About Rotary Youth Exchange
Rotary Youth Exchange is a worldwide program involving more than 80 countries with some 8000 students participating each year. The first seeds for Rotary International’s Youth Exchange Program were sown by the Rotary Club of Copenhagen, with a small-scale European program that started in 1929. A decade later saw the first the student exchanges to take place in the Americas. In 1972, Rotary International (RI) endorsed the program to clubs world-wide as a “worthwhile international activity”. The program has grown into what is a very active and vibrant program that is available to students world-wide today.
Rotary’s youth exchange program falls into two categories:
- Long-term exchanges, usually lasting a full academic year, during which time the student lives with more than one family in the host country. This website focuses on details of the long-term exchange program.
- Short-term exchanges that entail a direct family to family exchange of two students for several weeks, usually during the summer months. This program is known as STEP (Short Term Exchange Program).
Further information can be obtained by contacting District Chair Larry Wright.
The Rotary Exchange Program offers young people an opportunity to study and learn about the culture of other countries with other young people under the auspices of Rotary International.
- The objectives of the program are:
- To further international goodwill and understanding by enabling students to study first-hand some of the accomplishments and problems of people in lands other than their own
- To enable students to student in a new academic environment for a year entirely different from their own and study courses and subjects not normally available to them in schools in their own country
- To have students learn another language
- To broaden their outlook by experiencing life from a different point of view by learning to meet and live with people of different cultures
- To act as a Canadian Ambassador to the people they meet on exchange and addressing Rotary Clubs, community organizations and youth groups in their host country by imparting knowledge about Canada during their year abroad
- To study and observe all facets of life and culture in the country where they are hosted so that on their return they can pass on that knowledge by addressing Rotary Clubs and other organizations
- To develop skills and confidence to last a lifetime
The objective is to build better understanding, peace and acceptance of different cultures around the world. It provides each participant the opportunity to experience a different part of our world under the protective umbrella of Rotary International.