Short Term Youth Exchange Program


Rotary’s Short-Term Exchange Program presents opportunities for students to advance their knowledge and world understanding by allowing them to visit a different country for a limited period of time. Participating students live with a matched host family in their selected country from three to six weeks in the summer under the sponsorship of a local Rotary Club.

The objective of the Short-Term Exchange Program is to foster world peace, international understanding and good will by extending international communication at the personal level through the exchange of students of high school age. It is our hope that these students will be able to see firsthand the problems and accomplishments of other peoples of different colors, creeds, and cultures.


The ESSEX Short-Term Family-to Family Exchange arranges for the student’s family to host a matching Rotary applicant (between the ages of 15 and 18 1/2 years) usually during the summer. Exchanges can be arranged between the two families for not less than 3 weeks and not more than 6 weeks. The exchange in each country is for an equal amount of time except for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, and South Africa. These countries will not exchange with us unless we host their applicants for a minumum of 8 weeks during their summer months. During this period, the student must not have a job or commitments that would interfere with the obligations of hosting.

Cost of travel, the ESSEX fee, Rotary District fees, Rotary insurance, clothing and personal expenses are the responsibility of the participating students and their families.

Travel to the host country is arranged by each student’s family communicating with the other student’s family, determining dates, times and airlines to be booked for the exchange. Frequently, students who exchange first accompany their host sibling on the return flight home.

The earlier an application arrives, the better your chance of exchanging in your first choice country. It is also helpful for placement if you are able to host a student of either gender.

Qualifications for the Short-Term Exchange Program

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

  • Any student, age 15 - 18 1/2, of good character, who possesses a warm personality and a desire to live abroad and host in return is eligible for Rotary’s Short-Term Exchange.

  • Candidates should be adaptable and flexible, well mannered and want to experience life in other countries and cultures.

  • Children of both Rotarians and non-Rotarians are eligible.

Responsibilities of Outbound Short-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 their 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 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 any 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 country.

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