"If every 17-year-old had a chance to be a Rotary Youth Exchange Student, there would be no more war."

Carl Wilhelm Stenhammar of Sweden

What is Rotary Short-Term Exchange?

The short-term exchange program (STEP) is a reciprocal family-to-family exchange for students between the ages of 15-19 at the time of the exchange. It offers students the opportunity to gain international understanding while becoming familiar with another culture. The exchange takes place over the summer months.

All countries that take part in exchange must meet strict guidelines to be certified by Rotary International and all host situations must be approved to ensure the safety of our students.

If you are outgoing, adaptable, friendly, bright, well spoken and generally a good ambassador for Canada and Rotary and looking for an enriching short-term exchange; this program may be the answer.

What Can I Expect from the Exchange?

The program offers the participants an opportunity to become familiar with another culture as they live as part of their host family for a period of about 3 weeks. They then travel home with their matched student to experience Canadian life for a similar period. Throughout the exchange, both students gain international understanding, can explore a new part of the world and make life-long friends and memories. Although language is not a real component of the exchange, many students acquire some language skills through everyday exposure.

What Role Does Rotary Play?

Students need to have a Rotary sponsor to take part in the program so the first step if for the student to reach out to the local Rotary club to ask if they will sponsor you. Once they agree to sponsor the student, an application is filled out and the student is interviewed. If for some reason they cannot sponsor you, they will refer you to the District STEP Coordinator to see if an alternate club sponsor can be located.

The sponsoring club will interview you, provide you with an application form and help you complete the necessary paperwork. It is then sent to the District Short-Term Exchange Coordinator who will contact you.

Every effort to find a suitable match for participants in their preferred countries and make virtual arrangements so you can get to know your exchange partner and decide if it is a mutually acceptable match.

While on exchange, the student is hosted by the matched family and treated like a member of the family, food and board are provided but the student is responsible for their own discretionary spending money.

The Rotary Coordinator can provide some advice and assistance in acquiring your travel documents and insurance.

What is the Cost?

Cost of the exchange will depend on destination as each family is responsible for co-ordinating mutually agreeable dates and flights for the exchange. As well as the air travel, students will need to have a valid passport and visa as well as travel insurance that meets Rotary standards.

Rotary also charges and administrative fee of $150.00 which includes orientation training, and a Rotary Exchange student T-shirt.

Looking Ahead

The deadline to apply for STEP is January 1st of the travel year and the earlier you apply the better the likelihood of getting a match in your preferred country and establishing a good friendship even before you travel. Next summer could be the best one ever!

Contact your local Rotary club, or if you need assistance in finding out if there is one in your community, click here and our Coordinator will be happy to help you start your journe

Interested in the Youth Exchange Program?

Contact the Short-Term Exchange Coordinator

Please fill in the form below and we will contact you back as soon as possible, thank you.