As a Rotary Youth Exchange student, you will spend a year living with a host family in a country other than your own. You may learn a new language; you will learn a new way of living and a great deal about yourself. But there's more. While you are busy learning, the people you meet will be learning as well — about your country, culture, and ideas. You will be an ambassador. You will be helping to bring the world closer together, and you'll be making good friends in the process. If you are ready for the challenge and the rewards of living in another land as an exchange student, then you are ready to discover new worlds through the Rotary Youth Exchange.
If you are a high school student between the ages of 15 and 19, then you are eligible for Rotary Youth Exchange. As the oldest exchange program of its kind, Rotary Youth Exchange takes pride in choosing students who are academically above average, articulate, and demonstrate leadership in their communities. Ideal candidates should also possess qualities — like flexibility and a willingness to try new things — that will enable them to become excellent cultural ambassadors. You do not have to be involved with Rotary in any way in order to apply, although children of Rotarians are more than welcome to participate. How to Apply If you are interested in becoming a Rotary Youth Exchange student contact Rotary Youth Exchange Officer Greg Phillips or any Carmel Rotarian. There will be an application to complete. The selection process is competitive. After you have completed the application form, the District 6560 Chairperson will conduct an interview with you and your parents.
When to Apply
As the Rotary Youth Exchange program is highly selective, you should apply early — up to a year in advance of when you wish to leave. For example, if you wish to travel abroad during your junior year, you should apply in September of your sophomore year.
If you are wondering why it is necessary to apply so early, once you are selected, Carmel Rotary club and District 6560 will work to prepare you for your year away. You will be guided through a series of orientation sessions so you'll be ready for your new life in a new country.
Rotary Youth Exchange is one of the least expensive international exchange programs open to high school-aged students. Because volunteers in Rotary clubs and districts administer the Rotary Youth Exchange program, you will not have to pay fees to an agency to arrange an exchange.
In the Rotary Program, you and your parents or guardians are responsible for:
Room and board while you are away will be provided by your host families, and your host Rotary club will finance the tuition for required academic programs. Also, your host Rotary club will provide you with a modest monthly allowance. If you need assistance with these expenses, please mention this when you apply.
- Round-trip airfare to your host country
- Health and accident insurance
- All travel documents, such as passports and visas
- Clothing and spending money
- An emergency fund for your use during the year