completion of their exchange period. Students are not allowed to stay in the host country after the termination of the exchange period.