Short Term Youth Exchange FAQs

What is District 7930?

Rotary District 7930 encompasses 47 Rotary Clubs in Northeastern Massachusetts. For more information, please see

Only five Rotary Clubs in District 7930 presently participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange program: Beverly, Hamilton-Wenham, Ipswich, Marblehead, and Rockport.

What Is ESSEX?

Every District in the Rotary International World is encouraged to arrange and participate in Youth Exchanges. In 1966, to facilitate the smoother functioning of the program, a number of Districts in New England and the Mid-Atlantic States combined into a consortium called ESSEX (Eastern States Student EXchange).

Today, ESSEX has grown to include 36 Rotary districts, spanning from Quebec province, through all of the New England States, most of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, all of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, southern West Virginia, northeastern North Carolina, a small section of northeast Tennessee and all of Bermuda. In New York, Long Island and the lower section of Hudson Valley are ESSEX members.

If you live in the above area and want more information about ESSEX's student exchange programs, please call 1-888-ROTARY-X and leave your name, address and telephone number. A local Rotary representative will contact you.

If you live outside of the ESSEX geographic area (CLICK HERE to view the ESSEX area) we suggest you seek out a local Rotarian or Rotary club and ask for information and contacts. Your school counselor may be of help. Frequently, your Principal or Superintendent of Schools is a Rotarian.

How do I go about participating in the Rotary Short-Term Exchange Program?

Contact any local Rotarian since candidates must be sponsored by individual Rotary Clubs. The local Rotarian will put you in touch with the club or the district Youth Exchange Chairperson for details about short-term exchange and application forms. Your high school counselor may be familiar with the local Rotary Club and can help you make that contact.

Why is it called an exchange program?

You will be matched with a student of similar interests in a country of your choice. The two of you will spend an agreed-upon time together — half of that time in your home and half in his/her home.

Is proficiency in a foreign language needed?

No! The program is cultural in nature but is also for a short period of time. Many countries throughout the world teach English as a second language, and most participating students are quite proficient in it. If you have taken a foreign language in high school and elect to visit a country that speaks that language, you will be able to gain some conversational ability. Most students do not find language to be a barrier to having a great exchange experience whether they know the language or not.

How does a student benefit from being abroad?

Being away in a foreign country has a powerful broadening and an accelerating effect on your maturing process. Managing your own finances and making decisions give you more confidence and independence to take care of yourself. You become more tolerant of other people, different cultures and different personalities. Your youth exchange experience will be priceless, something that you can’t replicate any other way.

How much does the short-term program cost?

Three elements comprise the cost of the program:

  • An application fee ($125.00) which includes the cost of processing and administration.
  • Cost of Rotary and ESSEX-approved life and medical insurance while abroad. A one-month or three-month Short-Term Plan B insurance policy through CISI-Bolduc is mandatory. A 3-4 week exchange would require a one-month Plan B policy at the cost of $76.00 and a 6 week exchange would require a 3 month Plan B policy at the cost of $208.00.
  • Cost of round-trip airfare from your home to the foreign country where you will exchange. You have the choice of using the ESSEX-recommended travel agency, Tzell Park Avenue or making your own travel arrangements. In either case the travel information must be provided to the ESSEX Short-Term Chair, Short Term Contact, and CISI-Bolduc Insurance as soon as it is confirmed by the travel agency used.

What is so special about Rotary’s Short-Term Exchange Program?

The Rotary International Exchange Program is volunteer-driven. It is organized and administered by volunteer Rotarians and their families throughout the world within the local Rotary club, the district, and regionally. Rotary volunteers screen student applicants, select the exchange students, prepare them, and arrange hosting abroad, travel, insurance, visas, etc. All of this is done by Rotarians as an unpaid service.

Because we depend on volunteers, the Rotary Program is the least expensive, safest and highest quality program. Students are provided supervision by members of the local hosting Rotary club, who are directly involved in the welfare of these students. Because of this close connection with local Rotarian advisors, students away from home are more comfortable knowing that Rotarians from their host club are available to help and offer guidance.