cid_ac7fca7e-dfe5-45aa-ab4c-6e81c6f903cctelusAbout Rotary Youth Exchange


The first seeds for Rotary International’s Youth Exchange Program were sown by the Rotary Club of Copenhagen, with a small-scale European program started in 1929. A decade later saw the first 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”. By the end of the century the program had grown to involve more than 80 countries with some 8,000 students participating each year. Rotary’s youth exchange programs fall into two categories:


  1. 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 document focuses on details of the long-term exchange program.
  2. 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 on this program can be obtained by contacting the District 5040 STEP Chair, Liz Scott.



The objectives of the Rotary Youth Exchange program are as follows:

  • To further international goodwill and understanding by enabling students to study at first hand some of the accomplishments and problems of people in lands other than their own.
  • To enable students to advance their education by studying for a year in an environment entirely different from their own and study courses and subjects not normally available to them in schools in their own country.
  • To broaden their outlook by learning to meet and live with people of different cultures, creeds and colours, and by having to cope with day-to-day problems in an environment completely different from your own.
  • To act as ambassadors for their country by addressing Rotary Clubs, community organizations and youth groups in their host country by imparting knowledge of their own country and its problems to the people they meet 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 home they can pass on the knowledge they have gained by addressing Rotary Clubs and other organizations.

Find out more about the Rotary Youth Exchange by downloading the program guide today.