cid_ac7fca7e-dfe5-45aa-ab4c-6e81c6f903cctelus    About 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: lasting a full academic year (usually August/September -June/July), during which time the student lives with more than one family in the host country. This website focuses on the details of the long-term exchange program.
  2. Short-term exchanges*: 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 promote international goodwill and understanding by enabling students to experience a culture other than their own.
  • To broaden their intercultural skills by learning to live and work with people of different ethnicities.
  • To enable students to advance their education by immersing themselves in a foreign language and culture.
  • To act as ambassadors for their country by addressing Rotary Clubs, community organizations, and youth groups in their host country  imparting knowledge of their own country 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.

Find out more about the Rotary Youth Exchange by downloading the program guide today, or visit the Rotary International website.